Home Buying in Anthem>Question Details

George S, Home Buyer in Anthem, AZ

Proof of competing offer

Asked by George S, Anthem, AZ Wed Feb 17, 2010

I had an offer of $205,000 that was being considered by the bank on a property listed for $225000. Suddenly, at the last moment, the listing agent told my agent that there was another offer of $220000 that the bank was considering. We matched that price and got the property. But now I am wondering what proof is there that this offer really existed and that the listing agent was just not jacking the price up.

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George, You may not be able to do forensics on this deal. "What did you know and when did you know it' may not have any legal teeth in a real estate transaction in your state or board area. In the future, ask your agent the laws. In our MLS, a buyer agent can ask for proof of other offers. If the other offer is written, the listing agent blacks out the buyer name and the price on the front page of offer.

Have you closed? Would knowing make a difference? The time to ask is during negotiation. Ask your agent for the laws regarding multiple offers. They should be outlined in the listing agreement and the buyer agency agreements. In Illinois, the listing agent must follow the direct and specific instructions of the seller and must also follow the NAR code of ethics guidelines. No matter where you are, ask agents for written documentation of both license law and code of ethics.

A couple of comments below said they thought it was suspicious that a dollar amount was used -- how is that suspicious? In northern Illinois, negotiating multiple offers is directed by the seller, period. If the seller tells me to reveal the terms of the another offer (price, close date, financing etc), then I do. If the seller says "ask everyone for best and final, closed bid" then that's what I do. No lying or deceit is intended nor does it occur.

This may be hard to hear, but the process is not necessarily intended to be fair. The bank has a singular product -- there is only one of that particular house -- and they presumably want the best deal for it's sale. It is so hard to explain to people that "best deal" may not be highest price. An asset manager may select the offer with the best financing and the quickest close. In fact, security of the financing and therefore security of the closing frequently trumps price.

To Dan, George and some of the others below, if you are pursuing a complaint, you should probably straighten out whether you are making making a complaint on a license law violation or an ethics complaint. They are different and require different evidence.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 27, 2010
I think the best advice is simple and straightforward and harms no one. Simply ask the other agent to provide you with the name and company of the other agent who presented the competing offer for the competing buyer. Tell the listing agent that this is what you have been advised to ask for in this type of situation and that your intention is only to provide verification of the offer, not to ask for information other than that. The listing agent would be compelled to provide the name. To do otherwise would be highly suspect. This situation happens also when there a prospetive buyer is told that there are multiple offers on a home which is not a short sale (yes, that still happens once in a while). Real estate professionals are bound by a code of ethics which govern their actions with the public and with each other. Confirming that we have submitted an offer on a property for a buyer harms no one, and this type of honesty promotes consumer confidence in our profession.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 2, 2010
I am sure that the agent would not risk his or her license by commiting such a fraudulent act.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 25, 2010
Dan, I explained my "why", and I'm sticking to it.

Maybe you're okay with crying "fraud", without proof... I am not.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 25, 2010
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
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Mack - Believe me..........over here on the other side of the country, my manager doesn't know who is making or receiving offers, either. I was just saying, if an agent was suspect, they COULD call and ask the Broker to verify it, as it is simple to do.
If I told another agent there were 3 offers coming in on my listing, and that agent wanted verification, my manager, and I would be happy to oblige.

Now, Mack.taking your scenario a step further...........if, at the closing the seller turns to the buyer and says, "Boy I am sure glad you came along as your offer was the ONLY offer we got".................then a call could be made, and a compaint filed.... as what was suspected became a reality. A whole different ballgame.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 25, 2010
Alan, you just said stated the true problem.

You will not (although you could) complain about anything you do not have absolute proof about.

You will not have absolute proof unless this kind of behavior is investigated. Since it is all done in house and no details escape about the agent involved unless found guilty I dismiss that assertion.

I just heard I am unwilling to place my concerns in front of the board because I am only 98% sure I am right.
If we apply the same 98% sure of something wrong we could get rid of most calls to the police. It should be a reasonable suspicion, not absolute proof. The court decides beyond a reasonable doubt. The person making the complaint should not and does not need to be 100% sure to file a criminal complaint.

Once the report is made it is up to the ethics dept. to decide if it is correct or not. It can be a closed process No one else would know about any complaints filed unless the person accused was found guilty. Saying you can not make a complaint without 100% proof in my view is unethical and against the realtors creed. You know, put the interests of your buyers first.

Are realtors afraid to share their concerns because they are more fearful of being wrong than the population at large when reporting possible fraud? If so, why?
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 25, 2010
Just as a reminder - there is more to an offer than just the number.
Charlie's ides of "full disclosure of everything" will certainly never happen. Is it anyone's business, other than the seller's how qualiafied a buyer is? how much they are putting down? whether they are an FHA buyer or a 40% down buyer? whether they want to close quickly or not? whether they have any contingencies or not?

The above items are all part of an offer, and can make a difference as to which offer a seller ultimately accepts...........they are private for the buyer and seller's eyes only (along with their agents), and can involve fine tuning as part of the negotiation process.

It is overly simplistic to say, "just "show everything" to everyone.

The notion of "full transparency" of the above information, is just that - a notion, and it is neither practical nor fair to any buyers involved...nor should it, or will it, ever happen.

That brings us back to the simple acknowledgement of other existing offers..........details ommitted.

At the risk of being attacked for what I am about to say - I see this particular issue (verification of multiple offers) as much ado about nothing. It has never been an issue in my personal experience. ..........but.....................as a solution to what others see as a problem......a simple call to the Broker, asking for verification and confirmation that their agent truly has multiple offers should put anyone's mind at ease.
Now, if one is going to suggest that the Broker might be be in on the "scam", too......I'll just wave my white flag and give up.
..........................................

Opening up all offers like an auction isn't going to happen , as too much personal information is involved .....when one is buying a piece of art at an auction, the price being offered is all that matters,.,....when one is buying a home - there are many more variables involved in having the offer accepted. It's all in the details, which can be , and are, just as important as the number.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 25, 2010
I shared my TRUE opinion and MY REASONS out of respect not for any other reason, the minute I did that my email box filled and my intelligence was explained to me in detail.
~~~~~~~~~~
I am truly sorry that people have felt it was okay to assail you with emails and bring your intelligence into question, and that of your family.

In my opinion, your intelligence has never been in question. You display a lot of knowledge, and your ability to bring it across. We may not agree, but I strongly value your contribution.

If you have an opinion about Dunes comments, please feel free to post them here. Feel free to agree or disagree... but please don't bother him offline. It just isn't right.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 24, 2010
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
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Ute

"How many hoops do I need to jump through?"

Agents always discuss Services, protecting the client in this forum and how they like Doctors/Lawyers have value because ect.
How many hoops do you want your lawyer to jump thru for what you pay? How many hoops do you expect the Doctor to jump thru to make sure your operation is successful...How bout your mechanic when he tells you the repairs cost $2500..do you get a second opinion make a few calls, get a little verification? Or do ya just trust them cause they are professionals....

Maybe the real question is...How many Hoops do Agents not jump through or avoid in representing their client?

If your client pays more money than necessary to purchase because it's to much trouble to avoid that or not finding a solution to problems like the one being discussed....What are they paying for?

Time for many to think less like Realtor IMO and more like the Consumer who's suspicious, scared and signing up for a Gigantic financial obligation....Same as you'd expect from a Lawyer or Doctor.

It's a difficult problem so let's ignore it or downplay the importance. LOL

"but why do we need to run around proving that we are not guilty " Because you are charging people for Services and claiming you protect your clients interests above all else...Otherwise why do people need you? Just to fill out paperwork?
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 18, 2010
@ Alan. I totally agree that honesty is relevant. It's relevant not just in a particular transaction. It's relevant on all levels of our business. All facts that would potentially influence either party's decision are relevant and yet they are not all revealed. Many relevant facts have to be disclosed by law, but there is nothing that says you have to tell the other party everything during negotiation. In George's case, information was revealed and I think we can all agree that the information was relevant as it obviously prompted George to up his price. Now we want to take it a step further. We also want the listing agent to prove that the information that was provided was true. If the agent had not revealed that there was another offer, we would probably not have this issue. By revealing information that he did not have to reveal, he exposed himself to further scrutiny of his integrity. We don't know why the agent called agent for buyer # 1. Was it because he himself wanted to or was it because the bank told him to call for highest and best? If the bank told him, then he had to because the bank as the principal is the boss. Whether the listing agent also wants to provide proof that he's telling the truth is really up to him as it is his credibility that is at stake (rightfully or wrongfully so does not really matter). It also appears that George's agent did not ask for proof before George increased the offer price and received acceptance. George is wondering after the fact whether he was had. So, the real question is whether there should be a system in place for multiple offer situations that provides proof to the buyer that multiple offers are indeed on the table. Why not establish an offer registry that requires all buyer's agents to register an offer for a particular property. That way any agent could find out if there are any other offers and how many. There would not be any details about the offer other than that there is an offer. This would take the listing agent out of the equation and would put the burden on the buyer's agent to register the offer. If they fail to register, they are subject to a penalty just like for any other MLS violation. You could have a "register offer" link for each property and the offer history could be part of the property history. I could imagine that REO agents might like that as it could eliminate or at least drastically reduce the number of calls from agents who just want to know if there any offers yet. It would also be automated and would not involve the need for increased staffing.

I would be curious to know what my Trulia friends think of that. It's just an idea for a solution to this problem. I realize that we will still not know the terms of the other offer, but you'll know there is competition.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 28, 2010
Ute Ferdig -…, Real Estate Pro in Newcastle, CA
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JR exactly true. I will buy a house for less than I can afford. I simply refuse to spend above a certain amount on a house. I see no reason I should. Even if I could get a loan for $1 million (perhaps in an alternate universe) I would not spend that amount on a house.

I was once told I could get a loan for all but $300 a month of my income by a bank mortgage person. That alone stopped me from buying as it set off huge alarm bells. I knew it was not realistic or affordable to me.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 27, 2010
Essentially, how can I mislead the Seller into thinking that I can't afford any more than this sheet of paper indicates.

~~~~~~~~
It doesn't matter if the buyer can afford a million dollar purchase. Just because they can afford to pay much more doesn't mean they want to or should.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 27, 2010
Finish the transaction first. Then deal with the issue. First, as license real estate agents or broker we have to be honest. To create the idea or the thought that there is an offer when there is none is unethical. The listing broker must keep the file of the transaction for a specific period of time depending on the state. This is my recommendation- if it is really bothering you so much-call the real estate commission on that state. Submit your complain, once the investigation is initiated they have to produce all the documents pertaining to the transaction- At this point in when the real truth come out-if there were several offers on that property it must be in that file-- I do hope the agent did not lie, but if she/he did, just to make some extra change in commission. There will be much explaining to the real estate commission-you may even be able to sue for the difference-get attorney advice. My second advice-look at it from this perspective-you go to the store to buy something for 20 dollars but you 30 in your pocket- if you going to negotiate the price of the item, you don't say -I have 30 dollars but I want to pay 18 dollars-NO- you say this is how much I am willing to pay- NEGOTIATE, NEGOTIATE-that is what real estate is about.
Web Reference: http://nicaury.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 27, 2010
Good point Mack? I think the bottom line is that when you buy a house, you have competing interests and neither seller not buyer will put all their cards on the table. We can argue all day long about how we can make the process fairer and more transparent. What's fair for one side, may not be fair for the other. I think everybody has to acknowledge that buyers and sellers are not on the same side and that they will not put all their cards on the table. Otherwise, we will keep going in circles and really accomplish nothing more than an entertaining exchange of ideas.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 27, 2010
Ute Ferdig -…, Real Estate Pro in Newcastle, CA
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George, this is an excellent question. First, how was the contract written? Did you submit a back up or primary offer? I will assume primary. Since it was a short sale...what did your SS2 say? All of our short sale addenda says we will wait 90 days (sometimes this is extended) for an answer and THE PROPERTY MAY NOT CONTINUE TO BE MARKETED FOR SALE. If the listing agent took offers when the contract said they couldn't...oh well...talk to your agent and their broker! Another item...instead of questioning to see the offer, ask who submitted it., add when did they want to close., then add was that cash or finance., Anyway, I hope this helps you!
Ron and Debbie Albert
Coldwell Banker Residential
Web Reference: http://www.ronanddebbie.net
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 26, 2010
- And based on that decision the Consumer will decide if they take your word or not.

Yes, Dunes, that's exactly right.

- You see or suspect then you confirm, pursue the issue, report, turn in, complain you do not sit on your hands

Really? Dunes, I don't know what you're thinking, but here's my analysis:

Listing agent says, we got an offer in for 220. You say, show me. They say no. So far, this is not a reportable action, is it? It's not criminal, it's not unethical. You say, we'll do 220 if you show me. They say, no, we won't.

So, we suspect. We then call the Board.

"They wouldn't show me the other offer they said they had."
Really? Call the Licensing Department.

"They said they had a higher offer but wouldn't show it to us?"
Well, did they agree to do so in writing?
"No, I asked them, and they said, buzz off."
Oh, gosh, Mr McCoy, we'll get right on it.

The Consumer does, in fact, get to take responsibility as to whether they want to proceed, or not, given the information at hand. In this case, the information consists of: "The listing agent SAYS they have an offer for 220." In addition to, whatever advice their agent provides.

Debbie, here in the Great Northwest, our brokers don't know that we're looking at offers. Call my broker, who is very helpful and always forthcoming, he doesn't know how many offers came in last night. If you call him, he'll call me. So, we're still back at, "the Listing Agent said . . . "
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 25, 2010
Thanks for the TU, Dunes! I might even make VIP level 4 (when they create one!!) with a few more of them :)

Well, I think I offered a "solution" for the question of how to verify there are other offers..........

."......a simple call to the Broker, asking for verification and confirmation that their agent truly has multiple offers should put anyone's mind at ease........"

To me............that addresses the specific question that was asked, and is an easy solution - George asked what proof there was that another offer really existed...............and is why I felt a lot of the ensuing discussion was above and beyond the question......now, as for the concept of complete transparency with details of all offers...............that is another topic.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 25, 2010
Full disclosure. The only solution. BOTH sellers and buyers must disclose everything. You can't complain as a buyer that the sellers are playing games when you are also trying to play the same game.
~~~~~
Sorry... full disclosure is NOT the only solution. And we're not playing games, in trying to protect the interests and privacy of our clients... both buyers and sellers.

We walk a fine line, in trying to protect the interest of our clients, and trying to maintain their rights and interests... We're damned if we do, and damned if we don't.

I don't know what the solution is... but I'm working on it...
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 25, 2010
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
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I agree, Alan. And the solutions are not going to happen.

We're not going to set up a Bureau of Confirming the Existence of Competing Offers.

There's not going to be any Independent Verification Agency where Sellers can have the existence of competing offers validated.

At the point of friction, we're going to have to take the other agent's word for it, or not.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 25, 2010
as a BUYER's agent... I would not want the content (the full content, including the offered price) of my offer on a house that my client did not win, disclosed.

Perhaps we're still out there, and still hunting for a home... your disclosing that information might telegraph how much we're willing to pay, to one of the other buyer's agents who was involved in the transaction. That agent might just have a listing that my client was interested in.

If we, now, brought an offer to that property... that agent has an advantage since they know what we're willing to pay. I'm not okay with releasing all of that information.

I'll reiterate what I stated originally... and what George S. was looking for in the first place. All I want is a reliable way to confirm, when told we are in a multiple offer situation, that there actually IS an offer! I don't want to be able to see ANY of the details of the offer... I don't even need to know who the agent or buyer is, what the price, closing date, mortgage amount or any of the confidential information is.

I just want to be able to 100% believe that when an agent tells me that there is another offer, and we have to bring in our highest and best... that there actually IS another offer, and that this isn't just a scare-tactic designed to fleece extra money out of my client.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 25, 2010
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
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It also has no relevance if the audience doesn't understand it, which isn't always the fault of the presenter.

Look. There's no point in arguing with me whether Sellers will or won't disclose offers; argue it with THEM! I'm just telling you the way the world is. What if Sellers would guarantee the home free from defects for five years! Wouldn't that provide a wonderful peace of mind for the buyer!

I'm not against the idea, mind you; some are. Some absolutely think that it undermines the Seller's position to disclose the content of other offers.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 24, 2010
There are a lot of areas where the real estate profession - mostly, the National Association of Realtors - cleaned up the business from the way it was in the old days, buyer beware every step of the way.

In the days before title insurance and escrow companies and bank appraisers, there were real estate transactions. More than a few were fraudulent. Sometimes, there was no "there" there; sometimes, you were just one of several buyers who had paid for the property; quite often, defects were hidden, rather than disclosed.

Things are better now for both buyers and sellers. There's room for improvement, and your suggestions are welcome.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 24, 2010
Sorry but just discovered I supplied false data (provided by NAAR)....I received 2 two kind emails....

Deborah Madey...Thank-you

From now on please assume all are appreciated (I did learn some new words and word combinations lol so it's all good....Mostly I mentioned the emails to point out what I was saying was not to gain popularity LOL
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 24, 2010
If you'll allow me just a moment to say..

Alan, thank-you...I received out of all the emails, (yes I actually scan/check all my emails or have the kitten do it) and I did receive 1 (one) from a Trulia member who mostly writes elsewhere who said some very kind things.....

Matt Stigliano...Thank you for your email, it was very very appreciated.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 24, 2010
Okay, straight up:
I am all for a system where all deception, including false multiple offer claims, is eliminated and punished to the fullest extent. Zero tolerance for unethical and/or unprofessional behavior.
Now, once again:
Tell me how to affect that change beyond my little part of the world.

I mean, I just want to be a good RE agent. I need to help pay bills (not happening yet). There are countless things in this world that sadden and enrage me but I can't save the world and I doubt very much I can single-handedly make the RE profession more respectable. I can just hope to affect positive change in MY interactions with people.
If an opportunity arises, that I can widen the scope, I will take it.

I'm discouraged that this is not good enough for some people.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 24, 2010
Sigh....
I wasn't trying to be patronizing Dunes. I know that I didn't tell you anything that you don't already know.
I'm just explaining things how I see it.
You know- the whole making our own little corner of the world better thing. Its being proactive, intolerant of bad behavior and holding ourselves to the highest ethical standards.

Agents here have expressed their disdain for deception, tried to discuss ways to offer proof of competing offers, and, what do you know, we have yet to come up with a perfect solution.

Now, I would suggest instead of stating the obvious- that there are lousy agents out there- that you tell us a way to purge the industry of all bad people. And while you're at it, feel free to let me know how to purge humanity of all bad people.

I want suggestions- not just pointing out how we are all working in an imperfect profession with imperfect people because I think we already know that.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 24, 2010
Here in the Great Pacific Northwest, we use a multiple-offer addendum that allows the Seller to accept it only if they attach the competing benchmark offer.

However, this doesn't prevent the Seller from simply countering the best offer, which brings us back to, "How do I know what the other person's bid was?"

Which brings us back to, not every problem has an elegant solution which results in a win-win situation.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 23, 2010
I read all of Dunes' post, BTW. Can he get a point for every time we hit the "scroll down" key?

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Some things are intractable, and believe me, we're open to suggestions.

Washington State Law already provides that agents can have their licenses revoked or suspended for

Knowingly committing, or being a party to, any material fraud, misrepresentation, concealment, conspiracy, collusion, trick, scheme, or device whereby any other person lawfully relies upon the word, representation or conduct of the licensee

The reward for an agent conspiring with their seller to cheat the buyer out of $15,000 is . . . commission rate is x% . . . not so very darned much, isn't it.

Risk vs reward. Now we can be as cynical as we want, but that's a pretty strong disincentive to pull that sort of nonsense.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The problem is that the potential solutions are useless. No seller is going to sign up for a system where they can't negotiate offers. Nor should they.

Sellers are not always going to want to show their other offers to buyers, and so long as that's the case, the buyer's only options are to take it, or leave it.

Complaining about it hasn't gotten anybody closer to a workable solution.

Plus 4!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 23, 2010
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 23, 2010
How can you think there is no accountability???
From what I've seen, agents are blamed, rightly or wrongly, for almost everything that goes wrong in a deal.
We are continuously held accountable, even for things we really have no control over.
In NJ, there's a website(I think run by the Banking Commission?) that all offending agents are listed on that states what their penalty is- anything from fines, to suspensions to expulsions.
Do all offending agents get caught or punished? Of course not.
Just like life, things are rarely black and white. This profession seems to have a lot of gray and sometimes the lines are a little blurry.
There's always room for improvement and I can't stand the idea that some agents give us all a bad name but as much as I would like to transport each of them to a desert isle where they only have each other for company (a hell of their own making so to speak and fit justice as far as I'm concerned) it obviously isn't that simple.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 22, 2010
Which, Joan, is a silly implication, given that real estate licensees actually have training in ethics and in real estate and contract law.

Real estate agents, it is often reported, do not have a high standing in the eyes of the public. Yet. Do we really think that the General Public is more honest in their real estate dealings than real estate agents, and that we agents corrupt the public into acting immorally and dishonestly?

Throwdown!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 22, 2010
"In our market, there is close to a 100% chance a REO will be into multiple offers. Ditto with other homes in certain areas at certain price ranges"

I couldn't agree more. In this situation, one size does not fit all. In my market, lower prices homes will virtually always have multiple offers and a peach of a home, that's priced competitively, will sell very quickly. When working with first time buyers, it's common for us to make offers on 10 or more properties before getting an acceptance. This can take months. Similar to Jay's strategy, I instruct my client (and confirm with a pre-qualification) what their price point is and use that as a benchmark. When a seller comes to me with "highest & best" I often tell them that our original offer IS highest & best.

Time on market, overall inventory, buyer's wants and needs, and many other factors come into play when crafting a strategy. As a former contractor, I can relate with Dune's mindset. I always look for the diamond in the rough. As a Realtor, I learned quickly that I cannot visit my mindset on a client. We all have different perspectives regarding what we want in a home. Every buyer is different.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 22, 2010
Mack, George's agent should have shown the competing offer.
~~~~~~

Dan, even I'm not suggesting that they should "show me the offer" (that was my best Jerry McGuire imitation). I'm only asking for a way to confirm that there IS an offer. I actually don't want any of the details of the offer, I just want to be able to rely on the fact that when a listing agent tells me there's a competing offer, that there really is.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 22, 2010
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
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Just as an update, and a view from the trenches...........I mentioned below I had an offer with a multiple offer situation today............well, I just got the call...my buyer did not get the house. There were 5 offers..we, unfortunately, are in second place.

Talk about wanting to know what the other offers were.........I sure do!
I'd love to know how much higher the winning bid was, and what the terms were.........but, alas, I can't find that out at this time.

Now, understandably, my buyer is frustrated.....but....he didn't listen to my advice, and offered less than I suggested (he offered $7,000 over asking price - that's how competitive my market is now). He now has second thoughts, and is wondering, "if only I went a bit higher", what would have happened".

The irony is................had his offer been accepted.......I can bet that he'd be wondering whether he went too high or how much he might have "overpaid" for the home to have the winning bid!

Sometimes, no matter how it works out, there is bound to be a level of frustration and second guessing.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 19, 2010
Dunes and Mack,
You guys are just different sides of the same coin the way I see it.
Dunes is (I think) calling for improvement and is frustrated at the laissez-faire attitude.
Mack is just telling it like it is.
Both of you have well thought out, very intelligent posts.
I don't know what George thinks, but I happen to agree with both of you, for what its worth.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 19, 2010
There are many imperfections in our real estate system and many opportunities to feel duped. I wrote up an offer on a bank owned property last year. We knew it was a multiple offer situation. My clients made their highest and best all cash, fast closing, short inspection period offer with proof of funds and the whole nine yards offer. I was told that the bank accepted another offer. I had a very sneaky suspicion that our offer was not submitted. Since the bank had already accepted another offer, it would not have done my client any good to ask for proof that our offer had been submitted. After the close of escrow, I found out that the sale price was was nearly $10,000 below what my clients had offered. When you are dealing with an offer under $80,000, $10,000 is a whole lot of money and I can't imagine how the other offer could have possibly been so much better to prompt the bank to accept the lower offer. By the time I found out about the lower sale price, my clients had already found another property and they ended up paying less than what they offered for the other property. I could have reported this transaction and could have started an investigation. Maybe I should have. I do understand that there is cause for suspicion and it annoys me to no end when the whole group of professionals is lowered to the level of the common slug.

I am taking this discussion to heart and will consider working with a buyer's agent on helping his/her client believe what I say. The reason why I am considering this is because I appreciate the work buyer's agents put in and I treat buyer's agents with respect. Without buyer's agents, my listing inventory is meaningless because I can't possibly sell all my listings myself. This is not to say that I don't also respect the buyers, but I don't have direct interaction with the buyer. I also think that it matters how I am being asked. If a buyer's agent asks nicely and with respect, it's one thing, but if the agent is rude and offensive, it might not do the trick.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 18, 2010
Ute Ferdig -…, Real Estate Pro in Newcastle, CA
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I have read through this for 2 days.

We have 2 competing views.

1 buyers should be able to see whatever offer they are against
2 no way a buyer should be able to see other offers if they even exist.

Since some realtors would not even admit their client had made an offer let alone what that offer was $$

I have to come to one conclusion.

If I am ever told there are competing bids on a property I am interested in I tell my realtor to tell the other realtor to shove it. My offer is all there is.
If they are unable or unwilling to show me competing offers I assume none exist.

In essence I am being told you are now in an auction, you can not see if anyone else is actually bidding BUT you have to bid higher or you will lose it.

Fuggetabautet I see everything, or walk away.

Transparency is needed in politics, it is also needed in any bidding or business transaction. I can not understand why people are afraid to show what is going on, unless it is all pure B.S.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 18, 2010
@ Ute.. as an honest agent, I truly understand your outrage at being asked to "prove you're not lying to me"... but I'd suggest that you view things more as a consumer (as Dunes suggests)...

... as a consumer, when my agent tells me that the seller says there's another offer... so give us your highest and best... your prior 97% offer "might" not cut it anymore. I don't think it's too much to ask that you "show me" there's another offer.

... I'm not saying I have come up with the best "way" to prove that... but I am saying that it's not right to tell our clientelle, "you'll just have to trust us... if you want this house you're going to have to pony-up another 15 large".

... yes, the best proof is if my client decides to back out, and finds out that the property DID indeed go pending, and close in 30 days... and it closed for $2,000 less than I was willing to pay. Damn!

... I'd suggest that there should be a way to "prove the veracity of a 2nd or 3rd offer", and we should be working hard to figure out a way to do that, rather than insisting that our clients just "trust us"...

~~~~~~~~~
HOW ABOUT... as a suggestion... upon request by the buyer's agent... the listing agent would send a copy of the full offer to the Board to be "certified", as a bona fide multiple offer.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 18, 2010
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
MVP'08
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And honestly, would it do any good to tell your client, "I talked to another buyers agent. He confirmed they also submitted an offer"? You know the first thing out of there mouth will be "How much was their offer?".
~~~~~~~
and unequivocal and resounding YES... because that IS the crux of this matter. Is there, or is there not, another offer? The fact that they "want" to know how much... is irrelevant.

... and I beg to differ. My managing broker IS an impartial third party... she's as honest as the day is long, and would keep the confidentiality of the offer with her to her grave... but as I said "or an agree upon impartial third party".
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 18, 2010
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
MVP'08
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Jay, I gave you an idea in my earlier post.

Send a copy of the offer, with only the buyer's name & contact removed... as well as the purchase price, to my managing broker. Not to me. (or some agreed upon impartial third party).

the version you'd offered to send me would still be better than nothing... and it would have the buyer's agents' information, and I could contact them to verify an offer.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 18, 2010
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
MVP'08
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I understand what everyone's saying "you got the house, you should be happy"... but in this case, I have to agree With George S.

There should be some accountability... instead of just having to "trust the system".

I'd like to see a copy of that competing contract sent to my managing broker (or some acceptable third party)... with the buyer's name and contact information redacted, if necessary. But I'd want the other agent's information, so that I could call and confirm that, indeed there was another offer.

It's not enough to say "be happy you got the house"... because it actually cost George, in this case, an additional $15,000 (no small potatoes in today's market). Whether that's supported by comps or not.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 18, 2010
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
MVP'08
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Stop wondering...there is no proof......nor will there be.........why aggravate yourself worrying?

For the record..........Any agent would be foolish to play that game..........as buyers can and do walk away if told there is another higher competing offer. It's a gamble no agent would want to take.especially with the bank calling the shots.

Hope that makes you feel better............in the meantime.............enjoy your new home!
Best wishes!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 17, 2010
Mack. Not to worry. Thanks for the apology. I was not offended. Just wanted to make it clear that it's just an idea. Not claiming perfection. I do appreciate you taking another look.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 2, 2010
Ute Ferdig -…, Real Estate Pro in Newcastle, CA
MVP'08
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Ute, I apologize; I wasn't paying correct attention.

The purpose of a brainstorming session is to come up with ideas, and, again, I was wrong not to acknowledge that your idea was, in fact, quite creative.

I still don't think the world is ready for it, but it's a good idea, nonetheless.

Please accept my apology.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 2, 2010
In today's economy, the value should rule. If the extra $15,000 is within the value range based on actual recent sales and such broadly based opinion as tax assessment equalized by most recent sales, it should work out. But nothing wrong with asking for confirmation of a better offer. When a bank lists for a price they do so after a "broker price opinion" and sometimes an appraisal. I would think $225,000 is closer to value than $205,000 and not be surprised the offer was bested. This scenario is much less suspicious than a multiple offer one back in 2005-2007 where the listing agent could easily manipulate the offers, and did.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 2, 2010
@ Mack. You said: "I'm still wondering how anybody thinks the world is ready for a "multiple-offer" registry." I did not say the world was ready. I just wanted to get the idea out there. It really does not take the world being ready to implement a change. If the multiple offer is a real problem, it warrants an idea addressing the problem. I am open to solutions that are better and don't just involve finger pointing.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 28, 2010
Ute Ferdig -…, Real Estate Pro in Newcastle, CA
MVP'08
Contact
$15,000 is a lot of money, as I would remind myself in this deal if I were involved. With interest over 30 years it's probably $45,000. That's not my point or George's. George, you probably had no idea that this is a tricky and endlessly interesting question to us in the business. As Realtors, every single day many of us worry about client's bad decisions. It's hard to shut up and let people take personal responsibility.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 28, 2010
- This "cavalier" attitude over the buyer having spent $15,000 more, contributes to the public's distrust of Realtors in general. Basically you're saying "quityerbellyaching... you got the house didn't you?"

Frankly, I'm exhausted with, "oh, our image!" Somehow, the Industry will survive this blow to our reputation.

Bellyaching or not, I'm still wondering how anybody thinks the world is ready for a "multiple-offer" registry. And, what would be the penalty for not participating? Ultimately, who was going to do what to George's seller?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 28, 2010
Ute, you hit the nail on the head when you said that many facts need to be revealed in the negotiation, just not all of them. Each individual in the transaction has various motives, none of which supercede those of any other party. A home purchase is a unique convergence of personal desire and economic self-interest. George is in charge of managing his decisions to meet his desires and interests. Clearly George had the opportunity to withdraw from his negotiation when presented with the need to increase his price to secure the purchase of the home. George had a choice, he made a choice and then wonders if it was the right choice. If he hired an agent he didn't trust to adequately represent his interests, including providing all necessary information, that is his responsibility. The listing agent had to represent his client, the bank. As Ute said, the bank may have directed the listing agent's communications. The listing agent may or may not have acted appropriately, but the time for challenging that was during the negotiation, not after the fact. No one made George buy the house.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 28, 2010
I am absolutely with on this one Alan. Deception is wrong, period and although we don't know if George was deceived or not, there shouldn't be a system in place that leaves room for doubt.
Again, why not do what Leslie Ebersole just said and has been mentioned several times on this thread- sellers must provide proof of offers with names and amounts blanked out?
What objections could there be to this?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 28, 2010
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