Can our offer on a foreclosure be accepted if the bank has sent a counter offer to another buyer?

Asked by Kc, Austin, TX Wed May 23, 2012

We saw a foreclosure house today, instantly fell in love and told our agent to prepare our offer immediately. Within 5 minutes after we left he contacted the listing agent only to find that the bank had already sent a counter offer to another buyer who had made and offer several days before and that they'd received several other offers as well.

Our first question was, why would they let us see the house if there was an offer pending? After my tears dried (seriously, they were flowing), I asked "what can we do?" Our agent said that we could try to have an offer presented to the bank before the other buyer signs off on the counter offer, and potentially have them retract their counter offer.

We offered $25k above the list price, signed everything, and got it to the listing agent. He sent it to the bank and informed us that the other buyer had not yet accepted the terms of the counter offer. So the clock is ticking...

Has this ever worked out? Do you think we have a shot?

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Guy Gimenez, Agent, Austin, TX
Thu May 24, 2012
1. If your agent showed you the home, chances are the home was still listed as "Active" since a offer had not yet been accepted.

2. Stop trying to use logic when working on pseudo-governmental simply doesn't apply in these cases.

3. You've apparently done all you can do in this case (assuming you properly signed the FNMA addenda), so sit back and be patient. It's now out of your control.
1 vote
Pamela Johns…, Agent, Austin, TX
Mon May 19, 2014
I really don't understand why your agent would have stated to you about getting an offer to the bank before the other buyer signs the counter, the bank gives the 1st buyer the option to accept or reject the counter, before they move forward to another buyer, and they tend to do first in, first out. It depends on where you fell in line of offers sent to listing agent.

Hope you received the opportunity to present your offer:)
0 votes
Kc, Home Buyer, Austin, TX
Fri May 25, 2012
Update -- Our agent just followed up with the listing agent and found that the buyer in primary position has until close of business today to respond to the bank's counter...mind you, the buyer has had the counter offer for three days.

I'm going to draw some conclusions here, but if i were given three days to repsond to a counter offer on a property I was really interested in, I'd have a response back ASAP whether we were to accept, counter back, or move on. It leads me to think that the terms just won't work out for this buyer, or it's an investor situation with less emotional least that's what I'm hoping. Who knows? They could accept all terms at 4:59 p.m., but I'm watching the clock now.

I'm not certain that our offer will be the next up to the plate, but I feel confident that we've put forth our highest and best offer for this house, so if what we presented isn't the next best, it just wasn't meant to be.

Thanks for all the feedback! *Fingers crossed*
0 votes
Kc, Home Buyer, Austin, TX
Thu May 24, 2012
Update -- The listing agent just informed our agent that our offer indeed made it to the bank last night and quote: " Seller counter offer from previous Buyer on multiple offer and is waiting for a reply. Will let you know what happens."

That sentence is so poorly written, so I'm trying to decipher if:
1) They are waiting on a single buyer to respond to a counter offer
2) They are considering multiple offers, including ours to make a decision

Remember, the first feedback we got was that the bank had sent a counter to their top offer and we're waiting for a reply, and that there were also several offers in the pool.

This is a HomeSteps house, so does anyone know if they consider offers one at a time, or if they look at the offer pool entirely? Any additional comments would be appreciated.
0 votes
Bruce Lynn, Agent, Coppell, TX
Wed May 23, 2012
It's never over until it's over.
If they don't have a signed contract it's still in play in a way, that's why they allowed you to see it.
Submit your offer.

Typically when the banks sends a counter offer, they give the other party a day or two to decide.
Some will take it some wont. If they don't you want to be next in line.

This is not the time to bid cheap, especially if there are several offers. Bid to win.

How they progress always depends on the bank and the asset manager, probably no two work exactly the same way.

Bidding $25,000 over seems extreme though. Is that in line with comps? Will it appraise at that number? Just something to think about.

Good luck and best wishes.
0 votes
Thanks for responding. We're still waiting to hear something. I asked our agent to follow up with the listign agent on the status of the other buyer and offer, and to confirm if the bank/asset manager received our offer. $25k over was our "bid to win" price. We've been on the hunt for 4 months, and have seen just under 70 houses, so when we walked in, we knew it was the one.
Flag Thu May 24, 2012
Joseph Casey, Agent, Tampa, FL
Wed May 23, 2012
KC, first dry your eyes and remember this one simple rule: Never get married to a piece of real estate! 4 walls and a roof don't make a home, you do! The place may be nice but there are other plenty of other homes to choose from, trust me.

You can view property all day long, that is under contract even, why would they stop you! What if their current bidder drops out...? Then they have nothing. You can always have your agent submit the offer, there's no harm in that but keep in mind, if they're already negotiating with another buyer, you would have to put your best foot forward and bring an offer that would get their attention to sway them, if at all.

You definitely have a shot but just know that you're not the only person looking for a deal in this marketplace. This is high season for buying and Austin is quickly becoming a seller's market.

If it doesn't work out and you need assistance feel free to contact me.


Joe Casey
Selling Austin
Keller Williams Realty
(512) 800-1316
0 votes
Thanks. Tears wiped away, and if it doesn't work, I'm sure something else will!
Flag Thu May 24, 2012
Matt Schroed…, , Austin, TX
Wed May 23, 2012
Yes, they don't have very long to accept or decline. If the they don't respond, the bank will move to you, UNLESS there's someone in front of you now.
0 votes
Flag Thu May 24, 2012
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