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“Highest” and “Best” Are Not Synonyms

True story:

A friend of mine, who is also a Realtor, wrote an offer on a house for herself. The house is a short sale, and my friend made a fair offer. The listing agent called to tell my friend that there were other offers, and hers wasn’t the highest, and did my friend want to increase her offer.

My friend (did I mention she is an EXCELLENT agent) pointed out that her offer was within 10% of asking price, that the comps bore it out, and it still had to appraise in 3-6 months in a declining market. That she was willing to look at a reasonable counter offer if the lien holders needed a higher pay off. AND that she was willing to buy the appliances or lawn tractor- up to $10,000. She pointed out that this particular lien holder wasn’t receptive to releasing the seller from their responsibility for the deficiency (waive their right to sue the seller in the future) without a note or cash payoff for a portion at close. If the sellers know in advance that they have a buyer for up to $10K of their stuff, it can change the playing field a bit when it comes to negotiating the short sale.

The listing agent came back after meeting with her seller with an accepted offer. They were all in agreement- my friend’s offer wasn’t the highest offer, but it was the best.

The moral of this story:

Everybody has a bottom line, but as long as you meet that bottom line – or come close enough to lower that line- there are other factors important to today’s sellers in Southeast Michigan.

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