Knock on sellers door - Ethics Question

7 Replies

So I am in a situation currently where I put a "strong" offer on a duplex that previously had an offer on it. I heard back from my buyers agent that the other offer was comparable and they are NOT giving me the ability to submit a higher offer but keeping my offer as a back-up. The property is not under contract yet but there has been some negotiation. In my opinion the selling agent isn't doing the seller justice by not giving me the ability to submit a higher offer. My suspicion is that the selling agent is representing the other buyers as well and wants the higher commission. I'm very interested in this property and a very qualified buyer. There is nothing my buyers agent can do. Do I knock on the sellers door?

I'm not aware of anything in NJ that prevents buyers and sellers from talking to each other. We sold a townhouse in NJ (granted, this was 20+ years ago) and spoke to the buyers before they put in their final offer. It might be awkward if you start discussing numbers.

What is preventing you from just withdrawing the current offer and putting in a better offer? 

I could do that. Do you think that's a better option? Maybe that's another reason that the possible dual agent doesn't want a higher offer, because she doesn't know if her buyers can qualify. I personally work in sales and would have no problem introducing myself. But I also don't want to disqualify myself for being intrusive. Talking them might be better because I can receive credit without raising my price.

If I wanted the place, and I knew there was an offer the same as mine, I would just withdraw and resubmit a better offer. 

I might have missed this. Are you an agent or working with one? If not can you offer her both sides of the commission.

Originally posted by @JD Martin :

If I wanted the place, and I knew there was an offer the same as mine, I would just withdraw and resubmit a better offer. 

 Thats what I ended up doing.  I bumped it up 10k to my best offer.

Originally posted by @Eric F. :

I might have missed this. Are you an agent or working with one? If not can you offer her both sides of the commission.

 Im not an agent but work with a buyers agent.  I feel that I am obligated to use my buyers agent because she has been very helpful.  I bought one from her in December and she has shown me quite a few since then that haven't worked out.

Originally posted by @Rob Randle:
Originally posted by @Eric F.:

I might have missed this. Are you an agent or working with one? If not can you offer her both sides of the commission.

 Im not an agent but work with a buyers agent.  I feel that I am obligated to use my buyers agent because she has been very helpful.  I bought one from her in December and she has shown me quite a few since then that haven't worked out.

 Since you are working with a buyers agent, and I assume s/he is assisting with some of the sourcing of deals, you might consider this situation a learning experience as what to expect when you get into competitive buying situations.

Depending on the price of property it might be advantageous to reach an agreement in advance with your buyers agent to pay them a fixed fee or % of the agreed to price when a similar situation arises. By having this agreement in place prior to, and given the buyers agent can retract their commission, it may be less expensive to pay your buyers agent through the closing instead of raising the price by an amount you might have otherwise have agreed to go.

In the situation you described, if the actual fact is the listing broker is attempting to double end the deal to their own buyer client but the two offers are similar it may have saved you a couple/several thousands of dollars had you agreed to pay your buyers agent a fee/% in exchange for retracting their rights to a commission and raised your offer by x  dollars.

In the past when working CRE brokerage exclusively, I would propose this to my buying clients when a competitive buying situation arose, but with the added caviot that my fee went into the deal on a pare pasu equity basis and I also got the management/brokerage work for the project.

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