Home Buying in 75042>Question Details

mramifeb23, Home Buyer in Garland, TX

Can you make an offer when the agent says home is under contract already??

Asked by mramifeb23, Garland, TX Tue Nov 6, 2012

On tuesday of last week me and my boyfriend spoke to the agent about a home and asked if she could schedule an appt to show the house she said yes but the next day she said she would have to reschedule for another day. When we asked about the house again she mentioned it was under contract but on the website the status still shows it is still active and doesnt say it is under contract. I find it a little weird what can i do about this?

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There are some situations where the seller is willing to accept back up offers while " under contract ", but if you put in a back up offer, it can only be considered if the first offer falls through, you cannot undercut the existing offer that has been accepted because it is still legally binding.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 15, 2012
Many times there is a delay between events occurring and the MLS database's being updated to reflect that event. If an offer was executed in the evening, it is common that the executed contract is not delivered back to the offering party until the next day.

The listing agent has then a few days to update the status of the listing. Don't be surprised if the second day after execution the status is still not updated. It is not a violation of MLS rules until 5 days have elapsed from the event to updating. If the weekend falls during that time, it can stretch even longer.

Can you still make an offer on a property that is already under contract?
Yes, of course. The listing agent is required by TRELA to present all offers in a timely fashion to the seller. The Realtor Code of Ethics also requires all offers to be presented to the seller for consideration (and usually the agent is required to give advice on what to do about the offer). Failure to present the offer is a violation of law and ethics, and subjects the agent to significant penalties.

Does the seller have to agree or even to entertain the offer?
No. The seller can ignore, reject or counter the offer, besides accepting it. However, if a contract already exists, then the offer must be made contingent on the existing contract's being terminated. We call the second accepted offer contingent on the first a "backup" contract, and a form is included in the offer describing the fact that the contract, if executed, requires the first contract to terminate.

The buyer's agent should know how to include the "backup" addendum in the offer package to the seller who has an existing contract.

Be warned, though, that on short sales listing agents often confuse their duties with the desires of the seller's bank. The bank may ask that all offers be shown to the bank or it may indicate that the deal is approved and no more offers will be entertained. Neither of these is actually completely true. The bank, unless it has a separate agreement with the seller/borrower, has no right to see all offers.
The seller is free to withhold any offer he likes, but if as part of his arrangement with the bank, he already agreed to show every offer, then that would obligate him to do so.
Whether the bank believes the offer is acceptable is not relevant to whether the seller signs a backup contract. The seller can withhold the backup contract from the bank unless/until the first contract fails, if the bank does not want to be bothered by other offers after it has approved one. But, the bank is not stupid, and listing agents who withhold a higher backup offer may find themselves at significant risk of liability for not notifying the bank that a higher offer has been made, even if the first one is approved. The reason is simple: money. A higher offer may result in the bank's losing less money - the broker may find himself coughing up the difference in offers if he hides the backup.

Feel free to ask your agent to go ahead and prepare a backup offer. If she looks confused or refuses to do as you ask, find a new agent to help you.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 8, 2012
With home affordability at the highest level ever and mortgage rates historically low, properties are selling faster than ever, specially if it was price correctly. Do not be surprised that if you or your agent takes some time to show you the house, it will be too late when you finally see it. If you really love that property, ask her to submitt a back up offer and see what happen.

Best of Luck,

Maria Cipollone

Century 21 Tenace

2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 7, 2012
In some cases you are able to offer a back up offer, it really depends on the listing agent. Ask your Agent to inquire for you about the current offer.


Traci Litts

Klutts Real Estate

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 3, 2014
First, call another agent. Buyers should not be working with the listing agent who already represents the Seller, they should have an agent working on their behalf. For how to find a great agent wherever your looking see the link below.

Websites may or may not be offering you valid information. A Buyer Broker will be using your local MLS and will be able to see the status promptly. While you can make an offer on a home that is already under contract (this is known as a back-up offer), this isn't something I'd recommend unless the listing agent has indicated that the current offer looks to be having some issues.

Why tie yourself up and mentally dream about something that in all likelihood you're not going to be able to get. Find a good buyer broker to work with and move on.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 18, 2012
It could just be the timing, or the agent may have been brining an offer of her own and she was stalling. Either way if you write a contract on the home it has to be presented. If you think this is YOUR house get a viewing and write an offer,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 17, 2012
Absolutely, If the Seller is willing to accept back up offers then you will be in position if the first offeror for some reason backs out, or is unable to make good with their finances. However I would suggest you continue to look for other properties that also meet your needs. Please know that sometimes agents do not update the listing as soon as they should from active to pending in the MLS so a phone call to the agent is the best way to know for sure what the status is.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 15, 2012
Sometime you can put in a backup offer on the property. If the status is showing as still active I would contact a realtor and see about scheduling an appointment. They will also be able to find out if the home is under contract

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 9, 2012
Thank You for responding my question but i would like to know if someone can explain to me how does a house on auction work?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 9, 2012
Submit a back up offer or move on . Not weird , many homes will have multi offers in days

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Credit Repair Advisor
Multimillion Dollar Sales Producer

Follow me on Facebook
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 7, 2012
If it's under contract already you can submit a back up contract incase the first one falls through but that's not common to do, nor a common occurance but it happens. This is a situation that happens, you like a house but someone already has beaten you to it. It's happened to me personally, which was sad, but I kept looking and kept in mind that there was something out there for me and I wasn't supposed to have it so. Don't give up, keep looking, yours is waiting for you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 7, 2012
Hi there,

If you want to see the house status. I would be more than happy to check it out for you. You can email me at dixondfw@gmail.com

But as far as the status on MLS, sometimes the agent dont update the status right away so it can be some delay.

You can visit http://www.findyourtexashome.com/garland/ for homes in the Garland area.


JP and Associate
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 7, 2012
I Thank You Everyone for responding i am glad to hear what each of you had to say. I will keep in mind the advice you all gave me and will do what each of you encouraged to do.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 7, 2012
You need to be sure to pick an agent that you trust and sometimes the listing agent does not update the Multiple Listing Service to take it off active so it will still show active. So if you trust your agent believe that she has your best interest in mind and is being honest with you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 7, 2012
What can you do about this? Work with a real estate professional and make your purchase offers fast and solid.
If you are shopping for homes on aggregate real estate websites like Zillow and Trulia you must accept the fact that you have one hand tied behind your back. That is always the option you have. The result, as is often repeated here in these Q & A's is buyers asking, "Why is everything for sale on Trulia already under contract?"
The real estate professional with whom you are working will be able to explain in great detail what is taking place regarding your specific situation. If you are working without representation...well, you are pretty much on your own. As you are finding out, if you are a serious buyer, you should be using serious resources to find homes and professional resources to guide you to success. Making such choices means you won't be chasing the vapors of homes already sold.
It should be noted that real estate professionals do not enter data into aggregate real estate websites like Trulia and Zillow. Agents ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE for the data appearing here. (i.e. Active) Trulia states they receive real estate data from another data aggregater,..ListHub. Not even from Realtor.com !
If you are not working with a pro you should contact a real estate professional in the location in which you have interest. They can hook you up with serious tools and resources.

Best of success to you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 7, 2012
Were you calling the listing agent or an agent you chose to assist you? The listing agent works for the seller, you should have an agent working for you that way you are less likely to be put off for another day. Enlisting an agent to work for you cost you nothing but can save you time, money and grief.

Call me with the address and I will check into it for you.

Sam Young
Accredited Buyers Representative
Coldwell Banker Jane Henry, Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 7, 2012
Nothing, really. If the house is under contract, it's under contract. You can make an offer, but the seller will counter and write backup terms into the contract, or the seller will simply reject it because they already have a contract.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 6, 2012
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