NEW YORK – Nov. 16, 2015 – Low for-sale inventories and interest rates have increased competition among homebuyers for a limited number of for-sale property listings. In some markets, sellers may receive a dozen or more offers on the same day their home hits the market.
As a result, most of those bidders will be disappointed – sometimes more than once. And if they don’t understand the contract and negotiation process upfront, it can make matters worse.
Realtors would be wise to counsel buyers upfront. They should make sure buyers’ expectations about the process are realistic and dispel some of the myths about negotiations.
Buyers’ agents should let clients know before placing the first bid, for example:
- Listing agents and sellers are not legally required to disclose that there are other offers
- Sellers are not obligated to negotiate with the first buyer who makes a bid
- Sellers don’t have to accept full-price or cash offers
- Counteroffers can be made over the phone, but only written agreements are binding
- Sellers can legally tell a buyer what a competing bidder offered because neither they, nor their agent, owe a duty of confidentiality to the buyer
- Buyers should realize they don’t have the right to change their mind once a seller accepts their offer in writing
- If buyers reject a seller’s counteroffer, the counteroffer is no longer open for acceptance
Source: Alliance Review (11/06/2015) Lorenz, Joe
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