It is no secret Mountain View as well as most of the Silicon Valley is experiencing multiple offers on homes for sale. While this is great for sellers, it can be extremely frustrating for buyers, and their agents. After losing 5-10 homes a buyer will unquestionalbly start to doubt their agent. They may feel that their agent is doing something wrong and maybe it is time to find someone else.

Will this work? Maybe, but there are limits to what a Mountain View real estate agent can do. A lot of winning an offer is up to the buyer, so maybe you need to look in the mirror first, before changing your agent.

In a real estate offer the buyer has some control over what happens. Here are some things you should do:

1. Are you making realistic offers? If a home is listed for $475,000, you know there are 10 offers, and you offer $470,000, what do you think is going to happen?

2. You have been pre-approved for $800,000 with 20% down. You only have down payment for 20% of $800,000, so you need to only offer a price that will make it through an appraisal. However, most homes are selling for prices higher than they can appraise for, so what do you do? You will need to find a less expensive home so that you have a 5-10% reserve of cash over the price where you think the home will appriase, i.e., you need to find a home where you can put down 25-30%, not 20%, so that when it does not appraise you have the cash to cover it.

3. The seller has completed a a full disclosure package, including a property inspection, termite, roof, chimney inspection, and you ask for a 17 day property contingency period. I am not saying you should not have your own inspection, but keep the time to a minimum.

4. You have a pre-approval letter from Happy Birthday Mortgage with nothing from an underwriter, and nothing from a direct lender. I don't care if the mortgage broker from Happby Birthday Mortgage is your mother, it is not going to fly. Get a full approval from a direct lender. It is hard enough to compete against a cash offer, but to try to compete with a pre-approval letter that may not be worth the paper it is written on is no way to act in a competitive market.

5. You are making an offer on a short sale and don't offer to open escrow until after bank approval. While that may be ok in a buyer's market, when there are so few homes for sale, and so many hopeful buyers, it is not going to work anymore.

So look at your self first. Tomorrow I will talk about what your agent can do to help your offer win.

Marcy Moyer

Keller Williams Realty

D.R.E. 01191194

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  • Yeah, sounds just like what we are seeing here also. It's pretty much the same all across the Country right now because of the lack of inventory and current appraisal laws. Financed buyers can not compete with all cash buyers. And when we do get an offer accepted, it's a short sale that drags out 2 or 3 months without a lender's decision. Usually causing the buyer to give up before then.

  • Steve in the Silicon Valley list price is a floor not a ceiling. Homes can go up to 20% above depending on where the home was listed to begin with. Some sellers, like the Facebook investors price their home at market value, and get around what they ask for. but most sellers price low to stimulate an auction like atmosphere. Our inventory is so low there will almost always be multiple buyers interested in a property. This of course causes appraisal problems, so sellers like the cash offers because the appraisal is not a contingency.

  • I share your pain. I have 2 sets of buyers right now looking the the western Atlanta Metro area and have lost over 10 offers/bids in the last 4 months because of multiple offers, many cash buyers why over bidding the pricing. We have gone as much as $3000 over list price and still lost.

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