Hi, my husband and I made an offer on a short sale two days ago. At first the listing agent told us that the

Asked by Caroline, Hicksville, NY Thu Jan 29, 2009

offers will be considered final offers so that we needed to get as close to the asking price ($625.000) as posible. This is what the listing agent explained to our real estate agent. So we ended up offering $595 000 cash. Today the listing agent tolds us that her customers increased their offer a little bit more than ours... This really frustated us because we feel that the listing agent is lying to us and changing the rules to her benefit. So far our offer is the only one in cash. We would like to know if the agent is being ethical by changing the rules and if we have any chances of getting the deal even if our offer is the second highest. Also how much power does the listing agent has in this transaction? If she is not being fair to us is it a good idea to report her or should we leave things as they are?

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Ralph Windsc…, Agent, Hauppauge, NY
Fri Jan 30, 2009
Many buyers, as well as agents, become frustrated by the short sale process. It's never really quick and sometimes the listing agent doesn't know exactly what's going on because the banks are really busy with short sales and don't always communicate accurately or swiftly. Banks are not emotional. They are trying to get as much as they can. They have stacks and stacks of short sales on their desks and treat one just like the other. The bank will merely take the highest offer often without taking the terms into account. My advice to you is to sit tight and wait. Many buyers in short sales put offers on many properties. If and when the bank comes back to them, they may have already purchased something else. Obviously, if a listing agent also sells the property, that agent will get both sides of the commission. However, to gamble their license for a couple of easy bucks isn't really a good bet and I doubt that agent is acting unethically. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Ralph Windschuh
Associate Broker
Certified Buyer Representative
Century 21 Princeton Properties
1 vote
Lenny Bobrow, Agent, Woodmere, NY
Thu Jan 29, 2009
When all is said and done if you still feel that the listing agent is not being ethical you can always call her office and ask to talk to the broker and give him or her your concerns. The Broker is responsible for the actions of all the agents in the office. So if what you are told is not satisfying you, I would say give the Broker a call.
1 vote
Gail Gladsto…, Agent, 11743, NY
Thu Jan 29, 2009
Forget about a short sale, forget about everything that is being told to you. Have you had comps done on the area? Do you know the current market value of this property?

Decide what this house worth to you and do not bid above that amount.

Short sales sometimes take months and months and most people end up purchasing something else and the offer goes to the next in line.

Bid within your means...there are so many houses on the market these days.

By the way, is this Realtor representing you? Maybe you should have someone looking after your backs.
Web Reference:  http://GailGladstone.com
1 vote
Lori Jeltema, Agent, Suffolk, VA
Thu Jan 29, 2009
Caroline, it is the duty of your agent to watch out for your best interest, not the listing agent. I would not say that the other agent is unethical. She is under an obligation (if she is a Realtor) to treat all parties honestly. We do not know what arrangement the listing agent has with her client. Some sellers give their agents written permission to dislose not only the existance of other offers, but even the amount! Rules change from state to state but the bottom line is that the other agent is obligated to represent the seller. If you were selling a house and another agent brought your agent an offer from someone for $600k, and you already had an offer for $590, wouldn't you want your agent to try to get the people with the lower offer to offer more? Especially if it enabled you to sell the home and clearing your mortgage? The sellers hired the agent to get them the best terms possible. You don't know what arrangement they have with their bank. It may be a short sale but maybe if they net just a little more, it will pull them out of short sale status. It's not a matter of being fair. Not only is she trying to get her sellers out of this situation with the least harm possible but she also has a lender breathing down her neck. Kudos to her for trying to negotiate the best terms for her seller. I'm sorry if this sounds callous but I would think that all of my sellers would expect the same from me. I am sure that your agent can construct an offer that would promote your interest and keep you from having an offer that escalates too high. Good luck. I hope you get the house and it becomes a home..
1 vote
Penny O'Brien, Agent, Las Vegas, NV
Thu Jan 29, 2009
FYI, a REO property is not the same as a short sale.
1 vote
Penny O'Brien, Agent, Las Vegas, NV
Thu Jan 29, 2009
the banks should accept all offers to consider. The short sale process takes some time and banks like to get as much money for the property as possible... Your offer seems to be pretty reasonable. The listing agent should not be disclosing that her clients offerered more than you.. that is totally unethical..
1 vote
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