The BOSS, also known as THE SELLER, decides whom they wish to counter (or not) and The Seller has absolutely NO obligation to 'BE FAIR' to you.
Sellers in the Southland are getting multiple offers, especially if the property is desirable; so instead of whining, your energy would be better spent asking your agent what would make your offer more attractive to the seller and following their advice.
You had the expectation of playing 'pattie-cake' with the seller, however, they had a different expectation. Offers presented to a seller that reflect the buyer is not serious and have a game plan of playing an extended game of 'pattie-cake' are kicked to the curb IMMEDIATELY.
Sorry, such offer are undeserving of the time required to respond. It is very likely YOUR offer included a respond by date, which means you included a built in response, which was the intent.
No, you will NEVER be entitled to know what offers, if any, have been presented to the seller. EVEN if you were so advised, you would be here on Trulia accusing the sellers agent of 'fabricating' the offer to get you to raise your purchase offer. It matters not what the issue is, when buyers or sellers experience disappointment of unrealistic inspections, the agent gets blamed EVEN when the agent provided prudent guidance which was ignored.
What we do know is those who experience disappointment because their expectations do not align with reality ALWAYS look for someone else to blame. Reconnecting with the reality of the real estate market in Los Angles may be the step you need to take to 'GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER.'
Life is rarely fair to those who disconnect from reality. If you want to buy a house, make a serious offer. You can't win if you don't know the rules.
IT is FAIR. The loser, however, rarely thinks so.
IF you were "included" or not, you would never have seen the other offers.
It's unfortunately not the Realtor, but the owner of the property . ( The Seller,)who makes the decisions on what offers to accept, and which to counter. They are not required to respond, and often will ignore a poorly structured offer. It does not matter where the owner lives, a savvy property owner would know all about the current market, and that's precisely why the house was listed now.
In this market you desperately need an excellent Buyer Agent if you want any hope of getting a desirable property. Your frustration is understandable, but direct it at the current market...not the hardworking Realtors.
There is no law that says an offer MUST BE countered. When a buyer presents an offer, the seller has the right to reject the offer, counter the offer (which is a form of rejection of the original offer), or accept the offer as written. They may counter one or more offers. Or they may reject all offers and wait for something closer to an offer that meets their needs. Sellers may also instruct their agents to only show them offers which meet certain criteria. So, if your offer did not meet the Seller's minimum criteria then their agent was following their instructions if your offer was not countered.
As I stated in my prior response, there is more that goes into a Strong Offer than just price. When you write your next offer on a property, make sure you tailor it to the Seller's criteria.
When you want to buy a home the best place to start is to hire an EXCLUSIVE Buyer Agent, not just a Buyer's Agent. EBAs only work with homebuyers and there is never a conflict of interest that will jeopardize your negotiating position. I can refer you to an EBA in your area, if you like.
I've written a best selling book called Buying a Home: Don't Let Them Make a Monkey Out of You. It'll teach you how to buy a home and get a mortgage without getting ripped off. Follow the link below.
Best of luck!
In a follow up, I live in the Westside and work in Brentwood. Your agent should have know about the offer and counter offer scenario was. Now, as to negligence? That is something that I can't answer. It may have been inexperience on part of your agent, or they wrote a bad offer for you. You won't know, until,the property's closes escrow and you can see some of the details of final price, all cash or type of loan, and how soon it closed. This is information easily obtained by agents through title company.
If you have a bad feeling with this agent, get a new one. There are properties coming out in Brentwood and you'll find the perfect home.
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I always advise buyers to not assume they'll get a second chance. That means you want your initial offer to be very strong - almost as strong as you want to be in the end with a bit held in reserve in case you get the opportunity to better your offer. And if you've come close to your max on a property and still weren't in the running then it's time to move on.
When you are on the listing side and get to see all the offers you can see how they fall out. Typically they're in tiers - the group that's too low to be in the running or otherwise have undesirable terms, etc., the middle of the pack group, and the stellar offers. If one isn't a clear winner it often makes sense to go back to just a few of the offers - those that are super strong relative to the rest.
In my market there are a lot of cash buyers. You mention that you might have been the "best qualified buyer". That should have been clear in your original offer - not something to be discovered later.
It's always very disappointing when you don't prevail in a multiple bid situation. It's the seller's choice re responses and sometimes that choice can seem arbitrary and even nonsensical. Uusally it's the offer with the best price and best terms but sometimes it's not even that - it's something else that's important to the sellers. All you can do is to continue to put your best foot forward and move on to the next property - it sounds like you're in good hands with your agent.
I just read one of your replies to a response below. Maybe this isn't the market for you. If you're concerned that values are too high - and therefore writing offers that are too low relative to your competition - then it shouldn't be surprising that you're not getting a positive response. Complaining about the process and the players won't help.
In this way ,you can make sure seller have seen your offer. And if seller have seen your offer but only counters another buyer's offer then you know it's merely seller's decision not your agent's negligence.
Seller may counter offer the contract that he or she thinks the best. Not necessary the highest offer. The strongest offer to seller could be" lower cash offer without any contingency ". Or an offer from a buyer who "appreciate the luxury and has same taste ", ,,,,,,or a personal letter from a first time buyer reminds seller's first time buying ,,,,,