Home Buying in Arlington>Question Details

Pete, Home Buyer in Arlington, TX

My anget tells me another offer is being made. How can I find out if she is telling the truth.?

Asked by Pete, Arlington, TX Sun Feb 24, 2008

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Yes, and thank you....it is a case of "ask and ye shall receive"....

As a listing agent, I have buyers agents ask me detailed questions about how many showings we have had, why my sellers are selling, if we have had other offers, and I have had buyer agents ask me straight out to tell them the details of another offer. I don't get angry or upset because any of these agents asked me these questions. I also don't provide any information that is not helpful to my seller, or that my seller does not want divulged. I understand that a strong and good buyer agent is simply working in their buyer's interest. Only if someone becomes rude or argumenative will it become a point of frustration. The fact they made the inquiry does not become a problem. I don't consider them dishonest, deceitful, or unscrupulous. I understand that they are simply advocating for their client and trying to size up the situation.

I would rather have a sharp agent on the other side of a transaction. I have a greater confidence that they will attend to the details on their side......which makes a better transaction for all.

As a buyers agent, I have had listing agents ask me detailed questions about my buyers. I have had them ask me how long I have been working with my buyers, personal questions about where they live or work, how well I know them, what other properties are being considered, etc..... Again, I don't become\ insulted by the inquiry.. But, neither will I divulge information that is not in the best interest of my client.

Elvis, somehow....I think you might ask a few questions.....and I wouldn't be offended. And, Elvis, I suspect you wouldn't answer too many questions, either. And, for that reason, you are probably a very good advocate for your client.

And, while you might keep me on my toes......I would also feel confident that that the details in the transaction would be well tended and prompt attention and responses would be forthcoming from contract to closing.

In no way, shape, or form, would I ever misrepresent or deceive a customer, client or another agent/broker. Yes, I will ask questions that may help my client. I will not badger, trick, harass, or intimidate. (Not sure I would be all that intimidating, even if I tried.) So, no, I don't pursue information at all costs. But, yes, I will ask questions and will pass on the information to my client. Sometimes, clients or agents volunteer info that is not in their best interests to share. So, sometimes I don't ask.....I just listen.
4 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 25, 2008
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Brick, NJ
Deborah and I are disscussing negotiation tactics. There is nothing unethical, lying, or tricky about our discussion.

I would suggest that you re read to entire post.

To clarify the Quoted line from my answer
"Yes we wear two hats, and I ask for things, that I would never give up."

I do not do dual agency. Either I am a Buyers agent, or I am a Listing agent.
As a Buyers agent in a Buyers market, I proudly ask for everything. Being the best price, terms, repairs. points closing cost, Jack you would be lucky if I don`t ask you to move my buyers furniture in to their new home.
Now if I get a phone call from the listing agent saying, that they have another contract, and if I want to play, I have to pay. Yes if I have a winning offer I want to see the other contract, which forced my buyer to spend more money, Yes I know I can`t see them until I have my offer accepted.
Just like poker, you`ve got to pay to see them cards.

"That I would never give up"
No as a listing agent I would never give up half the stuff I ask for. I would fight harder on price, terms, repairs, and as I stated below, I would give up the other purchase contract, after the deal was totally locked up.
One last thing. On several occasions other agents have bluffed having more than one contract, I quickly ask, "Can I see it"? even though I know It can`t be shown to me. It is amazing how the topic never comes up again.
I am calling their bluff Jack. I am telling them, that I will want a copy of the other purchase contract, if I come up on money.

It is my opinion that your Realtors negotiation skills are one of their most important quality.
Listening is tied with sense of humor for second.

Have a nice day.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 25, 2008
Mr.P, Other/Just Looking in Arizona
Obviously, there is another string going on with a similar question here. Pete, I always side on the philosophy that all people are good people unless proven otherwise. If your agent has done anything proveable that would make you question that integrity, that would be my answer. If you have no reason to question the integrity (previous behaviors), then I think that's your best answer. The Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have done to you. The Platinum Rule: Do unto others as they would have you do to them.

Finally, you have to ask yourself, if the home did sell to another buyer, would you regret it? At the end of the day, it doesn't matter if there are other offers or not. It matters if you want the home or not.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 24, 2008
Realtors are bound by a code of ethics and ANY misrepresentations on the part of a Realtor is goverened under the Texas Real Estate Commission.
Our license is our "time card" and without it we do not receive compensation.
Many times buyers are disgruntled or have worked so hard on their part to buy a home that they lash out at the first person they can which in most cases is the Realtor. Roz said it best. But PLEASE before you doubt your agent's integrity, please let him or her know you are at issue with that comment. Listing agents sometimes know that other parties are interested in the property you want. I have had to tell my Buyer that the agent stated there are other interested parties. I must disclose this information as per the Buyer Representation Agreement any comments made by the listing agent to my buyer. If you signed a Buyer's Representation Agreement,, read it carefully. your agent's obligation is to fairly represent you and we take this responsibility extremely seriously.
Best regards,
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 1, 2008
Jack, I don't think this is an instance of "honesty"... it's a case of "ask and ye shall receive"

There's nothing wrong with asking a question... if the agent has a problem, they an always choose to not answer the question. In fact, I'd have more respect for them if they didn't answer. But it's my duty as the buyer's agent, to have any information that would be helpful, and no... NOT at all costs. Just at the cost of asking.

Some agents will answer, some won't... but I won't know which I'm dealing with until I ask. The best agents will not divulge any personal information about their clients.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 25, 2008
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
OK Deborah,

We agree as buyers agents.

As listing agents, I would give up the purchase contract, with all personal info whited out, after my seller accepts the offer. As a listing agent I would hold the release until after the 10 day inspection, & SPDS.

Yes we wear two hats, and I ask for things, that I would never give up.

One last thing. On several occasions other agents have bluffed having more than one contract, I quickly ask, "Can I see it"? even though I know It can`t be shown to me. It is amazing how the topic never comes up again.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 25, 2008
Mr.P, Other/Just Looking in Arizona

I agree w/ you....as a buyer agent.....I ask for anything I can get. I have asked for copies of other offers before, and they have been given to me....names and all. I was surprised.......and I wouldn't do that if I were the listing agent. I think you make a great suggestion in asking for it.......but, not all sellers are going to provide it.

I doubt too many sellers would walk away from a sale.....feathers ruffled or not. Realtors generally do a good job of calming down ruffled feathers......we do it all the time. Some sellers may get bent over a request, and others not. I don't see the ask as a deal breaker......simply pointed out how others may respond.

I support the suggestion you made to ask for copies......and note that many will not provide the copies. The doubt of whether another offer existed extends to both listing agent and seller. For me, as a listing agent, I would not be offended, and would offer support to the extent that I could. I would not be offended by doubt....but I would be offended by a flat out untrue allegation. I realize the buyer may not know me and that I shouldn't take it personally. Ditto for the seller.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 25, 2008
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Brick, NJ
Here's another angle to view this situation from.....An agents information is only as good as the source it comes from. Many times, we have shared what we percieved as accurate information from a reiiable source, only to find the information was not accurate.

This sinerio tarnishes the agents reputation because they are percieves as not being genuine in dealing with their customers. Thus, agents are often caught between needing to share information with customers and dealing with the aftermath of relying on others.

The "Eckler Team"
Century 21 Almar & Associates
Venice Fl 34285
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 25, 2008
I agree with Brian but if for some reason you do not trust the agent, call the listing agent and ask if there is another offer. They can't work with you if you have a signed contract with your current agent but they can tell you if there is another offer. If your agent has not been honest with you previous to this then cancel your contract with them and get a new agent. Licensed agent have agreed to be ethical and if they are not, call the realtor association in your area and file a complaint.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 24, 2008
If you don't trust your agent, you shouldn't be working with him or her. Find an agent you feel comfortable with and trust.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 10, 2008
>>>> "For a seller to be "Offended" or so "offended" that they don`t sell you the house. Is a seller that doesn`t want to sell, or is lying like a rug."

You got that right ....

... sometimes ego is the most expensive of all the human traits ... "I'd rather burn it then turn it " ..l.o.l...

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 25, 2008
Yes Patrick.....we agree....as buyers agents.

Also....if I don't ask (or don't get) a copy of the other offer....I continue to probe. I might ask who the other agent is representing the buyer, which office (if they won't identify agent), if the buyer is local, etc. The more you engage the other party in conversation, the more you are able to judge if there is substance behind the assertion of another offer. There are no guarantees, but asking questions does help.

Overall, I have far more problems w/ agents NOT presenting additional offers when they have one in-house vs. bluffing that they have an offer if they do not. Actually, the problems are fairly isolated....but I have encountered repeat probs with same agent(s)... Ho Hum :-(

Still, most of the time......agents are straightforward and honest. Some work harder and are savvier.....but most that I encounter are honest.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 25, 2008
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Brick, NJ
For a seller to be "Offended" or so "offended" that they don`t sell you the house. Is a seller that doesn`t want to sell, or is lying like a rug.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 25, 2008
Mr.P, Other/Just Looking in Arizona

There are lots of good answers here, but in the end I think it is very difficult for you to really tell if there is another offer and how to respond to it. This holds true for your "buyers agent" as well. They should pass on to you what they hear from the other agent so you can make the best decision for you. Now the problem is if they tell you the other agent has told them there is another offer on the table, there's really just no way for you to know what it is, the details, who it is from, and how to compete against you. Maybe it's a verbal offer from a next door neighbor? Maybe it's a guaranteed buyout offer from the seller's agent at 20% under list price? You just don't know and there is no good way to know. They have no obligation to show you the offer or prove to you that they have one. I often think it doesn't matter if there is another offer or not. All you can do is bid the best you can with the best available resources you can. Most offers are so different any way. There are things you can do to make your offer as strong as possible. Offer a large amount of earnest money. If you're offering 10% down or 20% down, why not put that up as earnest money? Split it if you have to....$5000 now, $5000 in two weeks. Offer greater than normal option money. Maybe $300-$400-$500 if you expect the house to be in good condition. I see offers of $10 in option money. Now what incentive does the seller have to take the house off the market for $10???? How serious do they think you are about buying the house when you offer $10 in option money or $250 in earnest money. Offer to close faster, offer a leaseback, offer as much details about your financing as possible. Go beyond the normal pre-approval letter. Have your loan officer right a personal letter to the seller with their contact info and offer to call and discuss the financing. Assurance that the loan will close and close on time is a HUGE deal these days. Do something unusual that makes your offer stronger. Deliver a bouquet of flowers or a gift basket or write them a letter telling them how much you want the house or how you'll take care of it or how you hope your family will be as happy as they have been in the house. Think out of the box a bit. Good luck....I hope you get the house if it is really the one you want.
Web Reference: http://www.teamlynn.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 25, 2008
Bruce Lynn, Real Estate Pro in Coppell, TX
Pete, I too believe this is similar to another question going on here.

ANYWAY...first question, is 'YOUR" agent the listing agent also? If she is, did you sign a Buyer's Rep. Agreement with her. If you did, then ALL she can do at this time, is become a negotiator. She can NOT advise either of you on what to do. I like to tell my clients (in this instance) that I can't tell the seller that the buyer will pay more and I can't tell the buyer that the seller will take less.
With that said, IF you did not sign the buyer's rep. Agreement with her AND she is the listing agent, she really isn't "YOUR" agent. You basically don't have any representation.

You are getting answers from a lot of agents outside of Texas, and you have to be careful with some of the suggestions being given here. Some of the suggestions are not allowed in Texas.

What Brian from Nashville said is the MOST true of all things, HOW MUCH DO YOU WANT THIS HOUSE? Is it worth the risk of contemplating whether or not another offer is coming in and you think on it so long that you lose it?

Ultimately, YOU have to make that decision. It is also important to have a Realtor that represents YOU and one that you are comfortable with, have the utmost confidence in and know at the end of the day, she/he got you the best deal on a home. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 25, 2008
If I were asked, as a listing agent, to provide a copy of the other offer, I would advise my seller to decline. Patrick makes a good suggestion....just be aware that many sellers will not comply, and many listing agents, myself being one, would advise against it.

I would however, ask my seller to sign a statement that the accepted offer was chosen over another, but the seller reserves the right to retain any and all other submitted or forthcoming offers as back up, and as such, the terms of conditions of any shall remain confidential. Again, this is what I would advise my seller.....I can't force my seller to comply.

My decisions and advice are based upon being fair to you, as a buyer, while also protecting the privacy of another buyer and the seller.

If, indeed, there is another offer............and there very well might be.......do realize that the seller may be offended that you have doubted them. Some sellers might...others will not.

A listing agent must work on behalf of their seller. If the seller declines to provide info about other offers, the listing agent is obligated to honor the requests of the sellers. A listing agent must reveal any and all information about the property, it's condition, etc., but the listing agent is not obligated to share details about other offers and can even be instructed to keep that information confidential.

With most of my sellers, I have been able to share limited info, such as the presentation or receipt of an offer only.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 25, 2008
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Brick, NJ
I make no assumptions ........ where's the copies..?

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 25, 2008
What I have done in the past..

IF, and only if your offer is accepted
Ask in a separate addendum, a long with your contract, to have a copy of the "Other"buyers contract.
They can whiteout the buyers name, and personal info.
An actual signed contract is the proof. They should have no problem providing this info IF your offer is accepted
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 25, 2008
Mr.P, Other/Just Looking in Arizona
Simple ... call the seller.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 25, 2008
Is this part of another question?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 24, 2008
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