Category Archives: CMA

Improve Your Chances in Multiple Offer Situations

multiple-offers, Sacramento Listing Agent, Elk Grove Listing Agent
multiple-offers, Sacramento Listing Agent, Elk Grove Listing Agent
(Guest article, Dian Hymer – Client Direct)

Some buyers in hot markets with a low inventory of homes for sale are losing out over and over in multiple-offer competitions. You can improve your chances of having an offer accepted by clearing up any issues that might cause a seller to look askance at your offer when compared to one from another buyer.

If your purchase offer is littered with contingencies that protect you, the sellers are more likely to see the contract as risky, especially if they are looking at other offers that contain fewer contingencies.

A clean contract is free of contingencies, which can give buyers a competitive advantage, especially if they are offering less than full price or are in competition with other buyers.

Timing is everything in the home sale business. Buyers often lose out on the opportunity to make an offer on a listing because they are traveling for business or vacation. One partner may see the home of their dreams, but the other won’t be back in town to take a look for days or weeks.

Making an offer contingent on the absentee buyer’s approval of a property is risky from the seller’s standpoint. If the seller accepts the offer, he takes his home off the market not knowing if the absentee buyer will like the house enough to buy it.

It would be very difficult to get such an offer accepted if there are multiple offers from buyers who have all seen the property. The Internet can give a great introduction to a listing, but it usually doesn’t include photos of items that might cause you to pass on the property, like a neighbor’s home that is in poor repair or a location close to a noisy freeway.

Some buyers buy property without having seen it. To get an offer accepted, these offers usually have a generous price, and close quickly. The buyers may later find problems that they could have discovered had they seen the property before making an offer. It’s better for both buyers and sellers if all potential buyers have seen the property before an offer is made.

HOUSE HUNTING TIP: Try to anticipate if there is any condition of your home purchase that would cause the sellers to shy away from accepting or countering your offer. If such conditions exist, try to address them before you make an offer.

For example, let’s say your parents are willing to give you a large amount of cash for a down payment to make your offer more competitive. Make sure this will be acceptable to your mortgage lender.

Find out what verification the lender will require from your parents. If the lender needs a gift letter that stipulates you don’t need to repay the money, have your parents write this letter and include a copy with your offer.

Sellers are always concerned about the buyer’s financial capability to close the transaction. Your offer should include a letter from your lender stating that you are preapproved for the financing that you need. The letter should stipulate that the lender has verified the cash you need for the down payment and closing costs.

If the verification of funds needed to close is not included in the preapproval letter, make a copy of a bank or brokerage statement that verifies the amount you need. Black out the account number and include a copy of this with your offer.

In some areas, buyers are making offers without any contingencies. That is as clean as it gets. However, there can be problems with contingency-free offers. Buyers can feel pressured into waiving an inspection contingency because they’re sure they can’t compete unless they do. The sellers could end up in a legal hassle with the buyers after closing if problems arise that weren’t disclosed to them.

THE CLOSING: Buyers should ask the sellers for permission to preinspect the property before they make an offer without an inspection contingency.

How Do You Value A Property?

This question was recently asked and here is how I answered:

If you are asking how to determine a property’s value, there are various ways to assist in detemining a property’s value. Ultimately the worth is determined by what was paid for it. How you gather information on what to pay for it depends on what you require the value for. The value of the property, no matter how the info is gathered, should be at or near the same price, no matter which tools you use.

There are currently three acceptable and most common tools of “gathering” that information:

1. CMA (Comparable Market Analysis) – Completed by a licensed real estate agent. When completing a CMA, agents should keep in mind three crucial factors,
a) Only use comps within a half mile radius of your subject property, this helps ensure you are using properties that actually fall within the same parameters (builder, style, year built, etc) of your subject property. It isn’t fool proof, but that’s where your knowledge of the area and market should kick in and adjust for any discrepancies.
b) Keep your filters (min/max sq ft, year, bed/ba, etc) as close as possible to the subject property for the best determination. For example, If your subject property is 1400 sq ft you would be doing an injustice to set your filters at min1000 sq ft and max 1800 sq ft because once you add or subtract 200 or more sq ft to a home (the size of another room), the case could be made that that home now is automtically valued less than or more than your subject property. In the event you need to contest a value determination by a lender (in the case of a short sale), you will be able to make a better case when you use “cleaner” filters.
c) Never tweak your CMA. In this current market, the decision makers are the lenders, not the sellers. All lenders have recruited the assistance of other agents (BPO agents, such as myself ) to ensure they are either getting the correct value to help mitigate their loses, or in the case of a buyer, are making the loan at the appropriate risk value. The bank that I do BPOs for is Bank of America (Landsafe Appraisals), and they have tightened down on their BPO agents so much so that they have actually let some agents go, and they monitor your BPO results on a regular basis to ensure you are being consistent in your formula, as well as share best practices for determining value.

2. Appraisal – These are completed by a licensed appraisal professional and the results are much more detailed than in a CMA and as a result can be used to contest a CMA or BPO if necessary.

3. BPO (Broker Priced Opinion) – Typically requested by Senior lienholders, these reports are usually completed using the senior lienholder’s BPO company’s form (usually electronic and online). A pretty detailed report, asking for info such as can you determine if the property is vacant or occupied, most recent comparable three “solds”, most recent comparable three “listeds” – dates listed/sold, year of build, beds/baths, sq ft, miles from subject property, etc), and normally includes pictures of the subject property, and sometimes pictures of the comparables.

Here is a short sale negotiating tip on BPOs: Currently, these reports are updated normally every three months. That is good information to know when you are negotiating and come to a bump over price. Sometimes a three month old report can mean the difference between a denial (if the buyer’s offer is too low), and an approval (if an updated BPO is completed and comes back slightly lower).

Just to reiterate, whether you are on the REO side, short sale side, or buyer side, the lender has the final say, and they are scrutinizing values more now than before – and rightly so. So just remember to keep your value determinations above board and you will be making the best decision for all involved.

Keisha Mathews
“The Short Sale Lady” TM

How Do You Value A Property?

This question was recently asked and here is how I answered:

If you are asking how to determine a property’s value, there are various ways to assist in detemining a property’s value. Ultimately the worth is determined by what was paid for it. How you gather information on what to pay for it depends on what you require the value for. The value of the property, no matter how the info is gathered, should be at or near the same price, no matter which tools you use.

There are currently three acceptable and most common tools of “gathering” that information:

1. CMA (Comparable Market Analysis) – Completed by a licensed real estate agent. When completing a CMA, agents should keep in mind three crucial factors,
a) Only use comps within a half mile radius of your subject property, this helps ensure you are using properties that actually fall within the same parameters (builder, style, year built, etc) of your subject property. It isn’t fool proof, but that’s where your knowledge of the area and market should kick in and adjust for any discrepancies.
b) Keep your filters (min/max sq ft, year, bed/ba, etc) as close as possible to the subject property for the best determination. For example, If your subject property is 1400 sq ft you would be doing an injustice to set your filters at min1000 sq ft and max 1800 sq ft because once you add or subtract 200 or more sq ft to a home (the size of another room), the case could be made that that home now is automtically valued less than or more than your subject property. In the event you need to contest a value determination by a lender (in the case of a short sale), you will be able to make a better case when you use “cleaner” filters.
c) Never tweak your CMA. In this current market, the decision makers are the lenders, not the sellers. All lenders have recruited the assistance of other agents (BPO agents, such as myself ) to ensure they are either getting the correct value to help mitigate their loses, or in the case of a buyer, are making the loan at the appropriate risk value. The bank that I do BPOs for is Bank of America (Landsafe Appraisals), and they have tightened down on their BPO agents so much so that they have actually let some agents go, and they monitor your BPO results on a regular basis to ensure you are being consistent in your formula, as well as share best practices for determining value.

2. Appraisal – These are completed by a licensed appraisal professional and the results are much more detailed than in a CMA and as a result can be used to contest a CMA or BPO if necessary.

3. BPO (Broker Priced Opinion) – Typically requested by Senior lienholders, these reports are usually completed using the senior lienholder’s BPO company’s form (usually electronic and online). A pretty detailed report, asking for info such as can you determine if the property is vacant or occupied, most recent comparable three “solds”, most recent comparable three “listeds” – dates listed/sold, year of build, beds/baths, sq ft, miles from subject property, etc), and normally includes pictures of the subject property, and sometimes pictures of the comparables.

Here is a short sale negotiating tip on BPOs: Currently, these reports are updated normally every three months. That is good information to know when you are negotiating and come to a bump over price. Sometimes a three month old report can mean the difference between a denial (if the buyer’s offer is too low), and an approval (if an updated BPO is completed and comes back slightly lower).

Just to reiterate, whether you are on the REO side, short sale side, or buyer side, the lender has the final say, and they are scrutinizing values more now than before – and rightly so. So just remember to keep your value determinations above board and you will be making the best decision for all involved.

Keisha Mathews
“The Short Sale Lady” TM