I know it seems a little suspect, based on the timing... but we see this sort of thing happen all of the time. A confluence of items came together... probably the same items that caused you to decide to make an offer... (maybe lower interest rates, maybe more confidence in the market, or a recent price reduction... who knows?)... and we find ourselves in multiple offers.
What you're suggesting is that the agent/agency may have known that another offer was going to come in the next morning... or perhaps that they were using your offer to "shop" for another offer. While it's possible, I suppose, it's unlikely.
The agents/agency if they did as you suspect... just made their own jobs far more complicated... and for a very nominal gain in the agents pocket. Not much motivation there, for a breach of ethics.
Your expiration deadline was 8PM, and you were notified of the other offer at 9AM the following day. It is unlikely that both you and the seller, would have been able to execute a contract and get the earnest money delivered after 8PM but before 9AM the following day. Also, 9AM is simply when you were notified of the multiple offer situation, not necessarily when it was received and considered by the seller.
Buyers understandably don't like be "jerked around" and having their offers "held". The reality is that you can communicate all the "deadlines" and other stipulations that you perceive to protect you to the seller, however they can always simply find a "legal" way to stall you if they really put their mind to it.
You always have the option of simply walking away - the choice is yours whether or not to play the game. I don't know the specifics of the situation, so I can't definitively say if it was ethical or not at the end of the day. I will also add - don't take the process personally. You can only control what you can control - and you have always have the option to rescind your offer and move on to another property.
Judgment call on your part.
I remind my borrowers (that I pre-qualified) to base your decisions on how aggressive you want to be. In other words, if you really like this house, make your best aggressive offer. If you can take it or leave it, ride it out with your initial offer and see what happens.
I am a licensed Direct Lender in Florida quoting "raw" interest rates to consumers. Call me to find out what my rate is.
I know it's frustrating but multiple offers happen a lot. I just had two customer this month that found their selves in a similar situation, but things are not always as they may appear to us at 1st sight. I even had it happen to myself in Jan! I couldn't believe no activity & than when I put in an offer someone else did also....but I just gave my personal highest & best offer. I know I probably paid more than I would have if the property hadn't have gone to multiple offers, but I'm so glad that the seller gave me an opportunity to up my offer instead of just accepting the other offer. Thanks for your question.
Brenda Waters, Realtor
Sorry for you luck.
"The Real Estate Lady"
Oceanside Real Estate
(904) 732-PACK 732-7225
That being said; It is customary to give a 24hour time of elapse on an offer. While your question is not crystal clear on this, it seems as if the time of elapse on your offer was for 8pm the same day your offer was written. If that is the case it sounds as if your agent was simply trying to be fair and give the sellers reasonable time to consider your offer. As to the second offer; housing inventories are tight, and while we may not be in a classic sellers market yet, competition for homes is high right now especially for quality listings. As another responded the seller would likely have seen the other offer regardless of your time of elapse.
I hope that helps.
Hang in there!
The only one of the above situations that would raise an eyebrow for me is if the listing agent had brought the other offer. If that is the case then the listing agent should have disclosed that to your agent. Even so, it would not be illegal or unethical as long as the details of your offer were not disclosed to the other party thereby giving the other buyer an advantage. The listing agent will generally welcome multiple offers since they often get the seller more money for their home. The buyers (your) agent, whether they are from the same company as the listing agent or not, most likely does not want to see multiple offers since there is a risk that the other may be the one accepted.
Neither buyer should be made aware of the other buyers offer. This keeps both buyers guessing what the other buyer may have offered. It is that uncertainty that causes a buyer to offer more than they may have otherwise. Your offer may already be better than the other offer but you just don't know. If you really want this home I would recommend making the best offer you feel comfortable making. If you get the home then you should be happy because you paid what the home was worth to you. If you don't then the other buyer wanted the home more than you did and paid more than you think it's worth.
Also a seller has the right to choose the offer. Decline the offer. Counter the offer. Or just plain not respond when requested. It is up to the Buyer to walk, counter or wait.
I am sorry you went through that ordeal, but I have seen that happen as well, even with my own listings. There are a few things you can do. One is to accept that this deal was not for you and move on. Two, ask your agent to see the other offer that beat you out. Three, speak with the broker of the office. Four, and this is only if you really feel you were not treated ethically, make sure, because this is the realtor's livelihood, how they feed their family, call the local realtor association board and speak with them. They will give you unbiased answers.
Hope it doesn't go that far, best of luck!
If you expect that you were sandbagged, you could always file a complaint with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Division of Real Estate.
Watson Realty Corp.
I know whenever I make an offer on a property it is my best offer. If you want to negotiate a deal then you stand the chance of losing. Just depends on how bad you want the place to pay more than what you want to spend, I suppose.
Have a Great Day
Realtor, Magnolia Properties
904 349 0082