Seller is stalling on a full price offer, thoughts?

16 Replies

Hey guys I am new and wanted to hear feed back on your BS’ometer about response from seller who is stalling on an offer.

Saturday we put a full price offer on a duplex property(unoccupied), and right before a 48hr mark of offer expiration the seller’s agent came back with this:

- seller is asking for “a couple more days” to respond to the offer. Explanation being: Property belonged to the parents and seller is one of 3 children who is on the title and is selling it. Seller needs more time to contact 2 other siblings in another state on if it’s OK to sell this property?! Claims it has nothing to do with purchase price, just permission to sell this property.

- Btw seller’s agent called our lender and verified our loan/finances and got “everything is great” back from lender.

Did the seller really contact a realtor and put their parents property for sale, name their price, allow showings all without getting any OK from their siblings? Only after receiving an offer they plan to ask siblings for OK? I sense BS and something fishy. Oh btw when we placed our offer, seller’s agent said they were expecting 2 more offers from other people who seen it prior to us. Not sure if other offers were received after ours went in, could be just a scare tactic.

We are still looking at other properties mean time, just wondering if seller is an idiot or playing some game?

It is very likely that the seller listed it without full consent of siblings. However, as an agent, the listing agent had to go to the tax records at the very least in order to get the legal description and owners names. Unless the property is in an LLC or a trust (which owners can still be verified) this is something that should have been figured out before listing but it happens. Some people are just very slow too especially when more than one party has to decide. Did you ask for any closing costs? Was it a cash offer? They could be stalling if they are waiting on a cash buyer to view the property.

You'd think the seller would ask for permission PRIOR TO putting the property on the market. 

The seller is likely looking for better offers and is stalling. This is like high school prom all over again! :-)

And if it was a legit story the seller wouldn't need days to call two siblings and say, "Hi, we got 100% what we're asking for on the property. Should we take it?" 

Based on the seller's clown game I hope you find another property that ends up being better and go under contract on that. 

@Alexander Kleyman

I’ll defer to the more experienced investors on this forum, but this happened to us where the seller came back to us and wanted a week to decide on our full price offer since he had very early interest and a couple of early offers. In our case we think he was trying to create a sort of bidding war and decide from the best offers he got over that period of time. We didn’t give him very much time to decide so our offer just expired.

@Alexander Kleyman ,

No personal experience, but I’ve heard several stories like this. It seems to often pop up when the title work is being done.

You might want to offer some assistance in getting the siblings onboard, if that’s something you might be comfortable doing.

If it's listed through a broker, the broker should have made certain that whoever signed the listing docs has the right to sell the property.   Even though an executor or trustee has the right to sell, however, they still may have agreed to get other family members' ok before signing, as family dynamics can be very sensitive at times like these. It may very well be that they are awaiting other offers, especially if the family is pressuring the one in charge of selling to just wait a day or two if the agent told them more offers were coming  in.  We waited for over a week on one for the adult child executor to renegotiate terms with the new wife who was widowed as she threatened to sue the estate, stalling everything, unless they agreed to give her a higher percentage than she was left in the will.  My buyer offered slightly more even though there were no other offers on the table yet, but stated it had to be accepted within 24 hours, and that solved the problem.

Thanks everyone, I too think they are stalling to wait for more offers but without declining or loosing our full offer. I bet they wouldn’t mind trying to start a bidding war if more offers are received. This property was on the market for 3 days when we put our offer. Instead of being happy of a quick sale, I have to wonder if the seller is wondering if they underpriced the property. And no it’s not a “steal” just a good price for a move-in ready & good condition duplex. Property could use updating but not needed, and could be rented as-is to start generating income ASAP.

I can't stand when sellers pull this crap. I've seen it waaay too many times:

- I'll print the offer and bring it to the sellers tomorrow evening (what? is it 1997?)
- The sellers are on a cruise with no phone service, I'll keep trying to get ahold of them (of course...)
- It's a holiday, so we'll review the offer the day after

If I were you, I would call the agent and tell them your offer expires in 5 hours. Be ready to walk away though. I've done it before & walked away.

Can't blame them though lol, if I was selling I would also try to get multiple offers and start a bidding war.

@Alexander Kleyman It doesn’t really matter whether they are telling the truth or not.

Either way they have asked for an extension on your expiration. You can roll the dice and say no,
Give them 24 hours and hope you force a decision or... if it’s a great deal, wait it out and hope they are telling the truth.

Anyone can give advice but it’s really a coin toss.

Originally posted by @Alexander Kleyman :

Hey guys I am new and wanted to hear feed back on your BS’ometer about response from seller who is stalling on an offer.

Saturday we put a full price offer on a duplex property(unoccupied), and right before a 48hr mark of offer expiration the seller’s agent came back with this:

- seller is asking for “a couple more days” to respond to the offer. Explanation being: Property belonged to the parents and seller is one of 3 children who is on the title and is selling it. Seller needs more time to contact 2 other siblings in another state on if it’s OK to sell this property?! Claims it has nothing to do with purchase price, just permission to sell this property.

- Btw seller’s agent called our lender and verified our loan/finances and got “everything is great” back from lender.

Did the seller really contact a realtor and put their parents property for sale, name their price, allow showings all without getting any OK from their siblings? Only after receiving an offer they plan to ask siblings for OK? I sense BS and something fishy. Oh btw when we placed our offer, seller’s agent said they were expecting 2 more offers from other people who seen it prior to us. Not sure if other offers were received after ours went in, could be just a scare tactic.

We are still looking at other properties mean time, just wondering if seller is an idiot or playing some game?

My response as a buyer's agent to that first part would have been, "Wait, all parties on title didn't sign the listing agreement?". If the list agent stumbles upon answering I'd know its BS. But in practice its completely realistic that they just jumped on the listing after being told that "for sure" the other parties want to sell too without verifying that.

They could be playing games, but are you willing to walk? Don't throw out a deadline unless you are willing to uphold it, otherwise your bluff could get called and your negotiation power goes down to zilch.

Funny story from a couple weeks ago, somewhat related. Listing comes up for a 4 unit here, only 1 unit is available to be shown. My client offers almost full list, cash, close in 2 weeks. List agent claims she has another offer with "better price and terms". Ok, so I call to ask about those "better" terms, supposedly another offer willing to waive inspection. So we revise waiving inspection and increase price to match list. She says sorry, the other offer is still better. Next day, MLS is updated with a price change, INCREASING the list price almost 20%! Oh, and she added that she is related to the seller (she didn't have any completed sales in the MLS). So basically a FSBO family sale, they thought they were under-priced after getting presumably tons of traffic, and are now sitting on the market for being overpriced especially considering only 1 of 4 units can be shown pre-acceptance.

@Alexander Kleyman I say who cares, give them 1 extension of a few days. At the end, it comes down to price for my buyers usually. If it doesn't work out, then walk away. If Sellers sold it too low, they are going to be stinky during inspection phase, and want to put it back onto market. If Sellers have a hard time getting sibling agreement now, they are going to have same delays throughout contract. In my market, full-price offers after only a few days on market happen all the time. Seller motivation is interesting. And let them know that after expiration, you are going to go back and shop elsewhere, though if their plan doesn't work our, feel free to contact you again. If it goes pending and then comes back onto market, and you still want it, change your offer to better suit you and re-submit. I've resurrected Buyer's offers (as a Seller's Agent) that were more than 30 days old, when Seller's wants don't pan out.

I had a listing that received a cash offer at 90% of list price, short inspection, no appraisal. Sellers wanted at least 95% and countered. They didn't care that it was all cash. Buyer's Agent kept insisting that their offer was "so good". It wasn't what Seller wanted, so no deal.

It is very possible that the agent does not know enough to do their job properly so the excuse may be valid. It also may be the case that they are stalling for more offers to get a multiple offer situation.

Rather than gues which one it is, why not call the agent and put him or her on blast asking why he or she would list a property without the prior full consent of all parties. Listen to the answer carefully and decide if it is BS or not. If you feel it is BS, then give notice that they have until the end of the day to sign or counter your offer otherwise you are walking (even if you really are not walking) to place a sense of urgency on both agent and sellers.

Alex, you didn't lose anything with the offer.  Don't stress yourself and bring emotions into it.  For you, this is a business.  For the seller, it could be their HOME.  Keep making offers until something sticks.  At the same time you can tell seller's agent that after 10am tomorrow the offer will decrease by 1K/hour.  This is a numbers game. They only have 1 property and you have dozens to look at.  You're in the driver's seat.

So it’s been some time, almost 2 months...! and I have an update: I am happy to report that yesterday we finally closed on this property. Congrats to us for acquiring our first rental property!

It turned out that there was no funny business going on, just disorganized the sellers. The property was an estate being sold by 2 or 3 kids of a deceased parent living in multiple states. Ran into hick-ups with improperly setup estate documentation, quitclaim deed rights, even a local court judge had to get involved to sort out the documents just days before our closing. We as buyers just remained patient and waited out all the issues and they arose and resolved on almost weekly basis lol.

Originally posted by @Lynn M.:

If it's listed through a broker, the broker should have made certain that whoever signed the listing docs has the right to sell the property.   Even though an executor or trustee has the right to sell, however, they still may have agreed to get other family members' ok before signing, as family dynamics can be very sensitive at times like these. It may very well be that they are awaiting other offers, especially if the family is pressuring the one in charge of selling to just wait a day or two if the agent told them more offers were coming  in.  We waited for over a week on one for the adult child executor to renegotiate terms with the new wife who was widowed as she threatened to sue the estate, stalling everything, unless they agreed to give her a higher percentage than she was left in the will.  My buyer offered slightly more even though there were no other offers on the table yet, but stated it had to be accepted within 24 hours, and that solved the problem. 

while would a should a we all understand but this is quite common.. give them the time they need and this deal will go together.. its a legit excuse..