Is it legal for the seller to ask for more than one highest offer at once on a house without a counter offer?

Extra detail - also is it legal for the seller's agent to act as if he is working for the buyer until offer is made, then inform buyer he is working for the seller? The day the original offer was given to seller, the agent contacted me to tell me they had three offers and wanted me to give my best offer so they could decide between the three. I never received a counter offer. Then when supposed to meet with agent, he called and said i could just give him my offer over the phone and he only needed a signature from one buyer rather than both. Can someone help me please? We really like the house and don't want to miss out but don't want to be scammed or ripped off. Thank you!


To my knowledge per the agent the seller did not counter my offer. They want my top offer along with other top offers from other potential buyers to see whose offer they like best. Are they not supposed to counter offer first?

Update 2:

According to the agent, if the seller has other offers mine would be what he called secondary. The way I understood it was the first offer is the primary offer which means they have first dibs. And they go back and forth with counter offers unless they can not reach an agreement. If my offer is the last one standing or the next one up or whatever you want to call it, then they counter it; the same for each offer; one at a time. He mentioned nothing of an auction idea.

4 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    The counter offer is when there is only one potential buyer. Multiple buyers is more like an auction.

    It would be unethical for the agent to tell you the amount of those offers, or to say there were offers and not actually have any, but it is usual for them to ask for your final, best offer when there are multiple offers.

    Look at it this way -- with 3 offers, how could they counter offer any of them and be fair? Fair is to say multiple people want this, how much are you willing to pay?

  • 1 decade ago

    Yes, the seller can make as many counter offers as the seller wants to make.

    With respect to the issue of the agency relationship and agency disclosure requirements, those vary from State to State.

    In my opinion the agent should give you a statement in writing that states whether he is acting as an agent for the seller, for you the buyer or as a dual agent for both the seller and the buyer.

    The agent should give you this statement before you make a written offer.

    In some States the Agent is required to give you a written agency disclosure before you make an offer.

    If you do not truse this agent, I recommend that you find another agent.

    Better yet, I recommend that you interview several attorneys who specialize in Real Estate Law and get their advice.

    Then hire that attorney that you think is best.

    YOur attorney will straighten out this agent.

  • (A)
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    You should see disclosure AD agent disclosure,who is working for whom.The listing agent is not to disclose any guarded info like offers.That being said and how he treated you tells me he has a higher offer more than likely than yours.If this agent did not show you comparables for the last three months on houses of that age,find one that will.That would be the only way that you will know what the current value of the home and what to offer.

  • Ryan M
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    It is legal for the seller to ask ANY price he wants at ANY time. The agent sounds pretty unethical to me. Sounds like he is NOT working in your best interest. Ditch this agent ASAP!!!

Still have questions? Get answers by asking now.