Seller's agent not presenting my offer for days

11 Replies

I found a great investment opportunity in a hot local neighborhood.  Within hours of the listing going live, I entered a full-price offer in writing.  This was on Wednesday, and the seller's agent claims he "cannot reach his client" until Saturday to present any offers.  In the meantime, he has set up multiple showings.  

I'm confident that other full-price offers will come in before Saturday.  Doesn't he have a fiduciary duty to present my written offer when I submit it?  I refuse to believe that he is not able to reach his client, given all forms of communication available today...

@Jesse Smith That was his strategy all along. Holding back offers create a bidding war. Won't be surprised if the property was price a bit lower than market value. He should have disclosed it on the listing but they don't really have to.. I won't be surprised if he gives you a call and tells you that he has more offers and raise your stakes..

Sellers can review offers whenever they like.  I list properties on Wednesdays and review offers the following Tuesday. 

His fiduciary duty is to his client, not you. If keeping the property on the market longer yields higher offers, then that is what he should be doing.

Originally posted by @Russell Brazil :

Sellers can review offers whenever they like.  I list properties on Wednesdays and review offers the following Tuesday. 

His fiduciary duty is to his client, not you. If keeping the property on the market longer yields higher offers, then that is what he should be doing.

Do you disclose this on your listing, that you will be reviewing offers the following Tuesday?  It seems like a full price offer should be presented to the seller.  With multiple showings scheduled, it seems like he is trying to find a buyer without a buyer's agent.  If he receives an offer from a buyer at full price, without a buyer's agent, I feel like he will push the seller toward that offer.  Seems very unfair to hold back a written offer at full asking price.

Originally posted by @Jesse Smith :
Originally posted by @Russell Brazil:

Sellers can review offers whenever they like.  I list properties on Wednesdays and review offers the following Tuesday. 

His fiduciary duty is to his client, not you. If keeping the property on the market longer yields higher offers, then that is what he should be doing.

Do you disclose this on your listing, that you will be reviewing offers the following Tuesday?  It seems like a full price offer should be presented to the seller.  With multiple showings scheduled, it seems like he is trying to find a buyer without a buyer's agent.  If he receives an offer from a buyer at full price, without a buyer's agent, I feel like he will push the seller toward that offer.  Seems very unfair to hold back a written offer at full asking price.

 He has disclosed to you when the offer will be presented. They are under no obligation to review it on your timeline.  Further an unrepresented buyer may be in the best interests of the seller under several circumstances. There may be a variable rate commission at play, so an even dollar offer could yield a higher net to the seller. Also unrepresented buyers are easy to take advantage of, and could get them bidding against themselves or waiving contingencies that a represented buyer might not waive.

@Jesse Smith Did your offer have an expiration time and date?  If I were your agent, it would have - and it would be hours, not days from submission.

A sharp agent will tell you to pound sand, but many are not that sharp.  

For what it's worth, MA law (I don't know about your state) requires that the seller's agent presents every offer "forthwith".  I have used that law to pressure a listing agent intent on dragging their heels to get our offer presented.

Originally posted by @Charlie MacPherson :

@Jesse Smith Did your offer have an expiration time and date?  If I were your agent, it would have - and it would be hours, not days from submission.

A sharp agent will tell you to pound sand, but many are not that sharp.  

For what it's worth, MA law (I don't know about your state) requires that the seller's agent presents every offer "forthwith".  I have used that law to pressure a listing agent intent on dragging their heels to get our offer presented.

 My offer did not have an expiration, although I considered putting a 24hr clock on it.  Games like this make me angry.  The seller's agent should present the offer to the seller for their decision... Not wait around for another offer that nets him a higher commission.  That seems very unethical.  Especially since I could pull my offer at any time.  Seems like a breach of his fiduciary duty to his client.  They asked for a price... I offered it... Should be done.

Originally posted by @Russell Brazil :
Also unrepresented buyers are easy to take advantage of, and could get them bidding against themselves or waiving contingencies that a represented buyer might not waive.

 Honestly, this seems pretty unethical.  

Originally posted by @Jesse Smith :
Originally posted by @Russell Brazil:
Also unrepresented buyers are easy to take advantage of, and could get them bidding against themselves or waiving contingencies that a represented buyer might not waive.

 Honestly, this seems pretty unethical.  

 That is the job they are hired to do. You represent your client to the best of your ability. Not doing so is what would be unethical.  

Every agent represent his/her client and do what's in the clients best interest.

If another offer was coming, there is high chance that the seller has seen your offer but doesn't want to answer even with risk of your withdrawal 

I submitted a full price offer with financing and the listing agent told me on the phone she's out of town celebrating her birthday ;)

I knew right away that another offer is coming.

Sure enough, on Monday I've got request of "highest and best".

Leveraging by my offer, she sold her listing to another agents buyer for cash and higher than asking price.

If the agent knew that price is to sell, she doesn't have to accept your offer right away.....it's in her client best interest to wait - she knows what kind of activity there is on the listing....if there were like 10-12 showings in the first day, no way she'd advice her client to accept the first offer - she knows the listing will be sold higher than asking price.

Comissions has nothing to do with that - it's literally few dollars for the difference in price. But to sell it the best way will get you a long term client - which is priceless

@Jesse Smith At this point, I would formally withdraw your current offer and submit a new one with a 24 hour expiration.  With an open-ended offer hanging out there, the seller's agent is free to fly it like a flag and ask the entire world "who wants to beat this offer!?!"

In the seller's agent's defense, it's not a game.  He is a fiduciary to the seller, so he is required by law and by ethics to get the best possible deal for the seller.  If you had an agent, yours would have the same obligation to you.

You presented an offer that allows him far more latitude than you should have.  He is most likely using that latitude to try to get a higher offer for his client.  That's what I'd do were I in his shoes.  And as @Russell Brazil pointed out, it would be unethical not to do so.

Originally posted by @Charlie MacPherson :

@Jesse Smith At this point, I would formally withdraw your current offer and submit a new one with a 24 hour expiration.  With an open-ended offer hanging out there, the seller's agent is free to fly it like a flag and ask the entire world "who wants to beat this offer!?!"

In the seller's agent's defense, it's not a game.  He is a fiduciary to the seller, so he is required by law and by ethics to get the best possible deal for the seller.  If you had an agent, yours would have the same obligation to you.

You presented an offer that allows him far more latitude than you should have.  He is most likely using that latitude to try to get a higher offer for his client.  That's what I'd do were I in his shoes.  And as @Russell Brazil pointed out, it would be unethical not to do so.

 One thing to go along with offers with expirations that Charlie has mentioned...in MA they are standing operating procedure. If they are not used in your market, do not use them. When we receive them in the DC area...we just disregard expirations and most agents when they see them consider them to be passive agressive. So for DC thats almost a guaranteed way to not get the property.