I can’t tell you how many properties we sold last week because I don’t have those numbers in front of me as I write this Blog, but I can tell you we were busy and several did go pending. We had multiple offers on several properties, which I’ll tell you more about later on.
We’ll be updating our SW Florida Bank Owned Bargains page tomorrow.
The best priced properties are selling in SW Florida, and many are bank foreclosures, but not all. Many have predicted that bank foreclosures would top out last month, and we were hopeful as well because we saw 2-3 months of declining rates. I spoke with good friend Jeff Tumbarello today who tracks Lis Pendens with the county probably better than anyone, and he tells me April will be another record setting month. When I heard the number I was amazed. We’ll let him announce it tomorrow, but this just tells me we have another wave coming, so stay tuned for some more upcoming bargains.
A lot of our regular sellers are selling now as well, so it’s not just the foreclosures. Basically anything that is priced at market is selling, and buyers are jumping off the fence in droves. We think when April sales numbers are released next month there will be an uptick in closed sales, because we’re seeing it. In fact, we just hired another staff person to keep up with the workflow, and we’re hiring buyer specialists right now as well.
Back to the multiple offers. Everyone probably thinks as a listing agent having multiple offers is fun. All I can say is it is more fun than having a listing for months and no offers, but the fun ends about there. Last week we had several properties receive multiple offers. One had four offers, and the agents involved just had to have this property for their buyers. We let each agent know that we had several offers and gave each of them ample notice to inform their buyer and come with their best offer. Each one did, and was convinced the bank should sell to their buyer and their buyer alone.
There truly was one offer that was better than the others, and another offer that was perhaps second best, and so on. The best offer was never in question, and by definition the bank can only accept one offer, so it should be no surprise that there will be one winner and 3 losers. In this case, the losers didn’t take it well and wanted to know why their offer wasn’t taken, told us how their buyer deserved this home, and so on and so on. One even tried to complain to the bank directly about how they didn’t like the process.
From a listing agent standpoint, it’s never fun to have to tell 3 people they didn’t get the home they wanted. I spent all weekend talking with these agents, even though I couldn’t present the offers until Monday morning when the bank opened. There were a few procedures that must be followed, such as one about pre-approval letters that must accompany the offers, but some saw fit to not do this step until after I told them they wouldn’t get the property without it. I spent almost all day Monday dealing with this one property. As a listing agent, I can only sell it once, but I had to deal with four agents all weekend and all day Monday, and three were Mad at the outcome.
Then I had to start all over with another property, and another. Invariably we get some agents who don’t or won’t understand the process and work to do what is necessary to get their buyer the property. I received an offer today from an agent who didn’t like the counter-offer I gave them back. She informed me that the bank should know it’s a buyer’s market, future assessments are coming, and so on and so on. I tried to tell her the bank gets a BPO from me and they do their own appraisal. This property today is listed well below my BPO number I thought it was worth, and I was being conservative.
Still, they are arguing over the price, meanwhile the property had several more showings today. Most of these bank foreclosures sell at or above full price, and it’s only a matter of time before we get multiple offers. This could happen tomorrow if we don’t get this property wrapped up soon. And if it happens, I hope to not have to hear about how this buyer deserved the property, had their offer in first, why it’s stupid for the bank to counter-offer, etc. It’s a good deal and I hope this buyer sees it. If not, another one will soon, I am certain of that.
Bottom line is even when you’re getting multiple offers, it’s not always fun. Many buyers, some of our own included, are learning the hard way that their first and second choices are being sold out from under them and they’re left with their third choice. Buyers have read for so long how terrible this market is, and they believe it. The sooner buyers hear and believe what really is happening on the streets, the more likely it will be that they’ll get their first or second choice instead of the left overs. Listen to your agent, and don’t doubt that there are some positives in this market. The headline of the story doesn’t always match the article, so read the entire article.
Ask your agent. A multiple offer situation is not fun for the listing or selling agents. Buyers are placed under a large amount of stress, and agents do the best they can for their client. I know the agent today who is telling me what the bank should know is just doing her job the best way she knows how. I hope secretly that she’s telling her buyer what a good deal this house is and to now mess around and lose it. One of our buyers took too long this past week and just lost out on a nice golf course home in Fort Myers. They had a verbal agreement, but took a week to get back with us and by the time they could get a formal contract to us, another buyer had come along and beaten them to the punch. The seller was not obligated to honor a verbal and took the higher offer that was in writing.
The lesson to this story, if you’re going to steal, don’t do it in slow motion. And don’t get too greedy fighting over the last few thousand dollars. Get the deal and get it wrapped up. Otherwise. you’ll be on your 3rd choice in no time. Stay tuned and watch for some big foreclosure numbers, but don’t just read the headline. Read the whole story, and the story in the days that follow. Our market has a silver lining. And stay tuned for more deals to come. We have several on the way, so call our office if you’d like in on one of these deals.