Prety, Home Buyer in hopefully bedstuy so...

If i put in an offer via a realtor, and hear that another (higher) offer was received, how do i know this is

Asked by Prety, hopefully bedstuy soon! Sat May 10, 2008

true? Do i take that at face value? Do I ask for confirmation in some form? If i do, does that make me look... bad? Heh
Much appreciated advice.
Am still trying to figure out all the mechanics of the money flow. The realtor represents the seller, no?

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Alen Moshkov…, Agent, New York, NY
Tue May 13, 2008
Are you in Brooklyn, NY? In the city and most parts in Brooklyn we do not sign anything with buyers. It is assumed that if you contact a broker to help you find a property they are your broker and everything they do is in your best interest. Regarding the selling broker, No they will not give you any confirmation regarding other offers. What type of offer did you put in Prety, did you low ball, did you go asking? Your broker can ask the exclusive agent what the offer was, was it close to asking, above asking, and they will get a good indication, they can also ask the other broker at what price you need to come in to compete. Also don't forget, if both of your offers are at asking and you have much stronger financials and there is no risk that you may not be able to get financing, well in that case you will probably get the accepted offer over the other buyers if they are weaker.

Best of luck Prety
1 vote
Deborah Madey, Agent, Brick, NJ
Sun May 11, 2008
Who is representing you? Did you go to the listing agent? Did you go to a desk person at the company that represents the seller?

In almost all instances, I strongly recommend that a buyer retain their own buyer agent.

As it pertains to assertions of multiple offers. In almost all cases, those claims will be true. There are a few agents who might misrepresent the facts, but, by and large, the vast majority of Realtors will provide accurate and timely information.

The seller or the sellers agent in highly unlikely to provide you a copy of the offer or details about the offer. You can ask questions about the offer, and gain some understanding of the situation from the responses provided. A strong seller agent will divulge little info about the sellers offer, since it is not in the sellers best interest.

An agent can represent a buyer, seller, both, or neither (filling out paperwork, but not an advocate or fiduciary for either.) As a buyer, you will be best served by having a buyer agent in your corner. It is difficult for an agent to serve two masters. While dual agency is legal in many states, I am not a fan a dual agency (representing both buyer and seller.)

If I represent a buyer, and I am told by the sellers agent that there are other offers, I will ask how they intend to handle the multiple offers to ensure that all buyers have equal opportunity. I also ask where the other offers are from. Is another offer coming in-house? Some seller agents share a lot; others are tight.

You can ask for your offer to be returned to you with an acknowledgement of presentation and rejection from the seller. Most sellers and agents will provide this. Are you interested in standing as a back up offer? Is the seller interested in your offer as a back up offer?

The answers to these questions will provide insight into the situation. Since you have no right to see a copy of the accepted offer, and chances of a seller or their agent providing it is extremely small, you must arrive at a conclusion in your mind based upon the discussions. Ask lots of questions. A good agent might not provide you the direct information you seek, but the results of the conversation can be quite telling.

Good Luck
Deborah Madey - Broker
Peninsula Realty Group - New Jersey
3 votes
Donald Mituz…, Agent, Kaatonah, NY
Sun May 11, 2008
A Realtor is required to abide by the Realtor Code of Ethics. This requires them to deal honestly with all parties. All real estate agents are not Realtors, members of the National Association of Realtors. You probably won't be able to get any kind of confirmation form as the listing agent for the property has a fiduciary duty to the client and disclosing any kind of information about the offer may not be in the clients best interest.

I was surprised with your comment "The realtor represents the seller, no?" You should have signed an agency disclosure form the first time you met with an agent that discloses who they are working for. An agent can work for the buyer or seller. Did your agent explain this to you and did you sign a form? To see what the form looks like you can go to the NY DOS site at and take a look.

Bottom line is if you like the property and want to purchase it, put in your offer. Many agents representing a seller, myself included, would go back to both potential buyers and ask them to submit their highest and best offer and make a decision. Also keep in mind the highest price is not always the best offer. Sometimes the terms can make a deal. If a seller wants to close right away or needs a few months it may be in your favor if you can be flexible. Typically higher down payments also make the offer look better because there is less chance a mortgage won't go through because of an appraisal. Talk to your agent and try and make the most attractive offer.

Good luck,
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2 votes
;, , Riverhead, NY
Wed May 14, 2008
At the very least, requesting that you receive, in writing, that your offer was rejected by the seller would seem to be a requirement- what's up with all the confusion about who represents whom in NY? Contact the NYDOS, as recommended below, and report that you were not provided with the required disclosure; get copy of the rejected offer, with initials- at least you'll know that the seller did, in fact, reject the offer. The answer below indicating that there is an "assumption" regarding the transaction is appalling- if it's not in writing, it's doesn't exist. If you were not provided with a disclosure, it is likely that the law was broken- contact the NYDOS and report it. If you get no support, see what the DOJ can do for you- they have a real estate website as well.
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1 vote
Michael Corl…, Agent, Brooklyn, NY
Sun Jun 21, 2009
Prety, you're probably not going to like my answer, but I'll preface it with the following:

Each of the professionals who furnished answers to your question have provided great insight into your dilemna and how your expectations should have been better met with regard to offer.

However, here is where we depart. Agency Disclosure in New York State is required where a substantive contact has been made. The responsibilty to furnish that disclosure is the Agent's. With one small catch.

Agency Law in New York State is written in favor of providing Obedience, Undivided Loyalty, Disclosure, Duty to Account, Reasonable Care and Confidentiality TO THE PRINCIPAL THE AGENT REPRESENTS.

And a Seller's Agent does not represent the interests of the Buyer.

Where most buyers fall into the gray area when dealing with an agent about a property listing is how the contact evolved. If you phoned or emailed the Agent requesting an appointment to view the property without requesting formal disclosure in writing, it could already have been furnished in the ad.

The says the Agent is required to provide doesn't say HOW they're suppose to do it. In addition,
" a substantive contact " creates the gray area, as the majority of agents interpret this to mean when an offer is being made.

While I don't blame most consumers shopping for a home for being unaware of the subtleties when dealing with Agents, it does represent a failure on the part of the regulatory agency inside the state to furnish consumer information to create formal boundaries for shoppers to engage licensees.

Now, here's the kicker....the National Association of Realtors is aware that the gray area exists.

You can visit the link below at to read the entire Agency Disclosure form as prescribed by Article 12A of the Real Property Law of New York State
0 votes
Donald Mituz…, Agent, Kaatonah, NY
Wed May 14, 2008
Seems if Alen is correct and "In the city and most parts of Brooklyn" the agents are not discussing agency law, they are in violation of state law. State law requires that you discuss agency disclosure at the first substantive contact with someone. It is never assumed that you work for anyone. See my original reply and click on the link to the NY DOS site to see what the state form looks like. If you are not presented something like that form or an exclusive right to represent agreement then that agent is not doing their job and could put their license in jeopardy.

As far as asking the other agent about what offers have come in and what price to offer, keep in mind that the listing agent has a fiduciary responsibility to their client and couldn't disclose anything that might put them at any disadvantage. Your agent can ask the other agent what price you need to offer to compete, but the other agent will only want you to pay as much as possible.

Donald A. Mituzas
Licensed Associate Broker
Vice President - Putnam County Association of Realtors
Instuctor - New agent orientation and Realtor Code of Ethics
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0 votes
Prety, Home Buyer, hopefully bedstuy soon!
Sun May 11, 2008
Thanks Deborah, and Donald.
Both informative answers.
0 votes
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