I've heard this from agents all over our region, and it's been my experience too-- multiple offers on every reasonably priced listing in decent condition within hours of hitting the market. It's gotten very competitive in the last 30 days in the Sacramento Valley and surrounding areas. Two days ago I listed a cute, clean home in a great location. The price is based on sold comps even though our market shifted about 30 days ago. The home is a short sale, so by the time the bank gets a BPO, who knows what sold comps will be. Nevertheless, we priced it based on the information we have right now.
We immediately start getting offers- by last night we had 26 offers. Here's my point, many of the offers have no chance of being considered. Why? Well, here are my tips to those agents whose offers got set aside right off the bat:
1. Do not ask for a home warranty on a property that's getting tons of activity. The buyer can pay for their own. This is a small concession to improve the chances of your offer being considered.
2. Do not ask for a CO2 Detector. For $20, the buyer can provide it. The seller doesn't need one more thing to worry about.
3. Do not try to select the Title Company. Most agents have an escrow officer they trust and work with and they are not about to work with a total stranger on a sensitive short sale.
4. Do not leave blanks on the contract. I recieved one offer that had no property address and no purchase price amount! Seriously? Check your work, don't be lazy, fill in the blanks-- even on page 8. Put in the listing agent's information. It's not that hard, but it makes you look like you are thorough.
5. Don't ask for a pest inspection. It's about $100 and the buyer can get that if they want it. If you have an FHA buyer, add an addendum that says "buyer is willing to make FHA required repairs not to exceed ___$$___. (whatever the buyer is willing to spend on repairs).
6. If at all possible, do not ask for a closing cost credit. It may complicate the appraisal by increasing the purchase price to cover the buyer's closing costs.
7. Fill in the loan information completely, check your math, and make sure, if it's FHA, that the total the buyer is contributing is at least 3.5%.
8. Don't put a ridiculously low interest rate on the contract, because it tells the seller the buyer can cancel subject to that rate. On a short sale, enough time may pass that the interest rates may fluctuate upward.
9. Don't write an FHA offer that is WAY over asking price. The listing agent and seller will recognize that this is likely to become an appraisal issue.
10. If you call the listing agent with questions, be courteous. If you leave a message, try to call from the phone you want your call returned to. A listing agent is probably getting swamped with calls and may not be able to pull over to write your number down. If you are in your office, but want you call returned to your cell phone, call from your cell phone.
11. Don't ask for more than 30 days to close escrow. I know, FHA may take longer. I would suggest putting 30 days on the contract and adding a stipulation that the buyer will pay a reasonable per diem if an extension is necessary.
12. DON'T LOWBALL during the first few weeks of a listing. It wastes everyone's time.
13. Do not write offers on highly desireable properties with a buyer's home sale contingency. Seriously, what seller would set themselves up for that?
14. If the listing agent has seller instructions, follow them. Don't argue. If you argue, this probably indicates you'll be a pain to work with during the transaction.
15. Don't submit an offer with a copy of an earnest money that is a) old, b) blank c) less than 1% (the higher the better), d) has any information scratched out.
16. Put the name of your buyer in the subject line after the property address. In fact, if you can summarize your buyer's offer in the body of the email, that is very helpful.
17. Don't send the listing agent a link to create an account and log in to view your offer.
18. Try to send your offer and all required documentation in a single pdf. If you don't know how to do this, for goodness sakes, LEARN.
19. Don't lie about your production. A lot of agents don't know how to look up another agents production, but many of us do. If you say you have sold 30 homes in the last 12 months and we look it up to find you have sold 10, it makes you look unreliable and dishonest.
20. If your buyer is willing to go higher or give up some requests, do it on your first offer. In this market, a listing agent doesn't have time to counter 20 offers.
21. Show the property! If the showing report doesn't have your name on it, your offer may not be considered. If you arrive at the property and the agent before you hands you the key, log in to the supra lockbox yourself so you are recorded.
All these suggestions come from having reviewed 26 offers in 48 hours. Some of these buyers could have had a real shot at being the winning offer, if only their agent had written a cleaner contract.
I hope this helps and good luck out there!