If a list price initiates a bidding war - so be it.
Sellers are free to strategize with their agents, and list wherever they want.
As was mentioned below, it's the sellers who decide on list price, NOT the agents.
Offer what you feel is a fair price to pay...in your comfort zone.
Unfortunately, in today's market it is common practice for "listing agents" to list low in order to receive multiple offers. This tactic works quite often and will usually run the sales price considerably higher than the list price. As far as I know there really is no recourse, hopefully there will be a call for "highest and best" offers. This will be your final chance to out bid the rest. Your Realtor should be able to advise you of the fair market value.
Best of Luck
For legal recourse options, you should contact an attorney.
As an experienced real estate agent, I do not see where you would have any recourse. After all, the seller can list his or her home for any price they would like. In the end, the market will determine the value of the home.
I can see where it might be frustrating to think you found a deal for your client, only to be outbid by someone else. The next time you find a deal, I suggest pulling comparable sales (comps). If the home is clearly listed below the comps, then prepare yourself for a bidding war and advise your clients accordingly.
Best of luck!
Chad Gray PA | Realtor
Luxury Living Fort Lauderdale
(at Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate)
100% of clients rated our service as "EXCELLENT"!
An identical model home, 3 houses away from my seller is very clean, with 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a plain pool, 2 car garage, but it has only a new kitchen. That house is listed $20K more than mine and it has been on the market for 5 months already and is still for sale.
My house had 15 showings in 3 days and my seller received signed 3 offers. Lets say, Katie, that if my property would have been priced $25K to $40K more that it's immediate competitor that I mentioned above, you would probably have not wanted to see my seller's house in the first place and you would have probably have been the first buyer to present an offer based on the comps that your agent would have shown you which offer would be considered by my seller a low-ball offer and reject your offer.
Barbara Easton-Irving described it best below: The seller's agents provides comps and the buyer's agent also provides the same comps (unless one of the two agents fabricated the comps).
Besides, the inventory now is very low making the selection extremely difficult for buyers which is like going to the biggest sale of the year at Macy's one weeks later. What's left on the shelves, nobody wants, anyway. The properties that don't sell now is because they are priced too high and their quality or lack of improvements are mediocre. And because of that market, it is very difficult and frustrating for buyers.
First of all, why would you try to get these agents in trouble? I'm not the biggest fan of realtors, but if I were a seller in this market, I'd want my realtor to do just that, start a Bidding WAR!
Yes, start a Bidding WAR!!! These prices are going up fast in FL and if you're not ready willing and able to step up and pay top dollar, then step to the side because there is a line in back of you this is!
Thankfully, Obama has not been able to socialize the buying and selling of real estate yet! Its still a free market and in free markets sellers are allowed to sell for as high as they can!
However, if you are not a cash buyer, and a mortgage loan is in the mix, there is an "Equalizer" called the Appraisal.
My suggestion is get Pre-Approved, put 5% to 10% in escrow and make the offer that will secure the deal and make it subject to the appraisal.
When it comes to auctions, I've never heard a complaint that the starting price was much lower than the strike price; why do you feel this way about a property price?
A willing and able buyer (qualified) and willing seller will establish the value of the home through their negotiations.
If, however, a willing and able buyer is UNWILLING to compete, (or negotiate) you may need a different home buying strategy. That strategy means offering above "Fair Market Value."
Be aware, the R/E Agent nor the Broker set the selling price, THE OWNER DOES!
Professionals work at the behest of the home owner or buyer. They do not set the list price just as agents do not dictate to a buyer what to offer in the purchase agreeement. Professionals provide guidance, but the decison always resides with the owner or buyer.