Did Your Buyer's Agent Sabotage Your Offer on That Sacramento Short Sale?

Real Estate Agent with Lyon Real Estate BRE #00697006

All signs pointed to this weekend being slow but I managed to put four short sales into escrow. Even with our gorgeous weekend weather in Sacramento, most agents continued to work through Saturday and Sunday. One of these short sales going into pending status even though we haven't yet received approval from the bank. Why? Well, for one thing, agents keep calling. It wouldn't be so bad if it were buyer calls, but agent after agent calls about it.

Buyers I can put on a waiting list or perhaps suggest another property to buy. But agent calls are considered by many in the industry as time wasters. Or are they? I don't mind speaking to agents, even if it's a non-income producing call. Because I might run into that agent down the road of life -- either as a listing agent and they have another buyer -- or as a buyer's agent, and they have the listing.

It's networking that sells homes. If you don't believe that for one little minute, you've never been a listing agent with multiple offers from multiple agents. All things being relative, which do you guide your seller to choose? If you're me, it's the agent most likely to perform without a lot of hassle. If a buyer's agent doesn't follow MLS instructions and sends an offer with a lot of errors, it doesn't matter too much how much that buyer offers. That buyer is probably not going to be the winning bid.

The truth is buyers' agents can sabotage their buyers' offers, and they don't even realize they are doing it.

The second reason one of these is going into pending status is because the seller does not want any more showings. The seller has a dog, and it's difficult to keep a home on the market and shield your dog from foot traffic. Showings are a huge disruption.

If I could count on an agent to read MLS confidential agent remarks, I would put "no more showings" into MLS. But they don't read confidential agent remarks. I know this because an agent set off an alarm this weekend on an active short contingent listing. I also know this because I've had agents show listings with "no more showings" clearly noted in MLS. And this doesn't count the plethora of offers I receive that routinely differ from MLS offer submission comments.

I received an offer yesterday that involved an FHA loan when FHA financing is excluded from the listing. It's not just the confidential agent remarks that are often overlooked. I love the calls I receive from agents who say, "It says 'call first, lockbox,' " but those are another blog, another day. Besides, I have patience. I was once in their shoes. As a Sacramento short sale agent, I see it all these days.

Although an active short contingent listing means an offer has been accepted, it could also mean the seller will accept a back-up offer. If the home is truly exceptional, the buyer's agent would do their client a favor if the buyer's agent were to call the listing agent and inquire.

A pending status on a listing removes it from homes for sale and active listings. Agents should not show pending listings without express permission.

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Elizabeth Weintraub is an author, home buying expert for About.com, a Land Park resident, and a veteran real estate agent who specializes in older, classic homes in Land Park, Curtis Park, Midtown and East Sacramento, as well as tract homes in Elk Grove, Natomas, Roseville and Lincoln. Weintraub is also a Sacramento Short Sale agent who lists and successfully sells short sales throughout the four-county Sacramento area with an emphasis on Elk Grove. Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. Put 40 years of real estate experience to work for you. Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate. BRE License # 00697006.

The Short Sale Savior, by Elizabeth Weintraub, available with free shipping.

Photo: Unless otherwise noted in this blog, the photo is copyrighted by Big Stock Photo and used with permission.The views expressed herein are Weintraub's personal views and do not reflect the views of Lyon Real Estate. Disclaimer: If this post contains a listing, information is deemed reliable as of the date it was written. After that date, the listing may be sold, listed by another brokerage, canceled, pending or taken temporarily off the market, and the price could change without notice; it could blow up, explode or vanish. To find out the present status of any listing, please go to elizabethweintraub.com.


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Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

Elizabeth:  What's the old saying about "burning bridges"??  You can do that with networking and communication for sure.  That agent you don't have the time for .. or are short with?  They may be on the other side of the deal with next week's client ... or have information that you need ... or etc. etc. etc.  As long as the networking or contacts are done respectfully and show some thought, you're absolutely right to accept them.  You don't want to burn bridges ...


Jun 13, 2011 07:09 AM #1
Michelle Gibson
Hansen Real Estate Group Inc. - Wellington, FL

Elizabeth - You are spot on especially about how " buyers' agents can sabotage their buyers' offers, and they don't even realize they are doing it."  Unfortunately following directions is not everyones strong suite in this industry..

Jun 13, 2011 08:44 AM #2
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

Here in Fremont and everywhere we sell real estate in the East Bay, our team posts specific instructions in the agent to agent remarks area of our listing. The remarks will vary with listings that are short sales, vacant, tenant occupied, co-listed or whatever. If the inquiring agents read the comments they will save time for themselves and for us. Sometimes it happens and sometimes it does not. In any event, when an agent calls with questions that could have been answered by reading the comments, we answer politely and professionally. First...we want the sell the house. Second...the world of real estate is small. We will cross paths again and we want to leave a good impression for the future.

Jun 13, 2011 08:58 AM #3
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Agents getting in their own way?  Agents showing a home that is pending?  Nah.  That NEVER happens. :)

Jun 13, 2011 09:43 AM #4
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Elizabeth your account reminded me of following the path of least resistance or BEST path. That does happen so often.

Jun 13, 2011 10:09 AM #5
Linda K. Mayer
License # 01767321 - La Verne, CA

Elizabeth, you are way more patient than me.  I mean, if someone actually passes the real estate exam in CA, the SHOULD be able to read...

Jun 13, 2011 11:00 AM #6
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Lyon Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

I often end up doing repeat business with the same agents because I know I can count on them, and they can count on me. That's another benefit of networking. But if I don't know the agent, I still try to go out of my way to help them understand what I need and why I need it. Heck, I've been known to write offers for them when they didn't have the time or couldn't figure out Winforms. My entire goal is to put that short sale into escrow and close it.

Jun 13, 2011 01:57 PM #7
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