Profile picture for d.u.

Can an agent refuse you if you make and offer lower than the asking price?

Hi,
We are interested in an house in Washington. It's on the market like two months now. It's priced 619.000 but seems a little high than it should be. So we wanted to my an offer for 450.000 and we are solid buyers. Our agent refused and said sorry I can't write that down for you. It's too low. I don't wanna offend them. You need to find another agent. I felt like she offeneded us actually.
Is there a limit for offers? Can you agent say "no" to you? Pls. help!

  • November 23 2011 - Staten Island
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Answers (18)

Yes, it is true that your agent can refuse to represent you.  However, if an agent chooses to represent you and you write your offer, no matter what the value, the listing agent for the seller is required to present all offers to their client.  No offer is an all bad offer.  Your buyer's agent has no connection to the seller.  They don't know their motivation for selling. Your offer is a starting point.  And if you are a solid buyer with few contingencies and a quick closing and possession date, the sellers may counter or accept.  Ultimately, you choose where you want your starting point to be.  If you feel that it is priced too high, you can ask your agent to pull comparable sold properties that support the price that you are wanting to offer.  If the seller is offended, they can have their representative provide sold comparable properties that justify their asking price or counter offer.  Ultimately, if they want to sell and you want to buy, someone has to start the conversation.  We are in the business to represent a buyer or seller to the best of our ability, we cannot be afraid of offending someone.  Getting the best price for the buyer sometimes is not what the seller wants to hear.  But you may be willing to pay a little more, and they may be willing to take a little or a lot less.  Find an agent that can help you get the home that you want for the price that you want.  Best of luck to you!
  • January 10
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Eighteen months later, I'm sure they'll heed our advice.

  • January 09
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Profile picture for josh1534
Don't listen to all these agents backing each other up. It is the law that every offer must be presented, there are a few technical exceptions but they don't really occur. You can report your broker to the Board.
  • January 09
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Profile picture for minibepa
Funny thing is for a last 2 months of home search and being represented by the buyer's agent that you easily can find in any showing of the house, or simply by grabbing all business cards left on property, there was no one buyer's agent that can survive after your refusal to buy a property after more than 10 showings. They suppose to represent your rights, but if they feel they can't get from you commissions in a less than a month they're fading away. It's disgusting, especially if you have to believe in someone who represents your rights. Nowadays the buyer is searching for the house, driving around the neighborhood, looking through the windows of the house for sale and calls/texts an agent exclusively to open doors and submitting an offer. That's what agents like to call "my clients are pro- active". And that's what high commission is for, I guess. Get real estate license, and open door yourself on your own schedule. My last agent refused to put an offer for me even when I offered higher price because she new it will be multiple offer situation. He who doesn't risk doesn't get to drink a champagne wasn't an argument for her. Looks like your agent didn't want to bother herself by lower offer either.
Pushing the buyer to get the maximum allowed from the bank is another trick, and who cares if you will lose the job and your newly bought house will go to foreclosure? The agent, that suppose to protect your best interests after selling the house will be gone leaving you with your problems.
And finally, advertising to you "how beautiful" is the flipper remodeled  p.o.s. house is another trick, and the agent can get really pissed off if you don't see the same "beauty" yourself.
  • June 11 2013
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It sounds like, in essence, your agent "fired" you. Ask them whether they would rather write lowball, go nowhere, offers for you or whether you should be looking for an agent who will spend hours working for you without much of a chance of making a dime. Your agent has a choice - continue to be your agent and write the offer, or to terminate your agency relationship. Agency is a two-way street.

Now, to play devil's advocate, there are some circumstances where the seller has given instructions to the listing agent not to present any offers under a certain amount. I have had to tell my clients on many occasions in this market that writing an offer under $_ will be pointless.
  • November 28 2011
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Profile picture for Golden Girl 542
I live in NW Washington and only 2 months on the mkt isn't very long at all these days. 

You say that 619 seems "a little high" but your offer was VERY low. From Staten Island, have you inspeceted the home in person?  I'm just curious.
  • November 28 2011
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that was a very low offer looking at the asking price the sellers were asking.  To answer your question....Yes an agent can say to you, that they wont present that offer and you can try to get another agent to do so.

And no there isnt any limmit on an offer you can try and make, you can offer $1 if u like, but its up to the Agent if they will present it for you.
  • November 28 2011
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I am a Realtor and to me it sounds like you need to hire a buyers agent whose knowledge of your local market you trust to guide you in making an offer that will be acceptable. 
  • November 25 2011
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With the attitiude why would you want to continue to use that agent? Will they have your best interest in mind? It seems to me that if they are saying this they will present the other as if "SORRY BUT THIS IS WHAT THEY WANTED ME TO DO AGAINST MY ADVISE" Attitude if not verbally.
If you did sign and buyers agency agreement with them make sure you are released from it.
Procurring cause can be an issue--but the threshold rule doesn't always apply, it more than liekly would be taken to the Board of Realtors, where the commission would be held and all parties including the buyer would testify. Adding to procurring cause today and may cases have been won at the board being one agent didn't have the knowledge of say borrowing money from a whole life policy or pension plan to get the job done.--It just makes it easier to have the release.In this case the agent refused to present an offer and told the buyer to find another agent.
Also if you didn't sign a buyers agreement the agent could be working stricly as a transaction broker or possible a disclosed dual agent.
Most states will also allow you to break the buyers agreement and the mode of cancellation will be in that agreement.

In my eyes if someone wants to present a low offer it is my job to present the offer after showing them comparables in the area, if after showing them the comps then write the offer--you never know what a seller will/will not accept and i have no crystal ball.
  • November 24 2011
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Profile picture for Sharon Lewis
Washington is a pretty good market and that is a lowball offer...however, not having seen the home or the comps, that is just a guess.
Did you do the comps? Is this what the house is worth. You have to remember real estate is local and there are good markets like areas in Washington.
Let me ask you, why do you think this offer is justified? A home being on the market for two months is not considered (especially in this market) a long time.
  • November 24 2011
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Just as a client can decide not to work with an agent; an agent can choose not to work with a client. Did your agent go over the market statistics with you? Do the numbers show the house to be worth only $450,000?

Although buyers may be qualified, if they are unrealistic and resist attempts at education, I will tell them to find another agent. I cannot help someone who does not want my help. To continue in a relationship like that is a waste of everyone's time.
  • November 24 2011
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Profile picture for hpvanc
It is unlikely the seller will accept the offer, but if it is only worth something in the $450K ranger, would the agents prefer they get no offers?

It is a business transaction, don't worry about your agents feelings and your agent should not be worried about the listing agent and sellers feelings.  If they are that badly overpriced, eventually reality will smack them in the face anyway.  If it really is worth closer to $620K let them turn you down if you are only willing to pay $450K.  The only wrinkle is procuring cause on this property which works against everyone's but your agent's interest in this case, and potentially a problem if you have signed a buyers agents contract for a period of time with this agent.  If you have to find another agent to make an offer make sure you can terminate your agreement with your agent, and line up an attorney in case your offer is accepted and your current agent tries to go after you for the commission.
  • November 23 2011
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Profile picture for sunnyview
Your agent can say no if they don't want to present the offer, but you have the ability to get another agent. You are the buyer so you can offer whatever you want. To be successful, I think even super low offers should have some basis in reason like property condition, market trends, comps, time on market etc.

You need to find an agent that is comfortable with your negotiation strategy and willing to provide you information about the market so you can make the best offer you can.
  • November 23 2011
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There is generally no limit for offers, you just have to find an agent willing to submit your offer at that level, i.e., about 73% of asking price.  In most areas a similar offer at 73% of the asking price is sure to be turned down or ignored by the seller so many agents might not want to take the time to do this when the outcome is so "iffy".

Were you dealing with the listing agent directly?  The listing agent, representing the selling homeowner, would probably be less interested in a low ball offer.  You need to look for an agent that will represent you, the buyer.

Before you give up, however, what is the price that the local market will really support?  How did you arrive at the $450,000 figure--is it based on recent comparable sales in the area?  You can make an aggressive offer but, unless you like shooting in the dark, you need to have facts.  Ask your local agent to make and give you an analysis of recent sales in that neighborhood.  That will help you decide the likely range of offers supported by your particular market.

Good luck.
  • November 23 2011
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Profile picture for Dunes ..
Yes they can say "No"  and they can say it because they said
"You need to find another agent.". This Agent thinks what they think but Agents have been known to be wrong. LOL

Move on and find another Agent, if you are basing your offers on your take of the Market that you have researched/tracked then continue to do so because that is the smart thing to do.

NEVER be influenced by Agents suggesting you make your Best and Highest, there are other offers, it's to low blah blah, YOU always make the Offer YOU feel is Best for YOU and if they do not like that...MOVE On

This is YOUR Business Transaction, YOUR Money, YOUR Offer,YOUR Future and YOUR Responsibility
  • November 23 2011
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Depends on your state laws. Minnesota requires liscensed real estate agents to follow all legals requests made by their clients. Writing a low offer is a legal request.
  • November 23 2011
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Profile picture for NinaHarris
Yes your agent can refuse to put in an offer for 27% below asking price.

You should search for and sign a contract with a buyer's agent who could pull comparatives for you and guide you as to a reasonable offering price.  Unless you have representation with a buyer's agent, all real estate agents work for the seller.

Even if the agent did put in your offer, it is more than likely the seller wouldn't counter offer because of the large difference in asking vs. offering price. 

Good Luck
  • November 23 2011
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
An agent can say no, but you probably would be able to find an agent who will be willing to write an offer 27% below asking price if you look hard enough.   Have  you worked with your current agent to see recently sold comps?

  • November 23 2011
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