How can I place a higher Backup offer if the Listing Agent won't disclose what the current accepted offer is for? How can I be sure that the?

Asked by Santa Monica, Ontario, CA Sun Sep 2, 2012

Listing agent presents my backup offer to the Seller and Lender and not keep them in the dark? I would not require a loan and would have the full purchase price available immediately; How much room to negotiate would I have?

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Sri Kesava, Agent, Venice, CA
Wed Nov 28, 2012
The rules have changed on this. Nowadays, Listing agent may disclose what other offers are, WITH seller permission. However in practice, most still do not disclose. Having a local agent who has good relationship with his/her peers comes in handy. Relationships go a long way in ascertaining what would be a successful offer price for their client, without actually literally asking the question.
0 votes
Emily Knell, Agent, Huntington Beach, CA
Fri Sep 7, 2012
I know I'm a little late answering this question, but I wanted to put my 2 cents in as a short sale listing agent who's closed dozens & dozens of short sales w/ a 100% success rate.

As the listing agent, when a back up offer comes in, I don't have to forward your offer to the bank. The bank is not my client, they are just a 3rd party, pain in my rear. All back up offers I receive on my short sale listings go into "the pile" of back ups in no particular order.

If / when, the time comes that the primary buyer backs out or can't close, I reach into the back up offer bag & present all of the offers where buyers are still 'interested back ups', to the seller & then we decide which one we're going to accept to forward to the bank as the "new primary" buyer.

I don't look back on this same Trulia posting for answers after mine. Shoot me an email directly if you would like to talk about this further.
562-430-3053 c
Realtor Since 1996
Realty One Group
0 votes
Heather Paul, Agent, Santa Monica, CA
Mon Sep 3, 2012
By law, you can submit a backup offer all the way until the close of escrow, unless the owner has stated to the listing agent not to accept any more back up offers. The listing agent can not reveal what the current offer is or terms, this is the law. When submitting your backup offer, I would highly recommend to submit your highest and best offer, this puts you in a strong position if the current offer falls out of escrow and does not go through.

It sounds as if you are a cash buyer, this is very strong on your part-but just remember-the banks know usually what the property is going to sell for-they always have Brokers Price Opinions or Appraisals done on the property so you will want to make sure you offer is in the ballgame when talking about the price, you might consider getting your own buyers agent to represent you instead of working with the listing agent. Your buyers agent will follow through and make sure the offer is received and update you on the transaction.

Good luck and Have a wonderful day!
Heather Paul, Realtor
Coldwell Banker
0 votes
Cindy Davis, Agent, San Diego, CA
Mon Sep 3, 2012
Details about offers are by law and ethics kept confidential until a deal closes. The listing agent did exactly what most agents would by not disclosing the details.

Your best bet is to rel;y on the comps for the property and bid a fair price accordingly. As far as negotiating room because you're a cash buyer....

Cash is king and very desirable. That said, if the seller has a considerably higher offer in the wings with a solid 20% down...they might go for the higher offer.

How popular is this property? Did it sell quickly or languish for awhile. What is the interior condition? What's the neighborhood like?

The more desirable the property, the less room you have to negotiate....hope that helps.
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Laura Coffey, Agent, Santa Clarita, CA
Mon Sep 3, 2012
Make sure you know what the comps are for the area.
I would then write your offer as such. Buyer willing to pay $5K higher then seller's current offer with written proof of what it is.
Then if you wanted to play safe you could also add not to exceed $?
Agents need out of the box thinking to help their client's.
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Walter 'Skip'…, Agent, Brea, CA
Mon Sep 3, 2012
If you are serious about purchasing the property, have your agent help you determine the fair market value of the property. Then write a all cash offer with proof of funds and send it to the listing agent. If the first buyer should decide not to move forward you will be in an excellent postion to get the property. Remember the listing price on a short sale can be meaningless if it doesn't come close to the fair market value. The lender getting the short pay will determine fair market value before approving the sale.
Good luck,
0 votes
SERGEY FEDNOV…, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Mon Sep 3, 2012
Listing agent is not obligated to disclose confidential information such as other offers .

Hope this info will help you!

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0 votes
Jane Peters, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Sun Sep 2, 2012
Firstly, it is not legal for the listing agent to disclose an offer to anyone besides the seller and not until the deal has closed. Secondly, if you are using the therm "backup offer" that would indicate that the seller already has an accepted offer and that the property is in escrow. A backup offer is exactly that. A backup in case the first deal falls through. Your offer will either be accepted as backup or not. Just make your best offer to be in first position. That's all you can do.
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Sandra Miller, Agent, Santa Monica, CA
Sun Sep 2, 2012
I would live to discuss your questions with you. Call me, Craig Rogers, at 310-987-7472.
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