Playing Games with Your Offer-Is it Ethical?

In our current market in Prince William County, inventory is low and multiple offers are fairly common. When you are dealing with REO properties it isn’t unusual to see the MLS comments say “multiple offers submit highest and best by today at 5PM.”

There are some agents who take the attitude this means make an offer that will dazzle the seller. Offer them a price that makes them salivate and then when the appraisal comes in low hit them up for a price reduction. By then three weeks of marketing time have been lost and the seller has probably packed their bags and is ready to go. They lower the price just to get the deal over with and never realize that they’ve been duped by an unethical agent and savvy buyer.

Recently one of my listings received 8 offers in 48 hours. As I sorted through the offers to present to my clients it was obvious that there were a few of the dazzle offers in the pile. No matter how many ways I looked at the comps I couldn’t justify accepting an offer that I knew wouldn’t fly. My clients listened carefully, reviewed the numbers and agreed. We accepted a solid offer, with approved financing that was very close to the list price.

If you are selling a home in Northern Virginia and you see an offer that is too good to be true, it probably is. The highest offer is not always the best offer. Make sure you know the potential pitfalls of accepting an offer that dazzles you instead of one that can realistically get to closing intact.

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