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It's a dog-eat-dog world in this seller's market...

16 years ago

I live in a neighborhood that has been a hot seller's market since the beginning of the year. There was very little new inventory in the spring, and of the small number of properties that have been listed in May and June, most have had multiple offers and have gone to contract over the asking price.

So my agent told me a story yesterday about one of her listings which had multiple offers and went to best-and-final sealed bids over the weekend. After the seller verbally accepted the highest offer from best-and-final, one of the losing bidders contacted the agent and demanded that she submit another offer to the seller for an amount that was substantially above the winning bid (Loser did not know the winning bid and Agent did not give it to him, but Loser jumped up his offer by a big enough margin that it would be amazing if it weren't higher than the Winner). Agent was obligated to pass on the offer to her clients and the sellers accepted it this morning, thus screwing the winner of best-and-final out of her legitimately 'won' property.

In NY a verbal agreement means nothing; no contract is binding until it's signed by both parties (which has also led to sellers delaying signing while they troll around for a higher bid that the contract price).

Like I said, dog eat dog...

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