Do we have any recourse? Attention RE Lawyers - Posted by Doug

Posted by JoeKaiser on November 20, 2000 at 11:01:35:

Remove the “nospam” part.


Do we have any recourse? Attention RE Lawyers - Posted by Doug

Posted by Doug on November 19, 2000 at 17:13:38:

About a year ago, my wife and I made a full price offer on a property that we’ve liked for years that was listed by a local Realtor. Our offer was submitted on a Thursday. We contacted the Realtor on Friday to find out if they had gotten the owners to sign our contract. He said the owner was out of town, but he was due back on Saturday. Saturday, we get a call from the Realtor stating that someone else had put in an offer on Saturday for the full price. We believe the Realtor told the party what our offer was and that they better match it, or we would get it. The Realtor then asked us if we wanted to go any higher and if we did, that would be our final offer. We offered $15k more. We get a call back from the Realtor stating that the other party “had offered considerably more”. A couple of months pass and I checked the real estate sales and found out that the property sold for exactly $500 more than our offer. I
I think we were screwed. I spoke with a friend who thinks that since we offered full price, and since our full price offer was the first offer, that we should have been sold the property for that amount. No subsequent offer should have even been allowed. Soon after the other individual purchased the property, they sold it again through the same Realtor and profitted $50k (and the Realtor made some more commission). My friend suggested I call a Real Estate Attorney and find out for sure, but he thinks I could sue for at least $50k. . .the amount we could have profitted had we been allowed to purchase the property, since we were the first with a full price offer.
What do the RE buffs here think?
TIA Doug.

Re: Do we have any recourse? Attention RE Lawyers - Posted by CDawson

Posted by CDawson on November 21, 2000 at 16:22:29:

Looks like the real loser here is the Realtor. This person must not be too worried about his or her reputation in the community. I would make sure no one I knew ever used this person.

No, you don’t . . . - Posted by JoeKaiser

Posted by JoeKaiser on November 19, 2000 at 20:21:29:


You were out manuevered. Happens all the time.

The seller had no obligation to sell to you, even with your full price offer. I’ve turned down a full price offer in the past because it had an inspection clause I didn’t want to deal with.

In order to purchase the property, you needed to make the better offer and you did not, you were beat out by $500. End of story.

Sometimes, it just ain’t gonna happen, no matter what you do.


I Don’t Think So… - Posted by JPiper

Posted by JPiper on November 19, 2000 at 20:19:31:

I’m assuming that the way this scenario went was that you made a full price offer, which was followed by another full price offer from the other buyer. Then you upped your offer $15K, which the other buyer then beat by $500.

Assuming the above scenario is the way it went, the first offer in the door at full price does NOT have to be accepted. The seller might not have liked the other terms contained in the offer, or he may not have liked your qualifications. OR, he could have decided he didn’t want to sell at that price at all. The seller would ONLY be obligated to the Realtor under the listing agreement…which was probably to pay a commission when the Realtor produced a buyer ready, willing and able to buy the property under the terms contained in the listing agreement. No listing agreement obligates a seller to sell. ONLY an accepted offer obligates the seller to sell…which you didn’t have.

When you upped your offer the seller STILL was not obligated to sell. In fact, he could easily have waited to see what the other buyer’s offer was going to be. In this case it turned out to be $500 more than yours…and the seller accepted that offer. Nothing in this is illegal. The fact that the Realtor suggested that the other offer was substantially more in the end would be irrelevant in my opinion as well. While not exactly accurate (what is substantially more anyway), the seller still had the right to accept the second buyer’s offer, regardless of how much more it was. And once accepted, you had no further right to continue to offer, even if you might have been willing.

The ONLY area here that “might” have been irregular would have been if the Realtor informed the other buyer as to your offering price and/or other terms contained in your second offer. If this were the case then you would have a claim perhaps against the Realtor…but of course you would have to prove it…something that would be difficult at best.

I think your best course is to move on as the others have suggested.


Re: Sorry, - Posted by Ed Copp (OH)

Posted by Ed Copp (OH) on November 19, 2000 at 19:25:13:

Doug; but you do not have a case. Here is why.

Your offer to purchase was not accepted. An offer is not considered to be accepted until you have a signed copy of that offed back in your hands. This is called by some the process of congratulating the buyer. So if the realtor had come to your door and handed you a signed copy of the accepted purchase offer you would have had an accepted offer. Until that happens your offer in not complete (has not been accepted).

If you do not have a signed accepted copy of the offer then you do not have a case.

What you think happened has no bearing on this situation (even though it probably happened just like you think it did). You may call this your $50,000 seminar, learn from it.

Re: Do we have any recourse? Attention RE Lawyers - Posted by dewCO

Posted by dewCO on November 19, 2000 at 18:43:49:

I’d only do it if the lawyer was going to take this on a contingency.

Fact is sellers can do what they want in terms of getting around to giving an answer to an offer, or countering any or all offers, regardless of when they are received. Next time, especially if there is that much potential profit involved, counter anyway, even if someone says the offer is “substantially more”.

Re: Do we have any recourse? Attention RE Lawyers - Posted by phil fernandez

Posted by phil fernandez on November 19, 2000 at 18:40:00:

Interesting scenerio. Of course the seller can accept what ever offer they choose, however if your offer was $15,000 more than what the property actually sold for hmmm. Did your offer get presented? If it did why did the seller accept an offer $15,000 less. My guess is the realtor never presented your offer to the seller, but had a buddy offer $500 more than list price with the intention of relisting and reselling with the realtor. The realtor gets another commission and who knows in addition under the table.

Hard to proof, but if it were me I’d contact the sellers to see if your offer was ever presented. If it was not the realtor could be in deep doo doo. It’s hard for me to understand how a seller knowingly would accept an offer $15,000 less than another offer.

Quit crying over spilt milk! - Posted by Paul S

Posted by Paul S on November 19, 2000 at 17:44:23:

Go find some more deals! It will cost you to much money to chase this lawsuit. Your attorney will take a good portion and just think, you lost absolutely nothing! All it was, was a deal.

Go find some more money! There’s lots of it out there, and oh…Get Realtors out of you vocabulary. Use this as a valuable lesson in Real Estate Investing!

Now go get em!

Paul S

Joe, could you take a look - Posted by PerryIL

Posted by PerryIL on November 20, 2000 at 01:13:57:

Posted by PerryIL on November 09, 2000 at 19:32:18:

I bid $1,127.85 for 3 vacant city lots. I was high bidder.

The county obtained these lots by way of the owner’s failure to pay off the delinquent taxes. The county held an auction to recoup the taxes, and to put the lots back on the tax rolls by way of private ownership and in turn encourage construction of new homes on the lots. The city filed a lien a few days before the auction deadline, to recoup $6-$7,000 in demolition fees that were incurred during the demolition of 2 vacant homes located on the lots.

Now the city is negotiating to buy the lots from the county at my bid price of $1,127.85. The county has title. The title is clouded by the lien, therefore the county can’t sell the lots to me until the city drops the liens. They are now going after the lots to gain ownership and in turn sell the lots at a profit in order to recoup expenses.

A county board member came to my house today and tipped me off to the fact that a member of an organization is going to approach the city and county to ask that they give the lots to their non-profit organization. I am not sure if the city has already been approached by this individual or not. I am a little suspect of the way things have played out.

At a city council meeting 2 months ago, the city attorney approached me and asked what I planned to do with the lots. I said that I was going to build houses on them. He said the council was concerned that the lots not remain vacant for a long period of time (years?)

I have been out of state for the last 2 months and just found out that this whole scenario has been playing itself out in the newspapers. That’s how I found out about the above mentioned facts just today.

Do I have any recourse? Does the fact that I am the high bidder mean anything? Any advice or guidance?

Thanks. PerryIL

Tried to e-mail - Posted by PerryIL

Posted by PerryIL on November 20, 2000 at 24:39:44:


I tried to send a post taken from the archives that I needed some help on. Got a fatal error ping to your e-mail address in the above posting. Can you send me a working e-mail address? I guess I can cut and paste the stored post onto a comment dialog box in a reply here at the forum. I’ll try. Thanks PerryIL

Whoops Looks Like I Read The Post Wrong - Posted by phil fernandez

Posted by phil fernandez on November 20, 2000 at 06:45:47:

I was under the impression that the offer that got accepted was only $500 over the original list price, but rereading the post it seems that you offered $15,000 above list price and the eventual buyer offered $15,500 above the listed price so he got the property. In that case theres not much you can do.