Another Offer Made And Turned Down

I love it when real estate agents feign surprise or outrage at your offers. I came across a property in the MLS today that had just fallen out of escrow. The description said the seller reduced the price by $10,000 and that the seller wanted a quick sale. The property just came back on the market within the last day or two, so I checked it out and quickly put in an offer that was $40,000 under the asking price, but all cash and "as-is." About two hours later, I got a call from the agent, who asked "Is this offer for real?" In situations like this, I've found if I keep my answers short, the other party tends to talk more, so I just said "Yes." She said "It's listed for $160,000 and that's already been reduced $10,000." I said "Yes, but the price I offered is what I can pay to get the return I want on my investment." The agent seemed put off and said "The buyer wants me to tell you she's rejecting this offer." With a pleasant tone, I replied "OK, but this is an all cash offer and I can close as quick as you want. I won't back out of escrow." I was told the buyer still was rejecting the offer. I thanked her and hung up.

In retrospect, I should have done a few small things differently. First, I should have asked if she would tell me why it fell out of escrow. That might have allowed me to emphasize the pluses of my offer better. For instance, if it fell out due to the buyer being unable to get financing, I could tell her that was guaranteed not to happen with me, since I was paying all cash. Second, instead of re-emphasizing my ability to close quickly, I should have again mentioned it was an as-is offer and that I would not back out from something the home inspection might turn up. (The house was in very good shape, by the way.) This and the financing issue are the two most likely reasons for falling out of escrow, so I should have shown how those would not be a problem with my offer. Instead, I emphasized fast closing, which was mentioned in the listing, but probably wasn't that big of a deal at this point, since it had only been back on the market a day or two. But, in my defense, I did get the agent's call while I was shopping at Costco and I was caught a bit off guard.

I'm not put off in the least about losing this property (or the agent's attitude of treating my offer like it was a joke). Active Arizona MLS listings are at levels that haven't been seen in years. It is no longer a seller's market. It may take a while for Realtors and sellers to realize this, but they will eventually. It's just a matter of time before I come across the truly motivated seller that will accept my offer. Until then, I'm treating this as a declining market and keeping my bids low to be a bit conservative.


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