Absolutely you can. If a home has an accepted offer they should be showing as “Pending” or as “Active under contract” on the MLS ( Multiple Listing Service) or online. Be advised that online portals may not be accurate in reporting the status of the home (which in Real Estate Terminology is called a “Listing”). You can ask your Agent to write an offer that you feel will best represent your true intentions and send it via email or fax to the Sellers agent ( in Real Estate Terminology known as “The Listing Agent”) and ask for confirmation of receipt by that agent.
Before I go on to some of the pertinent issues let me re-iterate:
Per NAR ( National Association of REALTORS- D.A.N.G.E.R report):
” Masses of Marginal Agents Destroy The Reputation. The Real Estate Industry is saddled with a large number of Part-Time, Untrained, Unethical and/ or Incompetent Agents.”
What if: The Listing agent states ” My client will no longer look at offers.
“We are in Escrow and my client has instructed us that they will not look at any other offers,” says the Listing agent. That may or may not be true. Often times this listing agent may also be representing their own buyer. Many agents I know will not present all offers to the sellers if they have their own buyer. It always important for your agent to ask the Listing agent if they are representing their own buyers. Nothing wrong with that. An agent can have dual agency in the state of California. You just want to make sure that you are not being lied to. Unless the Listing agent has it in writing from the seller that upon acceptance of an offer they will no longer look at an offer, you have a right to ask that agent to present that offer.
What if: The Listing Agent refuses to respond.
This is a very common occurrence in the dirty and unethical world of Real Estate. Having said that, most Agents don’t have an idea what they can or cannot do. It’s not that they are being standoffish, it’s just that they don’t know (Surprised?…Don’t Be…just because they have a license to sell Real Estate, does not mean they are good at it). Most Real Estate agents don’t have the necessary training or education as a Real Estate Broker does. This is why the Real Estate agent always has to work under the supervision of a Real Estate Broker. The best way to handle this is to have your agent or their Broker (called the Broker of Record – A Real Estate Broker that supervises all the agents in that office or company/ Manager) call the Broker of Record of the Listing Agent, who is the ultimate responsible party to the contract, will most likely take care of it…..To find out about the agents and their employing brokers please click the BRE SITE Verify a Real Estate License
What if: the seller does not want to respond.
The seller has the right not to respond. It’s their home and they can sell it to whoever they want and at whatever price as long as they are not violating the Fair Housing practices. The seller can choose to Counter your offer, accept your offer as a first backup, or not respond at all.
If upon presentation of your offer the seller does want to work with you, there will be the following most likely scenarios.
- Your offer is being accepted in a Backup position, you should be receiving a counter along with a Backup offer addendum. The Backup offer addendum will protect your interests and highlight all the necessary time periods and contingencies, if and when the current buyer falls out, you have a chance to get into escrow. ( Know what are contingencies?)
- Once you receive the counter from the seller, review it with your agent. If you agree to all the terms, then accept it and if you want to make any changes to the counter offer and or the Backup addendum, have your Agent counter offer that clause/s.
- After all counters and addendums are signed, you are now to wait for the first right of refusal in case the current escrow/ buyer falls out.
Finally, I stress once again, that in this dirty and unethical world of Real Estate, your utmost job is to find great representation who has the necessary knowledge, experience, negotiation skills to represent your interest and above all the ethical practices to protect you at all times. There are a few great Brokers or Agents out there, take advantage of their experience. Good Luck! ( how to find the best agent to represent me)
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- Hope this article has helped answer some of your questions. If you still have any remaining questions that are unique to a transaction please email me or call me.
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