The combination of low inventories on homes for sale and rising interest rates are resulting in some sellers receiving up to a dozen or more offers on their properties the day the home is listed on the market.  What a disappointment to home buyers, who just months ago, had many homes to choose from at rock bottom pricing.

If you're in the market to buy a home, your Realtor should ensure you understand the contract and negotiation process and align your expectations with the reality of your local housing market. For example, before submitting a first contract, you'd want to know the following:

  • Listing agents and sellers are not legally required to disclose that there are other offers
  • Sellers are not obligated to negotiate with the first buyer who makes a bid
  • Sellers don't have to accept full-price or cash offers
  • Counteroffers can be made over the phone, but only written agreements are binding
  • Sellers can legally tell a buyer what a competing bidder offered because neither they, nor their agent, owe a duty of confidentiality to the buyer
  • Buyers should realize they don't have the right to change their mind once a seller accepts their offer in writing
  • If buyers reject a seller's counteroffer, the counteroffer is no longer open for acceptance

Information from, Nov. 16, 2015