If you’re in a hurry don’t even consider a short-sale. Short-sales work best for investors who have no emotional attachment to a property. Short-sales work well for investors who won’t need to live in the home. Short-sales don’t work well for home-buyers who are on a schedule.
If there are multiple offers on a property, walk away. If you make an offer on a property with multiple offers there are only two possible outcomes:
- You waste your time pumping up the price for someone else;
- You paid more than anyone else. If you paid more than anyone else, you didn’t get a bargain. If you paid retail for a short-sale, you paid too much.
Find out if there are multiple offers or worse yet contracts before you even look at the property. It’s maddening and I wish the associations would do something, but too many properties that are listed as “active” aren’t really active. There is no sense looking at
something that isn’t for sale.
Walk away from unethical, unprofessional agents, as these are the agents who are most likely to sanction last minute contract adjustments that cost you money. Here are some clues you’ll find in the listing that might indicate that the agent is unethical or ignorant:
- The remarks contain very basic English spelling and grammatical errors.
- The remarks solicit a specific title company. Agents and brokers don’t make money off title companies. It’s against the law for us to make money from title companies. It is inappropriate for us to solicit
- a particular title company.
- The remarks talk about agent commission. It is inappropriate for an agent to talk to the general public about what we make. I couldn’t care less if you know what I make, but if an agent puts commission notes in the remarks the agent clearly is ignorant or unethical.
- As a member of the buying public you cannot see the commission, but your agent can see what the stated commission is. If the commission is listed as 50% or 50/50, then you’re probably headed for trouble. MLS rules require that the seller state his commission when offering the property for sale. An agent who sanctions flexible terms is an agent who believes in the idea of flexible contracts. The very reason for a contract is to establish the terms: not to leave the terms open so that one party can change them at the last minute.
What can we do as agents? I now report every bogus listing to Compliance. Every single property listed as active that is not active, I send to MRIS. Every single title solicitation: I report to compliance. Every flexible commission I report to Compliance.
It’s a royal pain to complain and report, but I take the time to do this because I take serious my duty to the public. I really wish an authority figure would take the time to clean-up the mess, but until then I will do the best I can with what I am given.
$799,900 : 682 S Columbus St, Alexandria 22314
3 beds, 3 full, 1 half baths
Living area: 2,031 sq. ft.
Year built: 1979
Days on Market: 15
$1,168,000 : 8027 Falstaff Rd, McLean 22102
6 beds, 3 full baths
Living area: 3,564 sq. ft.
Year built: 1966
Days on Market: 42
$274,999 : 2913 Wythe Ct, Woodbridge 22191
4 beds, 3 full baths
Living area: 1,653 sq. ft.
Year built: 1967
Days on Market: 0
$330,000 : 5504 Woodlawn Manor Ct, Alexandria 22309
2 beds, 2 full baths
Living area: 997 sq. ft.
Year built: 1984
Days on Market: 0
$399,900 : 3951 Madden Way, Dumfries 22026
3 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths
Living area: 2,209 sq. ft.
Year built: 2015
Days on Market: 24
$344,900 : 2244 Southgate Sq, Reston 20191
3 beds, 1 full, 1 half baths
Living area: 1,262 sq. ft.
Year built: 1972
Days on Market: 31
$430,000 : 7229 Belinger Ct, Springfield 22150
10 beds, 6 full baths
Living area: 1,078 sq. ft.
Year built: 1977
Days on Market: 2
$193,500 : 6631 Wakefield Dr #310, Alexandria 22307
1 beds, 1 full baths
Living area: 714 sq. ft.
Year built: 1963
Days on Market: 7
$195,000 : 5110 Columbia Pike #6, Arlington 22204
2 beds, 1 full baths
Living area: 835 sq. ft.
Year built: 1947
Days on Market: 2