Home Buying in 32608>Question Details

Silvia Alfaro, Home Buyer in 32608

Can I offer more $$ on a house that has already a counter-offer (to someone else) from the seller?

Asked by Silvia Alfaro, 32608 Mon Mar 8, 2010

I have been working with my realtor for over 8 months and he has not deliver any positive results, he is always out of town and never available for my inquires. Last Monday I made an offer on a house (cash) being sold by owner, but it was rejected. And the seller gave a counter offer to another buyer.
My question is should I approach the seller agent personally (without using my Realtor) and try to deal with him directly?
Also, if she has given a counter offer to someone else, can the owner still accept a higher offer if I want to pay more?
Please help, I am really frustrated and don't want to lose this opportunity to buy this house.

Help the community by answering this question:


Let's take the questions one by one.

It would be very bad form for you to approach the listing agent directly when you've been working with another agent for 8 months. You don't say whether you've got a signed buyer's agent agreement or whether it's just a handshake agreement. In either case, though, it would be awkward all around. You really ought to have a talk with your own agent about the issues you raised.

What you should do is try to get in contact with your own agent, even if he's out of town. Ask that he put you in touch with another agent in his office so you can make an immediate offer. (The two probably will share the commission if the deal is successful. If you can't get in touch with your agent, call your agent's managing broker and explain the situation.)

However, putting that aside for the moment:

You made an offer. It was rejected. So your previous offer is dead.

Another buyer made an offer. The seller countered the other buyer's offer. If the other buyer accepts the seller's counter, then they've got a deal and you're left out in the cold.

Up until that point, the property is fair game for you.

If you were to submit a higher offer--one the seller found attractive--the steps then would be for the seller to withdraw the counter to the other buyer. It'd have to be done before the other buyer accepted or else the seller might end up with two signed contracts. Once that counter was withdrawn, the seller could accept your offer.

Bottom line: Yes, you can make another offer.

Hope that helps.
4 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 8, 2010
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA
Ask yourself why your offers are being rejected? Is it your agents fault or are your offers not attractive enough. Obviously if the Seller is negotiating with someone else they must feel that they have a better chance of making a deal with them.

Sounds like you want to approach the Seller with a "cut out the middle man" deal. Perhaps you should bring your "cash" offer in line with what the Seller wants.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 8, 2010

If you have been working with an agent for over 8 months that you are not happy with, why haven't you changed agents? Unless you have a signed buyer's agent agreement with your current agent, go find someone you are more comfortable working with.
The house you made a cash offer on is being sold by owner? If so, sit down with the owner and hash out the deal that will be mutually acceptable. You also mention approaching the seller's agent personally. Is this really for sale by owner or is it listed with a real estate agent? If it is currently listed with an agent, ask a friend or relative if they have used an agent they liked and get the agents name and give them a call. Have the new agent write up an offer that will be higher than the offer the seller has currently countered with to the other prospective buyer.
I hope you get the house you want.

Nadine Mauro
Realty Hub, Inc.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 8, 2010
If you don't have a signed agreement with your agent you can opt to choose another agent--consider having a conversation with your agent and explaining the reason(s) for the change. And yes, you are free to make as many offers as you like to the property of interest--until the property is fully under contract (signed by all parties) the seller can accept whatever offer he/she chooses--do make sure you are aware of recently sold similar properties in the immediate area to determine a fair offer--and if you choose not to utilize an agent's services do contact any attorney specializing in real estate for all related paperwork
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 8, 2010
Until the seller and buyer have BOTH signed and agreed to ALL the terms and conditions- you could present a higher offer. I dont know how your relationship with your current "buyers agent" is structured. If its an excluve buyers agreement- you may be liable to compensate your agent- highly doubtful.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 8, 2010
I purchase many homes, and a few years ago I got fed up with my realtor. If you are able to do your own MLS searches, you really don't need a realtor, and like me, you can just go to the selling agent and cut out the middleman in negotiations. Most of the time, they will tell you what the highest bid is so you know where you are at, and not have to worry if your offer is priced right. I have always had good success dealing directly with selling agents when buying.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 28, 2011
I am curious as to whether Jojo got his house sold. If he would be willing to cooperate with an agent there are few agents that would be unwilling to bring their buyers to him.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 12, 2010
Hi Larry,
Just wanted to check in with you to see what happened. What did you find out about the house you wanted? Was it under contract and therefore unavailable to you? Or were the negotiations w/other buyer still in the works and you were able to submit another offer?

You've gotten a lot of answers to your question, and I'm just dying to know how it turned out! :)

Also, just wanted to clear something up. Somebody selling their home For Sale by Owner just posted a troubling statement re agents keeping buyers away from FSBOs. This is not true. Agents are willing to take buyers in to see For Sale By Owner properties when the seller agrees to pay the agent a commission for bringing the buyer. If the seller of a FSBO does not want to pay a commission to the agent for bringing the buyer, the agent will not bring in the buyer. If the buyer really wants the house, and really wants the expertise of the agent in negotiating a deal on behalf of the buyer, the buyer will pay the agent the commission (just for the buyer's side....so the commission is half). The agent DOES NOT COLLECT COMMISSION BOTH FROM THE BUYER AND THE SELLER. It is one or the other. Just thought I would clear that up.

Please check in and let us know how you are doing regarding your house hunt. Hope all is well! :)
Web Reference: http://gainesville-life.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 12, 2010
Hi Larry , i am a fsbo and have ran into this .What i went threw is the buyers agent doesn't want to work with the fsbo , Its all about there commission . I have had agents who are going to get 3% from there buyers and off to the side they ask me to pay them another 3% without telling the buyer .And when i refused they tell the buyers that the home isn't available or some kind of lie . I had one agent scream at me on the phone then hung up . What is so sad is the buyer doesn't know what happened The seller is all ready taking a loss on the sale in today's market , so they want to keep as much money as they can , so they fsbo . Which in today's world is very easy to due, due to the internet ,etc .I have had so many buyers who have agents but the buyer found the home . I also have heard of so many agents not helping the buyer . Find your new home by yourself and hire a real estate lawyer is so much cheaper .Remember agents are not lawyers or a bank or a title co .
Good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 12, 2010
Yes you certainly can as long as the seller has not signed off on the other offer. If the other offer is in writing and signed by all parties involved then they have an executed contract. Until that point the seller should be more than happy to entertain an offer that would be more than what the other buyer offered. If the house is worth more than what the seller is asking you may want to consider offering a $1,000.00 over list price. Cash offers really don't mean a great deal of difference to a seller. They will be getting cash whether it be from the buyer directly or the buyer's lender.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 11, 2010
Yes, offer a higher price... until it is a signed deal, it is on the table. Even out of town your agent would be able to submit an offer if they use docusign.

Honestly... I don't know the situation but from your viewpoint perhaps you need someone that meets your needs in a better way. I work with an associate so if I am not available she is and vise versa. Perhaps finding an agent that works in that way so you get a little better service. Or... try calling an agent serveral times at different times and see how they respond and time frame of response.

Good Luck!!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 11, 2010
Hi Larry,

You need to find a realtor who's going to represent your best interest and accountable to you. To answer your question, if your agent didn't have a "one time showing" request signed by the seller and you don't have a "buyers agency" signed with your agent, then yes you can go it on your own, but it's always best to be represented by a professional. I'd just find a full time agent who wants to work. Also, yes you can counter an offer as long as it's not already signed and agreed on by the buyer and seller usually. Good luck with everything... hope you get the house you want.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 11, 2010
You need a new agent. Ask friends, co-workers, realtives to recommend someone and then interview them with a list of questions that are important to you such as "how do you communicate with your clients and how often can I expect to hear from you?"; "Do you work full time?", "How long have you been practicing real estate?", "How many sales have you transacted in the last 3 years?" . You probably have other questions as well. Don't always assume a recommendation is going to be the best, do your homework. Ask for references. Connect with a reputable firm in your area as it is probably more important that the brokerage be solid as you will usually find that the agents are well trained and supervised. Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 11, 2010
If a property is not under contract, in other words, if there is not a meeting of the minds, escrow money being held with a firm closing date, you can offer. Let us know how it turns out.

Debbie Albert
Coldwell Banker Residential
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 11, 2010
If your agent is giving you bad service - not returning calls etc. , he is probably relating to other agents the same way. Agents do not like to work with uncooperative agents on the other side of the deal. Perhaps that is why none of your offers are being accepted.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 11, 2010
Is it possible that your offer was rejected because you're working with an agent and the seller doesn't want to have to pay a commission to your agent. Maybe the other offer was for less, but there was no commission involved? Just a thought.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 11, 2010
Hello Larry!
More then 80% of my sales came from buyers, one of the reasons is because in the moment when a new property came in the market in criteria, they will receive e-mail from me follow with phone call
Also I negotiate on they behalf and make them to trust me.
In your situation if you don’t have any respond from your agent
1. You need another one, more responsible and to be there for you
2. Trying to deal directly with listing agent, doesn’t help you 100% because
First that agent is hired from the seller and is there to bring the best and higher price
Second, if the seller it will accept your ofer,the seller intend is to ask his agent to reduce his commission, So most of the time you will not be sure that you will have the best service
Also the time you will put to find the listing agent on the property you looking for it take me as a professional to locate your property 3 second.
My advice to you is:
You need a responsible and professional Real Estate agent to guide you from A to Z,
In the moment you have one you will see how quickly, less stress it will be for you!
Hope this make sense
Good luck
Keti Ballhysa
Real Estate Consultant
International Division
Keller Williams of the Palm Beaches
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 11, 2010
Larry...As I understand your question, the seller may accept a higher offer IF there has been no prior acceptance of the counter between buyer no. 2 and the seller. If there has been an agreement, the deal is done, barring any cancellation due to extenuating circumstances (i.e. financing, inspection results, etc.). There is always the possibility your offer may be taken as a 'backup' offer.

If this is a true 'for sale by owner', I'm confused why the seller would have a selling agent. This situation may be a listing agreement only, whereby the property is listed in MLS, but the seller has no representation by a real estate agent....not sure. You certainly can approach the selling agent directly, just be aware the selling agent would be representing both the buyer AND seller in this situation. You have to ask yourself what type of brokerage relationship works to your best advantage?

If you have been working with a realtor which does not meet your expectations, I would see no reason to continue that relationship...you may be better served to find a realtor who is more responsive to you.

Hope this helps
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 9, 2010

In reading your question, I am understanding that you approached the for sale by owner property without your realtor. If that is true, your realtor is not procuring cause here. You can get back in touch with the seller and up your offer. If there is not a contract signed yet, you can still be in the mix. Call the owner ant tell them that you want to make a higher offer. Make sure that the offer price is not their only issue. It could be closing time or cash - vs- finance. Negotiations are a BIG part of our job! You are seeing that we do bring real value to the table. Especially if we answer our phones and put someone else in the office on call for our customers when we are out of town.

Debbie Albert
Coldwell Banker Residential
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 9, 2010
Hi Larry,
I'm confused....you are working with an agent who put together the offer on the For Sale By Owner house for you?

If that is the case, the agent or the agent's broker should be able to answer your questions re what your options are right now, as none of us out here in TruliaLand are privy to the exact circumstances re your offer on this home, and they are the ones helping you through this transaction.
Web Reference: http://gainesville-life.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 8, 2010
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