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Is there a conflict of interest?

I found a great deal on a bank owned foreclosure in Phoenix AZ, and asked a real estate agent to put in a full price offer for it.  After two weeks, I haven't heard anything from anyone (bank, listing agent, my agent).  My agent claims that he can't get info from anyone, and believes the bank is dragging it's feet waiting for multiple offers.  And oh, by the way, my agent's partner (and boyfriend) has a client who is also putting in an offer for the property.  I suppose it's common for agents within the same company to represent clients on the same property, but if the bank comes back with a "multiple offer - make your best and final", is there a conflict of interest if there is a close personal and/or professional relationship between two agents representing two clients on the same property?
  • May 15 2013 - Phoenix
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Answers (5)

First of all, it is not uncommon for agents to have potential "conflict of interest" situations. The fact that you know about it shows that the agent did disclose it to you which is their obligation to do. Not all "partners" are going to break client's trust by sharing info together. Of course, there are bad apples out there so, it's up to you if you're comfortable with it. If you are not comfortable, the only way your agent can do anything about it is if you tell them how you feel. They do have options to avoid that situation when it comes about. 

Regardless of the situation, in ANY multiple offer situation, it is really up to the buyer as to how high they would want to go. You never want to have a regret that you would have made a higher offer if you had known. That should be the conversation both of you get. Terms of the offers do not even need to be discussed so, it's a good chance that this is how the 2 agents mitigate any conflicts. 

When it comes to dealing with any bank, just remember they have many departments that don't often speak with each other to stay on the same page and none of them have a common sense department. If an agent can't make sense of what is going on with the bank, that is not unusual.

  • May 15 2013
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The fact that his boyfriend and partner are putting an offer in on the same property as you is a major conflict of interest in my opinion.  Clearly, your agent knows what your offer is, so they would have put in a slightly higher offer than you to try and be the winning bid.  

However, the amount of time you are waiting to hear from the bank is not unusual, although most of them are responding faster than that by now.

One time, I had 2 seperate, completely unconnected clients put an offer in on the same property.  I disclosed to them that I had another client put an offer in on the same property, but refused to tell either party what my other client had offer.  Both of my clients ended up getting beat out on that property, which didn't make me too upset, because I didn't want either of my clients mad at me.  They both ended up buying 2 different properties with me several days later.
  • May 15 2013
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There shouldn't be a conflict of interest.  However, you should talk to your agent, mention your concerns and ask if they want you to ask for someone else to represent you to avoid any potential conflicts.  In the end, even if there is a multiple offer situation, just make sure you offer as much as your willing to pay, so as not to regret it later.
  • May 15 2013
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I would recommend continuing to follow up daily with your agent.
  • May 15 2013
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Not hearing anything back quickly from a bank is nothing unusual, it is very common. They will ignore you if they don't like the offer.
  • May 15 2013
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