Buying a house,negotiation...

Asked by Maria, Connecticut Thu Nov 13, 2008

Hi, I'm just curious, from my experience and from my firends experience when they make an offer to a house
the agent get back to us and tell us that they receive 2 more offers for the house and that we should give them our best price. Is it a trick for us to bid more?

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Tiffany Holtz, Agent, Appleton, WI
Tue Jun 24, 2014
In WI it is not only unethical but against state law to tell a buyer that their other offers on the property when there are not.

They can say:

a. we have written activity
b. we may be receiving another offer, but nothing in writing yet

False representation of offers on a property, in our state, would get the agent removed from MLS for at least 6 months.

But they could have more offers so you have to play the game I guess!
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Brian Takiff, Agent, Glastonbury, CT
Wed Feb 13, 2013
They are either bluffing or not. You will probably never know. The best course of action is to decide what you are willing to pay and put your best foot forward. You have to decide how much the house is worth to you and put everything else out of mind. If you are concerned on price, there are other ways to strengthen your offer. Ask your agent.
Good luck!
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Miekeba Jones, Agent, Silver Spring, MD
Thu Jan 17, 2013
Hi Maria, It's difficult to tell. It happens on very popular properties. Do you feel like there is a lot of competition. Are there many showings. Were there other people viewing the property while you were there. These may be indications of a possible bidding war.
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allan erps,A…, Agent, Pearl River, NY
Thu Jan 17, 2013
Not a trick usually just a type of bidding war. Seller wants each of the offers to give their best & last offer to make a decision. If somebody offers a little less but has much better terms(down payment, ability to close faster) that offer may be accepeted. Have experience some agents that have done this & questioned their integrity but hard to prove.
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Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Sun Nov 16, 2008

It's very difficult to tell if this additional information is accurate or just a scam. We find that most agents are very willing to pass on this type of information at the time we present an offer. In most cases, we feel the agents are sincerely trying to be helpful.

The problem is that we agents are only as good as our information this case the other buyers. People do change their mind, leaving us in the position of appearing less than truthful.

Your best approach is to present your "best offer" and put the other parties out of your mind.

We have had some of our lower offers accepted over higher priced offers. It's a matter of presenting the offer in a manner that captures the sellers attention:

1. Be pre-approved

2. Offer a small initial deposit followed by a larger secondary deposit after the home inspection

3. Offer a quick closing date (sellers like 30 days)

4. Make it a clean deal with as few contingencies as possible

5. Submit a cover letter with your offer explaining it is not your intent to offend the seller with your low offer but an honest attempt to purchase a home that's value is a true reflection of the current real estate market.

These steps will improve your position with the seller and the best part is it doesn't cost you any additional money....but guaranteed, it will get the attention of the seller. We have been very successful at getting sellers to sell for less with this strategy.

Good luck,
The "Eckler Team"
Michael Saunders & Company
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Darline Dill…, Agent, Port Orange, FL
Sun Nov 16, 2008
Maria --- This has happened twice on offers that I have put together for customers. There is more to an offer than just price. In one instance, our final offer was chosen over a higher counteroffer because of terms. Our counteroffer was based on the fact that my Buyer wanted a quick closing so her children could be settled in the home before starting a new school year. The Seller agreed to my customer's offer because we had everything in place ready to go and could close in 30 days thus allowing the Seller to relocate quicker and not pay anymore mortgage payments. This worked for us so maybe you could negotiate the terms instead of offering more. Hope this helps.
Darline Dillon REALTOR e-PRO GRI
Ormond Beach, FL
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Maria, Home Buyer, Connecticut
Sun Nov 16, 2008
Thank you so much to all who replied, I really apreciate it...
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Carla, Home Seller, Enfield, CT
Fri Nov 14, 2008

I agree with Elm - the offer you make has to be an offer you are comfortable no matter what anyone tells you. I have seen where sometimes agents will say there are already offers so give your highest offer just to up the offers but not all of them are like that. I was an agent and saw the good and bad ones. Some are professional and caring while others are greedy. Go with your gut feelings and do not offer more than you are comfortable with since you will be the one paying the monthly payment and not the agent..
Good Luck!!
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Elm, Home Buyer, Albany, NY
Thu Nov 13, 2008
I have a hard time trusting agents myself. I have also lost some bids. Some of the houses I bid on were way out of my league. I wouldn't bid any more than what is comfortable. Don't listen to your broker or realtor, just your wallet.
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Don Fabrizio…, Agent, Danbury, CT
Thu Nov 13, 2008
Maria - It is still common that when there are multiple offers, the sellers will them request everyone resubmit with their "highest and best" offer. I still see this a lot on foreclosure homes and entry level homes that are priced right and in great condition.

If you don't want to offer more, then leave your current offer as it is and hope for the best. If you really want the house, then make a reasonable highest and best offer.
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Derek Joyner, , Winston Salem, NC
Thu Nov 13, 2008
This is funny. I have a great saying about this. I tell my people DONT SHOULD ON YOURSELF. This means dont do something and than say ol I should have not done this or I should of done that. This can be a trick. In my market I know the agents that use this trick. So I usually know if it is a trick or not. On the other hand if you dont know than dont bid so high that if they accept you will say I should of not put in that high bid. Also, dont bid so low that if you dont win and someone else does win you say ol I should have put in that higher bid. Think slow and make a good decision. Dont take days to think about it, but do take 1 good day to really think about it. Hope this helps.

P.S. Hope you like my saying. I love it.
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Monette Bosby…, Agent, Montgomery, AL
Thu Nov 13, 2008
Often times when you become interested in a home, it is not uncommon for others to be interested in the home as well. Most buyers in the same or similar price point, look at the same homes. One way to eliminate yourself from a "Bidding War" is for your Buyer's agent to call the listing agent and ask if there are any other offers on the home, BEFORE you submit an offer.
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Brittany Sim…, , Columbus, OH
Thu Nov 13, 2008

I used to think the same thing when I first started in real estate :) In my experience there are usually other buyers and the other agent is telling the truth. Most sellers in this market will not play games when buyers are so few and far between. I am guessing that you are bidding on a foreclosure. In that case, then it is likely there are other buyers who have made an offer.

If you are willing to bid higher, than submit your best bid. If you are not willing to go any higher, then present your original offer again.
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