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Do Not Disclose Multiple Offers Unless The Seller Has Authorized You To Do So

Hi folks. I’ve read a couple of posts recently that have left me scratching my head. Both were about listing agents and their “unethical” practice of not handling multiple offers according to the Buyer agent’s expectations.

In the comments on these posts the listing agents were called lazy, unethical, unprofessional, bad, rude, unfair and greedy. The consensus was that “The listing agent was not looking out for the Seller‘s best interest.”

Well my question is: “How do you know what’s in my Seller’s best interest”. The answer of course is “you don’t“. You have no clue what my Seller and I have discussed.

As a listing Broker it is my job to counsel my sellers. My Sellers need to know that they do not have to…….

…..disclose multiple offers.
…..counter offer.
…..ask for “highest and best”.
…..even acknowledge your Buyer’s offer.

There are many reason why NOT disclosing multiple offers or asking for “Highest and Best” may be the best way forward.

  • The Buyer may NOT submit an offer if they know there are multiple offers.
  • A Buyer may also NOT want to get caught up in a bidding war.
  • By disclosing multiple offers I could very well keep my Seller from getting a better offer.

I can’t even count how many times a Buyer’s agent has called me to say they were sending over an offer. Frankly it goes in one ear and out the other. I NEVER believe them. I am not going to contact my Seller and get them all excited only to have to let them down when the offer does not materialize.

Send me the offer and I’ll present it to the Seller. And send me a COMPLETE offer. Telling me you will provide a pre-approval and/or proof of funds tomorrow does my Seller or your Buyer no good. Without these items the offer will not be presented. It’s a non offer.

As an example: I received an offer on one of my short sale listings on Friday. It was cash and very low. It was also sent over with out proof of funds (POF). I emailed the agent and asked them for the POF.

I didn’t receive POF until Monday and then......I couldn’t read it. I had to ask the agent to resend it. It took the agent took another 24 hours. Finally, 5 days later, I was able to discuss the offer with my Seller.

My Seller countered. Shortly after that we received a far better offer that my Seller will probably accept. After discussing it we decided to ask the cash offer for “Highest and Best” just to see if they would come up.

I received an email from the agent moaning that she thought her Buyers would get an answer today and that they were not happy with “Highest and best” and were in fact upset that there were now multiple offers because we “didn’t disclose this to them”.

Now if this agent were a Blogger she would probably write a post about how  lazy, unethical, unprofessional, bad, rude, unfair and greedy I am. And how “I’m not looking out for my Seller’s best interest.”

But that’s OK. My Seller just accepted the other offer that was $15,000 better than the cash offer. I really don’t give a crap what the Buyer’s agent and the Buyer think. I work for the Seller. They are the one’s paying me.

While I certainly agree with having “professional courtesy” it does not extend to giving you insider information to help you negotiate a real estate transaction. Always remember who you are working for.

If your expectations are different....then you are setting yourself and your Buyers up for failure. That’s all I have to say about that. What say you?

More articles on handling multiple offers.

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