Buying A Home
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Should we assume this is fishy ? Listing agent being odd.

We are first time home buyers who put a list price offer on a house this past Saturday (2/13). On 2/14 our Realtor texted us and told us there was another offer on the house and asked what we wanted to do, if anything. We upped our offer (over list price at this point) because we were also asking for closing costs to be paid. Our offer was sent to the listing agent on 2/14 early afternoon. Our realtor told us that the listing agent was "out of town" so hopefully she should hear back soon and be able to tell us when the listing agent and seller are meeting to go over the offers.

2/15 we hear nothing all day. In the evening last night our realtor texts us to tell us that the listing agent and seller SHOULD be meeting today to go over our offers. She said she was getting frustrated and that this was dragging out a bit.

Today - 2/16, I start reading online and realize that is completely out of the ordinary that our offer has not been presented to the seller at all. I'm getting worried and thinking the worst of some of the stories I've read online, so I email my realtor again. She said that this is NOT normal, and she doesn't understand why if she is on vacation someone else isn't helping. She said she called the office and they are closed (we had bad weather last night), and that the sellers call goes through to voicemail. She is hoping to hear something, but said she will follow up with the company this afternoon (they should not be closed all day, the weather was not THAT bad).

is this normal practice? Is there any legitimate reason this would take this long ? Should we just assume this isn't going to work out? We are kind of in a time crunch and if our offer gets accepted we need to have a letter in the mail next week to our apartment complex to give them our 30 day notice of leaving. So we have a week or so, but that's it. I just don't get why they would "hold offers" and not at least present them to the seller?

DH + Me = Married September 2013DD born June 2014Hoping to buy our first home in 2016!

Re: Should we assume this is fishy ? Listing agent being odd.

  • While I do think it's a bit fishy, I have also found that just because you're in a hurry doesn't mean that everybody else is. The people we bought our current house from were quite content to rent it out again or sell it, but were in no particular hurry. I think we get used to the idea of everybody being instantly reachable and/or House Hunters telling us that you get instant responses back. I hope you have a fall back plan. Even if your offer is accepted, most real estate closings go 30-60 days. Even with a 30 day close request, our last purchase went to 60 days. We still had our apartment for 30 days after we closed on this house. Made it a lot easier to clean and do other things to the house without having all of our stuff in the way. And if you're concerned about paying rent/mortgage at the same time, it usually takes 1-2 months for the bank to get your loan setup anyway. We just closed on a refinance on the 3rd. Our first payment isn't until the 1st of April. I'd also add that while not ideal, but if you can't handle having to pay rent/mortgage together for 1-2 months, I'd be seriously working on an emergency fund. You're just one incident away from having issues. All that maintenance that your landlord has been doing is now your issue.
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
    short+sassy
  • Thanks so much.

    I guess I worded it poorly. We aren't in that big of a rush, but on the offer they set the closing date at 3/31. So we just wanted to get our notice in asap if we got accepted. We can stay longer, and pay the rent, that's not a big deal. It just worked out that our lease was up on 4/1 and we could get out at an ideal time. We are prepared to stay longer if we have to.

    The only thing that bothers me is that the offer has not even been shown to the seller. This home is an estate. No one is living there currently, and it's not being rented or anything like that. It's only been on the market a little over a week. It's a great house, with a great price. So I guess we are anxious. We haven't found any other houses that meet our needs like this one, but if it doesn't work out, we can stay where we are.

    DH + Me = Married September 2013DD born June 2014Hoping to buy our first home in 2016!
  • @jtmh2012 makes a good point.  It's pins and needles for you all, but may not be a big priority for the seller and/or their agent.  I would say that is especially true for an estate.  For example, do you happen to know if it is multiple sellers (ie multiple relatives) who all need to make the decision?  That situation could delay a decision.

    Although the situation is odd with the selling agent not presenting your offer right away, I wouldn't call it crazy odd.  Maybe the seller(s) gave instructions they wanted to wait a few days before looking at offers.  Maybe they wanted to see them in person with their agent and today was the soonest everyone could meet.

    Here's my wacky estate sale story.  I actually bought a duplex from an estate about six months ago as an investment.  The parents died and their four kids (all adults) owned the house.  It had been flooded in Katrina (don't know if that was before or after the parents died).  The rehab was started, but never finished.  They all wanted to fix it up...but expected the others to spend their time and money doing it.  So, for TEN years, that house has sat and rotted.  One sister had been paying the property tax, but stopped two years ago.  At one point, she had gotten the others to sign off on the house.  One brother was living in one side of the duplex...but with no lower kitchen cabinets or a kitchen sink.

    Fixed up, that house is worth $125K.  She sold it to a wholesaler for only $30K something.  Who sold it to me for $53K.  I put $35K into repairs and now that house is better than when it was brand new.  Don't get me wrong, I was jumping for joy to get this opportunity.  But my H and I just shake our heads at how easy it would have been for those kids to band together ten years ago...put (maybe) $5K into it at that time...and then either sold the house or rented it out for $15K-$25K/year for the last ten years.

    At any rate, my "short story long" is that an estate sale in terms of real estate can often be an unusual situation, but often a great deal.  Good luck with yours!

    I had a previous tenant who also bought a house from an estate.  It had formerly been a beauty parlor, with a living area in the back.  So that was just weird anyway.  Then the property taxes weren't paid by the kids who inherited.  It was sold at a tax auction.  The person who got the house at auction waited his required amount of time and then sold it to my tenant.  But there was a problem with the title and the original heirs did need to sign off on the sale.  Which, surprisingly, they did.  My tenant didn't know if the seller paid them off or not.  I've always been curious, lol.

    bburg86@gmail.com
  • It is a bit unusual.... I love it when agents use the "out of town" excuse in this day in age of smartphones/emails etc.  But, because you say it's an estate, that could drag things out a bit, especially if there's more than one party involved for the estate (like siblings, or a lawyer may be involved on that end).  However, the listing agent not at least communicating to your agent that there may be a delay is a bit odd for sure.  Hopefully you hear back something soon, otherwise, start looking at other houses after maybe another couple days... it was a holiday weekend for many people.

    Also, side note, you really should change your username, not sure you want your email address out there for the entire public to see :)
    short+sassy
  • It is a bit unusual.... I love it when agents use the "out of town" excuse in this day in age of smartphones/emails etc.

    Eh. While many people are addicted to their phones. Not everybody is. And some people intentionally vacation in places where their phones don't work. I love cruises. Why? My phone doesn't work there!
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
    bburg86@gmail.comshort+sassyemily1004
  • bburg86@gmail.com said:

    This home is an estate. No one is living there currently, and it's not being rented or anything like that. It's only been on the market a little over a week. It's a great house, with a great price. So I guess we are anxious. We haven't found any other houses that meet our needs like this one, but if it doesn't work out, we can stay where we are.

    Another thing to remember with an estate (we just went through this with my grandfather).  The executor has a duty to get the most that they can for the assets.  So like short+sassy said, they may be waiting to see if they get multiple offers not just the first offer.
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
  • jtmh2012 said:
    It is a bit unusual.... I love it when agents use the "out of town" excuse in this day in age of smartphones/emails etc.

    Eh. While many people are addicted to their phones. Not everybody is. And some people intentionally vacation in places where their phones don't work. I love cruises. Why? My phone doesn't work there!
    Yes but many agents will still work on vacation (remember, they're basically self employed), or if they don't want to, they get another agent to cover for them, they don't just disappear for a week, their business would suffer by doing that.  I mean, I imagine when you go on vacation, someone at your work covers for you, right?  

    I should have said in my original post that when agents use either themselves being out of town, or their seller being out of town, it's usually just an excuse to buy more time.   
  • Thanks so much everyone! I need to figure out how to change my user name.

    You all were right. They wanted to get everyone together who was involved and talk it over. They are coming to a decision tonight and we should know something about 6:30pm.

    I feel silly now. I didn't even consider this. I didn't think much about it being an estate, but that surely makes sense!  I still fail to see why they couldn't have told us that sooner, but in the end, I guess it really doesn't matter.

    Guess we'll see this evening! Thanks so much!

    DH + Me = Married September 2013DD born June 2014Hoping to buy our first home in 2016!
    short+sassyjulieanne912
  • short+sassyshort+sassy
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary Name Dropper
    member
    edited February 2016

    Thanks so much everyone! I need to figure out how to change my user name.

    You all were right. They wanted to get everyone together who was involved and talk it over. They are coming to a decision tonight and we should know something about 6:30pm.

    I feel silly now. I didn't even consider this. I didn't think much about it being an estate, but that surely makes sense!  I still fail to see why they couldn't have told us that sooner, but in the end, I guess it really doesn't matter.

    Guess we'll see this evening! Thanks so much!

    Don't feel silly :).  If you haven't been through it, there is no way to have known.  And, like any other profession, some agents are great to work with and some are not so much.  I know my agent for my primary home also had a hard time getting answers back for various things from the selling agent.

    I hope you all have some good news this evening!  Let us know how it goes.  And if your offer is accepted, oh that is just the beginning of the questions you might have.  Then there's an inspection, an appraisal, underwriting the loan, preparing a million documents for closing, signing a million documents at closing, lol.  But, although this is not a super active board, people are pretty prompt in responding if someone has a question. 

    bburg86@gmail.com
  • Thanks so much everyone! I need to figure out how to change my user name.

    You all were right. They wanted to get everyone together who was involved and talk it over. They are coming to a decision tonight and we should know something about 6:30pm.

    I feel silly now. I didn't even consider this. I didn't think much about it being an estate, but that surely makes sense!  I still fail to see why they couldn't have told us that sooner, but in the end, I guess it really doesn't matter.

    Guess we'll see this evening! Thanks so much!

    Don't feel silly :).  If you haven't been through it, there is no way to have known.  And, like any other profession, some agents are great to work with and some are not so much.  I know my agent for my primary home also had a hard time getting answers back for various things from the selling agent.

    I hope you all have some good news this evening!  Let us know how it goes.  And if your offer is accepted, oh that is just the beginning of the questions you might have.  Then there's an inspection, an appraisal, underwriting the loan, preparing a million documents for closing, signing a million documents at closing, lol.  But, although this is not a super active board, people are pretty prompt in responding if someone has a question. 


    The funny thing is though, even my realtor said the whole thing was weird! However maybe she hasn't dealt with many estate homes. I'm not sure!

    I am keeping my fingers cross and waiting for 6:30! I am kind of stressed about the process that lies ahead if we ARE accepted, but I'm trying not to put the cart before the horse.

    DH + Me = Married September 2013DD born June 2014Hoping to buy our first home in 2016!
  • Thanks so much everyone! I need to figure out how to change my user name.

    You all were right. They wanted to get everyone together who was involved and talk it over. They are coming to a decision tonight and we should know something about 6:30pm.

    I feel silly now. I didn't even consider this. I didn't think much about it being an estate, but that surely makes sense!  I still fail to see why they couldn't have told us that sooner, but in the end, I guess it really doesn't matter.

    Guess we'll see this evening! Thanks so much!

    Don't feel silly :).  If you haven't been through it, there is no way to have known.  And, like any other profession, some agents are great to work with and some are not so much.  I know my agent for my primary home also had a hard time getting answers back for various things from the selling agent.

    I hope you all have some good news this evening!  Let us know how it goes.  And if your offer is accepted, oh that is just the beginning of the questions you might have.  Then there's an inspection, an appraisal, underwriting the loan, preparing a million documents for closing, signing a million documents at closing, lol.  But, although this is not a super active board, people are pretty prompt in responding if someone has a question. 


    The funny thing is though, even my realtor said the whole thing was weird! However maybe she hasn't dealt with many estate homes. I'm not sure!

    I am keeping my fingers cross and waiting for 6:30! I am kind of stressed about the process that lies ahead if we ARE accepted, but I'm trying not to put the cart before the horse.

    I think the weird part is that the listing agent didn't seem to be communicating with your agent! 

    And, every estate is different so it's hard to know who is on the other end.  In my agent days, I dealt with all kinds... some were very quick and easy, others, not so much.  The saddest one was two sisters, who got along fine, but it was the house they grew up in and their mother lived in til she died, so they were just having a hard time with the sale in general, even though neither of them wanted to keep the house for themselves (they had it rented for a year before deciding to sell it but learned they didn't like being landlords).  They took a longer amount of time than normal making every decision because of that.... and cried at closing :(

    Come back and let us know how you fared once you hear!! Crossing fingers for you!
  • They didn't chose our offer.

    They countered the other offer.

    We did ask for closing costs, and they said the other offer needed less closing help.


    DH + Me = Married September 2013DD born June 2014Hoping to buy our first home in 2016!
  • They didn't chose our offer.

    They countered the other offer.

    We did ask for closing costs, and they said the other offer needed less closing help.


    Boo, sorry to hear :(  

    And yeah, that'll happen, especially if the offers are sort of close.  Asking for closing costs sort of makes it seem like you're less financially solvent, and if the other offer has stronger financing, there is less risk to the seller.   If you can get away without asking for the closing costs next time, I would do that.  
  •   And yeah, that'll happen, especially if the offers are sort of close.  Asking for closing costs sort of makes it seem like you're less financially solvent, and if the other offer has stronger financing, there is less risk to the seller.   If you can get away without asking for the closing costs next time, I would do that.  

    Even ignoring risks......I'm a seller.....I have two competing offers are similar price points.  One wants me to pay their closing costs which comes out of my profit.  I'm going with the other offer.

    Although, added point for an estate.  I don't know anything about this particular home, but if this has been the family home for decades, they might also have been looking for someone who'd take good care of the place.  Asking for closing means you have less funds available to do that.

    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
  • Oh no!  I'm sorry to hear that!  I've never been in a bidding war but, yeah, the majority of the time the seller is going to go with the higher offer (unless one of them is cash).

    Hang in there!  Hopefully this will turn out to be a blessing in disguise.  When buying my first home, the house I was under contract with first fell through.  I was pretty despondent about it for about a month and had to take a break from house hunting.  Once I resumed hunting, I found my current house less than a month later.  Overall, it's not quite as grand as the first one, but I like it better for my lifestyle and...the best part...it was less than half the price because it needed some work.

  • They didn't chose our offer.

    They countered the other offer.

    We did ask for closing costs, and they said the other offer needed less closing help.



    Thats too bad. I understand your frustration.  My husband and I lost 4 multiple offer situations in 5 weeks.  We had all over asking price offers (one was 25K over, one was 30K over), we never asked for closing costs, we did have inspection and appraisal contingencies though.  Not sure what market you are buying in, but in our market a lot of people waive those standard contingencies so it's hard to compete.

    After we were ready to throw in the towel, our 5th offer got accepted (at asking price).  And we actually beat out someone who had been negotiating for a week. 
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