August, 2010:

If I make an offer on a property, isn’t the listing agent required by law to present it to the seller?

Not necessarily. Particularly in the case of bank owned properties, we are seeing more cases in which the seller (bank) instructs the listing agent to only submit offers that meet certain criteria such as price range, closing time frames, and the utilization of special addenda.

As lenders continue to wrestle with the overwhelming demands and requirements to process the rising number of foreclosures nationwide, this will likely become more commonplace.

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I was told that I don’t need a survey if I’m paying cash for a home in a platted subdivision. True?

No. If you purchase a property for cash that has an existing encroachment (or two) you could have real problems when you try to resell in the future. Yard buildings, driveways, fences, easements, swimming pools and even roof overhangs can all be sources of frustrating encroachments. 
We once saw a case in which the house itself was built 15 feet over the neighbor’s property line. Had the buyer elected to pay cash without the benefit of a survey, they could have ended up with a lot of cash tied up in a property that they could neither sell nor even borrow against. Their equity would be frozen indefinitley.
One other option. Many title insurers wil accept a prior survey. That is, so long as the seller is willing to sign a sworn affadavit at closing stating that nothing has changed to affect the boundaries since that prior survey was drawn.