It's possible that he called the listing agent and was told that offers were either received or expected, so he considered it a "done deal". Expected offers aren't worth anything, so they shouldn't be considered when deciding whether to write an offer on a property or not. If an offer has not been accepted yet, as in received but not approved by the bank, then the property is still available. Some agents will also stop accepting offers when they already have several offers in hand, even though none have been accepted yet.
Also, in an office where a lot of REO's are handled, it's not uncommon for the assistant answering the phone to give incorrect information at times, either to you or to your agent, regarding the status of a property.
The other possibility is that this agent wanted to show this property to someone else, possibly a related party. It's not ethical for him to do this, but this could be what's happening with this property.
Ask your agent why you were told that the property was unavailable when in fact there were no offers. There could be a valid reason for this.
It is difficult to trust anyone, be it Realtor, Lawyer, Housekeepeer, or dogwalker.
Trust is earned, and it takes time.
Mistakes, misunderstandings happen.
Contact your Buyers agent. If this is the home you want, write the contract.
It is not uncommon for you and your Buyers agent to conferrence call the listing agent.
Have your Buyers agent ask the listing agent what position your offer is in. You can do this at the time of submitting your offer. You will get the real answers you want. The peace of mind you need.
We deal with hundreds of bank owned homes and know the questions to ask to get to the bottom of most situations.
It is possible that there was a mistake made...a simple one though. When buyer's agents call listing agents to check on the status of any offers, the person answering the phone may have been confused & given info about another property. This is very common in listing offices with lots of REO's.
Most of the time, buyer's agents only get paid when their buyer purchases a home. So, your agent is highly motivated to help you buy a home. Unless your agent is also in investor and he wants the property for yourself, I'm fairly certain he's promoting your best interests.
I would encourage you to have your agent contact the listing agent again to verify the info. If you still want to submit an offer, then instruct your agent to do so. Also, you need to have a written agreement with your buyer's agent which will detail what your agent has to do for you. Just as sellers have written agreements, so should buyers.
So, to make things clear, I'm certain that the only thing that happened was that a simple mistake was made when your agent communicated with the listing agent or his/her office staff.
Buyer's Agent REALTOR
Agents must present all offers.
Dennis, if you instructed your Buyers Agent to write an offer regardless of any other offers on the table accepted or not, you agent is obligated to do as you instruct.
If they refuse to do so, then you are abandoned and I would seek another realtor.
Although you have nothing signed, an agency relationship may exist between you and this Buyers Agent which would arise in the form of "Implied Agency".
The issue may arise later with "Procuring Cause" if you get an offer accepted on this property and the agent had shown you the property, but that would likely be solved independently between brokers or it may escalate to Mediation/Arbitration where a commission is involved. You may be asked to participate.
We can not know all of the circumstances that may have arisen out of this action as you describe it so any opinion given here is simply speculative.
Hope this help,
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Keller Williams - Scottsdale, AZ
2008-2009 Master of Real Estate award recipient
ABR, GRI, ePro, CNE, MRE, AHWD