09-17-2009 12:05 PM
This is a house in San Jose zip 95130, small house (1248sf with big lot) fair condition. The house is asking 599000, a bit below market, which has Zestimate of 631000. The offer deadline was set to be on noon Tuesday after the first weekend open house.
A SF Redfin agent respond to our offer request Monday around noon with the disclosures, and gave me an estimate of 635k-655k, and stated the seller's agent is expecting multiple offers so we should bid at the higher end of the range. Although I personally think the house worth about 635k with everything considered, I still went with her advise and bid 650k, just to make everyone happy and to get this home buying thing over with. At the time we submitted the offer, I am reasonably confident that we will win the bid. As a side note, the term is: as is, 7/14 days inspection/financial contingincy with 250k down.
Wednesday morning, I got a message from my agent saying "you and another offer are in the top 2. The sellers would like to offer you an opportunity to stand out from the other offer." She also sggested us to do two things: a letter to seller, and increase price 2.5-5k. And the deadline for this is Wed at noon.
I told my agent I hate the seller playing this trick, and consider this a greedy act. Sensing my unhappiness, my agent explanied that they may not after money, they are probably emotional attached to the house, and want to see who the buyer is, she strongly suggested the letter. Although I did not buy it, I went along with the letter, and wanted my agent to requested a firm response by 2pm. Seller's agent said they cannot make 2pm, and not able to give us an answer about when they would get back to us. "As soon as possible" is all we get.
At this point, I was getting a bit mad, and suddenly the house does not seem attractive to me. My feeling was, the whole process we have been played, there's no negotiation, only we being beating up - go with all they asked, and did not get respectful response. Anyway, I expressed my desire to withdraw our offer, and my agent wanted me to stay calm and professional. At last, I agreed that we'll give them until 5pm to respond, and they did not. At 5pm, 29 hours after the offer deadline, we withdraw our offer, against my agent's advise.
Later, my agent pass this message that the seller's agent wanted her to:
“The sellers received 7 offers and were having a hard time deciding on the one to accept in such a short amount of time. Instead of being greedy and asking for more money, they decided to offer the buyers a chance to ‘stand out’ which they felt was more respectful. Your buyer has proven to us they were not the one to accept and we wish them the best of luck.”
In the end, I was considered to have wrong expectation of the process, which might be true. The black-box bidding is not a fair game to begin with, why should I expect an honest and straight-forward transaction?
Lesson learned: never put on your best offer initially, especially in multiple offer situation, many sellers will probably come back ask for more no matter how good your initial offer is.
Another lesson learned, trust your own analysis and stay firm, if you are an educated buyer. Do not listen to Readfin lead agents, they did not even visited the property and may not even live in the area. I am not sure if anyone ever get any advise against the deal from lead agents, but looks to me "high successful rate" is still top on their agenda.
Overall, though this isn't a pleasant experience for me, dealing with Redfin agents is ok, they are still a bit better than most tranditioal agents, not as pushy.
09-17-2009 12:22 PM
I put in my best offer initially and the bank came back saying put in your best and highest offer. Without hesitation I told my agent that is what I did in the first palce. Part of me wanted to tell the greedy bastards to get lost. My offer was excepted the next day after the 4 other bidders submitted thier respones. Banks are shady and just want the most money they can get.
Initially I came into this thinking everyone is honest but that is not the case.
The first home I bid on was a short sale, I offered 109,000 and seller accepted and bank verbably accepted. Didn't hear back or get a respone for two weeks finally they came back saying they now wanted 112,500. I then offfered then 106,000 and they came back to 109,000 very quickly. I walked away. Plus there was 70k of foundation work needed.
09-17-2009 12:48 PM - edited 09-17-2009 12:50 PM
" I still went with her advise and bid 650k, just to make everyone happy"
Why? And don't belive the "stand out" BS. You were being played by BOTH sides.
Wait and see when and for how much this property sells for.
09-17-2009 01:52 PM
A couple thoughts on this post:
1. This is not a Redfin-specific situation and happens in many bidding scenarios.
2. You need to get over your notion that the process isn't "fair". The seller's objective is not to get you a fair deal. It's too get the best deal he can for himself.
3. Why are you putting nearly 40% down on a house? With mortgage rates still near historical lows, why not put 20% down and hold/invest the rest of your cash elsewhere? Or you can use that cash to your advantage in pursuing a bank-owned property.
4. Do not rely on Zillow for home valuations. Their ranges can be ridiculously big, in my experience, they tend to miss high. Bidding above a Zillow estimate is a big red flag, in my view.
5. Overall, it sounds to me like you went into this process without really thinking it through (as evidenced by your upping the bid to "get this home buying thing over with") and then got cold feet when the reality of making a major investment sunk in.
09-17-2009 02:30 PM
09-17-2009 03:00 PM
09-17-2009 03:37 PM
09-17-2009 04:56 PM - edited 09-17-2009 04:59 PM
I do agree that sellers are entitled to get as much as he wants, with all the techniques they like to use. And buyers are entitled to walk away (and whine ) whenever they do not feel comfortable. It is just that everyone has different opinion about what is ethical or honest...
And I promise if you buy my house, I will not multiple counter you.
But who are the ones to set the rules for housing buying? And do we have any way to change that?
A few change I can think of right now includes:
Transparant bidding, everyone got to see others' bid after submitting the offer, or maybe set a deadline, and bid like eBay?
Buyers should be able to get full buyer side commission if they choose to represent themselves.
Or do most people like the current system, and think no changes should be made?