Silence has been the theme of the week in this corner of the Phoenix real estate market, thanks to appointments nearly every day of the week and the busiest rush of contract writing I’ve seen since the halcyon, lunacy-filled days of 2005.
And speaking of lunacy, yesterday one of my contracts was greeted with a counteroffer at full price. This might not be noteworthy except the seller was Fannie Mae, and the full-price counter is a departure from Fannie’s usual playbook.
Yes, dear readers, like a novice poker player some lenders following relatively predictable patterns in negotiations – countering a couple of thousand below list price, for instance, then surrendering like (politically incorrect reference to some country or another redacted) when faced with an aggressive counter offer in return.
Fannie didn’t follow the pattern. And so, neither did we. We’ll know by Monday how well the whole thing plays out.
About the best explanation available for the sudden aggressiveness on Fannie’s part is the price on the property recently was reduced. All sellers seem to view a price reduction as a drop to a non-negotiable price but lenders are particularly entertaining, assuming the stance of a petulant 4-year-old. Or Dr. House, for that matter.
The line of logic goes like this …
“This is the price we set so it must be correct.”
And when that price is reduced because of a lack of activity?
“Now, this is the new price we set so it must be correct.”
Sense a trend?
What can a buyer do when faced with such silliness? Be silly in return. Fight the silliness with silliness. Become even more aggressive. Hold your breath until you turn blue.
In other words, if the bank isn’t going to treat this like a legitimate negotiation, you shouldn’t either. Make it fun, mockingly so, and see what happens.