Keep in mind that taxes will vary depending on location, property size, upgrades, school district etc.--consider asking your agent the question, or if the property is listed on MLS, check out mlsli.com or check with the local tax assessor's office.... more
Any agent can help you, contact any realty office(s) and inquire--also check www.mlsli.com under rentals and then by area--for by owner rentals, check local print media, Craig's List, word of mouth, etc.... more
You can refuse to sign both, but why would you want to? You can't expect an agent to agree to give you free access to someone else's house unless you are willing to identify yourself and refusing to sign the Agency Disclosure form doesn't achieve anything (it is not a contract), but gives the agent a headache. They are required by NY State Law to give it to you, so if you don't sign it, they have to complete an affadavit later to say they gave it to you and you refused to sign. At my open house, you wouldn't get past the door, sorry.... more
The seller can reject, counter, or accept an offer. He could accept yours. He could accept the other one. Or he could reject yours, the other, or both. Or he could counter your or the other one.
When the seller has decided his next step, his agent should inform your agent, who should inform you.
A couple of points: Sometimes it's debateable which is the best offer. For instance, let's say you offered $167,000, $5,000 earnest money deposit, and planned to put 20% down. Let's say the other offer was for $174,000, but with the seller providing $4,000 in closing costs, only $1,000 earnest money deposit, with plans to get a 90% mortgage. Which offer is better? Many Realtors would suggest the seller consider accepting the first offer, even though the second might (if it were successful) result in a few more dollars to the seller.
Your real question probably is: Will you get a chance to counter the other offer? Two answers: First, it depends on the offer you made. During the boom market a couple of years ago, offers were written with automatic escalation clauses--i.e., the offer would be $167,000, but could rise in $1,000 increments up to $175,000 if other higher offers were presented. If your offer contained a similar provision, then you'd be on autopilot up to the higher figure. Assuming your offer didn't contain such a provision, then the next move is solely in the hands of the seller.
And a final thought: Many offers are written to expire within a short period of time to prevent "price shopping." Let's say you offered $167,000. You wouldn't be very happy if the seller's agent then took your offer and "shopped it around"--in effect creating an auction with your offer as the first "bid." So that's why your offer (among other reasons) probably contained an expiration date.