Signed, Sealed And Delivered in North Los Angeles

Listing agents in North Los Angeles are using a new tactic to sell homes. Joyti Goundar, our agent who covers North Los Angeles, has seen a lot of competitively priced homes come on the market with agent-only remarks saying they’ll review all offers on some day in future, usually 10-14 days after the listing date.
Here’s how things work according to Joyti:

Interested buyers have to deliver their offer in a sealed envelope to the listing agent. Buyers often have to include a pre-approval letter and their FICO score as well. On judgment day, the listing agent will open the offers; sometimes they counter the top few, but often they’ll counter all offers. In the counter offers, buyers are told to come back with their best and final offer. The listing agent will ask for no appraisal contingency, a shortened inspection period (7 – 10 days rather than the standard 17) and says the seller selects escrow.

Joyti’s Four Tips

If you’re buying in Pasadena, South Pasadena, La Cañada, San Marino or Arcadia you’re more than likely going to run into this kind of listing. If you do, take a look at Joyti’s four tips:

  1. Have your agent check the agent only remarks. These deadlines are generally not made public, but your agent can look to see if the listing agent is doing this.
  2. Know what are you comfortable paying. If you get beat out by $5K, would you be o.k. with that?
  3. Submit offer at the last minute. Have you agent call to find out how many sealed envelopes are in so you have an idea of the competition.
  4. Be patient. 2-3 day response time and it’s hard to predict what will happen, there’s no negotiation.

Have you dealt with any situations like this?

  • HH

    Wow, this post has so many problems:

    1. There’s a town spelled “San Marino”, not “San Moreno” (not to mention the accent on “La Cañada”).

    2. How are Pasadena et al considered “North Los Angeles”?

    3. Joyti’s quote doesn’t appear to end. “…like escrow and .” Hunh?

    The tips seem handy, though.

  • Chris Glew

    Hey HH-
    Thanks for catching those typos. Those were my fault. I’ve corrected them.


  • bk

    That just happened to us in Reseda. Nice little place came on the market the Friday of Labor Day weekend, with all “final best offers” due by 3pm the following Tuesday. 4 days on the market with this tactic got them 45 offers and the accepted offer was $50,000 over asking. It was listed in the $250′s. I’m sure the asking price was purposely low to get more people through the door. The place is worth what it sold for, comparably. Makes us want to walk away from this game and keep renting.

  • Starchy

    RUN AWAY!!!! Under NO circumstances should any rational buyer bid against themselves. Sellers like this (and their agents) are being greedy and deserve to be shunned.

    Instead- ask the buyer what “best and final” number they will accept to sell.

    Any other course of action will assure that you overpay. PLENTY of homes out there.

  • Scott

    It doesn’t suprise me the sort of games that selling agents are playing these days. These tactics are do nothing more than hurt both actual seller and buyer, in hopes of forcing a quick sale. What buyer or seller would ever want to limit their negotiating options with such hard-stop sales tactics??!

    Sellers– do yourself a favor and find a better agent that subscribes to more orthodox approaches which aim for win-win results.

    Buyers– Steer clear of such dealings. Don’t even give these guys a chance to standardize on such aggressive selling tactics. Play this game and you’re guaranteed to lose.

  • Mousebender

    If a first-time buyer can’t get a foothold in the market without signing on to a financial disaster, then California can say goodbye to young families and the middle class. Realtors, when the last young family leaves Southern California, please turn out the lights. Thanks.

  • ed hardy

    Thanks for catching those typos. Those were my fault. I’ve corrected them.