Give Us Your Final & Best by 5:00...There has to be a better way

Real Estate Agent with Realty Executives Ambassador (Orland Park, IL South Chicago)

Seems like every offer I write on a foreclosure lately comes back with an email or fax asking for my final & best by a certain time.

I've been working along side my broker for the past 3 years doing REO in Chicago, Illinois. When our office has the listing and I have a buyer looking to purchase the listing I always have a leg up on everyone else because I know what kinds of offers are coming in and I can straight up tell buyers if their offer has any chance of getting accepted or if they shouldn't even bother writing it. Now when I have a buyer looking to purchase a listing held by a different brokerage I know the listing office has the leg up in regards to their buyer's offers and they can easily wait for all final & best offers to come in and then advise their buyers to outbid by a little more.

Over the past 2 months I've had numerous buyers with final & best offers coming in $25,000-$30,000 over list price but every time I get a call from the listing agent telling me the seller has decided to go with another offer. Then when I proceed to ask questions about the kind of offer that was accepted they will not give me any info until after the property closes. My office will at least answer basic questions about an accepted offer. When I say basic questions I mean: 

Was the accepted offer under or over list price?

Was the accepted offer represented in-house?

Was the accepted offer cash or financed?

Like I said before I work first hand on the listing side of REO transactions and the banks basically tell us that we can't give out the sold price or specific contract terms until the property closes but many agents must like feeling superior to everyone else by holding back allinfo until the property closes. If someone takes their time to show a property and write an offer I think very basic questions should be answered.  

About a week ago after showing a bunch of REOs to a buyer I received a call for feedback on a property. The listing agent asked me if we placed an offer. I responded that we wouldn't be making an offer on the property for various reasons. She then explained that she was just wondering because their seller has a website where the buyer's agent places the offer,which bypasses the listing agent, and goes directly to the seller. She told me how she thought it was so stupid that offers had to be placed like that because she has no idea how high the offers are or even how many offers there are.

I personally think all offers should be done like that when dealing with REOs. It makes sure that everyone including the listing agents are on a level playing field. It also makes sure that all offers being made are being submitted and viewed by the seller (I do wonder sometimes if my offers are even being submitted). When my office receives a contract then all the contracts terms are inputted into Equator where it is then viewed by the seller. I would prefer Equator allowing buyer's agent to register for accounts where they can then input their offers directly to the seller without the listing agent even seeing. The licensing law says that we are supposed to advise our clients with their best interest in mind. So does that mean I'm supposed to refer my clients to the listing agent when it's time to write an offer on an REO?  





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