Special offer

Who Shopped My Offer?

Real Estate Agent with Century 21 Foothill

Who Shopped My Offer? 

When the buyer agent submits an offer, the agent on the other side, the one who represents the seller, is possibly (probably) going to “shop” the offer. 

What does that mean? 

It means that the seller’s agent will use the offer to generate interest, or re-kindle interest, from other potential buyers, often buyers who have previously expressed an interest in the same property. 


The seller’s agent has a fiduciary duty to the seller to make as much money for the seller as possible. 

Imagine that a prospective buyer is not ready to make an offer, perhaps not sure that this house is the “One,” but it is still on the prospect’s list of “possibles.”

The prospect’s agent says to the seller’s agent, “My buyers really like the property, but they’re not able to squeeze the trigger.  Give me a call if you get any action on it, and I’ll see if my guys are ready to get serious.”

So, what’s a poor seller’s agent to do?  Seller’s agent gets the offer and immediately calls previous prospect’s agent and says,“You asked me to call you if I got any action.  Well, I just got an offer.  If your guys want to get in the game, I need your offer in writing on the table by 3:00 pm tomorrow.”

That’s “shopping” the offer.

There are many variations on this theme.  I ask you, is it legal?  Is it ethical.  Is it mannerly?  Is it a necessary act of fiduciary duty from the agent to the client?

Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Happily Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

Bob....it's the listing agent's job to get the best price, best terms and conditions for the selller.... if other potential buyers showed interest, it's the listing agent's obligation to shop the offer....the offer must be delivered and while the seller is thinking it over, the offer is being shopped....if the offer is a good offer and it's acceptable to the seller without a counteroffer, we won't shop it...we'll put the deal together.

Feb 07, 2012 11:11 AM
Gay E. Rosen
Julia B. Fee Sotheby's International Realty - Larchmont, NY
As Real as Real Estate Gets!

Bob - as an agent, it is my responsibility to obtain the highest possible price I can fro my client. End of story!  If an agent wants to know of a possible bid... or if they didn't' I would still need to call anyone who had shown an interest to let them know we had a 'bid.'  The buyer might change his mind, and then where would we be... We definitely need to 'shop!."

Feb 07, 2012 11:13 AM
Pacita Dimacali
Alain Pinel - Oakland, CA
Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA

I know of one agent who does one step further. When she receives an offer, and someone calls and asks her if she has received an offer, not only will she say yes, but she will tell you what price to beat. Whether the price is what the offer states or what the seller would like, it's immaterial. She wants the best and highest possible price for her seller. It's up to the buyer's agent to submit what he considers the buyer's own best and highest offer.


Feb 07, 2012 11:15 AM

Yes, as a buyer agent, I love it when the seller agent tells me what price to beat.  And I always ASK.  Usually I say something like, "what do I have to do to secure this property for my buyer?"  If I don't get the information I want, then I just go for it.  "What's the top offer you have right now?"  Sometimes the seller agent will tell me, sometimes not.  Sometimes I believe it, sometimes not.  Isn't that why we try so hard to keep our reputations spotless with each other?  I'm speaking of ActiveRainers, of course.


Feb 07, 2012 12:14 PM