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Unethical Sale of a Foreclosed Home???

I'm a first time homebuyer and not positive on the process of purchasing but feel that I was just screwed out of a sale.

The first realtor I was working with when I made an offer on a home informed me that my offer went in on a Monday and if anyone else made an offer that day then it would turn into a highest/best bid war.  She told me that if someone made on offer on Tuesday the bank wouldn't know what the offer is until they finish wheelin and dealin with me.  I was basically told they would have to negotiate, accept or deny my offer and if they denied it, then they could go to the next offer available.

Now the second realtor I was working with explained it a little differently.  She basically told me that anyone can put an offer in at anytime and the bank can make me wait for an answer in hopes that a better offer comes along.

So I made an offer on a home, my offer was the only one put in that day.  However, several days later I still hadn't heard from the bank and someone else put in an offer so they came back and gave us both 24 hours for highest and best offer.  Well turns out my offer was highest and best but they wanted to continue negotiating with me so they counter offered my highest best offer.  I counter offered once more waiting 3 weeks for a response to only find out that after I had the highest and best offer, they continued negotiating with the other party as well, ultimately selling them the home.  I wasn't even aware that there was competition so to speak because I was informed I had the highest and best offer and negotiations would now be just between myself and the bank.

And just to keep in mind, this was in regards to a foreclosed home, it was not a short sale.

I'm sorry this is so long, but if someone could please clarify the process and if I have any legal rights in this situation I would greatly appreciate it.
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October 14 2010 - Detroit
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First of all, you might have presented the only offer on that day (say a Monday) but the listing agent didn't send in the offer until Tuesday or Wednesday. In that time there could've been another offer. Which is irrelevant as the bank can review any and all offers until both parties agree to an offer.

While you had presented the 'highest and best' offer, the bank countered with their own offer. When you wrote a counter to their offer, they decided they no longer wanted to negotiate with you. If you had SIGNED their counter offer, they would have been obligated to accept your offer. By giving them a counter offer you rejected their offer, thus allowing them to negotiate with the other party. You had no 'competition' until you rejected their counter and proposed your own counter offer.

Short answer, based on what you have said, you most likely have no legal standing to pursue. But I am not an attorney, so if you wish to pursue legal action, please consult an attorney.
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October 14 2010
Unfortunately, that is the way banks operate...they can do anything they want...they can ignore your offer,look at other offers, counter offer a dozen offers at the same time, change their mind and wait for more offers and then accept one and then change their mind again.

They can even agree to your offer and when you get the paperwork it can reflect something totally different...or you may never receive the paperwork because they took a different offer.

Eve in Orlando

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October 14 2010
Profile picture for wetdawgs
Unfortunately the banks are calling the shots.  I don't see anything unusual in the very frustrating process of purchase of foreclosures/short sales.

Even if your dollar value is the highest, the bank can still take a different offer.
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October 14 2010
All I have to recommend is "NEXT."  Go out with a Buyer's Agent to look for your next opportunity.  Don't retain an Attorney, as there is no sense in wasting money & time on a no win situation.  Both short sales & foreclosed homes are a lot like gambling in Los Vegas, only it takes are long time to find out whether you win or lose.
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October 14 2010
I will probably reiterate a few things already stated but they bear repeating so you will know what to expect the next time.

1)  As long as an offer is not accepted ANY offers can come in and are able to be viewed along side yours.

2)  When the bank counters you, the house is STILL up for sale and they can view and/or accept other offers.

3)  And yes, when you countered the bank, they may have then sent counters out to all the other offers until they received the number they wanted.  One of the earlier posts mentioned if you had accepted their first counter, it would have been your house. 

4)  Work with an agent that has experience in years in business, and experience with foreclosure bidding.  You should have never been told once you are highest and best, you are the only offer they are looking at.

Sorry you had a bad experience.  I hope this means a better purchase is around the corner for you.
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October 15 2010
Sorry you have had a bad experience. The foreclosure market is like an auction, not knowing who will be the highest bidder. Better luck on your next home!
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October 19 2010
Any seller, including a bank, has every right to keep looking at offers. So no, while frustrating, nothing illegal or even unethical was done to you.
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October 19 2010
 
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