More Twists and Turns Selling Real Estate These Days! What Will Be Next?

The real estate market in the Phoenix, Arizona and Mesa, Arizona valley is going through more twists and turns as more short sales and foreclosed homes come onto the market.

Cash is King Unfortunately, many buyers are competing against cash buyers – and losing.  The old saying, “cash is king” is true in this competitive  real estate market.

Recently one of my buyers made an offer on a foreclosed property. Over asking price, very clean, and a desirable offer to any potential seller. However, the buyer lost out to a cash buyer even though the cash buyer offered less. Even the REO agent wanted my buyer to get the home, but has no say!

Why? You might ask? Would the bank accept a cashlower offer? In our market, appraisals are all over the place. As of May 1, in order to “fix” or “remedy” the problem, a new federal Home Valuation Code of Conduct  was placed into effect. No longer are the lenders allowed to speak with the appraisers – nor are they allowed to “choose” or "select" the appraisers they know to be reputable, savvy, and aware of the market in which the property is located. Bottom line? It’s a mess!

The left hand doesn’t know what the right is doing, homes are not appraising, and there are multiple bids on the most desirable homes.

cash In spite of these issues we face, Realtors will continue to push through the paperwork, the difficult appraisals, and we will write two, three, four and more offers in order to get our buyers a home. Ridiculous? Yes!! BUT, this, too, shall pass! Maybe, just maybe, we'll get a seller, a seller's agent, a good appraisal, and close on a home like we did in years' past. Could happen!

For more insight and understanding about what’s going on with the new appraisal process, click on the links here and here.

Mesa, Arizona Real Estate. Call me at: 480.216-3334 for information on purchasing or selling a home in Mesa, Arizona or surrounding towns. OR email me: Feel free to visit one of my websites:, ServingMesaArizona, or Or stop by my blogs at: MesaAzRealEstateVoice; or Phoenix Valley Real Estate Blog

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Mesa, Arizona Real Estate. Call me at: 480.382-8711 for information on purchasing or selling a home in Mesa, Arizona or surrounding towns. OR email me: Feel free to visit my website:, or stop by my blogs at: MesaAzRealEstateVoice and AzLadyInRed!


Hi Teri,

You're so right, we're seeing all cash buyers beating out other buyers. Appraisals and the "SPEED" of a timely closing has become paramount to many REO sellers.

No doubt the "new" appraisal guidelines were meant to help home buyers...sorry to say like other programs in some areas it doesn't seem to be helping.

Posted by Lynda Eisenmann, Broker-Owner,CRS,CDPE,GRI,SRES, Brea,CA, Orange Co (Preferred Home Brokers) almost 10 years ago

We have that dynamic here to, except I had the cash buyer.  The listing agent was just as stunned as yours was.

Posted by Melina Tomson, Principal Broker/Owner, M.S. (Tomson Burnham, llc Licensed in the State of Oregon) almost 10 years ago

Teri - yep, hearing about, adn seeing, this same pattern play out here. It is frustrating for many buyers who are qualified and want to buy. Folks are hoping for more REOs since the "regular" inventory isn't changing much. And we are also seeing appraisal issues - just had one myself.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (Solutions Real Estate ) almost 10 years ago

You're right, it sure COULD happen, but it's not the norm at this point in time.  Writing up TWO offers in the morning with the same buyer.  Like you said, it's taking more and more attempts to get one good, prospective buyer into a house right now!

Posted by Janna Scharf, Coeur d'Alene Idaho Real Estate Expert (Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene) almost 10 years ago

I have my own appraisal horror story coming online in the next couple days. I will post once the deal closes, but wow, this new law is not good for anyone involved but the appraisers.

Todd Clark -

Posted by Respect Realty LLC, Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate (Respect Realty LLC) almost 10 years ago

Teri, the same thing happened to us last year, we bid 30K over a property, cash.

They took an offer below asking price.


The other had no inspection and we had ONE on the drainfield. Which had to be done anyway according to the Washtenaw County Health Regulations.

Yes, the listing agent was shocked too.

Banks are stupid.

Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) almost 10 years ago

Teri - we are seeing it more and more in our area. The latest trick is for the Listing agent to put in the comments "CASH or Renovation loan only" in the remarks section, this is preventing many buyers from ever seeing or making offers on the property. The condition may be fine , but everyone from the agent to the bank wants a quick clean settlement,

Posted by Laura Gray (RE/MAX Realty Group) almost 10 years ago

Hey Terri... . Bummmer, sorry you lost out :O(, Next time is your turn and I hope it's a big one, Thanks for sharing your story

Posted by Fred Carver Personal Real Estate Corporation, Accredited Real Estate Consultant (RE/MAX Camosun Victoria BC Real Estate) almost 10 years ago

Sounds like a real mess to me. Hopefully they get the appraisal guidelines corrected!

Posted by Bill Gassett, Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate (RE/MAX Executive Realty) almost 10 years ago

Same problem in Sacramento, too. The only saving grace is short sale banks don't seem to care much about cash, and the sellers of short sales don't care at all. So cash is not king on a short sale. Getting the highest price is paramount and a price that an appraiser will accept.

Posted by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%, Put 40 years of experience to work for you (RE/MAX Gold) almost 10 years ago


I am with Bill...sounds like a terrible mess...oh for better days!

Posted by Lori Churchill Cofer, Realtor - 509-330-0086 - Pullman, WA (Beasley Realty) almost 10 years ago

Teri, what a pain!  These issues just keep getting bigger and bigger.  A seller can only get a little excited these days when they have an offer.  They better not pop the cork on that champagne until the appraisal comes through.  And now strong buyers have worry they'll lose out to lower offers.  It's a crazy time for sure.  Hang in there.

Posted by Mary Fasnacht, Feels Like Home Interiors ~ Pittsburgh PA Home Staging (Washington and Allegheny Counties and surrounding areas) almost 10 years ago

Teri  The concern here is that the cash buyers will eventually start the cycle all over again of "pump it up"  - they will begint og bid above anyone else Karen

Posted by Karen Kruschka, - "My Experience Isn't Expensive - It's PRICELESS" (RE/MAX Executives) almost 10 years ago

Cash may be king, but I have had cash buyers make (or want to make) ridiculous offers because they are all cash.  So what, so are a lot of others.

Regarding the appraisals, the intention may be there, but the reality is that sometimes we need to be able to communicate to the appraiser, and explain certain facts that may not be available on the MLS.

And people think we don't earn our salaries?  Ha!

Posted by Carol Lee, Realtor - Agoura, Oak Park, Westlake CA Homes (Dilbeck Real Estate) almost 10 years ago

Here is an interesting note for you all about the HVCC that everyone is screeming about.  It DOES NOT APPLY TO FHA LOANS.  That is right, if your sale is a FHA loan the lender can still pick their appraiser & talk to them.  kool.  So if your buyers loan is with in the FHA limits, it may be advisable to consider a FHA loan.  It may help solve some of the potential problems that could arise with using a conventional loan under the HVCC.  

Good luck

Craig Chapman - the value guy    I'm a sales agent & a certified appraiser & see both sides of these issues.  Feel free to contact me with any questions.


Posted by Craig Chapman, The Value Guy (Call Realty / Access Appraisals) almost 10 years ago

Craig is right as of today, but FHA announced on friday that it will stop allowing FHA appraisals to be ordered directly by brokers and correspondents as of 1/1/2010, so there will be issues there also.  They will also be ordered by someone other than the locals who have a better more realistic understanding of the market.  Use FHA while you still can. 

Posted by Kyle Jan, Phoenix AZ Homes for Sale over 9 years ago

Hi Teri,

Our market here in Prescott is similar ..Oh for the good old days


Posted by Pat Kady (Keller Williams Check Realty) about 9 years ago

Yes, Fha did change to the HVCC.  However, what most lenders don't seem to understand is that the HVCC does not mean they have to use an appraisal management company AMC who typically send appraisers out from all over to all over for low pay.  Since the HVCC has gone into action, the AMCs have seized about of 80% of all appraisal work in the country, away from a lot of good appraisers who had worked for years developing those clients & business.  There are HVCC compliant ways for lenders to order appraisals through companies like Mercury Network which is not a AMC.  They have a huge network of appraisers & don't jack the appraisal fee way up like many AMCs do.  The appraiser gets his normal fee for his regular area of coverage.  They order on a rotation, but my understanding is that a lender can choose a number of appraisers they know to be reliable to have on their own rotation list.  So when they order a appraisal, instead of getting some stranger, even though they would not know the exact appraiser being selected for that appraisal, they would know it was one of the ones they had in the system.  I just heard of this & need to check it out, but this could begin to change things a bit.  Tell your lenders to check out the Mercury system, it costs them nothing & could start to solve some of their appraisal problems.

Posted by Craig Chapman, The Value Guy (Call Realty / Access Appraisals) about 9 years ago

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