Antonio & Alexia's Blog


Seven Golden Rules For A Successful Bid On a House

First time home buyers are looking at a market that shows no mercy, is highly competitive and does not reflect the conditions of a so-called "depressed real estate market." It is not easy to find a good house at the entry level without having to compete with other buyers, but with persistence, good preparation and the help of a professional local Realtor your chances of becoming a homeowner are better. Above all, be realistic, your very first house is not your "Dream House" but getting on the homeownership wagon will eventually get you there.

Home buyerMany home buyers have decided to jump off the fence and buy their very first house; perhaps it was the drop on interest rates to historical lows, or maybe the number of perceived bargains offered by the banks and a high inventory of homes for sale, or the $8,000 offered as a tax incentive from the government. When all these factors are put together, you will think It's heaven and you will have the time of your life choosing the best possible home at the best possible price with an incredible low interest rate for the next 30 years... or is it?

This is not the true picture of what we are seeing today. It appears that the REO's or bank owned properties that flooded the market before and kept the inventory high due to their inability to dispose of those properties, have finally figure out how to sell them... by under pricing them! This strategy has been paying off for them very nicely. Buyers trying to outbid each other will push the price to the highest point the market can bear.

An underpriced REO home goes on the market and attracts a good number of home buyers who think that they finally found their dream home, or ideal investment. They quickly realize that they are not the only ones out looking at homes for sale. Here in the east shores of the San Francisco bay, in Alameda County, we are seen 40-50 and even 60 offers presented within days.

How can a home buyer compete and win this bidding war? By understanding how offers are viewed by the seller and being prepared to meet those requirements as much as possible. If you can pay all cash, there will be no financing contingencies or appraisals to wait for, and the escrow can close within days, but if that is not possible, follow these steps to strengthen your position and get your offer accepted;

•1.   Do a complete loan application and bring every piece of paper requested by the lender

•2.   Have the bank issue a complete pre-approval letter, signed by a real person

•3.   Offer to pay more than the asking price if you can

•4.   Put a large down payment if possible, this will help when your offer is compared to others

•5.   Be prepared to take the house on an "as-is" condition and spell that out in the contract

•6.   Reduce the inspection contingency from 17 to about 5-7 days only

•7.   Reduce the close of escrow to less than 30 days if possible

Realize that the sellers don't care who buys their house, all they look for is to get the maximum amount of money they can, in the quickest amount of time with the least amount of inconvenience. They don't want to do any work, or wait too long to close the escrow or pay for anything extra.

Now that you finally decided to jump off the fence and get into the housing market and become a homeowner, you need to give this idea some time and dedication, as we get closer to the end of the $8,000 tax credit window of November 30 2009, there will be far more competition and you will need all the help you can get. Work closely with your chosen Realtor, don't go at it alone and be prepared to go see a house within minutes and possibly right an offer on the spot.

This market offers you a great opportunity to make the purchase of a lifetime... but others are also aware of these positive conditions and you will meet them when they compete with you... just when YOU think YOU found YOUR dream home. Happy House Hunting!

Antonio & Alexia Cardenas, "The Realtors In Motion" Professional Realtors, Amateur Balleroom Dance competitors. Serving Alameda & Contra Costa counties in the East Shores of the San Francisco Bay. Specially the cities of San Leandro, San Lorenzo, Hayward, Castro Valley and Oakland. Visit us at: (510) 326-4263. Call us, we'll come and TANGO with you.

The Realtors In Motion       Antonio & Alexia Cardenas   

                  "The Realtors In Motion" 

         CRS, GRI, E-Pro Certified. SFR (Short Sales, Forclosure Resource) Serving the east shores of the San Francisco Bay, Alameda county: specially the following cities: Castro Valley, San Leandro, San Lorenzo, Hayward, Oakland, Pleasanton & Dublin.

                  Visit us on line at: or call (510) 326-4263

                     Call us, We'll come and TANGO with you!

Comment balloon 77 commentsAntonio & Alexia Cardenas • May 03 2009 06:46PM


Your post makes a few great points.  I find that a smartly crafted offer can be a huge advantage in winning out in multuiple offer situations or at the very least in negotiating a better price and terms on the home.

Posted by Robert May, Real estate consulting (Robert W May - Lethbridge Real Estate) about 11 years ago

Yep, that's about what it takes to rise above the pack on a multiple offer situation and lots of praying! Nice post.

Posted by Kelsey Barklow, 423/948-9154 (Hurd Realty) about 11 years ago

All valid points. In our area a lot of Realtors are requesting the potential buyer get a pre-qual letter from the Bank that owns the mortgage. This makes them feel more comfortable with the buyer, and sometimes they will reduce some of the closing costs if the buyer finances through them.

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) about 11 years ago

Robert, you are right about a good crafted offer, it does make a huge difference from the listing agent point of view, it must show that the realtor and his/her client have a good understanding of what they want to do, the chances of getting their offer accepted are greater when compared to other offers that might not be well written.

Kelsey, I like the part about praying. I learned long time ago a mantra from one of my trainers: WHEN IT COMES TO HOMEBUYERS, DON'T TRY TO BE THE ANSWER TO THEIR PRAYERS... UNTIL YOU KNOW EXACTLY WHAT THEY ARE PRAYING FOR!


Posted by Antonio & Alexia Cardenas, "The Realtors In Motion" (Alameda County - San Leandro, CA.) about 11 years ago

It is important that buyers do not give up too many of their protections.. especially when it comes to the home inspection.  There can be a lot of hidden issues that need to be investigated.  Otherwise, the great deal may not be so great in the long run.

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) about 11 years ago

Ed, that seems to me like a good idea, hopefully the banks will give more value to their own people, in a competitive bidding war every little bit helps, no question about it.

Joan, that is a very good point, you simply cannot take on a fixer upper if you cannot swing a hammer!


Posted by Antonio & Alexia Cardenas, "The Realtors In Motion" (Alameda County - San Leandro, CA.) about 11 years ago

Antonio & Alexia -

Glad you're still on the move!

One thing to add - as a Buyer's Broker, always offer a DEFENSIBLE OFFER on a house, rather than simply hacking off a certain percentage and hoping for success.

So often, in today's market, many buyers don't really think about the chilling impact on the seller an unthought-out lowball will have.

Or, the agent doesn't have enough confidence to convince the buyer to make a logic-based offer.

Do so, and be able to explain your rationalle to the listing agent, and get more of these accepted.


Posted by Dean Moss, Dean's Team Chicago IL Real Estate Team (Dean's Team - Keller Williams Realty Partners Chicago IL) about 11 years ago

Antonio and Alexia, these are great points for a well-crafted offer. I might add that a letter from buyers to sellers is also helpful, especially in a multiple offer situation.

Posted by Sharon Alters, Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL (Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308) about 11 years ago

Good points if you really, really want to get the house and not lose it to somebody else

Posted by Russ Ravary ~ Metro Detroit Realtor call (248) 310-6239, Michigan homes for sale ~ (Real Estate One) about 11 years ago

Good advice, thanks for the tips.

Patricia Aulson/Portsmouth NH Real Estate

Posted by Patricia Aulson, Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes (BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOME SERVICES Verani Realty NH Real Estate ) about 11 years ago

Love the elegant dance picture!!

My investor buyer always offers asking price or above.  If the bids are more than 8,000 above list, we don't even submit an offer.  There are lots of foreclosures out there to choose from.  Great time to buy!!

Posted by Sonja Patterson, Texas Monthly 5-Star Realtor Recipient for the Hou (Keller Williams - BV) about 11 years ago

Wow,  great post. Helpful confirmation of what I have been telling my buyers.

Posted by Bill Gross, Certified Probate Expert (EXP Realty of California Inc.) about 11 years ago

Wow,  great post. Helpful confirmation of what I have been telling my buyers.

Posted by Bill Gross, Certified Probate Expert (EXP Realty of California Inc.) about 11 years ago

Fantastic! I'm (hopefully) writing an offer on a foreclosure first thing tomorrow morning. Excellent pointers to give to my buyer.

Posted by Peggy Wester, Real Estate Agent Ozaukee & Washington County (Realty Executives Integrity) about 11 years ago

"we are seen 40-50 and even 60 offers presented within days" ---WOW!!! I've gone up against one at a time and even a property that got 3 in one day. My head would spin with more than a few. Thanks for the list.

Posted by Dena Stevens Coriz, Putting The Real Into Realtor Since 2004 (Rocky Mountain Realty ) about 11 years ago

Great information to pass on to buyers.  Thanks

Posted by Rosa Updale, Associate Broker (Appleseed Group) about 11 years ago

Good, clean advice - and I agree with Dean on making the offer defensible - that should be a part of your presentation.

@Frank and Sharon, I haven't tried the buyer letter in a multiple offer situation - sounds like a good idea to make your offer stand out and shows commitment.

Posted by Virginia Hepp - Mesquite NV REALTOR, Mesquite NV Homes and Neighborhoods - Search MLS (Desert Gold Realty - Mesquite NV Homes For Sale) about 11 years ago

Frank & Sharon, that is a good idea when the seller is a real person not an entity, it does help however

Russ & Patricia. you are both welcome

Sonja, I believe the investor has the upper hand, because he should not be emotionally involved and probably has more cash to play with

Peggy, go for it! write that offer! and tell that buyer how important it is for him/her to understand how your present the offer, and how important is to include at least 4 of the points I mentioned.

Dana, when the offers exceed 4 or 5, it does get ridiculously busy, and a huge waist of time for a lot of people.

Posted by Antonio & Alexia Cardenas, "The Realtors In Motion" (Alameda County - San Leandro, CA.) about 11 years ago

Sonja, I forgot to mention your compliment to our picture, we are indeed amateur ballroom dance competitors and nowadays we use our dancing to get to meet potential home buyers


Posted by Antonio & Alexia Cardenas, "The Realtors In Motion" (Alameda County - San Leandro, CA.) about 11 years ago

Another good thing to do is explain to your buyer client that "highest and best " means this is truly your last chance to maximize your offer before an offer is accepted.

In response to Dean's defensible offer suggestion, this is good advice except when dealing with REOs. Asset managers simply do not want to hear anything about a foreclosure buyer's rationale for a low, i.e. losing offer. Usually, there is no opportunity for the listing agent to add any explaination to a buyer's offer.

Posted by Robert Slick, NRBA, RDCPro, Trident/CCAR MLS (Beach and River Homes) about 11 years ago

Hi Antonio and Alexia -- Buyers would be wise to heed your sage advice here, very solid.  Sometimes, they don't realize it until they have lost out on a home or two.  The market has a way of making buyers learn the hard way, but great agents like you both who really know the market makes all the difference in the world.

Posted by Chris Olsen, Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate (Olsen Ziegler Realty) about 11 years ago

highest and best- best can be HUGE as far as less baggage can be more lucrative and inspiring to a seller if the agent knows the value of clean clean clean and skip the exuses.

Posted by Valerie Spaulding, Allyn-Belfair-Hood Canal-Local Expertise! (Windermere Peninsula Properties~Allyn~Belfair~WA) about 11 years ago

Great post and wonderful additional suggestions from those who have posted before me. I just attended the CRS course on short sales and foreclosures last week (CRS 111--great course, BTW) and an additional point in a good offer may be a shorter closing time than other offers. The banks want to get these properties off their books, so someone who can offer a shorter time to close may win out over a longer one. I had a buyer lose out on a foreclosure for this reason.

Posted by Judy Luna, Keller Williams Realty NWAR, Fayetteville Arkansas about 11 years ago

Very true! I am an REO listing agent and every home I put on the market gets multipple offers now. Those are great points you have there. I always give out hints to agents like less contingency's are better. Sometimes its a good idea to pre-inspect the home or  waive inspection.

I get agents calling me and crying that they want the home. I get agents calling me and cursing... oh I get lots of crazy stuff when there is competition. Simple fact is they need to learn to write good clean offers.

Posted by Nelya Calev (John L Scott) about 11 years ago

I have the winning bid on a Fannie Mae Repo right now.  My husband & I are buying it for income property.  We were to close over 30 days ago, and they are having a problem with the title.  I am so glad that I did not sell this to some one that would not understand the drama involved in buying a repo.  I can afford to wait, some first time home buyers can't.  If I do sell one, I always tell them of the process, and that it can always change and delays are part of it.

Posted by Ella Glover (Lubbock Homes) about 11 years ago

Antonio & Alexia Cardenas,

Thanks so much for posting this, I feel I say this til I am blue in the face, but maybe I can show them it's not just me that is saying this.


Denise Stuart

Posted by Denise Stuart, Coldwell Banker (Coldwell Banker San Jose Realtor ) about 11 years ago

I would also add a letter from the buyer to the seller. It has worked in my local market where higher offers did not win the bidding war. Instead the letter from the buyer helped.

Posted by Lana Robbins Realtor ® Licensed Real Estate Broker, Licensed in Florida, Washington, and Hawai'i (Aloha Kai Real Estate) about 11 years ago

I hope a lot of buyers read this post! :)

A short, powerful cover letter with any 'super positives' about the buyers or not-easily-seen advantage to the seller by selecting 'this offer' can also make an offer stand out.

We beat out several offers on a desirable REO property recently because, in addition to a clean offer a smidge over asking, I sent a note to the listing agent stating that the buyers had already evaluated the condition of the property  with a contractor prior to offer, the buyers were locals familiar with the subdivision, and that the lender could accelerate close with seller's cooperation (with a letter to support that).

Also make sure the preapproval letter states that income, assets, employment and a trimerged credit report were all evaluated in addition to loan application being received. Those seems to be magic words to REO, loss mitigation analysts and asset management companies.

I love the dance pic! (my dad owned 3 Arthur Murray Dance Studios in the 60s--fond memories.)

Candice (good mosher, terrible dancer) ;)

Posted by Candice A. Donofrio, 928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text (Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker) about 11 years ago

Hi to you both,

Great info on all points. Yet when it comes to an inspection we're having a tough time scheduling inspections that quickly. Seems like they've all been very busy...whiich is a good thing!

Posted by Lynda Eisenmann, Broker-Owner,CRS,CDPE,GRI,SRES, Brea,CA, Orange Co (Preferred Home Brokers) about 11 years ago

I especially like the point about putting that the buyer will accept the house as is. But the assertion that the seller doesn't care who buys their house? I'm reasonably new, and I've been told that sellers do care and that I should always try to get the seller to meet my buyers. Do any of you find that to be true?

Posted by Diane Schubach (Laffey Fine Homes) about 11 years ago

Excellent post.  I am forwarding a link to a couple of buyers I am working with.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) about 11 years ago

Antonio & Alexia...thank you for the post, it is great for our buyers to see the reality of it all by someone else. The only problem with this scenario is that for most first time homebuyers or non-investors using a FHA loan is they cannot buy a home "As Is" or do not have a larger down payment and they loose out. This should be a great opportunity for those you could not previously buy a home but it is not working out that way, the investors are once again the ones who prosper. Diane to answer your question most of my sellers have never wanted to meet the buyer because if they did it would become an emotional decision and not a business one.

Posted by Melinda Hoff, Keeping the Real in Realtor! (Bradley & Brown Realty) about 11 years ago

Robert a good explanation of "Highest and Best" is the hardest part when dealing with first time buyers, but the earlier we beging breaking it down the better it will be.

Chris, thanks for the compliment

Valerie, "Highest and Best" does mean no baggage whatsoever

Judy, thank you, you are right the shorter the close of escrow the happier the seller.

Nelya, Writing an offer is still an art! and a huge responsability, negligence cost a lot, in lost business and MIA potential buyers. Dealing with REO's is really not that much different, if the offer is not writen correctly it will lose.

Lubbock, For a first time buyer that wanted to preserve the interest rate and locked it with the lender, a delay of 30 days will costs them money, they are limited as to what they can do.

Denise, I sometimes e-mail these posts to my buyers to educate them, for some reason if someone else says the same thing, they tend to then believe what I have already told them.

Lana, yes a warm fuzzy letter from the buyer to the seller does work wonderfully. But when dealing with REO's or short sales or foreclosures, is really not up to human beings but to entities that sometimes don't have... a heart...? 

Candice, YOUR letter does have more meaning at this time however, that is the exact information those loss mitigators, and assest management companies need to hear. Thanks for the compliment of the dance picture, we are both amateur ballroom competitors and love to dance, nowadays we use our dancing to get to meet potential home buyers

Lynda, You are correct! those inspections cannot be waived completely, getting a good inspector that can work with you within days is a must, good point.

Diane, with the number of foreclosures and short sales and REO's there are a lot of things that sellers are most concerned about than "selecting who buys the house" after all, they have to have the lender approve the offers, hence the "highest & Best" offer, regardless of who the seller wants...

Thank you all for your visit.


Posted by Antonio & Alexia Cardenas, "The Realtors In Motion" (Alameda County - San Leandro, CA.) about 11 years ago

I list REO properties in TEXAS. How about a few don'ts that will kill an offer. I am finding that very few agents know how to write an offer on a Foreclosure. I wouldn't suggest that anyone waive an inspection or buy sight unseen, just get it done in 5-10 days. On a foreclosure you need to evaluate the house as thoroughly as possible before putting in an offer, and be prepared to see it through. Buying foreclosures/short sales is definitely not for all buyers.

* Don't ask for a survey 

* Don't check the wrong box under sellers disclosure (seller not required)

* Don't ask for repairs on an ASIS sale

* Don't ask for more than 6% seller contribution

* Don't ask for more than 14 days Financing Contingency

* Don't choose a title company

* Don't forget the copy of preapproval letter and EM in certified funds.

* Don't fill in amt for option fee

**with the right balance in an offer, you may be able to get a Home Warranty for your buyer.

Do consider suggested Lending options. (ie- Lender or HomePath) DO put Owner of Record for Seller and Sellers choice for title company. If you want seller to pay title policy, specify an amt in special provisions.

and make sure to send all applicable addendums- MUD,LBP,Intermediary,HOA, etc.

THAT would make my life or the life of any REO Specialist so much easier-- AND that is going to make your offer stand out. Many agents won't give it another look if they have to go back and forth with the agent to complete the offer.

In the beginning, I had the time to hand hold agents and walk them through the process. Now with multiple offers coming in on multiple REO listings, I can't do it anymore.

Posted by Tara Wolfe Salas, TXREOS4U (Exit Realty NE Houston) about 11 years ago

Tara, You have completed my post! great! I am glad you are here because your list is a great complement to my little list. Your point about no having time to hold agents hands or time to go back and ask for missing documents is the core of this post. Agents: Make it easy on yourselves and get your clients the house by doing YOUR job... a complete one! ALL T'S CROSSED... ALL I'S DOTTED! in the contract. If you have counseled your client properly and educate him/her on the current market conditions, you should have the winning combination for success! Thank you Tara, I am glad you visited.


Posted by Antonio & Alexia Cardenas, "The Realtors In Motion" (Alameda County - San Leandro, CA.) about 11 years ago

The market has definitely been getting more competitive here in the OC, and you offer a lot of great advice for today's market.

Posted by Christine Donovan, Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M (Donovan Blatt Realty) about 11 years ago

Very good points, Antonio and Alexia. I see all the time the struggle that the R.E. Agents go through to get an offer accepted on a REO.

I know for a fact that a key point to gain that acceptance is to have a serious mortgage loan pre-approval. Therefore, as a Lender, I always provide all the Agents that work with me with a very solid and explicit pre-approval for their buyers, which include the confirmation that the buyer's credit, income and funds to close have been already verified. I also attach and estimate which shows income, LTV, ratios and closing costs. It seems to work.

Posted by Raul Brito Salvador, J.D. (Raul Brito, J.D. / SecurityNational Mortgage Company) about 11 years ago

After making several offers and  being passed over again and  again, I finally figured it out. Practically all REO properties in my market area (San Jose, CA) are going to be sold "as is", with an addendum outlining the seller's terms, and for a price over asking within a few days. 

With that in mind, I don't need to call the agent and find out how many offers they have received etc...and more importantly, when I write an offer the listing agent knows that I am familiar with purchasing REO properties.

The hardest part is educating the client on this process. When I begin working with my buyer clients, I have them get preapproved with the major banks that I know will require this prior to submitting an offer anyway (Countrywide, Chase, Wells Fargo). I even go as far as submitting bank statements proving that there are funds needed to close, with my clients permission of course (be sure and blacken out the account number, SSN or any other private number that may appear on their statement if you try this). I also try to get my offer in on the day the property comes on the market or the very latest the 2nd day. I use this same process for Short sale listings except I provide a BPO explaining how I arrived at my offerring price. Understanding who I need to appeal to is working like a charm for me.

There is a lot of good info in your post. Thanks for sharing it.


Posted by Nadine Roos (Keller Williams Realty) about 11 years ago

Great points, going out with pre-approved clients is a requirement for me. Too many bargain hunters out there, that have no idea what they can afford.

Posted by Martine Assaf (Virtual Homes Real Estate) about 11 years ago

I enjoyed reading your post regarding some tips for successful bidding.  Great bullet points.  Way to go!

Posted by Melissa Juarez (Massachusetts Buyers Broker Agency, LLC) about 11 years ago

Thanks for the great post and well-deserved feature on it, too.  It's information every buyer should read.

Posted by Roger Johnson, Realtor - Hickory NC Real Estate (Hickory Real Estate Group) about 11 years ago

In Oklahoma, we have crafted a statewide contract that requires a pre-approval letter for getting an accepted contract regardless of seller. We also have a 10 day max time for inspections as well as other timelines set for removal of contingencies. You are spot on about pricing. We had a REO that had orginally a $1 million loan. The house had been stripped and needed $100K to rehab it even though it was 5 years old. The appraised value was really about $800K fixed up. The MLS price was set at around $489K, and it had 6 offers in 24 hours, most above the listed price as you pointed out. The trick is to fight for that price with the banks. In Oklahoma we have a relatively low amount of foreclosure action, about 4% of sales. I am sure that will rise some but not to the level of areas of California. But the same rules apply regardless of the local condition, it just may be different to the degree that you have to pressure the banks for the right price.  

Posted by Joe Pryor, REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties (The Virtual Real Estate Team) about 11 years ago

Great reminders for a competitive offer in today's real estate world. Not only for home buyers but us agents as well. Thank you...

Posted by Joe Corwin, San Antonio, TX (SellSmart Lone Star Real Estate) about 11 years ago

The banks have figured out how to sell them and buyers need to be ready like you said. It makes it tougher find a home in most cases because of the competition.

Posted by Chuck Carstensen, Minnesota Real Estate Expert (RE/MAX Results) about 11 years ago

Good buyer representation includes not only asking for what the buyer needs, but also educating the buyer on how the seller will view the offer.  Good advice.

Posted by Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA) about 11 years ago

"Realize that the sellers don't care who buys their house", that is a statement I must often say. When a buyer starts giving a story they want you to relate, the hand goes up, WHOA, they don't care!

Posted by Frank & Jodi Orlando (Frank & Jodi Orlando Get Us A Home Realty Atlanta Homes Sale) about 11 years ago

The one thing I liek to do (when appropriate) is write a letter to the agent including some quality info about the buyers to allow for a connection to the sellers. Usually, this works out pretty well & the one time I didn't write an "intro" letter to the sellers someone else did & they ended up getting their offer thru! (Obviously this does work for REO situations) 

Posted by Michael Field about 11 years ago

Great Tips!

It would be helpful if the Banks/Seller gives weight to owner occupied offers. (similar to HUD foreclosures)  This will insure the property will not be back on the market anytime soon and will give the first time home buyer a chance at homeownership.

Posted by Jesse Acevedo (Broker ERA Ace Realty & Investments, Fort Lauderd about 11 years ago

I still don't get it.  Isn't every house sold "as is?"  What are they teaching people in REBAC courses - the offer needs to reflect the buyers assessment of the condition of the house as seen. Baring any material defects arising from the home inspection, there shouldn't be room for further negotiations because the toilet paper holder is loose, for example (true example from another AR blogger).


Posted by Martin Kalisker, Professional Standards & Legal Assistant (Greater Boston Association of REALTORS) about 11 years ago

Point 11.   don't write on a short sale.  Ok, now the list is complete.

Posted by Brien Berard, Maryland Real Estate Agents - Laurel Real Estate (Remax Professionals Laurel MD) about 11 years ago

Thanks for the info.  Tara, did a great job with a few dont's as well.  Our company is expeanding in the Bay Area, and we have some brand new agents who are learning the ropes the hard way.  I will definately be sharing your post with them. 

Posted by Gary Meek, (916) 995-9385 (NewVision Realty Group) about 11 years ago

Your point that said to settle in less than 30 days sometimes is difficult with REOs here. I have had some banks say they need at least 45 because they are so swamped.

Posted by Kristi DeFazio, Colorado Springs Rea lEstate 719-459-5468 (RE/MAX Advantage) about 11 years ago

If a buyer is going to put themselves in a position where they may have to take the house as is, they better be sure they know what they are getting into. 

Posted by Kenneth Fisher,, Remax Essential - Wilmington, NC (Cape Fear Real Estate Solutions, LLC) about 11 years ago

I agree with all of your points, I will add that the biggest factor though will be recent sold comps. I've been blessed with home runs on all the offers I have written this year. I am only getting countered on the closing costs. You also make a great point that many buyers should remember and that is...banks are just like any seller, they are looking to net the most $$$ out of the sale!


Thank you for your post, I appreciate it!


were all in this together!


Some great tips in this thread, but I do caution attempting to Close Escrow in less that 30 days.  Today's lenders are so busy they are having a difficult time getting these things closed.  Why put your client in jeaprody?

If the client is an FHA borrower (most first time home buyers are), you need at least 45 days.  Going back to ask for an extension could cost your client money especially with REO properties.

Posted by Joe @ AZEliteProperties about 11 years ago

Good tips! Thanks :)

Posted by Ken Offidani (Coldwell Banker Select Professionals) about 11 years ago

Thanks for the tips!!! I wish all my clients would see it this way!


Posted by Andrea Palmer, Phone 239-333-5556 (Jones & Co. Realty 239-333-5556) about 11 years ago

If you are in a multiple offer situation and you are presenting to the owner, try to be present for presentaiton and have your buyers nearby:

Mr. and Mrs seller "If you do have to counter one of these offers, please work with ours as I can have a writtten response to you within 1/2 hr."

Also a big healthy deposit, stapled to the contract.- old school trick.

Posted by Doug about 11 years ago

Thank you all for your visit and most importantly for YOUR contributions to the comment area! It appears to me that this subject is very dear to all of us, here is what I gathered from your comments:

Get a well written pre-approval letter, one in which the loan officer clearly specify that the VOE & VOD's (verification of employment/deposit) have been checked, and that all documentation for the submission of the package is ready.


  • Letters to the seller probably won't work... Letter from the Buyer's Agent to the Listing Agent will probably do wonders because the BA can explain to the the LA that the buyer is familiar with the neighborhood, that it has inspected the house and feels he can take it as is, etc.

A 30 day close of escrow might be a problem now that we have the infamous HVCC in place which will delay the closings because nobody is ready for the new regulations regarding appraisals

One of the most important key to this process: A WELL EDUCATED HOME BUYER IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF HIS REALTOR (sorry, I did not mean to shout)

In a multiple presentation of offers, Buyers must understand that there will be NO counter offers

Dear Realtors: Draft a WELL WRITTEN OFFER! If you have the best buyer, but your offer does not show it as such, YOU are not doing YOUR job and it will cost you! You'll loose the house and perhaps even your client. Nobody knows who your client is, the way you present it on a written offer will tell us.

Finally, DON'T MISS ANYTHING when presenting the offer, make sure you get everything the listing agent needs: copy of deposit, prequal letter, agency disclosure... etc. If the package is incomplete the listing agent will not have time to call you and wait for you to finish the job. The house will go to the next guy.

Thank you all for your visit! I have learned a lot from you, I love AR!



Posted by Antonio & Alexia Cardenas, "The Realtors In Motion" (Alameda County - San Leandro, CA.) about 11 years ago

Hello Antonio and Alexa,  WELL SAID! today's market, buyers appreciate an agent who takes charge of the process...more work for the agent, but more deals closed and...more referrals!

Thank you for the list! 

Cheers from Sunny South Florida


Isabel Waters. Lic. R.E. Broker-REALTOR, Assoc.-C21, Hansen Realty I, Inc. Fort Lauderdale,FL

Posted by Isabel Waters about 11 years ago

Thank you for the fantastic detailed article.

In San Diego county we are experiencing a madness of multiple offers that we have never seen before. One house recieved over 81 offers in a few days. Totally crazy! Even though my offers are always $18k to $38k higher than the asking price, I'm still not getting my offers accepted....I basically have to let my clients know to be patient and keep submitting offers. We have too many buyers and investors with cash and NOT enough inventory. Any buyers considering purchasing homes in San Diego within the $450,000 or less price range needs to be educated on the current market.

Zaid Iniguez
Myers Realty Group


Posted by Zaid Iniguez about 11 years ago

I have really enjoyed reading this entry as well as the comments. Letting buyers know all about "as - is" properties and that they allow inspections is win-win for everyone.

In the DC metro area, we have had to extend our appraisal contingencies on short sales, foreclosures and on deals with settlement dates more than 30 days out. The banks are requesting second appraisals, even after the appraisal contingency is realeased by the lender. Anyone else having that experience?



Posted by Dana Hollish Hill, Lead Associate Broker (Hollish Hill Group, KW Capital Properties) about 11 years ago

Isabel, thank you very much for your kind words

Zaid, 81 offers? I still wonder who will write offer # 60 70 80... what rational is behind the person what think he/she can do better than 60 70 other buyers...? This situation is getting out of control! We are having the same issues here in N. California

Dana, I am glad I can write something the you enjoy, people like you who dare to comment make this entry far more interesting. Banks requesting second appraisals...? who would of thought! But it is a reality, our market has definitely changed, I miss the good old days!


Posted by Antonio & Alexia Cardenas, "The Realtors In Motion" (Alameda County - San Leandro, CA.) about 11 years ago

This was an excellent post!  I am also in California so I this article is very applicable to our current market.  It is so important that a buyer realize the condition of their local  market and understand that what they see on CNN isn't neccessarily true for their particular location.  Your article sheds some neccessary light on important factors when pursuing listings today.  Great job!

Posted by Katrina Dangleman (Bob Davis Team First Mortgage) about 11 years ago

I would say that list will get you the home EVERYTIME in this market. A couple of years ago, it was all that PLUS.

Posted by Scott Baker, Realtor Homes for Sale Cincinnati/Dayton Ohio ( Coldwell Banker West Shell) about 11 years ago

As a home inspector, I liked this paragraph:

Realize that the sellers don't care who buys their house, all they look for is to get the maximum amount of money they can, in the quickest amount of time with the least amount of inconvenience. They don't want to do any work, or wait too long to close the escrow or pay for anything extra.

So instead of the Seller picking up the phone and blasting the home inspector with various epithets and four-letter words (none of which included LOVE, HELP, or FREE) for simply documenting all the stuff that the Seller has not done over the years, the Seller should work with the Buyer to address the Buyer's concerns.

Posted by Not a real person about 11 years ago

Katrina, thank you for your kind words, the media still has not reported half of the GOOD NEWS that will help the consumer's confidence and therefore help us get out of this recession an into more prosperous times.

Scott, you are right, the home buyer that will get into a good house will be the one that understands how to meet the sellers minimum requirements, this is a different market and the old ways of doing business simply do not apply here.

RusselI appreciate your angle, it is true that the sellers, specially those upside down, that know they will get not a single dollar out of the sale of the house, will not care who buys it. Unfortunately their house condition reflects their emotional state, they are not happy campers.

I appreciate your visit!

Posted by Antonio & Alexia Cardenas, "The Realtors In Motion" (Alameda County - San Leandro, CA.) about 11 years ago


Wonderful post --- and it seems a lot of people agree. You expressed very succinctly what we need to convey.

Maybe you can add: "Listen to your realtor." Your realtor can do the research, determine market value, comps, etc. And having done this a few times, your realtor can show you the way and avoid the pitfalls that other buyers fall into.

I've written several offers on REO properties, and have won a few. It helps when the clients see the light, especially when I tell them this may be their only chance, so they better make it their best and highest offer.

Congrats on the feature.

Posted by Pacita Dimacali, Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA (Alain Pinel) about 11 years ago

Antonio, having all your ducks in a row and having an edge over other buyers gives you the best chance at getting a home when it is a competitive environment. When an area is the furthest from a bidding war, the buyer has tremendous power to pretty much do as he pleases.

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) about 11 years ago

Hi Antonio and Alexia: This is a great post with lots of useful information.  keep up the good work!


Posted by Matt Listro, Your Credit Repair Expert (National Credit Fixers - Matt Listro) about 11 years ago

Pactia, thank you for your kind words, I do think that a great part of our job as Realtors is to educate our clients the buyers in this case, how the traditional real estate market has changed and continues to change.

Gary, good way to put it, not only do we have to have "all our ducks in a row..." we need to make sure we are in front of them! guiding them.

Matt, thanks for your visit.


Posted by Antonio & Alexia Cardenas, "The Realtors In Motion" (Alameda County - San Leandro, CA.) about 11 years ago

Hi Antonio....excellent post and very deserving of the gold star.  This should buyers in your market to have an edge over others bidders.  Thanks for stopping by my blog your comment was very thoughtful :-)

Posted by Gail MacMillan about 11 years ago

Antonio & Alexia many agents don't know how structure a deal, you can be a great agent however do you have all the components put together be better?

Have a great and successful weekend !

Posted by ~ Dallas Real Estate Agent Top Team (Dallas Houses for Rent Dallas Apartment Rentals ) about 11 years ago

Antonio and Alexia, what a great blog, I hope all your future clients heed this, I am sure it would make a huge difference if it was the norm!

Posted by Joanne O'Donnell (Chic Home Interiors) almost 11 years ago

Antonio and Alexia...great tips for buyers. Congrats on the featured post.

Posted by Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®, Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate (Vision Quest Realty) almost 11 years ago

Antonio and Alexia, I hope you both are having a great 4th of July with family and friends, good week ahead of us !

Posted by ~ Dallas Real Estate Agent Top Team (Dallas Houses for Rent Dallas Apartment Rentals ) almost 11 years ago
Although all of these isuses are important, I'd probably start from a different perspective: 1) What is the current supply situation and how will it be impacted in 2010? 2) What will happen to demand? 3) What will happen to prices? As an example, the loan modifications and more loan recasts impact supply, whereas higher mortgage rates, tighter lending standards, and the end of the tax credit will all impact demand. Reply
Posted by Levent about 8 years ago