What do I have to do to get my San Jose short sale offer accepted?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with KD Realty - 408.972.1822 CA BRE#01366594

What do I have to do to get my San Jose short sale offer accepted?


As a San Jose short sale agent, I am frequently asked: “What do I have to do to get my San Jose short sale offer accepted?”  This question comes from the real estate agents representing the buyer who wants to make an offer on a San Jose home I have listed as a short sale.


My response: Follow the offer writing instructions.  The link to the offer writing instructions is listed in the confidential agent remarks in the MLS.  


In addition to a complete purchase agreement and supporting addendums, we also need:

  • Current loan approval letter
  • Current bank statement(s) to verify proof of funds

What seems to escape many San Jose real estate agents is the ability to write a complete Purchase Agreement.  Although the offer writing instructions provide step by step instructions, I frequently receive offers with many sections of the contract blank.


The purchase agreement is the agreement between the parties. It defines the terms of the offer.  If boxes that need to be marked are left unchecked or otherwise left blank, then how do we know what the parties have agreed to?

We don't!


The purchase agreement must not only be completed correctly – marking all boxes, as appropriate, it must also be legible.  The following is an example of an offer I recently received from a “top producing agent” who has been in the business for over 20 years. My point here is that it was not from an agent with little or no experience.


Sample of poor quality offer


The above is a portion of page 1 of the purchase agreement.  It is an all cash offer.  Notice there is no disposition regarding the initial deposit.  Notice the quality of the document. 


I received seven (7) all cash offers on a San Jose short sale.  While the offer prices were all over asking price, not one of the offers were complete.  Not one!!


Question asked: What do I have to do to get my San Jose short sale offer accepted?

Question answered: Follow the offer writing instructions.


As a San Jose short sale specialist, I level the playing field as much as possible by providing offer writing instructions. It's all there in black and white.  One need not know anything about the California Residential Purchse Agreement to be able to write a winning offer on a San Jose short sale.  Offer price aside, the way to get an offer accepted is to follow the instructions.  It really is that easy!


I say offer price aside because I will not tell any agent what they need to offer by way of price in order to get their offer accepted. Many agents ask me straight up: 


"What price do we need to offer to get my clients offer accepted?"


My response: I'm not discussing offer price with you, or anyone other than the sellers. I recommend you write highest and best and follow the offer writing instructions if you want to get your San Jose short sale offer accepted.


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Roger D. Mucci
Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092 - Euclid, OH
Lets shake things up at your home today!

Doesn't seem all that difficult Kathleen, but evidently it is if you got 7 offers and none of the Purchase Agreements were complete.  "Highest and best" would probably be my answer too when they were asking about price.  

Jun 02, 2012 05:35 AM #1
Melinda (Mel) Peterson
Real Estate Cafe LLC - Bend, OR
Curator of Happy Endings

And here I thought I had to dance in the streets naked under a moonlit sky... to get my short sale offer accepted ;)))

Jun 02, 2012 06:34 AM #2
Juli Vosmik
Dominion Fine Properties - Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale/Cave Creek, AZ real estate 480-710-0739

Kathleen, it never ceases to amaze me when contracts come in incomplete.  In our system, there's little blue boxes which tell you what to fill in next - does yours do that?  Even without that assistance - to further complicate a short sale with an incomplete contract is silly - the banks will just put it at the "bottom" of the pile and move on, further delaying the process.  Take a few extra minutes to double check your work - it will only help things proceed easier.  

Jun 02, 2012 07:21 AM #3
Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS, Broker
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
Arizona's Top Banana of Real Estate!

Kathleen I totally understand this -100%.  Contracts have been developed to make them 'easy' to complete and fill out - but somehow many agents simply don't fill them out correctly the first time.  I've seen this for years. And as the broker I absolutely require contacts to be done completely and correctly - period.  We deal with short sale lenders and we all know they won't accept incomplete contracts or unreadable contracts.  It's very simple to read the listing agents instructions (here in AZ we have a private doc tab for agents to upload forms).  

PS I like Mel's comment!! Too funny!!

Jun 02, 2012 09:33 AM #4
Nick T Pappas
Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, @HomesBirmingham & Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Hun... - Huntsville, AL
Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource

Kathleen, this post is very timely for me.  I was recently involved in a foreclosed property purchase and the listing agent was telling me that out of the 8 written offers, mine and one other were the only two that were complete.  She just couldn't get the others to submit the paperwork correctly.  My client did end up losing the offer because of a low ball bid...oh well on to the next.

Jun 02, 2012 10:28 AM #5
Cathy Criado
Criado Realty - San Antonio, TX
Making Real Estate Profitable

I've got one word for that:  SLOPPY. I can understand if they misunderstood something or missed a box because we're not perfect. But to have somethign that huge missing is sloppy.

I recently had one that forgot to put the option dollar amount into the contract which technically meant they had no option. It went through anyway so I didn't have to play that card.


Cathy Bureau

Jun 02, 2012 11:10 PM #6
Toni Weidman
Sailwinds Realty - Trinity, FL
26 Years Selling Homes in New Port Richey, FL

I have a large black pot outside: in it I put eye of newt, a few toads, and a few lenders.

Jun 02, 2012 11:53 PM #7
Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

Roger, I honestly do not understand it.  Agents complain about how many offers they write and they are not getting accepted.  Price aside, maybe they are losing out to the one or two agents in town who knows how to write a contact. Thanks for your comment.

Mel, That is what I will do when I get a complete short sale offer package.  It will be an event to celebrate for sure!  I so embrace your spirit!

Juli, Our system has form fields.  It does not tell us what to enter … we are expected to know what to enter.  My clients know what we will not accept an offer unless we have a complete package to submit to the lender … that includes a current bank statement and lender approval if there is financing.  This is the reason why my short sales close!  Nothing is sitting at the bottom – anywhere – anytime.  You nailed it though - take a few extra minutes and double check!!!

Anna,  I like Mel’s comment too!  It is clear to me that there is a tremendous lack of contract training in Silicon Valley and beyond.  Ironically, the DRE courses don’t teach anything about contracts.  Go figure … it’s only the glue to the business.  Thanks for your comment.

Jun 03, 2012 02:21 AM #8
Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

Nick,  I commend you for knowing how to write a complete contract.  The boxes and spaces are there for a reason.  I can’t tell you how many offers I get from agents that are not even dated and signed.  They don’t put there brokerage or their own DRE #.  Truly amazing!

Cathy, Sloppy, lazy, untrained, “top producer” (LOL)!!!  You can clearly tell from looking at an offer if one or two missed boxes was an error or oversight versus the lazy … cause the entire contract is nearly blank.  So glad yours went through OK. 

Toni,  I guess my black pot is my big black shredder in my office.  I guess I will need a pot because I don’t want lenders and agents to ruin my shredder (LOL)!!  Thanks for stopping by.

Jun 03, 2012 02:28 AM #9
The Villages Realty
The Villages Realty - San Jose, CA
"Our Performance Will Move You!"

Good information.  Thanks for sharing this, please keep it up!  We like what you post.   

Dec 22, 2016 06:46 PM #10
Eagle Ridge Realty
Eagle Ridge Realty - Gilroy, CA
"Our Performance Will Move You!"

Good information.  Thanks for sharing this, please keep it up!  We like what you post.  

Dec 22, 2016 07:01 PM #11
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Kathleen Daniels

San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist
An Independent San Jose Real Estate Brokerage
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