Real Estate Ruse?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by TnTnTn, Jan 12, 2005.

  1. TnTnTn

    TnTnTn Well-Known Member

    Dec 23, 2004
    Cannon Co. TN
    I will try to keep this short and to the point so that you may offer opinions.

    Adjacent small property went through foreclosure and repo by Citibank.
    Wife called local realtor and learned that xxx realtor in another city had called that very morning advising that property was for sale for 19K. Wife told local realtor we will take it, draw up contract. Wife calls me and tells me to stop at local realtor office to sign contract with a check as binder. In less than an hour local realtor calls back and says there is another 'offer'. XXX realty will entertain our 'final offer' along with the mystery buyer's offer at 10am the next day. We make offer of 22.5K at 9:30 am. XXX notifies our local realtor who calls us at about 11:30 that we were outbid by mystery buyer(no sales price given).

    Now we feel we were royally jerked around and dragged into a 'bidding' scheme with a mystery buyer who at the least had access to our final bid.

    If there was another offer(which there could have been) our agreement to pay the total asking price should have trumped a lesser 'offer', right? If the other offer was for the asking price then we should have been told the property had already sold, right?

    Do I have legitimate complaints about this fishy sequence of events? It seems to us that breach of contract, bait and switch, and/or some other unethical realty transaction has transpired. Are there any legal. realty or other persons on this board who will give opinions? Should I seek legal advice/sue or just put up with this stinky sequence of events? Thanks. TnTnTn
  2. to live free

    to live free Well-Known Member

    Jan 9, 2005
    legal advice or sue? why because a bank is trying to screw arround with you. is the property worth the extra money for legal fees. why is it that a majority of americans assume that if they don't get what they ant they have right to sue. i say let it go.

  3. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

    May 10, 2002
    Texas Coastal Bend/S. Missouri
    I can't tell from your post if you actually had signed anything yet. Also, if you didn't get the property, then you aren't out any money, so I don't think you have a fraud claim.

    Yes, it COULD be shady dealing. Such is life. If you don't trust the realtor, don't use him again and tell him why.
  4. RMShepp

    RMShepp Active Member

    Nov 6, 2004
    I've seen things like this happen before. You have to remember the realtor represents the seller in this case. It is his/her duty to get the best price for the property. I think you would only have a complaint if it had turned out that there was no other bidder and they were just trying to jack you up on the price. Doesn't sound like that's the case here.
  5. CarlaWVgal

    CarlaWVgal Well-Known Member

    Jul 21, 2004
    Wild, Wonderful WV
    We bought a foreclosed house and had a similar situation. This house had set on the market for almost a year. We liked it and made an offer of less than asking price because it needed tons of work. Someone else had made a full price offer at the same time. The bank said "hmmm, I don't know...." so we upped our offer (still not full price). The other people made another counter offer, we didn't. The bank sold to us, since we had cash and the others needed financing. I honsestly think the house could not have gotten financing, it was in that bad of shape, and the bank knew that and decided it would be better to lose a little more money than let the house sit any longer.

    So all of this happened on a couple of weeks on a house that had been empty for months. It does happen.


    Oh, and our realtor did not tell us what the counter offers were until after we closed on the house, so we didn't know they were willing to pay more than purchase price, and didn't base our counter offer on that, just what we were willing to pay.
  6. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

    Nov 7, 2002
    South West MI
    I've been scamed twice. One time I went in to sign the papers only to be told that the house had been sold a month before I looked at it. I even had a purchase agreement signed. I made 10k in the end they offered the house at full price I refused the house and took the settelment. Get a good lawyer and take it to them they deserve it.

  7. edjewcollins

    edjewcollins Well-Known Member

    Jun 20, 2003
    SE MI.
    Don't know if it's helpful or not, but when the sale is over you can always call the tax assessor and find who the owner of record is. You can often do this online. You may find that if the land was a good deal it was purchased by an "insider" at the bank or by a realtor. Realtors often snatch up good bargains themselves as an investment.

  8. fin29

    fin29 Well-Known Member

    Jun 4, 2003
    Counter offers need to be in writing. The realtor should have copies of them for you to view. It they don't, sue them.
  9. SteveD(TX)

    SteveD(TX) Well-Known Member

    May 14, 2002
    Are you guys lawyers?? Seems there is lots of talk about sueing people here. I know of no law that would grant public access to offers or contracts on real estate. Some states also have non-disclosure laws that prevent even the taxing authorities from knowing the sales price as well. So in fact, you may never know what the counter-offer was, or what it sold for.
  10. TnTnTn

    TnTnTn Well-Known Member

    Dec 23, 2004
    Cannon Co. TN
    live free, There are plenty of things that I would like to have and have not gotten and never remotely considering suing over. In fact I have never sued anybody over anything.

    In this case I agreed to pay the asking price for a piece of property being offered for sale by a realty company. My realtor had a phone call from my banker with a verbal 'letter of credit' that the cash was ready. Then another 'offer' appears. My feeling is if the other 'bidder' offered the full asking price before I did then that bidder should get the property. If I offered the full asking price before the other 'bidder', then I should have gotten the property or at least been put in a room with the other bidder in an auction style scenario. A blind bid against a mystery buyer is BS. I feel an insider got the property for less than I offered as a quick investment. Or it may just be a scheme/scam to jack the price since the property 'sold' so quickly. I am saying this is unethical and/or illegal. After all realtors and banks(licensed institutions) are involved not just farmers bs'ing across the back fence.

    Thanks to all who have responded so far. I am going to do some investigation today with the concerned parties to try and find out more and consider my response. I figure my word is good-I expect licensed professionals to be accountable, honest, and credible. TnTnTn
  11. barbarake

    barbarake Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2003
    Upstate SC
    There is no binding contract until both the buyer (you) and seller accepts (signs) the offer. It's not enough for you (buyer) to make an offer, the seller has to formally accept (sign) it and then the buyer has to accept it.

    Doesn't sound like that happened here so I don't think you have much of a case. (But I don't blame you for being a bit peeved about the whole thing.)
  12. Old John

    Old John Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 27, 2004
    Hi Y'all,

    Nope I think there is no law granting access to offers. In Indiana they are not
    allowed to be seen.

    Last year we found a place out in the country that we really wanted. We'd come down with our Realtor the 65 mi., to look at it.
    We WANTED it. She called the local realtor & told them we'd FAX an offer
    as soon as we got back to the city.
    They said, "Why wait, stop here, use our back office & make the offer here."
    So we did.
    We found they already had 3 Offers, one of which had been countered.
    Our Realtor said not to give up, we'll make an Offer.

    Background: the place had been on the market for a year. The price had been dropped twice. It needed a bunch of work, sort of a fixer-upper. I was getting ready to retire & thought with the Money from the other place we could fix it & come out okay....

    Our Realtor said that the other 3 offers were prob'ly "Low-ball offers".
    "Could we afford to go a thousand or two over the "Asking Price"?"
    She said if we did, they would have to rescind the other offers and
    accept ours. We had no idea what the other offers were.
    So that is what we did. We offered $2000 over the asking price, a clean offer,
    no encumberances. The local Realtor said, "That ought to do it."
    We made the offer at 7:00pm. At 7:30 next morning they accepted. We Won! We Won!

    We did NOT see the other offers. If they'd been higher than ours we'd have lost.
    Yes, you can offer MORE than asking price, to get what you want.
    Both Realors have the obligation to work for the best interest of their Clients.
    I don't think you can wion a suit. There may have been other factors you are unaware of.
    Good luck.
  13. norris

    norris Well-Known Member

    Dec 25, 2004
    Even after you have signed a contract offering to buy a certain property at a given price, unless you have been presented with a title commitment, also called title preliminary, which is improbable this early in the game, you have not really made an offer on anything specific.

    If the title commitment shows anything that was not disclosed by the seller at the time you signed, you can "object to title" which gives you a way out.

    If you coudn't object to title, that would mean that when you found out that several different entities have easements across the property, an oil company has the mineral rights and there are covenants preventing anyone from building a house there, you would be stuck with it. You see, the brokers usually don't have all this information until the title company starts processing the transaction.

    A contract is not much of a contract until the contingencies have been removed. When you receive the commitment and a certain length of time has passed, then it will be too late to turn back.
  14. Janon

    Janon 993cc Geo Metro

    Aug 25, 2002
    Southern Ontario CANADA
    I think the above is exactly right. Even a bank certified "cash" offer of full asking price is in no way related to the offer being accepted. There may be dozens of offers on a single piece of property, and for in-demand pieces of property, many of the offers will be above asking price. An offer is just an offer, and I don't even believe that there are any laws which state that the highest offer must be accepted. But I'm no lawyer.

  15. jack_c-ville

    jack_c-ville Well-Known Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    I don't understand what the problem is here. You wanted to buy a property but you were outbid. That's unfortunate for you but I don't see how anyone did anything nasty. This is the seller's private business and there is no reason why they should be required to disclose exactly what the other offer was.

    If you think you may have been discrimated against on the basis of race or something like that, then you have legitimate reason to take action. Otherwise this is just a business deal that didn't go yur way.

    By the way, next time see if you can get a buyer's agent to represent you in the deal. This gives you a major leg up if you don't have a lot of experience in buying real estate.


  16. mammabooh

    mammabooh Metal melter Supporter

    Sep 1, 2004
    Jeromesville, Ohio (northcentral)
    Shame on all of you who talked about suing. That saddens me more than I can ever express.
  17. ratherbefishin

    ratherbefishin Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2003
    it all depends on the situation, it is not unusual if more than one offer is in, for them to be presented at the same time.Usually, if there is only one offer, it will be presented and either accepted or rejected.What you don't know is if anyone else was tipped off as to whatyour bid was.if they were, that is highly unethical-but almost impossable to prove
  18. homebirtha

    homebirtha Well-Known Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    It seems very clear cut, and very typical for real estate transactions. You knew there was another interested party, you should have gone in with your best offer. The other offer was better. You lose. That's how it always works. They have no obligation to show you anything, since they rejected your offer.

    Believe me, I know how frustrating this is. We lost 8, YES 8, contracts before we finally got our farm. It sucks, but it's the seller's property and they have every right to do what they did. The only thing you could have done was make a better offer when you knew someone else was interested.

    You would be laughed right out of court if you pursued any legal action.
  19. minnikin1

    minnikin1 Shepherd

    Feb 3, 2003
    Central NY
    We have been having trouble getting offers accepted in this very competitive market, also.
    It's frustrating when our full price offers are refused. Remember you can always insist that they present a higher offer. You can even present a "back up" offer after a property goes under contract. Realtors are obligated to present all offers.

    As far as scams go, the one we ran into most often involved the listing agent "stalling" us if we were working with another realtor. They delay getting us in to view properties, or they "lose" papers, they "didn't get the message" etc. etc. so their buyer gets a contract before we have a chance.
    (The listing agent gets full commission if "their" buyer lands the contract, but has to split it if with our realtor if we get the deal.)
    Its frustrating. Realtors expect you to be "loyal" but you really put yourself in
    the backseat if you don't work with the listing agent on every property.

    I've been mad enough to go over all the realtors heads and contacted the seller directly once. I told them we had been attempting to get an offer in to them but their realtor was blocking it. It was useless because they didn't believe me, they thought I was trying to scam them somehow. In the end, it was their loss. They accepted an offer that was considerably less than we would have paid - in cash.
  20. timmcentire

    timmcentire Active Member

    Apr 16, 2004
    You know, we just went through a similar thing here in Tennessee (same RE agent ?). There was a property listed in MLS, a pretty good deal. We made an offer of the full asking price to the RE agent. For the next many weeks we tried over and over to contact the agent to find out if the seller (I think a mortgage company in this case) had accepted. Finally, after a long time we got in touch with the agent and he said, "oh yeah, I am going to submit your offer next Monday". I thought agents were required to present all offers in a timely manner. Anyway, when we next got in touch with him, he said that someone else had bought it. We were pretty sure we were the first (and only as far as we knew) ones to make an offer on the property. We're sure not ever going to deal with this agent again.

    What area of TN did this happen in your case?