Seller has 2 offers on the table

amrjMarch 16, 2009

my husband and i just put an offer on a foreclosed home (bank owned)....the bank has taken 2 weeks to get back to us as to our offer. in the meantime, the bank fired the initial listing realestate agent and hired another. The new listing agent then tells our buyers agent during week 2 (still waiting for the bank to respond to our initial offer)...that there is another offer on the table. I guess they were waiting for us t increase our initial offer. We did not. Then the listing agent gave our agent a counter offer from the bank. He claims the same counter offer went to both parties. Since then, we accepted the counter and they still have to get back to us. My question do we really know there was a second offer on the table.....and 2. Is it legal/ethical for a listing agent to play that game to squeeze the most out of a buyer and say there is a second offer on the table, when there is not? I feel like we have been "had"!

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I don't think there is a way to know if the agent was lying to you about a second offer. My opinion is that you haven't been "had" if your offer was less then the fair market value of the home. Now if you were in a serious bidding war and raised your offer to exceed the fair market value, then I'd say you may have been "had".

We've been in a multiple bid situation before and always knew what our maximum offer was going to be on a house. Never exceeding that magic number was key to us in making us feel we did the right thing.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 1:53PM
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Banks are notoriously bad at real estate. They often do send the exact same counter offer to two parties at the same time! So what if both parties accept? The banks have no idea what their doing.

Some banks have gotten better and just send out an instruction in multiple bids to submit your "best" offer.

There probably was a second offer, otherwise the bank would just sell the property to you right away. They get no value holding it in inventory.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 4:59PM
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You don't know for sure if there is a second offer... but chances are there is. Just send in your highest and best offer and hope it is better than the other guys.
Do you feel like you overpaid knowing that there were multiple offers?
Most states allow sellers to disclose all offers on the table to all parties involved. So ask them what the other offer was.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 9:09AM
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Alot of people feel like they are being "had" when they are told another offer is in. But I can tell you one thing, anytime that i've had a client that felt like "there wasnt really another offer" and they were going to "show them" with a low offer, they didnt get the house. Banks don't want to take the risk of loosing ANY buyer. They have no reason to do this. As far as a listing agent doing that, for what purpose would they need to squeeze the buyer out of another $5000 or 10k? (its about $200 in their pocket)

I'm pretty positive that there was another offer and you're not being "had". But I do understand how people can sometimes feel that way. Heck, i've felt that way when I've presented an offer and the agent tells me there are multiple offers, but I also know, there most likely is. I've had bidding wars on the last four homes that I've written offers on and supposedly this is a "bad market". Foreclosures are priced low, there is bound to be more than one person who wants the house.

Its not legal in my state for a listing agent to claim to have more offers when they do not, but i don't know whats legal everywhere else.

It is also not legal in my state for listing agents to share offer amounts unless the seller agrees to it in writing.

The only way you will know 100% if there was another offer is if YOU DONT get the house. So I wish you the best of luck with what you want.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 9:00AM
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