Although this event didn’t actually happen on Elmwood Street, it did actually happen…
A few years ago, I represented a buyer in a multiple offer situation on a nice starter home in the 95129 zip code. The listing agent owned a small local firm and after several discussions, I learned all I could about what the seller needed. I learned that there were 6 confirmed offers (in her hand) and that all offers were to be presented to the listing agent (I hate this senario). Later that evening, the listing agent would review the offers with her client. So my client and I put together the best offer possible.
Upon arriving at the listing agent’s office, I learned that there were only 2 offers. Apparently, the other 4 offers that she had in hand (only 45 minutes earlier) had somehow disappeared. Odd isn’t it. Having known this agent for some time, the buyer and I had prepared several different offers given the probability that “real estate is always in flux.” After presenting my client’s offer, the listing agent asked if we could increase our purchase price (this was a normal question given the market but somewhat aggressive given her previous misrepresentations regarding the number of offers). I said “no,” but indicated that the listing agent should put her request in writing and I would present it to my client. The listing agent declined so I figured that my client’s offer was dead.
Flash forward to late that evening when I get a call from the other agent representing the other buyer on this home. She wanted to see if my client was going to respond to the seller’s counter-offer. Apparently, the listing agent told the other buyer’s agent that the seller had countered both buyers (hers and mine) and that we were in a multiple counter situation. The listing agent had specifically told the other buyer’s agent that I had received a counter-offer. Note: I never received a counter and there were no other agents/offers involved. I told the other agent that my buyer wasn’t comfortable with the way the listing agent represented things (how an agent represents himself/herself also reflects on the consumers image of the property) and had decided not to pursue the home. Then something bizarre happened.
The other buyer’s agent wanted me to advise her on what to do? Hello, I don’t work for you or your company, I’m not your manager and I’m not your legal advisor (although she needed one). In short, get a clue! She wanted to know if she should tell her client that there weren’t any other offers on the house. Or should she keep quite and have her buyer sign the counter as it is and get the house. My advice was to let her client know all the facts and let him/her decide and/or at least she should talk with her manager.
Flash forward another 6 weeks. I run into the other buyer’s agent at the Thursday broker tour and ask her what she eventually did. Can you guess what she did? Yep, she didn’t tell her buyer anything. In the end, the buyer got the house but over paid for it. What makes matters worse is that the buyer’s agent told me that her client was so ecstatic to have gotten the house that she had referred her another buyer.
I wonder how that client faired?