If you find that you are truly "in love" with a house that has an accepted offer on it - and you wish to make an offer - DON'T LOW-BALL!!! If a house has an accepted offer, a low-ball offer will get you no where. I'm not suggesting you overpay either. If this is a house you truly want and are planning to be in for more than a couple of years - make you BEST OFFER. If you don't get it - at least you will know that you gave the best offer you could.
You asked another question about a NJ property. Does this question pertain to NJ? If so, we have here the automatic attorney review period for residential contracts when real estate licensees complete the standard real estate contract forms. In NJ, a contract is not binding until the conclusion of attorney reveiw or the time allowed for attorney review expires. During attorney review, some sellers choose to show property and others determine they will cease showing their property. The seller decides this.
If there is a verbal agreement, it could also mean that a written offer was delivered, followed by verbal counteroffers, and the actual final contract has not been intialed with all the changes, even though the parties reached agreement.
Few Realtors in this area are willing to present a verbal offer, let alone come to agreement without a written offer. We are not obligated to present verbal offers (we are obligated to present written offers), and many agents decline to do so.
The seller is not obligated to sell to a buyer when only a verbal agreement has been reached. In fact, in New Jersey, even after signing of both buyer and seller, the contract can be voided by an attorney during the review period. Some sellers will continue to show; others not. Some sellers show for back-up only; other sellers shop the offer, using the agreement in hand as a negotiating tool.
The Realtor who explained it has a verbal agreement is simply providing full disclosure. You might want to ask if the purpose for showing is back up only or if the seller will seriously consider accepting your offer, if you made one, in lieu of the one in hand that is not signed.
Same as the other two agents, a Verbal Agreement is NOT binding in California, so a house can still be shown.
However, from your previous question, are you interested in NJ rule? If not, which state? The right agent can give you the correct answer.
Either way, even with a binding contract, it still does not prevent a seller from showing his/her house to interested parties. The contract can fall out and they might want to get a back up offers.
The sellers just can't take another primary offer. Some of the sellers don't like to be put in the fish bowl, then they will ask their Realtor not to show the house while there is a contract on the house; but legally, the house can be shown even with a binding contract. .
Hope this helps.
Verbal Offers to purchase are not legal in my state (SC) and probably not in yours either. So until an offer is made in writing and accepted in writing by the Seller, the property can still be shown.