Our offer is higher

6 Replies

Hello All,
I'm trying to get some advice here. A client of mine recently put in an offer on a Bank of America property that was listed as "Active-with other contingency." Basically, in my area, that means it's a short sale where the seller has signed the agreement, but the bank has NOT yet signed. I know from speaking to the listing agent that our offer is higher than the one the seller signed. The listing agent told me that she passed our offer along to her sellers as well at the attorney her sellers hired prior to starting the short sale process. My questions:

- Does this agent legally have to present this offer to Bank of America even if her seller does not sign off on it?
- How can I do the best for my client (and myself) by making sure his offer gets seen.

We were thinking of trying to sub the offer directly to the bank, but in doing a little research, it seems pretty hard to get a direct contact in BofA's short sale office. I would think there would be some risk of fraud for the sellers and their agent if they are representing that the lower offer they subbed to the bank is the best one. This can't be too un-common an experience. I would greatly appreciate any imput you all could offer. Thanks.

@Drew Dickinson , unfortunately this doesn't sound too out of the ordinary. There is a chance that the other offer although lower may have had less or no contingencies than your buyers offer. The seller and BOA in most cases are more interested in taking the offer that in their opinion has the best chance to close in a timely matter even if it leaves a few thousand on the table.

Your chances of contacting the bank directly are very slim, banks are not in the business of selling houses, which exactly why there is an agent involved. Good Luck.

Your offer is to the seller, not the bank, so unless the bank is requiring that all offers be presenting, the listing agent is only going to present the offer that the seller actually accepts (to present more than one to the bank will result in confusion and delay).

As for whether the seller should have accepted yours or the other one, the agent is likely going to advise the seller to accept the offer that has the highest likelihood of closing -- this generally means cash offers with few or no contingencies.

Thanks guys,
I realize that the offer is made to the seller and they are the gatekeepers to the bank so to speak. But for arguments sake, let's say that the first offer that was submitted was for 400k (ours was at 602k). Yes, our offer came in after one had been signed and subbed to the bank. Is it theoretically (legally?) possible that the bank signs off on the 400k offer without ever being made aware of our much higher offer? I realize the bank can reject any short sale proposal that they want, but is there anything saying that they need to be made aware of ALL offers? Or does that have to be specifically requested as @JScott says? If that's the case, couldn't the seller simply refuse to sign any offer that wasn't from one of their friends for lower than market value price?

The seller has accepted an offer, unless that offer falls through, they are legally bound by it. The seller can try all sorts of monkey business with a short-sale, and many do, that's part of the reason short sales aren't "short". The bank is trying to verify that the offer matches reality.

You don't have any right to contact the bank, and they won't talk to you about the deal.

If your $400K and $600K numbers are anywhere close to actual, I'm sure that you can set up your buyer with that other buyer, and that other buyer would be happy to profit for that difference.

Here is the reality with short sale. I just got a short sale offer accepted for $140k all cash with no contingency & 7 days close. The highest offer came in at $184k all cash with 11 other offers came in between $155k to $180k. Comparables are $143k to $150k. Here is the difference. I offered to pay for HOA deliquency dues on behalf of the seller up to $1,500. The good thing is that this will be the 1st month she's falling behind in HOA due.

The listing agent realized that there will likely be issues with the $184k all cash offer when it comes time to close. Higher offers with financing may have issue with appraisal. Listing agent picked my offer because the complex might have HOA deliquency issue again (>15%) in the near future, which might create financing issue again. Seller likes the fact that I offered to pay for HOA deliquency dues although this is pretty much a moot point.

What I've learned is that give the seller what they want on your offer. Make a good impression at the open house. Sign in at the open house. They might pick your offer because you offer something that they want/value whatever that is. It's not the highest offer, but it might be the best offer. We'll see how that works out. This is the 3rd time it has worked out for me. My offers were never the highest in my opinion.