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Is it possible for a buyer to submit an offer that requires the bid price be confidential?

A listing agent on another forum mentioned how she calls all the other brokers when she gets an offer to see if she can get a higher offer.  I know this is common practise.  Is there any way to communicate the offer but prevent the listing agent from disclosing the actual bid price?  This way the agent could communicate there was an offer but not what it was?
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April 06 2011 - US
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Answers (5)

If the seller gives the listing agent permission to tell other agents the price you offered, then the listing agent can tell them. If the seller says not to, then the listing agent can call around to tell other interested buyers' agents' that there's an offer on the table, but that's it.
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April 06 2011
Profile picture for jenly

Thanks again for the replies.  In the meantime, I checked the NYAR code of ethics. The code says the Realtor needs to advise their buyer clients of:  "the possibility that sellers or sellers' representatives may not treat the existence, terms, or conditions of offers as confidential unless confidentiality is required by law, regulation, or by any confidentiality agreement between the parties."

So I'm thinking that in NY at least it's not unethical, although it might be bad for business as Simon stated.

We want to be fair but we also don't want to end up feeling abused.  I'm still not sure what we an do to protect ourselves that doesn't make us look like total jerks.

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April 06 2011
Simon was saying it's unethical for a listing agent to tell other prospective buyers what the other buyers were offering.

Agents can and should contact other agents who have viewed the property to make them aware that an offer is being or has been written and if their client wants to write an offer, they should do so immediately. But they shouldn't be divulging the dollar amount of an offer to another buyer.

I don't blame you for backing out of the deal. Chances are you would've ended up paying too much. Let someone else get burned.
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April 06 2011
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Hi Simon I am not sure exactly what practise you were referring to as unethical.  Did you mean asking for our offer not to be disclosed?  Or did you mean broadcasting it to the entire brokerage community?  Actually, I thought the latter was standard practise for the listing agents.  We are not very experienced in the buying process, and a few months ago we saw and liked a small home but ultimately did not bid on it.  Another bidder put in an offer substantially below the asking price, and the seller's agent kept calling our broker to encourage us to put in a bid--just a tiny bit more.  We definitely knew what the other offer was.  We didn't do it because in the end we didn't want the house and didn't want to take the risk we would have to buy it.  But there was a quality to the entire process that made me feel there was no question that the seller's agent was going to run back to the other bidders, and we were being used as grist for a bidding war.

Like I said, I thought it was standard practise. I guess it benefits the sellers.  But we are buyers, and I was wondering if there was anything we could do to protect ourselves.
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April 06 2011
You could make it a condition of the offer, but enforcing it would be impossible.  In my opinion this process is unethical.  I would only tell another prospective buyer that we have an offer, but I would never tell them what it is.  How do I know that I am not selling my seller short as the buyer may have been willing to offer a lot more?
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April 06 2011
 
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