Unfortunately, there IS no way of determining whether or not there is in fact a competing offer. There is no way. Period. This is one of the most frustrating aspects of house buying, and it's not one that is going to be fixed anytime soon. The only thing you can do is offer what you think the house is WORTH. If your realtor tries to move you above that number with a "competing offer" or any other unprovable situation, move on.
You received some great answers! Debbies is especially good! I think there is alot more to the situation than what is even in your question! If it is a reputable Realestate firm, all we can do is "hope" as consumers they would not conspire....but, in difficult times, sometimes people do push the envelope...
In your case, dont bother proving it...find a different house....but, BE FAIR to your agent...explain to her your concerns STRAIGHT OUT, and dont mince words...what do you have to lose?? if you really already lost the house...it truly doesnt matter! If she stammers at all, or you feel uneasy, ask your agent to let you out of the buyer agency agreement, and find A DIFFERENT REALTOR!
If you need a referral of someone, please let me know! Sally & David Hanson with First Weber are EXCELLENT!!!
Take care, and good luck!
This is possible....we had a property on the market for over 18 months with no offers and had three offers on the same day.
As other have said, making your best offer and letting it go, may be your best approach.
Additionally, without having definite proof of manipulation, don't read more into this than you need to.
That does seem unusual, but like everyone else has said, it can happen. I would submit your highest and best offer to the seller. If they accept it, great. If they don't, then just move on to another house.
If you are currently not working with another REALTORÂ®, I would be glad to show you any properties that match your criteria.
Have a great weekend!
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I know how frustrated you must be! Buyers keep hearing that the "market is slow", and there are great deals to be had....This may have been true, however, the marekt is picking up and those great deals are the first to go!
I've been in real estate since 2003, and I can honestly tell you that some houses will sit FOREVER with not only no offers, but no interest what so ever! As soon as you receive an offer, everyone wants this house! I just had a similar situation with 1 of my listings. The house was on the market almost 2 years, a shortsale, and it wasn't until the bank took the house back, that I received at least 6 calls inquiring about the house. The buyers HAD TO HAVE this house, and I was unable to help them. Very frustrating for the buyers, but even more so for me!
I can also tell you that "good deals" are going well above the asking price. If you want the property, so does everybody else! I just sold one for $13,000 above the asking price! The buyers wanted to make sure that they got this house.
I really don't think that you were getting scammed, but I understand your frustration. You finally find the house you want, it appeared to you that no one else was in the way, and then it went to someone else. All I can say is do your research. Find out what the house is really worth. It may be well over the asking price, and offer what you are comfortable paying. Everything happens for a reason. Maybe this wasn't the house for you, and you'll find a better one down the road!
Good luck to you!
Having a property sit without activity and then suddenly get a flurry is a common occurrence. Often buyers sit on the fence about a property - usually because they need to get to know the market, but ask to be notified if it looks like another offer is coming in, so they have a chance to write if they didn't find anything else. So, your situation is not out of the ordinary. Right now, the spring market is picking up and with the combination of good prices, low interest rates and the first time buyer tax credit , I'm seeing a lot more activity in the market.
I don't know how much under asking your offer is, but most agents I know wouldn't risk their license and their career by lying to get a buyer to raise their offer a couple thousand when the seller could just counter offer. You could ask to see the other offer, with the terms blacked out, but the other buyers would have to give permission. You could also contact their manager/broker and ask that the other offer be verified. I highly doubt 3 people would lie about a fake offer and risk their license just to sell one house for a little more.
If you find yourself in a competative offer situation, you have to NOT worry about the other offer and the other buyer, nor what the asking price is. You have to worry about what the property is worth to YOU and what is fair market. Then determine your "walk away" price. The price that you wouldn't go one cent over. Then offer that. If you get it - great - you didn't pay more than you thought it was worth. If you don't get it - fine - you have no regrets about wishing you'd had made a higher offer. So, if the offer you have on the table is what you think is a fair price and you'd walk away if the seller wanted more, then stick to your offer.
Right now I have a listing that has 4 offers, all well over asking. The house was very well priced and showed better than the competition, so generated a lot of interest. So, "asking price" isn't always "overpriced."
That is always how most buyers always react, however, agents (even working in the same office) can not discuss or talk about terms of any offer when multiple offers are on the table. that is State law. So with that in mind your agent will have to ask you to make or adjust your offer to what you feel is your best offer because we don't know what the other offer is. I just recently wrote an offer on a foreclosed property and three offers came in on a very nice home and we lost it. The market even though it is struggling with high inventory to look at is now seeing more buyers come into play because of very low rates ( upper 4%) and new tax credit incentives. So that home that has been sitting is now getting more looks because of increased buyers. There are still a lot of good deals but homes that are fairly priced will increase interest. You have to determine if it's worth it to you to pay that much or walk away. The agents have to disclose to you that there is another offer. Especially if you receive a Multiple Counter Offer from the seller (great tip off). There are still plenty of good deals out there.
Yes, it does seem unusual, but as a Realtor since 1992, I can tell you this often happens! We joke about it at the office because it is almost inevitable - a property sits forever with no interest, but the minute we get an offer, everyone wants it! (This is especially true once we have an accepted offer). You can only offer what you are comfortable paying and if it does not work out, then that house was not for you. Good luck!