Realtor Bait & Switch ?

84 Replies

I made an offer today on a property that’s been sitting for some time now. The seller’s realtor made a counter offer and I accepted.

My realtor was about to send the contract with the amended price that I agreed to which is the seller’s asking counter offer.

Just a few hours into it the seller’s realtor texted my realtor saying there’s another offer coming in tomorrow.

REALLY?! Isn’t this a huge co-incidence that someone is making another offer tomorrow after a few hours of me accepting their counter offer? Smells fishy to me. I’m tempted to pull out my offer and say they can have it ! What would you guys do? This is my 1st flip.

Doesn’t matter if an offer is coming in tomorrow. If they made a written counter offer and you accepted, the deal is done. If nothing was in writing, then no deal was offered or accepted. 

@Bill Brandt thanks. That’s the thing. My realtor sent the new paperwork and they haven’t signed it yet since they’re saying they’re waiting for a new offer tomorrow. It just puzzles me that they’re saying that within a few hours of me agreeing to what they countered.

But you’re right, I don’t have a deal until they sign the contract. I guess I just have to wait and see. Thanks again.

OKay let's think about this for a moment...Is your offer a good offer?  Do your numbers make sense on this property?  Did you base your offer on the numbers or that the property had been sitting to long?

 My opinion is that you are worried to much about the 'other guy'... if your offer is good and you put all of your cards on the table then ride it out... if you held back on this one and aren't able to get this property then use this property as a lesson and move on and buy the next one... If you get twitterpated whenever an deal goes a little sideways you'll spend forever freaking out in real estate.  Just put your best foot forward, trust your numbers and don't worry about anybody else .. it will happen don't try to force a deal...I know its frustrating but it's gonna get worse before it gets better if this is your first deal.  :-)

@Engelbert Devera

You’re confusing me. You said you’re agreeing to their counteroffer. If they counter offered you, it would have come to you with their signatures already on it. 

They sign their counter offer and send it to you for your signature. Once they hit send they’re locked in to the deal if you sign. 

If you’re counteroffering then then you sent them a signed form waiting for them to sign. 

On the last minute offer I’ve won being the last minute entry and I’ve won by being the first offer that just repeats his offer. 


@Bill Brandt Hey Bill sorry for the confusion. So this is how it happened.

1-SFR listed at $95K

2- I offered $80K via contract using my realtor.

3- My realtor said the seller counter offered $82K via phone so nothing in writing.

4- I said ok let’s do it. So my realtor had to draft another offer showing the $82K and I signed it and she sent it.

5- Seller’s realtor then texted my realtor saying ‘By the way there’s another offer tomorrow just letting you know.’ So the contract with $82K offer has NOT been signed coz the other party is waiting for another offer.

Theyll probably accept the offer for 82. Id just hang back and see. Its probably game but you could have your realtor be like. Hey just let me know were looking at other properties as well.

@Engelbert Devera Almost every deal I’ve done over 30 years has had something I could have gotten upset and walked away from ... just on principle!  But then I wouldn’t have anything! 

Don’t let your emotions get in the way of making a good deal happen.  sometimes you can vent your frustration through your agent to some advantage, but do the deal if it’s a good deal.  Your war-story will be a hit at the next get together!

Thank you guys for your replies. I really appreciate it. My takeaway on this is ‘controlling my emotions’. I’m sure this is a newbie trait. But I’m learning a lot from all of you and will definitely take it in stride. This confirms I’m in the right tribe. Thanks again and will keep you updated. 

It's not uncommon for an offer to beget more offers actually, even when the property has been sitting for awhile. What happens is once the selling agent receives the first offer, they pick up the phone and call everyone who has ever expressed interest in the property and let them know there's an offer in hand, trying to set up a bidding war to get the most for their client. That's what selling agents do. Don't get upset or take it personally and pull your offer if you actually want the deal. Anyone can make an offer, even as a backup offer after your offer has actually been accepted. Just make the strongest offer you feel comfortable with, let the seller know you are a serious buyer, and whatever happens at least you know you tried your best. Good luck! 

@Engelbert Devera just for some clarity: Did you get a formal counter? Because if you sign that, it’s a ratified contract and it doesn’t really matter what other offers come in.

That being said, I have seen properties sit for months and then have multiple offers come in all at once - it could be that comps went into contract, or the realtor followed up with potential buyers because they received an offer. While I understand your hesitancy, it could be legit... if I were your Realtor I wouldn’t be doing any of this via text or written media, I’d be getting them on the phone and listening to the tone of their voice, and asking questions in real-time to feel out how legitimate this is.

Too many amateurs giving you bad advice.

How does waiting til they look at the other offer hurt you other than the possibility of you losing the deal? Pulling your offer does the same thing. Why would you shoot yourself in the foot?

Therea no coincidence here. This is how real estate works. Offer comes in, listing agent sends mass email to every one that looked at the property, 2nd or 3rd offer comes in. Standard operating procedure. I just had a property listed, week 7 on the market I get an offer, and I was able to turn that into 4 offers in s 24 hour period. 

Realtors around here ALWAYS come up with that ...then try to get you to offer highest and other words up your offer...DON'T DO IT...stick to your original offer...only one time in many years was there an actual real second offer...

This is not an uncommon situation. As you have said, you don't have any deal until both sides sign. Have your agent ask if they are going to go highest and best if they get multiple offers so you have a chance to increase your offer if you want. They have no obligation to you. They can just accept another offer without going to highest and best so you will definitely want your agent to check on that. 

If the P&S wasn't signed by the seller, no offer was accepted. Oftentimes in a situation like this, the listing agent will:

- Get a low offer on a property.

- Run it by the seller, who verbally says they will accept (or make a counter much lower than the list price)

- Then reach out to all of the other potentially interested parties on the property and let them know they have a lower offer on the table and if their buyers can exceed “X”, they can have the deal.

It’s not uncommon for buyers to be interested in a property but not want to submit a lowball offer. The listing agents job is to get the most for the seller, of course. Not saying that is what’s happening here, but it does happen

Sounds like a few lesson's learned.  One more I would add is all offers should have a time table on them.  When you make the offer it should only be good for say 48 hours.  If you want to play games and have the buyer waiting for offers that constantly never come in that fine but i'd prefer to be in charge and avoid it all.  

Also This is one of the many reason why I don't use a realtor.  Your never going to get the full story of what happened.  As a buyer you don't need to be a realtor to make offers, so unless you enjoyed playing the telephone game in school the more folks you eliminate between you and the seller the better for the both of you.

This kind of thing happens all of the time. A property sits for months, you make an offer and all of the sudden the listing agent says there's another offer or seven. There are a couple ways I like to mitigate this. I like to make my offers expire quickly with my buyer's option to honor their offer after expiration if they like. 

Secondly- this is business. It's easy to get annoyed or frustrated by the sellers negotiation tactics, especially if you think they are being dishonest. You need to remove those feelings from the process- if you made an offer you are comfortable with, let the cards fall where they may. I would never rescind an offer on a property I liked where the numbers worked just because I didn't like the way the seller negotiated. You'll be dealing with them for a month and enjoying the fruits of that effort for the rest of your life- no pain, no gain!

Best of luck!

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

We hate spam just as much as you

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here