Dear Michael: I am in escrow on a short sale property. The bank has approved the sale. Can we still negotiate the price after the bank has agreed to our price?
Answer: Short sales (for the most part) are usually sold at a reduced price and therefore have very little room for negotiation. A BPO agent (Brokers price opinion) who is hired by the seller’s lender has to physically evaluate his opinion on the accepted price between buyer and seller. The file is then transferred to a bank negotiator. Unless you can show a considerable drop in prices in the area you are buying, once the bank negotiator sets the selling price for a property it becomes very difficult to re-negotiate that price. If you plan on challenging the approved price you will need to make sure you have a few comparable properties to sustain your argument. A short sale purchase contract between a seller and a buyer is not a definite set price until the bank approves it. Sometimes the short sale bank will reject the accepted price and set a higher price if they feel that the property is being sold to low in retrospective of the BPO’s report.
Dear Michael: My Realtor sold my home without even putting it on the MLS. He knew I wanted to sell and had a buyer ready and willing trough another agent he knew. What is the rate of commission I am supposed to pay? He wants 2.5% for each agent, but I feel like I am paying too much for a modest amount of work done.
Answer: There are a few ways to look at this, not to say that you don’t have a valid argument. You wanted to sell your home, if your agent would have signed a listing agreement you would have had to pay him 5% or 2.5% commission split for each agent. She fulfilled her obligation of the listing contract when she found you a buyer. And she did even better; she got you a qualified buyer in a slow market in no time without holding any open houses and showings. Open houses and showings can be inconvenient for many sellers. Having said all this, you also have a valid point. It’s difficult to agree paying that much commission to someone who completed a sale without ever having to market your property. Keep in mind that your agent’s work is not over. Escrow now starts and your agent will serve as a valuable commodity. I suggest you forward your energy with the sale and escrow process. There is still much that needs to be completed put aside you apprehension to pay the full commission to your agent and work on getting your home sold. Your Realtor should not be penalized for doing her job and selling your home quickly.
Dear Michael: I currently rent a condo. The owner has listed it with a real estate Broker with the apparent hope of selling it. But prospective buyers are coming by to see the property without notifying or calling me. Am I obligated to show the property? The owner hasn’t given me notice that I have to move. But because of all of these showings and the constant interruptions, I plan on moving soon.
Answer: Your owner is trying to have his cake and eat it too. His behavior isn’t fair to you. Take a look at your lease. Your lease should specify how much notice your landlord must give you before showing the house. It's not unreasonable for a tenant to ask or for a landlord to give at least 24 hours notice. You can simply ask for a courtesy call to see if it would be okay for the agent to show the property. Trying to sell a home while being occupied by a tenant can sometimes be a challenge for the seller. Every case is differs. If a showing is at a bad time, ask for an alternate day and time. Your landlord sounds like he doesn't really know how to be a good landlord. Certainly he's not respectful of your space or if he was he would be notifying you when prospective buyers are coming over. I think moving maybe a good idea. In the meantime, talk to your landlord and the real estate Broker and insist on having a notice to show. You are paying rent and have been paying rent for the right to live peacefully in your house.
Michael Kayem is a Realtor with Re/max /Execs serving Culver City and the Westside since 2001. You can contact Michael with your questions at 310-390-3337 or e-mail them to him at: firstname.lastname@example.org