New_buyer, Home Buyer in 98037

Is it okay for a seller to increase the listing price after they've seen your offer? The price was posted on several real estate sites (mls,

Asked by New_buyer, 98037 Wed Apr 7, 2010

redfin) for several days. When my offer was submitted, the listing agent claimed it was listed at the wrong price and said the real price is $20k more and is offering less desirable lots for the price I offered. This is a new development. Is it legal for them to do this? Are there any laws around bait and switch in real estate?

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Maria Cipoll…, Agent, Coral Springs, FL
Mon Feb 11, 2013
Expected increases in both owning and renting costs may encourage more consumers to buy and more sellers to increase the selling price. Reason for these increase? lack of inventory.
Yes, legally speaking they can raise the asking price before they sign any sales contract.

Best of Luck,

Maria Cipollone
Century 21 Tenace
4 votes
The Cascade…, Agent, Issaquah, WA
Mon Feb 11, 2013
Yes they can. Until you have a signed around deal there is no contract. New construction and home owners increase price all the time. Just glance at the NWMLS and you will find this is very common..... Sorry, I know that is tough for your clients.
0 votes
Shawn Spring…, Agent, Edmonds, WA
Mon Feb 11, 2013
Until you have a mutual agreement there is no contract. Your "OFFER" to purchase is just that - an offer. Until the seller accepts it, there is no agreement. Terms can and frequently do change during the negotiation period. Price is one of those terms. Builders have been raising prices 20,000 to 50,000 on similar homes in the same development because there is a shortage of inventory and growing demand. In short, they are raising their prices because they can - and there will be buyers to accept that higher price. (Whether the appraisers accept the higher price is a whole different question!)
0 votes
Rhonda Aflak…, Agent, Bothell, WA
Fri Jun 1, 2012
The law is interpreted by attorneys. Brokers are not attorneys. There are laws of integrity and honesty that all agents are to abide by. When they don't, they get a bad reputation and loose business and can be subject to fines by the MLS. To say this was against the law would mean that there are many more details that need to be confirmed. Were there any verbal discussions prior to the offer? What was the timing of when the property was listed, when it changed and when your offer was submitted. Was the listing price changed when on the MLS ? When? What does it say now? What is the difference between the less desirable lots? Is it size? Is it location? is it shape? Sometimes discounts are available only for a certain time period. Did the $20k increase include any other options such as reduced closing costs or additional upgrades?
My understanding, from what you have said is, yes, the seller can change the listing price and yes, the buyer can choose not to buy.
0 votes
Rhonda Aflak…, Agent, Bothell, WA
Mon Apr 23, 2012
call me, 425-984-414, I can help you. Rhonda
0 votes
Marcelina Mc…, Agent, Duvall, WA
Wed May 5, 2010
We are all human and make mistake but on the price...? That's a big one! I always print out the listing report (once input into the MLS) and have my clients’ review for errors. There are easily 500 entries per house that we input and so while we pay attention to detail, as humans there’s always a small margin for error.

If this is a standard business practice, shame on them.
0 votes
Lew Lemire, , Lynnwood, WA
Wed Apr 14, 2010
If the listing agreement and the way it's entered on the mls says one price and the listing agent is saying that it's actually higher I would think that that wouldn't be ethical nor per mls rules. I would be thinking there is a violation there.
0 votes
Jenn DeBoer, , Kirkland, WA
Fri Apr 9, 2010
Additionally, if it's by chance a short sale then request the offer be submitted to the lien holder just as you offered and let the bank decide if they will accept it or not. If it's not a short sale then the problem with them accepting the lower offer even if they wanted to out of "kindness" is that it then sets a bar for sales proceding your sale. The sale becomes public record and all buyers will want to be at that comparable price. That 20K per property will add up fast for a builder.

Mistakes do happen since we are human however, I understand this type of a mistake isn't a good feeling to a person on your end of the deal.

Good luck!
0 votes
The Cascade…, Agent, Issaquah, WA
Thu Apr 8, 2010
I agree with Dan. Probably nothing against the law as people (Offen in the past) accepted offers above asking price. However, certainly NOT a good business tactic. Have the prices been changed on all of the other websites? This could possible have been a honest mistake that they corrected.
0 votes
Dan Tabit, Agent, Issaquah, WA
Wed Apr 7, 2010
I'm not aware of any laws that would prohibit this, but it is either a sloppy practice by the agent or a lousy tactic. The list price is almost irrelevant anyway. I seller may accept more or less as they see fit. Have your agent do a comprehensive CMA and offer accordingly. Based on what you've experienced with the listing agent so far, take nothing for granted.
0 votes
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