Should I Offer More than the Listing Price of a Foreclosure?


by Roberta Murphy

Carlsbad, CA — This morning on Trulia, a prospective San Diego foreclosure buyer asked if he or she should offer more than the $235,000 list price of the home. It’s a question that plagues many buyers–and compelled me to answer:

So many foreclosure and short sales in San Diego are coming to resemble e-Bay transactions. It is so frustrating for a buyer to submit a bid, only to find out there are 12 others on the table. Here are some of the things we do to increase our chances for successful foreclosure and short sale bidding:

1. Prior to submitting an offer, we speak with the listing agent to “seek guidance” in our offer–especially when we are in a competitive situation. It doesn’t always work, but armed with that information, we stand a much greater chance of winning the bid.

2. Be thoroughly pre-qualified with a direct lender and have that letter on hand to submit with your offer.

3. Offer a fast closing date with no contingencies. Lenders like speed–at least on your part.

4. Present a strong earnest money deposit–at least $5,000. on an offer of this size ($235,000) shows strong intent.

5. Finally, and most importantly, do not get emotionally involved with the transaction until you know your offer is accepted.

Another thing we do as buyer’s agents–and when there are no other offers on the table–is ask the listing agent to place the property as “pending” if we submit a reasonable or full price offer. It’s a long shot that occasionally works–and helps insure a successful transaction. No buyer feels secure with the prospect of overbids overshadowing the offer.

If you are interested in discussing San Diego foreclosures and short sales, please feel free to call Mike or me at 877-818-8197 or 870-402-9101/9102 or email

Note: We are finding that many San Diego area home sellers are coming to grips with our market and are pricing their homes competitively–sometimes at pricing that beats short sales and foreclosures.

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