Home Buying in Los Angeles>Question Details

Home Lover, Home Buyer in Los Angeles, CA

I Made an Offer On a House, I revieved a notice that there are multiple offers on this house. Can I call thesellersagent& ask how much the offers?

Asked by Home Lover, Los Angeles, CA Fri Jan 21, 2011


Help the community by answering this question:


No you can't call the sellers agent, it's not only your agent job but his/her fiduciary duty. If you really want the house, you need to have your agent to be VERY proactive and clearly express your interest to the listing agent (which will then inform the seller), this will make all the difference.

Have him/her call and meet with the sellers agent and explain your enthusiasm and how much you want the house. Remember unlike investment properties, selling your home is a very emotional process, and many times a seller will go for the person who sincerely displays a real interest and passion for the beloved home he is selling. I've seen it happen countless times where my client decided upon the person with the most enthusiasm at equal prices and comparable financing. If you haven't already done so, writing a letter to the seller is always a plus and could be the tipping point.

Now if you're dealing with a short sale, none of this matter, it's all about the numbers then.

Hope this helps!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 22, 2011
A sellers agent owes confidentiality to the seller and can only reveal information that the seller allows them to. It would not be in the sellers best interests to let buyers know what all of the offers are. They will most likely try to create a bidding war-where the buyers are unsure of the other offers and are willing to out bid one another to have the highest offer that will most likely be accepted.

Price is most important to most sellers but there are other aspects of an offer that can make it appealing. These include closing time, cash or mortgage, amount of deposit, inspections, and any other contingencies. If you are unable to make a higher offer look at some of these other pieces of the offer. If you are working with a buyers agent they should be providing you with advice on how to proceed. If you made an offer through the listing agent you can ask the listing agent for someone in their office to offer you advice, since the listing agent is bound by his/her confidentiality to the seller and cannot offer an opinion, only facts.

Good luck to you!

-Sunny Fellman, Realtor
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 21, 2011
There's no such thing as not right/fair, your agent is just lazy that's all. Find another agent, simple enough right? Keep in mind your agent needs you not the other way around!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 21, 2011
What other offers are confidential have your buyers agent inquire OR keep looking

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 30, 2011
Your agent can always ask the listing agent how much was offered by the other buyers, but it is unlikely that this info will be disclosed. When I list a home, I encourage all offers but never share details of other offers. I do this for 2 reasons:

1. First and foremost, I believe it is in the best interest of my seller to keep numbers private from buyers so I can negotiate the highest price.

2. Second, if I mention a price, how do I know that it isn't lower than what the buyer had in mind? This would hurt my seller's bottom line.

From the buyer's standpoint, it would be great to know the answer. Then again, even if you get an answer, how do you know the listing agent isn't playing a game and inflating the number to push you higher?

Do your best based on the comps. Settle on a number that satisfies the following conditions:

1. You will not say 'I should have offered more...' if the winning bid was just $100 higher.

2. You will not say 'I regret offering this amount...' if you are the winning offer.

Also, remember that the best offers don't always have the highest price. Clean offers can go a good distance!

Good luck!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 28, 2011
Hi Home Lover

Trust it all worked out in your favor.
Any good listing agent will refuse to talk to a buyer who has turned in an offer.
It is his or her job to get the best deal for his client the Seller.

Hopefully you have had a chance to do comparable, understand the trends and have won the
Multiple Counters.

Keep us posted.

Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 27, 2011
The seller's agent has a fiduciary relationship with the seller, and would not likely disclose that information to you. Your agent should act on your behalf to negotiate the best deal for you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 27, 2011
I would first speak to your agent, this is what they are there for, to represent you. Did they counteroffer you? Many times they will send multiple counter offers back. It is very competitive right now and I always recommend to my clients offer their best offer first if they really like the house or they could potentially lose it to a better offer. Good luck and call your agent and discuss it with them, especially if you really like the house.

Have a good day,
Heather Paul
Coldwell Banker
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 27, 2011
I would suggest you have your agent call the seller's agent for such matters of discussion.

Hope this helps.
Web Reference: http://www.davidnewhome.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 23, 2011
Home Lover,

This is free country. So you can call anyone including the sellers and/or the listing agent. However, if you or your selling agent try to find about prices of other offers, your chances are very low. Here are few things that you may want to consider.

- How much do really like that house?

- Have you or your agent analyzed the comps?

- How was your offer comparing to the comps?

- If you really, really like the house, what is the max price that you would offer?

- What will you do after finding out about other offers?

- If the house is just OK and you think your offer is fair, let's just forget about this house.

Happy house hunting!

David Pham
National Brokers - connecting people to homes
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 23, 2011
No, you really should not call the listing agent yourself. Your agent should be doing that for you. Listing agents need to represent their sellers to the best of their interest so he/she may not tell you how much the offers are. Your agent should be able to give you the comps for the house you are offering so you have an idea how much similar ones have been sold or selling for.

In addition, the offer price is not the only factor. I specialize in also Short Sale and Bank Owned properties. Both of these types of properties have very different focus case by case. Not every listed Short Sale is a good candidate to close as a Short Sale, sometimes, the amount owed on the property will most likely go into foreclosure. Bank Owned properties mainly focuses on the net amount the sellers can get and to close escrow ASAP, so offer price is not the only factor in all offers.

I suggest you let your agent do his/her do that for you. Just make sure you chose an agent that have a lot of knowledge and experience. Hope this helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 22, 2011
Home -

OK, so let's play out the scenario of your agent calling the listing agent and asking information about the other offers.

First, the listing agent may say no, "My client has not provided me permission to share information about the other offers."

Second situation assumes the listing agent says, "Well, there are a couple of higher offers than yours." Your agent, "Are we talking a lot more or a little more?" Listing agent "Quite a bit over list." This could mean several things in the real world. One, that they have a bidding frenzy and someone has decided to write over market value in hopes of simply getting a home. Many times this is does not play out because of appraisal. The listing agent/ seller should be savvy enough to not allow for appraisal contingencies when they get wind of this strategy. (Many REOs/Bank Owned listing agent state up front there will be no appraisal contingency.)

Third, listing agent, "Well, we have some offers over list but they do not have strong financing."
More importantly, say you find out the highest offer and write a wee bit over that with comparable financing: what now? Guess what might happen when the next buyer's agent calls. Listing agent says, "Well we have an offer for X dollars, can you beat that?" Hmm... Now you are really ticked as you thought you were the best offer and are shocked when your agent calls to say, "Your offer didn't get accepted." Believe me, it happens.

All of this gets you spinning more than making your best offer. So, my 2 cents would be to have your agent spend his/her time evaluating comps (go see them if possible). Be clear on what the value is by market stats and decide the value in your eyes and write your best offer. Sometimes the best offer is simply not price. There are about 100 different ways to get an offer accepted that simply is not price. Ask your agent how many strategies he/she has and figure out which one might be the strongest.

Good luck,
Web Reference: http://www.TalkToCJ.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 22, 2011
Even if your agent were to make the call to the listing agent, about the best you can hope for is an answer along the line of : the highest offer is "close to asking price", "right around the asking price", "slightly above asking" or "quite a bit over asking". I don't understand why your agent hasn't made the call already. You shouldn't be having to ask him/her to do that...they should have already done it.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 22, 2011
You can but technically they are not allowed to talk directly to you if you have a realtor. If they do tell you something you have no way of knowing it is the truth. Offer a reasonable price, excellent terms and convince them you will successfully make it through escrow and you will be the strongest offer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 22, 2011
Home Lover, I have to agree with Christian...even if I know it won't make a difference, I call the listing agent on behalf of my buyer if the buyer requests it. That said, the seller's agent is not obligated and probably will not say what the highest bid is. The reason for that is that the seller's agent is trying to get the best price for their seller. On the other hand, I've called and have gotten the number-- it depends on the agent. Hang in there, bid your best based on the comps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 21, 2011
The seller's agent may or may not disclose the highest offer amount. Some of the banks have a system online where they have the highest offer listed-- if it's bank owned REO.

Sara Mehrpouyan
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 21, 2011
Of course you can, but the agent has no obligation to provide you accurate information. Have your broker do this.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 21, 2011
If you really want the house, and you think its the one! You can make an amendment to your offer and write in the addendum page of the contract, that you are willing to pay $1000 dollars over any additional offers, to a certain amount; putting a CAP on the "max amount" you would be willing to pay for the property. Your Agent or Broker will most likely have some experience with this type of aggressive literature.

Good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 21, 2011
Using an agent probably the best way to go, not only you save time and your agent can call before submitting the offer to get the idea on what the seller stands in term of the price. FYI listing agents in general gonna tell you if they have multi offers received and etc just to create the hype, don't fall for it. Do your homework, ask your agent to run the comps and get your figure ready based on that information plus if there's any rehab needs to be done and go from there. Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 21, 2011
Hi Guys,

My agent does not want to call and ask how much the offers are for shes feels it is not right/fair. What should I do?

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 21, 2011
If you are working with an agent of your own he/she can best help you, therefore no need to call the listing agent ....keep in mind the listing agent can't divulge such information, unless authorized by the seller to do so....and if he/she was authorized to tell, she would tell your agent...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 21, 2011
You can call, but don’t count on getting the answer. Your best bet is to have your agent go over all the comparable sales with you and decide how badly you want the house. Sold prices are public record, offer prices are not. Only the listing agent has access to the other offers and depending on their strategy, may or may not reveal the other offers. Your agent should do the calling, there is more to an offer than just the price.
I have a strategy which works well in my market. Have your agent contact me and I'll explain privately what I've done that works well.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 21, 2011
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