One "seasoned" agent refused to give my clients a chance to beat a competing offer because he believes "bidding wars are unethical".
It all happened about a month ago when I took my buyers to see a beautiful house in Huntingdon Valley listed by a Philadelphia Remax agent. It took no more then, oh, 3 seconds for them to fall in love with this house. It had absolutely everything they were looking for and they were more than ready to make a move after months of online searching.
We scheduled a 2nd showing for the next day so their folks could get a look as well (first time home buyers...) and the plan was to write up the offer immediately afterwards. As always, I began some investigative work and made the Seller's agent aware of my clients' strong interest. In return, the Seller's agent, who was far for being any kind of courteous on the phone, informed me there was an offer on the table that was still being thrown back and forth and was to be finalized the next day. I persuaded him (more like begged) to hold off until he had our offer in hand so that my buyers have a shot at it.
Looking at the comps we felt the asking price of $450k was a little steep and with no clues as to where the other offer was hanging we offered $425k, 45 day closing with a strong FHA pre-approval. We rushed to get the offer off to the listing agent, cautiously optimistic. When I dropped the offer I told the agent plain and clear that my clients would be willing to fight if needed.
An hour later I got a call from the listing agent saying the Seller decided to accept the other offer and that it's a done deal. I was blown away. It didn't even occur to me this is a possible scenario. Shocked, I asked "why didn't you give us a chance to come back? We could and would have done better". His reply was just as shocking: "I don't believe in bidding wars. They're unethical." "Really?" I asked in amazement. "Isn't your duty to get the best possible deal for your client? And last time I checked, the Code of Ethics has no problem with aggressively negotiating for your client. Can you honestly tell me what you just did was in your client's best interest?" The conversation (that would be a nice way to put it) went on for a few more minutes before he decided to hang up on me.
The craziest part of the story was, the other offer was just a couple of thousands more. With a little more work, this agent could have gotten his clients a much higher sales price so they would ultimately net more.
So, agents beware! there are agents out there that make up their own ethics rules and you could be their next victim...
Please feel free to weigh in on the comments section!