Don't Write An Offer On My Phoenix Short Sale Listing Without Taking The Time To See It First!

When representing my Phoenix short sale clients, my number one goal is to screen buyers agents, in order to make sure their client is serious about purchasing the home.  Once I feel comfortable that the buyer is motivated, willing, and able (impossible to predict with certainty, but I have a "feel" after closing a number of Phoenix short sales), we can all move forward and get everyone to the finish line.

Six days ago, I received a phone call from a very well-known buyers agent in our market.  After doing my best to answer the usual "interview" questions (which I am always happy to answer), I had a few of my own.  "Does your buyer plan on living in this home, or is it an investment?", "Are they aware of the patience required to make it to the finish-line?", "Are they willing to put up non-refundable earnest money for 75 days?", etc.

Being the experienced agent she is, she answered all questions perfectly.  Great!  I told her to have her client call the seller to set up a showing.

The next day, after having a 15 minute conversation with the buyer, my seller called me, excited that he felt this was the "perfect buyer".  The guy wants to live in the home, he's a real estate broker, loves the neighborhood, etc.  He told me that the buyer would be calling him tomorrow to set up an appointment to see the home.

Three days later, I received an offer from the agent.  The offer was 30% below asking price, and we had been on the market 3 days.  In her email, she told me that the comps justified the offer.  She went on to tell me that she has been a real estate broker for 30+ years, and she has listed/closed over 50 short sales.  Not to worry, I was dealing with a short sale expert.  "Just submit the offer and let the bank decide what the price should be".

Biting my tongue, I sent her an email, saying "Please send me the comps to justify your price, because I'm not seeing it. Also, has your client even seen the home?"

Obviously, she didn't like my response, as she has closed 50+ short sale listings, and had her "ABCD" certification (which I also have, but don't call it a certification), according to her response via email.

"No, my client tried to see the home, but your seller could not work him into his schedule".  Oops, wrong answer.  My client is a close friend of ours, and was keeping me updated on his conversations with the buyer.  The buyer told him he would be calling him in the morning to set up a time to see the home.  Never happened.

I couldn't help myself.  I decided to check with the MLS to see how many short sale listings she had actually closed.  To make it more interesting, I called in my wife and explained the situation, let her read the emails, etc.  My question to her was, "How many listings do you think she has closed?" (she hates it when I do this).  Her guess was 30.  Mine was 10.  Drum roll please........

SEVEN.  She had closed 7 short sales in her distinguished short-sale career, and has lost her last 3 to foreclosure.  Go figure.

wrote a blog on this very topic just last week.  Agents need to realize that throwing out ridiculously high success numbers, coupled with making statements like above, raise red flags for those of us who actually do have experience in the Phoenix short sale market.  I'd be willing to bet that less than 1% of the real estate agents in Phoenix have closed more than 20 short sale listings.

Today, I sent her an email, telling her that once her client finds the time to actually look at the home, we will take the time to consider his offer.  I left her with one final question...  How can you or your client justify your low-ball offer without even looking at the home?  I'm still awaiting a response.

Perhaps if buyers agents would do some research on the listing agents they are working with before making such ridiculous assertions/arguments, we could ALL get more deals closed!

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Bob Hertzog

Summit Home Consultants

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