Put an offer in and then told they're "taking everyone's best offers" by Friday at 3 p.m. We didn't get a response. Is this?

Asked by Britt, Bucks County, PA Tue Sep 8, 2009

even legal? My boyfriend and I put an offer in on a house and gave until last night at midnight to respond. Our realtor was contacted this morning and told that they were now taking all offers until Friday at 3 when they would I guess decide. They said there was a lot of interest in this home (true? not true? We don't know) and they received many offers. Is this legal to do it this way? It seems like they are almost asking for a sealed bidding situation when all indications from the seller, and the realtor and his office were that they were simply accepting bids. Don't we at least get the courtesy of having a response on our bid? Now we have to go through and decide how much we want this house and how much we can put in our offer. Here's for blindly hoping that we outbid everyone else...

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11
Renee Porsia, Agent, Newtown, PA
Tue Sep 8, 2009
BEST ANSWER
Hi Britt,

Wow! This doesn't surprise me.

This can be fixed by telling your Realtor to include an escalation clause into your agreement. This will make the listing agent show you the other offers.

Ask your Realtor if they know what this is and have him/her explain it to you.

Realtors are not allowed to "shop" your offer. If your Realtor got your offer in and asked for a response by yesterday and there were no other offers at that time, you should have received an answer. Now, that agent is trying to create a bidding war. Not right at all.

It is the listing agent's job to get the highest price they can for their seller but its your agent's job to protect you from situations such as this. If the home is such a great home and priced low, your Realtor should have put the escalation clause in before hand to protect you.

I always ask the listing agent if they have any other offers or if they are expecting any and if they say yes, I put in an escalation clause. It keeps the other Realtor honest.

Renee Porsia
Associate Broker
RE/MAX ACTION
(215) 669-0589 Direct
(215) 358-1100 Office ask for Renee
http://www.reneeporsia.com
0 votes
Sean Dawes, , Philadelphia, PA
Wed Oct 28, 2009
Britt,

Glad the escalation clause I mentioned worked for you.

Sometimes you just have to have a few tricks up your sleeve to be creative in these sticky situations.


Sean Dawes
1 vote
William Leigh…, , New Jersey
Tue Sep 8, 2009
Britt: Come on now! Illegal? Why should it be illegal to ask for you to make another offer? They have responded, when you look at it, you just don't like the response. The response was: "No, we won't take your offer, would you like to try again"?

Any owner can sell his property, or not. As long as the laws regarding discrimination are observed, they are free to tell you to get lost, or anything else or nothing at all!

Courtesy? That’s for pink teas. These folks want the best they can get for what well may be their most valuable asset. You’ll have to hunker down and fight harder for this one, if you really want it.

Escalator Clause: What this clause basically states is that you will beat ANY other offer by X amount, up to a limit. What this hopes to do is cut the ground out from under a better offer by toping it, without really toping all offers by offering the most you can. The buyer, upon accepting the escalator clause offer, also usually agrees to show you the offer that he is turning down because of your automatic escalation. That’s to protect you from the seller just claiming to have an offer just below your maximum, without actually having such an offer.

Now, if the seller doesn’t want to play your game (for example, if somebody comes up with a higher offer or better terms,) the seller still does not have to respond to you at all. There’s no law that says he does, anyway.

Even worse, he might just decide to come to contract with another offer that is just slightly better than yours and only tell you AFTER the contract is signed, just when you decided that the house in question was so good for you that your max could be, yet again raised. Oopsie! No house for you this time.

Now here’s the good news for you. In today’s market, houses are not appraising, especially if they are even only a tad too high. No appraisal at the price of the high bid, no mortgage and contract voidable. Might be back on the market again. It’s a gamble that the seller, the other buyer and you are all making.

Sorry to sound tough but putting a property on the market is soliciting offers. What is done with the offers is up to the person that receives them. If they tell you about a series of hoops they would like to see you jump through, your only option is to get out your cross trainers and either jump or walk away.

I hope you get the house of your dreams. I hope you use a good Realtor to help you get it. It’s really a tough business.

Bill Holt
1 vote
Sean Dawes, , Philadelphia, PA
Tue Sep 8, 2009
If you are expecting multiple offers, discuss using an escalation clause with your realtor for your offer. You never want to overpay for a house regardless. So dont pay more than you should even though you feel tempted to raise your offer. But look into an escalation clause.




Sean Dawes
1 vote
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Thu Oct 29, 2009
Sean......good for you - I see your very first response, and suggestion to use an escalation clause worked out great for this buyer!

See how helpful Trulia can be!

Good luck in your new home Britt!!
Best wishes.......
0 votes
Renee Porsia, Agent, Newtown, PA
Wed Oct 28, 2009
Britt,

I am soo happy for you and so happy that I could help you.

Many Realtors do not know about the clause and those who do generally do not like to use them in fear that they will upset the other Realtor and that in the end hurts the buyer and is not in the buyer's best interest.

I use it if it will help my client and never care if it upsets the other Realtor.

Enjoy your new home.

If I can ever be of assistance to you in the future or anyone you know, feel free to contact me.

Renee Porsia
Associate Broker
RE/MAX ACTION
(215) 669-0589 Direct
(215) 358-1100 Office ask for Renee
http://www.reneeporsia.com
0 votes
Britt, Home Buyer, Bucks County, PA
Wed Oct 28, 2009
Thank you so much for all the responses. As a result of the advice I was given about the escalation clause we did in fact win the bid on the house. It worked perfectly! I can't thank all of you enough.
0 votes
Terrence Cha…, Home Owner, Allentown, PA
Tue Sep 8, 2009
Britt,

It is legal from them to come back saying "we need your best offer by..." I've been in situations having the buyer and other times having the seller. If there are multiple offers, working one at a time is too much work. So you go back to the proposers and tell them give the best offer by whenever.

Now, it is between you and your Realtor to see if your offer is at market value or not. It is up to you to figure out how much you like the property. Plus, cleaner offers are much better. ie larger initial deposit, pre-approval letter, proof of funds for the down payment plus closing costs, no seller assist, etc.

Your Realtor should be the one advising you what to do, not some guy online. Perhaps they are trying to see IF any better offers come in. Who knows? Get with your Realtor and see what the comparables say about the property. Then go from there. Good luck.

Terrence Charest, e-Pro
0 votes
Frank Dolski, Agent, Lahaska, PA
Tue Sep 8, 2009
Britt,
As suggested by the other realtors (which is a great idea), use the escalation clause!

Frank
0 votes
Frank Dolski, Agent, Lahaska, PA
Tue Sep 8, 2009
Hi Britt,
That's unfortunate but on occasion, are situations (like a sealed bid for a short sale or disclosure) but in this case, is it advertised as such? I would suspect since the sellers did not take your offer last night that they are not taking your current offer. Your agent or legal counsel should best be able to direct you as negotiations, especially with multiple interested parties. Therefore, I cannot advise you but can wish you well on this one.

Good Luck!
0 votes
Tina Walsh, Agent, Doylestown, PA
Tue Sep 8, 2009
That's a shame when you get into a situation like that. However, it doesn't sound illegal at all. I hope you are receiving proper representation, and if that is the case, just put your best foot forward the first time. If it doesn't work out, there will be other homes that will suit you in the near future, most likely.

Best wishes!

Tina Walsh
Class Harlan Real Estate
215-348-8111 x 24
Tina@PAHomeShop.com
http://www.PAHomeShop.com
Web Reference:  http://www.PAHomeShop.com
0 votes
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