Home Buying in Pasco>Question Details

Woodson, Home Buyer in Washington

Getting inspection today and get call from OUR agent teling me that a "back-up" offer submitted and we can not ask for any repairs or lose

Asked by Woodson, Washington Tue Jan 3, 2012

house. He would not tell us what "back-up" offer is, just said it was "good"...is that legal? And why was house still on MLS? DO NOT TRUST AGENT! At this point, what can we do without affecting our offer? ie: can we get a new new agent from a different company? Do not even want to use the same company. Seller's agent in same office. Many times we have felt he was on the "seller's" side and not ours.

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So, we got the house and all the repairs...I think the broker was lying. In the end we ended up using a different agent from the same agency, as the trust was gone with the original one. Funny how the seller who supposedlt had such a great offer in the wings, took our offer, WITH repairs!

Still makes me wonder about the shadiness of said original realtor...guess I will never know! But, we love our house! :) Thanks for all the answers everyone!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 8, 2013
Thanks for the update. I'm always grateful to see how things worked out.
Flag Mon Jul 8, 2013
The consistent issue in your question is your distrust of your agent. Not all agents act in similar ways. I'd rather talk a client out of a bad house and find them another then have someone stuck in a situation we could have avoided. I often write here in Trulia that a good agent is worth more than their commission and a bad agent will cost you more than just a commission.
Every agent reports to a managing broker. Find out who your agent's broker is and set up a meeting tomorrow. Hash out all of the issues with them and proceed in the way that protects and preserves your needs the best. The inspection issues sound serious. If they are not now, they will be later if not addressed.
If this deal doesn't come together interview some agents before you proceed with your next purchase & sale. There are good agents with strong backgrounds that will really be an asset to you rather than a challenge.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 3, 2012
Your list of issues is serious and deserves to be understood and considered. The LP siding, if failed is a major expense. If it's not failed, the maintenance is something you need to become familiar with and stay on top of. Read up on the issue and get accurate information. Not all LP needs to automatically be replaced, but it does take monitoring.
Decks rot, if it's a 10 year old house then it's no surprise. Puddle in the crawlspace needs investigating to discover the source and diagnose possible fixes. This can be simple and cheap or complex and expensive.
The toilet may need a new wax ring or the supply valve may have failed, these are inexpensive repairs.
With all of these items, contact the inspector for their detailed explanation and rough idea of what repairs may cost. Of everything you mentioned the siding may be the biggest if much of it is failing. If it's only a few boards on one side of the house, this may be manageable.
Meet with the managing broker and discuss your concerns. Go over the inspection with your inspector and the managing broker and decide how you wish to proceed. Don't buy a house you are not fully satisfied with because of a back up offer. Make your decision based on what's best for you and your family.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 3, 2012
Mary, this was from January, 2012. I suspect it either worked out or totally fall apart months ago!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 20, 2013
A back-up offer is an offer waiting in the event the first contract falls apart. The house stays on the MLS until it actually closes, meaning it transfers title, therefore, no longer available for sale. It is unfortunate that feel unrepresented. I hope everything works out for you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 20, 2013
If a legitimate back up offer is present, this puts the seller in a better negotiating position. Your agent may simply be giving you good advice...or not. Trust is very important in this process.

Suppose that your agent didn't inform you of the other offer...you asked for the moon...and lost the home?

The home can be still on the MLS in a pending status and offers can and do still come in. Not uncommon.

Good Luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 4, 2012
Unfortunately, as in human relations, the answers are not always as straight forward as we like. But in general everything is negotiable. That is, at least until it is not negotiable (e.g. you ask for all repairs and there really is a really great offer on the table and they part company with you and accept the other offer). But there certainly could be some posturing going on there. I understand your frustration. Without knowing all the details of the situation, your contractual obligations and without giving legal advice (I am not an attorney), I probably can not answer this question in a manner that would be beneficial to you. So, I would suggest talking to the Designated Broker of the Real Estate firm that represents you and your agent. The Designated Broker has a legal obligation to ensure that your transaction is handled in a legal matter and within the law of agency requirements. Many customers like yourself who have felt the same way have found that a solution can be reached that is satisfactory to the parties when the Designated Managing Broker is given the opportunity to facilitate a resolution.. If a solution can not be reached that is satisfactory to your expectations, you should explore your options with the Designated Broker seeking a mutually expectable resolution. If at anytime you feel you need to protect your legal rights, you should consult legal counsel.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 4, 2012
Woodson, Go back & read what I and & Dan have written. We are both very trustworthy & competent agents here in our area. Unfortunatley we are not where you are. Go talk to your agents broker, get an objective opinion about the value of this home & then decide how & if you want to pursue it further. You need to not be attached to this home if you want the right outcome. Otherwise, you might get burned. My main job with my clients is to protect them, not sell them a house.Call me if you want to talk.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 4, 2012
You can always ask for repairs on the home. There is a good chance the seller will not complete any repairs if there is indeed a back up offer but you have the option to ask and then respond to the sellers acceptance or decline of the repairs. At that point you will be able to walk away and get your earnest money back or you can accept to continue to go through with the purchase and sale with no repairs.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 4, 2012
Hi, This is a very unfortunate and uncomfortable situation for you to be in. There are so many possible answers to your question, and not knowing the other side it will be very hatrd for anyopne to give you the exact answer regarding ethics. I have been in the situation where there is a back-up and if we try to ask for repairs or concessions we could lose the home. The bottomline is, don't be intimidated because haste makes waste! Most of the time we don't know what the competing offers are so we have to do the best we can and know our limits. After getting the inspection and carefully reviewing the home you feel that there are too many issues, you can walk away. You will have to determine what is deal breaking and what isn't. Always keep in mind that no home is perfect and will need things, you'll have top decide what you're willing to do and what you're not.

In my area homes stay on the mls until closing, the status will change at each stage of the process. It begins with "Conditional Contract" , once the contracts are fully signed by both sides, then "Pending", once all contingencies have been met and we are waiting to close, then "Closed.

As for getting a new agent, I wwould contact the agents manager or principle borker for that. Explain to them your concerns and issues and they will handle it accordingly.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 4, 2012

Two issues come to mind. First, most "non-AS IS" purchase contracts include a clearly defined "Repair" clause that outlines the inspection process, scope & extent of repair, time frames, and amount covered by the seller. Our recommendation is to review your document relative to this, becoming very clear about your contract's wording. Your purchase agreement was agreed to and signed by both parties...if a repair clause allows for repaire and you have followed the outlined procedures, one would assume repairs should be made to the extent covered in the agreement.

Secondly, taking a back p offer may not be illegal but to use it as leveage to prevent what buyers are entitled to is inappropriate to say the least. It's difficult to know what is going on behind the scenes but your purchase agreement should clarify the matter.

As always, issues that may be questionable may best be processed with an attorney.

Good luck,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 4, 2012
So, there are a bunch of things on the list but, the main things I find confusing is basically my realtor told me that if we asked for any repairs...the sellers will go with the other offer. He retracted once I informed him of contract (so, basically scarred us, screamed fire and then tried to act like he did not state it, right and I quote, "after re-reading the documents..." Isn't that something a realtor should now or am I more on the mark with him and the buyers agent are being really shady. Ummmm, there was no mistaking threatening us, if we turned in ANY repairs, the buyer would go with other offer.) I digress... These are the main issues, there are other small ones...but, this is the main. $$$ concerning ones.
WE WANT THIS HOUSE BUT, we already did full price offer with closing costs. VERY FAIR. IMO. considering our realtor kept cramming the 97% what homes sell for, garbage, down our throats. *more feeling like he is on their side* Even though we are the ones with the upper hand in our market of homes that are over $300000

A moment ago - Delete this answer
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 3, 2012
Hi, Woodson,

This is a frightening situation, for sure. First....if your agent has not actually read the back-up offer, then he doesn't know positively how "good" that other offer is and is making you aware that there is competition. There are a lot of variables between different offers. A back-up offer goes into place if the first sale falls apart. I suggest that you proceed with your contract, have your inspection, and proceed as you would if the back-up offer were not there. Just because a back-up offer has been submitted, that doesn't mean that it has been actually accepted, or that it's a better offer than yours. The seller would have to start all over with that other buyer, even if your sale failed. So you do have the advantage, and I hope you get the house.

Good Luck,
Jean Bradford, SFR, CRS,CRB,GRI,ABR
Managing Broker Associate
John L Scott
Silverdale, WA
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 3, 2012
Bottom line is what is the house worth in it's present condition. Your agent needs to do a very serious market value report for you & show you how he got that value. If you still do not trust his results, hire another agent to review the data for you & go over it with you. That might cost you $50-100 but might be money well spent if you are not sure you can trust him. When you finally are at a value you can trust, then decide if you want to take it "as is" or want them to do repairs, or juts want to cancel. The other offer should have no effect on what you decide to do. this is only effected by your desire for the house & its real objective value. If the this falls apart, you may want to get another agent that you can trust. If you need a referral or some help, let me know. I am both a loan originator & and real estate broker.

Good luck, Jirius
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 3, 2012
Dry Rott to deck. LP siding, swelling. and puddle under crawl space and under bathroom toilet.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 3, 2012
I'm sorry..I failed to answer the question about why the house was still on the MLS...typically, when a house is under contract we will leave it on the MLS as Active/under contract/accepting back up offers.....until all of the contingencies have been cleared. This is in an effort to be fair to our sellers and not take their home off the market until we are sure it is going to be sold....If you were selling your home rather than buying, you would appreciate this concept. As a buyer though, I can see how it can be a challenging idea....
Have a good evening!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 3, 2012
Only an attorney reviewing the contract signed can advise you with any certainty if you can change agents. I don't believe you can, but I haven't seen your contract, and I'm not an attorney.
That another offer appears seems fishy, but I've had it happen to me on both the buyer's side and the listing side. Some people who see a home but aren't motivated to write an offer suddenly see another offer appear and gain the motivation.
Again, some of my suggestions will depend on the nature of the issues uncovered in the inspection. Again, if they are minor issues, there is little your agent can do to assist or mess up the deal at this point. You are through 80% of the agent’s responsibility once the inspection is done.
If the issues are major, either walk away or tell them they need to fix them or reveal them to the subsequent buyer now that they know this.
One last option is to sit down with the managing broker and discuss your concerns. Every agent, other than the owner has a boss who is responsible for their actions. They could possibly assign another agent to finalize the transaction for you if you have no confidence in the agent you started with.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 3, 2012
Hi there!
There are a few things to think about. First and foremost, your agent is supposed to represent YOU. What is in YOUR best interest??? To me it would matter most what you wanted to ask for. If there are major issues, it may be best to let the house go and keep looking.....It just dependson many variables....offer price, condition, type of loan you are getting......in defense of your agent that you currently have, legally, when there is another offer, we are not supposed to know what the other offer is....but we are supposed to know the value of the property that you want to buy and we are supposed to advise you on what you should be willing to pay for it and in what condition...Please let me know if I can be of any further help...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 3, 2012
Not a short sale. And we have contracts on it over two weeks. The house itself has been on market over 100 days. No activity on it at all, prior to our offer. Not something someone was sitting on.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 3, 2012
Okay, but why will my agent not tell me what this "good" offer is? And can I transfer the house, same contract to another agent?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 3, 2012
The first question that comes to mind, is this a short sale? Generally when a seller accepts an offer the home is in a Pending or Pending Inspection status. If the other offer came from someone who had already seen the home and was surprised by your offer, they may have come in pretty strong which can limit your bargaining power at the inspection.
The next question is, did the inspection uncover any major issues. If there are minor issues, your agent may be doing you a favor and protecting your interests. If they are in the same office, they may have gotten word of the other offer where if they were from another office chances are they wouldn't know.
My suggestion is if you like the home and the issues are minimal consider living with them and/or make minor requests. If they accept your requests good, if not decide if you really want the house.
If the issues are major you need to decide if you want the house in that condition or are willing to call their possible bluff. There is no way for us to know, but I don't believe changing agents at this point would be in your interests, at least on this property. If things don't come together, there may not be any reason not to unless you signed a buyer's agency agreement. Best of luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 3, 2012
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