My buyer's offer coincidently competing against an upcoming out-of-town property preview

Asked by Nc27407, Jamestown, NC Thu Mar 29, 2012

This property has been on the market for over 6 months, and is marketed as below tax appraised value(dubious). I at a very fast first glance really did not think the property was a fit for my needs and continued to search. A few months later, I re-visited the property and over the last month have been back twice to review it. I have a buyers agent working for me, and I've asked them first and then had them inquire with the seller "what is the reason for the low asking price or what is wrong with the property (beyond what we can see)". I was told the seller just wants to move on, and that there has not been really much interest. I finally decided to make an offer. During my very FIRST contract offer(includes a comprehensive addendum of conditions, 17% below listing price), the listing seller told my agent rep that there is an out-of-town buyer coming this weekend to preview the property. Friends have told me this could be an RE tactic. Looking for opinion and advice. Thx

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Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Thu Mar 29, 2012
In my opinion, you should be relying on your agent for opinions and advice.

Your friends, family, and co-workers certainly mean well, but they are not professionals.

In some markets, there just aren't enough buyers for all of the listed properties. Sellers have to slash their prices in order to attract whatever buyers there are - it's like a reverse bidding war.

As to whether agents make up stories about other interested parties to keep your attention . . . highly unlikely, because if an agent lies and you go away, their client has excellent grounds to sue them for damages. Consider the following scenario:

SELLER: So, why did that buyer walk away so quickly?
AGENT: I don't know. I even tried to make them think that there were other people interested; I told them that there was someone flying in from out-of-town to see your property.
AGENT: Yeah, I figured, if they thought there was competition . . .

The much more common complaint, NC, is from buyers who are in negotiations, and then another offer comes in and the seller cuts off talks and accepts the new party's offer. "Why didn't you tell us there was another offer," lament the first buyers.

All the best,
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Andy Matejka, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Greensboro, NC
Thu Mar 29, 2012
First of all, congratulations on buying a home!

It is an outstanding time to be purchasing a home; especially when you factor in the high supply of quality properties and the record low interest rates AND the fact that current market conditions have prices at record lows.

With those items being said, it's no wonder there is some increased demand this season. Agents have ethics to follow and it's not likely that one would jeopardize their license and livelihood as you suspect and it would be difficult to prove but it is more likely that the same features that appeal to you would appeal to others....(often times, this reflects the hard work of the list agent)
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Rose Taylor, Agent, Annapolis, MD
Thu Mar 29, 2012
I would not be intimidated by that bit of information. However, within the offer I would insist on some time restrictions with respect to the seller responding to your offer. In other words have your agent put a time condition in the offer. Maybe "48 hours to respond to your offer or your offer would become null and void" would be respectful yet it puts a little urgency on the seller to respond to your offer and not toy with it. Since you have already submitted your offer, I would have your agent right an addendum addressing the time restraint and send it to the listing agent.
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