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Six Options When Your Offers Are Losing

Richard Montgomery on

Dear Monty: We have made offers on four homes. Our agent says that people are buying them for cash and for more money than we offered, yet she says she cannot tell us what to do or offer. All she does is show us the houses and fill out the paperwork. We are tired of searching and losing all the time. What can we do?

Monty's Answer: Until 2008, home prices had risen gradually since Freddie Mac began tracking in 1971. America learned for the first time in 2008 that housing prices do not always go up. After the period from 2008 to 2010, many home prices decreased. The price collapse primarily affected consumers who bought a home from 2000 to 2008, when prices in many cities skyrocketed. When Wall Street figured out that investing in derivatives was a terrible idea, the market imploded, and home prices fell. Mortgaged homes were worth less than the mortgage. Homeowners defaulted and walked away. Some experts believe that we are going to experience it again. In my opinion, no matter how it turns out, as in 2008, the federal government is responsible. They have good intentions but trying to rearrange the economy for special interests has consequences.

Here are some options for you to consider:

No. 1: Find a buyer agent. Beware of agents representing themselves as buyer agents but not requiring you to enter into a buyer agency agreement. Without that document, they are sub-agents of the seller. An exclusive buyer agent is the best choice if you live in a large city.

No. 2: Put buying a home on hold until your local market cools off. According to Fortune magazine, this may not be a long wait. Check the article out here at https://bit.ly/3bnSai1.

No. 3: Change your search parameters. You may be shopping for the same features as everyone else, such as condition, neighborhood, type of home, price range or something else. Your agent should be able to help determine if some other option will work better for you.

No. 4: Look outside the MLS to locate for-sale-by-owner properties. Probably your agent is not looking for FSBOs. You may be able to arrange a plan with your agent, or you can make contact yourself. Many consumers think buying a home is difficult, but buying a home is not hard. Houses sell themselves. Ask an FSBO seller yourself to see if they feel it is hard.


No. 5: Keep doing what you are doing. This is always an option, but based on what you have shared, you will not likely want to continue unless things change.

No. 6: Develop a strategy with your agent to work differently. Have you told the agent how you are feeling about her efforts? It would help if you were operating with a plan. Are you pre-approved for a mortgage (not pre-qualified, but pre-approved)? When can she search? When can you look? Set up a regular time in advance that you will inspect a home, such as every Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. until we have an accepted offer. If you cannot reach an agreement, consider a new agent. Here is a link to a Dear Monty article that you may find helpful.


Richard Montgomery is the author of "House Money: An Insider's Secrets to Saving Thousands When You Buy or Sell a Home." He advocates industry reform and offers readers unbiased real estate advice. Follow him on Twitter at @dearmonty, or at DearMonty.com.


Copyright 2022 Creators Syndicate, Inc.



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