Banks start out by telling you that they will accept the offer that is in their best interests and that they will not pay any attention to the order in which the offers are made. Having an offer on the table being negotiated means absolutely nothing to a bank. Please note that the LISTING agent does not have the legal right to accept an offer. They have a legal obligation to present any and all offers that they receive to the property owners (which may be the bank, a homeowner, or a combination of people and institutions). They are required to present the offers as they are received, even if another offer is in the process of being negotiated since the other offer was not yet accepted (if it had been accepted, they would still have been required to present it until the point that the contract had closed and ownership had transferred). I'm sorry you lost out, but even if a bank had not been involved and it was a contract between two individuals, this can happen. That's one of the reasons why Realtors often tell people to give their best offer up front, don't waste time trying to get the price down really low and risk losing the property if you really want it.