• When I was training as a police cadet in London, I remember a certain drill sergeant asking me a question, to which the answer I offered was obviously less than satisfactory.

    “Listen son,” he screamed. “Don’t bullshit a bullshitter!”

    Advice I’ve never forgotten - and which I’d like to revamp for real estate purposes: Don’t low ball a low baller.

    “The bank” is an institution not a person. And negotiating with a machine is different to negotiating with a person. The banks have done their numbers, and they’ve already low-balled their foreclosures at 30-50 cents on the dollar. And that’s what they’re looking to collect. They’re not looking to play games. If a condo used to cost $250K and they’re selling it for $50K, does it really make sense to go in and try and offer them $25K on the grounds that they are “hurting and should be grateful for any offer”? And you want to finance it too? (You wouldn’t believe some of the phone calls we take.)

    True, if the listing has been on the market some time without offers, then making a reasonable offer might not be out of the question. I’ve done that too – and been successful several times. But let’s be realistic: if the listing is just a couple of weeks old and the price is right, then you’re wasting your time (and your agent’s time) with an offer. The banks M.O. will usually be to sit back and collect offers during the first two weeks and then pick the best of the bunch. And guess what… they always take a good cash offer over a low-baller who wants financing to boot.

    And sometimes even a full price cash offer isn’t enough. A not uncommon scenario in the current market is this: you make an offer over asking price and still don’t get it. It’s happened to me twice in Orlando this month:

    Asking price: $105K
    Offer: $110K

    Asking deposit: $2K
    Deposit given $20K

    The Icing: All-cash offer with a 7-14 day close.
    The verdict: Offer Rejected. A better offer came in.

    Some folk get greedy. They think that because the market is dead they can offer whatever they want and the bank will have to take it. A guy who thought he was a buyer told me this flat out last week. He was dead wrong. The market isn’t dead. At least not in the world of foreclosures. It’s alive and kicking… hard. And like all things in life, if it’s a good deal, you won’t be the only one who’s going to want in on it.

    Fore more info see our dedicated Orlando Foreclosure page.

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