REOs buyers are some of the most patient buyers in the world, right next to those short sale buyers. While my heart goes out to them, I don't understand how they can withstand the pressure and wackiness of waiting for an answer to their purchase offer. In some ways, sending offers for bank-owned homes to listing agents is like dumping them into the great abyss.
Last week, I wrote an offer for buyers on an REO home in Natomas (Sacramento). Let's say it was priced at $325,000, just to disguise which home I'm talking about. The buyers offered $300,000. The listing specifically stated that the buyer needed to submit a preapproval letter from a particular lender -- not that the buyer had to actually get a loan from this lender, mind you. We called that lender's rep 5 times last Monday and never received a call back.
So, I submitted the offer with a preapproval letter from a corresponding lender and suggested the buyers continue to call other branches of that lender to find a different representative. On Tuesday, we received the preapproval letter from another branch and resubmitted the offer.
I called the listing agent 3 times on Monday and sent him 2 emails asking if he had received the offer. I wasn't asking how many offers the listing agent had received because most don't return phone calls like that. I also wasn't asking what price the bank may accept, because I realize the agent has no idea and it would make me look like I didn't know what I was doing. In fact, I wasn't asking for any information except for acknowledgment of receipt. I called him a few more times on Tuesday and Wednesday, sent another couple emails. No response.
On Thursday, MLS showed a price reduction from $325,000 to $299,000. Now, the price was less than the buyers offered.
Finally, I called the listing agent's managing broker and left him a voice mail asking if he could please verify whether the listing agent had received the offer.
The managing broker did not return my call until the following Tuesday, but, hey, at last he called me back. Immediately after speaking to him, the listing agent called. It took the listing agent only 9 days, but who's counting.
He said the bank had received an all cash offer for $335,000 a week ago and was not accepting any other offers. My heart sank. Of course, he should have noted the sale was pending in MLS but he had not. Wait, this gets better. Then he said somebody else at the bank authorized the price reduction to $299,000, and when the all-cash buyers saw that price reduction, they freaked out. They decided something must be seriously wrong the property, so . . .
The all-cash buyers had withdrawn their offer!
Made me wonder what kind of representation those buyers had and why their agent didn't explain to them how this wacky world of REOS works. The left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing half the time. Hey, at least we were back in the game. My heart was all happy again.
As a result, the bank now wanted to look at other offers. However, the bank was not going to consider offers without a preapproval letter that contained the buyers' mid-FICO scores. Since our preapproval letter did not contain that particular requirement, our offer would not be considered.
Quickly, the buyers contacted the loan rep at the REOs preferred bank to request a new letter with their mid-FICOs. The loan rep refused to send the new preapproval letter until she verified this new requirement with the listing agent. I was getting ready to call HER supervisor when suddenly the new preapproval letter with the FICOs appeared on my fax. The buyers decided to sign an addendum increasing their offer above list price to better compete against the other offers.
It has been resubmitted, now for a third time.
I emailed one of the buyers: "Can you hear me tapping my fingernails on the desk?"
The buyer responded: "Can you hear me banging my head against mine?"