I put in an offer, giving full asking price/everything that they asked for in the listing; they countered asking for a higher price? legal?

Asked by lecm2013, Austin, TX Tue Mar 19, 2013

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Brent Mayes’ answer
Brent Mayes, , Austin, TX
Thu Mar 21, 2013
Yes, this is legal. Austin is currently in a seller's market and sellers often find themselves in multiple offer situations, resulting in contracts higher than original listing price. I fully understand the frustration you must feel as this is counter to almost all other financial dealings.
0 votes
Daniel Cardin, Home Buyer, Corpus Christi, TX
Sun Mar 8, 2015
I suspect that listing agents often talk one of their sellers into listing a house at a price they KNOW they would not accept with the intention of turning it into an auction. Classic bait and switch. You try to buy that 3/2/2 in Central Austin that's listed for $150,000 and they say, "Sorry, they didn't accept your offer of $195,000, but I can sign on as your Buyer's agent and find you a rat trap in Manor for about $200,000". Real estate agents are bad news, for real. You do have to use an agent to make an offer, realistically, but DO NOT let them "manage your expectations" (which to them is Job #1).
1 vote
You don't need an agent to make an offer. Don't be silly. ;-) An attorney can do everything that is necessary.
Flag Sun Mar 8, 2015
Roland Vinya…, Agent, Sprakers, NY
Tue Mar 19, 2013
It's legal. And it is not uncommon in some areas during certain market conditions. Where I am, the buyer would just walk away, shaking their head, wondering how he ever met such a crazy person as this. The seller should understand that in the case of a buyer making a full price, non-contingent offer, that they could be liable for a commission to their agent even if the offer was not accepted and there was no closing. Always read the fine print; that's one of the things attorneys do.
1 vote
thank you! I thought as much, but my husband wasn't sure
Flag Tue Mar 19, 2013
Debora Mitch…, Agent, Spring Hill, FL
Mon Jul 18, 2016
Many times the Seller will ask for highest and best. Since it is a Seller's market it appears that the asking price is the beginning price in many cases. So, yes they might ask for more
0 votes
Jim Morelli, Agent, Austin, TX
Thu Mar 12, 2015
Sure it is the seller can ask for whatever they want. The market ultimately determines the selling price. In some micro markets in Austin the inventory is extremely limited. Therefore buyers in those segments should be prepared to offer over list price. Hope that helps.
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Roxanne Kahn, Agent, Austin, TX
Wed Aug 28, 2013
It is legal, and with the way the market is right now I'm not too surprised. They better hope the property appraises at that higher price! I just had a situation where the appraisal came back lower than the asking price - so we said we'd walk away if they don't drop the price. It's risky, but legal.
0 votes
Susie Kay, Agent, Dallas, TX
Tue Aug 13, 2013
It's legal, it's happening here in the Dallas area, too. What did your agent say? Did the seller receive more than 1 offer? If you don't have an agent I highly recommend that you hire one as real estate transaction can get pretty complicated and you need an expert on your side. You'll come across more complexity if you don't have representation and you'll be on your own while others have experts on their side.

Good luck!
Susie Kay, Realtor®
United Real Estate
III Lincoln Centre, 5430 LBJ Freeway #280
Dallas, TX 78240


Servicing your real estate need is my priority!
0 votes
Steven Van O…, Agent, Austin, TX
Tue Aug 13, 2013
Yes it is legal, the seller does not have to accept any offer and can even choose to no longer sell the property.
I am concerned with other realtors using an escalation clause as noted below. The Texas Real Estate Commission considers an escalation clause to be an unauthorized practice of law.
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Janna Rankin…, Agent, Coeur dAlene, ID
Sat Aug 10, 2013
Yesterday my buyers were competing against 4 other buyers who had all made offers on a wonderful home on the very first day it came on the market. We won, due to our using an escalation clause. We offered $5,000 over the listing price with an escalation clause that said we would beat any competing offer by $2,000 up to the maximum they would be willing to pay. We ended up winning and will pay $10,000 more than the list price but $17,000 less than the highest they were willing to go. It helps to have a savvy Realtor when you are in a competitive situation.
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Betina Forem…, Agent, Austin, TX
Thu Mar 21, 2013
I think you should be asking your Realtor that wrote the offer for you. The only reason I can think of that makes sense is the Seller may have received multiple offers for the house. This does happen a lot in Austin, since it is a hot relocation destination right now. Good luck!
0 votes
Joseph Casey, Agent, Tampa, FL
Tue Mar 19, 2013
Yes. Some of that going on right now as we have entered a seller's market.

Be careful too as the home may not appraise at the higher price.

That's why people use me to help them buy and sell homes: representation is everything!
Web Reference:  http://www.sellingaustin.net
0 votes
Lara Pavanel…, Agent, Austin, TX
Tue Mar 19, 2013
All of the answers offered here are good advice, I would add that price alone isn't the only deciding factor. This is a very tricky market at this time and every detail matters, such as what type of loan you will be getting, are you using a local lender? how soon are you offering to close? How fast can you inspect the house, etc, etc... do you have an inspector lined up? do you have a title company ready?
Many things can go wrong in a real estate transaction, you really should consider hiring a professional, the service is free to you.
Warm regards, larapavanelli.realtor@gmail.com 512-909-5807
0 votes
JOSEPH E JAR…, Agent, Austin, TX
Tue Mar 19, 2013
I saw you already have a number of answers telling you that this is in fact legal and very common now in Austin. And since you are asking this question on this forum, I can only assume that you do not have a Realtor to assist you throughout the process and you also might be in over your head. I HIGHLY recommend you get a good Realtor who has a lot of experience with negotiations and multiple offer situation's, and just real estate in general to guide you through the process. People think they can do it on their own, but it is MUCH more complicated than you might imagine. I have been negotiating for over 23 years and still am in classes to hone my skills and keep updated on legal and real estate issues relating to real estate transactions.

If you would like some good, free representation, please contact me and we can discuss my assisting you. Whether you choose me or someone else, if you do not yet have a Realtor you are doing yourself a disservice and putting yourself in liability and harms way by trying to do things on your own. There is a reason why Realtors know what they know, and do what they do. We are highly skilled professionals and quite frankly are a necessary part of the process. Even if you think you're going to try to save a little bit of commission, most likely you will not be able to negotiate the price, terms and conditions to make up for that amount without a good Realtor!

Joe Jarusinsky, Realtor/Master Instructor, Keller Williams Realty, Austin's #1 Real Estate Company, Ranked #1 by Buyers and Sellers (JD Power & Assoc. 2012)
Call 512-261-4415
0 votes
John Crowe, Agent, Austin, TX
Tue Mar 19, 2013
I'd suggest that you consider how much you want the home. That is the most pressing issue. Count yourself lucky if the seller decided to work with you on a deal. In addition, you can stick with your original offer should you choose. Just about every good home listed under $500,000 is seeing more than one offer. Prepare for it.
0 votes
Don Groff, Agent, Austin, TX
Tue Mar 19, 2013
I think your question has been answered. Until you have an executed contract agreed to by all parties involved anything is possible. The buyer and their agent probably took the time to price the home in such a way that it attracted multiple offers and because of this your offer is possibly competing with other offers. Homes will often times sell for over the asking price if marketed in this way.

Hope this helps.

Don Groff
REALTOR® & Mortgage Broker
Austin Real Estate Pros | 360 Lending Group
office: 512.669.5599 mobile: 512.633.4157
http://www.AustinListed.com | http://www.360LendingGroup.com
0 votes
Christopher…, Agent, Tarrytown, NY
Tue Mar 19, 2013
Hi, Yes it is, especially if they have other competing bids at asking or over it. You just have to be careful how much farther you go over because you want to ensure that it appraises. Hopefully you did your gomework to see how they determined their price.

0 votes
Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Tue Mar 19, 2013
An asking price is just that, many buyers are used to making lower asking prices but with a lower amount iof listings for sale and an increase in buyers, homes are selling for more than asking price these days. You do have the right to say no.
0 votes
Sherry Fields, Agent, Austin, TX
Tue Mar 19, 2013
Yes, They are allowed to do this. However, you are also allowed to tell them the offer you made was your final offer.
Do you have an agent. It sounds like you need one and your agent could help you wade through the offer/counter offer process. Contact me if you don't have an agent and would like help.

Sherry Fields

Best of luck.
0 votes
Bruce Lynn, Agent, Coppell, TX
Tue Mar 19, 2013
Sure....why not?

You can also not accept their counter.

What is your agent telling you to do.
0 votes
An offer without acceptance is not a contract and therefore you have no agreement. Anyone can sue anyone for any reason but in reality you don't have any recourse in this situation.
Josh Moore
New Standard IRA
Flag Wed Mar 20, 2013
Michelle Ada…, Agent, Austin, TX
Tue Mar 19, 2013
Hi Lecm,

Looks like roland answered your question. I do hope you have a seasoned agent assisting you in the process. Certain "small" portions of your offer can go a long way from the perspective of the seller. Example would be to remove an option period, a contingency, offer more for earnest money...

We are in multiple offers on most properties under $200,000 in Austin, fortunate for sellers, unfortunate for buyers desperate to take advantage of interest rates.

If you are not working with a REALTOR® please call or email me today to discuss some future options. Have a wonderful week!

Michelle Adams,
Real Estate Consultant
Ultima Real Estate
512.574.2969 direct | 512.852.4412 fax | 512.22CONDO Office
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0 votes
Guy Gimenez, Agent, Manchaca, TX
Tue Mar 19, 2013
Absolutely legal. I often advertise my personal properties below market to encourage multiple offers and ultimately get offers above my listed price.
0 votes
I'm kidding about the jail part, but really; I don't think buyers realize when they see a good deal in Austin, TX that it's just bait. The problem with making an offer is that, once I make an offer, I'm kind of on hold until I hear back one way or the other. If you know from the beginning you would never accept that price, is it really fair to tie up my time and resources waiting to hear back on my doomed offer made in good faith and every bit of the 'asking price'?
Flag Sun Mar 8, 2015
Wow. I can't believe you admit it openly. You should be in jail.
Flag Sun Mar 8, 2015
Kimberley Sh…, Agent, Austin, TX
Tue Mar 19, 2013
Welcome to the extreme seller's market! Very frustrating, I know. If you are not working with a REALTOR, you should get one NOW. There are many things that are negotiable in a contract that are attractive to sellers, other than price. If you're not working with a REALTOR, give me a call. I'd love to earn your business and help you secure your home. 468.4387
0 votes
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Tue Mar 19, 2013
As you are aware, PRICE is only one component of a purchase offer.
Many full price offers get kicked to the curb.
Without a more complete disclosure it is not possible to tell if your offer contained a poison pill.
One classic pill, that would merit the higher offer is the "must sell' contingency. Not only would I suggest the seller raise the price I would stipulate a non-refundable deposit.
To further compromise your offer, if you were using a lender or agent whose business plan includes kickbacks, you will lose in regards to your purchase offer being competitive.
There is more to an offer than price. Be aware, if you liked the home, others will also. There very well could be another offer on the table and you are being allowed a second opportunity to compete.
And of course, from your perspective, it just seem unfair. Consult your real estate professional and get the low down on what you should do.
There is just so much we do not know.
0 votes
Jeffrey Schn…, Agent, Austin, TX
Tue Mar 19, 2013
Not only is it legal, they don't even have to sell it, even if you offered them everything they asked for. Many neighborhoods within the loop (183/Ben White/360) are seeing multiple offers over asking price. One property my clients looked at in Lost Creek had 18 people see the home the first day, by the end of that day it had 7 offers, all above asking price, with the winning bid being $25K over asking price.

Austin's market is hot, and not easy for buyer's to negotiate deals, if the home is priced to market.

Your agent has probably told you the same thing, so I presume none of what we can tell you is new news.

Best of luck in the process.

0 votes
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