Can the listing agent increase the price on a listing to match our highest offer?

We have been looking at a home that is currently a short sale.  We put in a offer that was slightly above asking price, we were quickly told that there was another offer on the home, and that the seller was likely going to ask for the highest and best offer.  So we increased our offer by a good amount.  Now the listing price has been increased to match the amount of our highest offer and yet we have not heard back from the seller or sellers agent.   

I have a hard time believing that this is ethical, the listing agent should not disclose the amount of bids, yet by increasing the price of the home to match our offer, they are technically telling buyers that this is what they need to bid to get the home.

Any comments would be great.
Thanks
  • October 28 2012 - US
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Answers (5)

Interesting and I feel your frustration because people ask me all the time if I can find out if there have been any offers and if so what are/were they? Unless the listing agent is willing to tell you or you can find out from another source its almost impossible. Keep in mind that this situation will be happening more and more with lenders moving away from foreclosures and toward the short sale in the future.The Texas Real Estate Commission must be monitoring these types of sales and lets hope that something will also happen on the national level as well because this could be an area where fraud can take place. Who benefits from this? Well, the seller which is the lender/bank, the listing agent (who works for the bank and more than likely will get more properties to list from them), the home owners around that property because the direction of the price of the home is upward not downward, the local municipalities and taxing authorities because it grows their tax base, local title companies,local lenders and I could go on and on. Who does not benefit from these transactions? I would say far less than who do.
  • October 28 2012
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Profile picture for Outer Banks N C
Interesting, but short sales are unethical in my opinion anyway since the listed price is NOT the price the lender will accept, normally, anyway. To list a property with an amount that is not agreed to sell the property is unethical in my opinion, but every short sale is this way. The owner decides the list price and "Hopes" the lender will accept that amount. More than likely they will not and will ask for more. With that said and as long as buyers understand it (and that should be explained by your agent to you) then all is good I guess, but it's frustrating. For the sellers agent to ask for highest and best and then change the listed price upwards seems bazaar. It sounds like they are raising the bar. I wonder if they will accept one or ask again for highest and best? The lender can reject both those offers and say they want more and I am wondering if this is what happened. The sellers agent should be telling your agent something.

Tim
  • October 28 2012
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Profile picture for Rita Walker
Double edged sword.

Homes are usually priced at what the listing agent believes is a reasonable price for the property. However, that does not mean that is what the bank will accept.
So, when the price that the Realtor believes the bank will accept becomes known the Realtor may change the listing price to accommodate.

It causes less problems with the appraisal if the list price is not lower than the sale price. Appraisers are not usually very happy trying to appraise for more than it was listed.
 
  • October 28 2012
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Thanks for posting your question on Zillow.com!

Sorry for your issue however it is allowed for the listing agent to raise the listing price of the listing.  More than likely the agent discussed all of this with the seller and got their approval.  The seller can give the agent permission to disclose each offer (which I personally think would benefit everybody involved).  Keep in mind the listing agent is contracted to procure the highest and best offer for the SELLER.

Best of luck.
  • October 28 2012
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Yes they can.
The seller can adjust the price on the listing as often as they wish.
They can even do it after a contract has been accepted.
  • October 28 2012
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