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Best and final offer?

There is a notion that real estate agents might be the lowest form of human being on earth. Right up there with used car salesmen. Recently, I have uncovered some evidence to strongly support that notion!

Obviously this is not true for the majority of us out there trying our best to help people. But unfortunately, there are many agents practicing with no scruples or moral compass and they do things that make your skin crawl. These agents are not looking out for you and really only care about the commission cheque. They also don't usually last very long in this industry as eventually, their reputation will proceed them.

It is bad enough that we are in such a strong seller's market that we have to set dates for offer presentations and throw away many of the protective condition statements just for a chance to win a bid but we now have a new(ish) dilemma to deal with. This practice may look different if you are on the seller side of the equation but if you step back and look at it holistically, it feels very wrong.

Here is what is going on. The listing agent will collect all of the offers on a specific date and time. They will then pick the top 3 or 4 offers and go back to the other agents and tell them that they are one of the top contenders but are still competing with a few others. They then ask them if they would like to revise their offer to make it better and maybe push them over the top to win the bid. The listing agent reveals nothing to the buying agent about where they are in the order of contenders and, of course, nothing about the other bids.

When you line up the process to accept all bids at a certain time, that should be your best and final offer unless the seller signs back your offer with a change that you can then contemplate working with. With this new practice, you might end up bidding even more than you did before in fear that you will lose the competition. It adds extra pressure onto an already intense situation. You may have a bid that is way out in front of the others and end up adding even more on top of it when you didn't need to.

You always have the option of leaving your bid as is and not changing it or even retracting it. You could change it and still not be selected. Or you could end up spending much more than you ever intended to and find yourself in a predicament with your lender if they don't agree with the appraisal.

To me, this is a slimy thing to do as an agent. A poor way to conduct business by changing the rules midway through the process and adding unnecessary pressure for a few extra dollars. Short term thinking. And it is risky too! The buyers could all walk away leaving the seller with less options.

This heavy sellers market will not last forever. Signs are already showing up that change is coming. Working in a balanced market is much better for everyone and when we get there, this practice will fade away. So too will those agents that have been using this tactic. Integrity is what you need to win the long game in this business.

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