Market Wise Q&A column: Buyer Steamed at Squeeze Play to get Second Round of Bidding

Pat Kapowich for the San Jose Mercury News Q: We were recently involved in a multiple-offer situation. The seller's agent collected six bids at the 5 p.m. deadline on Tuesday. This agent presented the offers to the seller on Wednesday. We were then granted a multiple-counter offer, along with the other three top offers. Clearly, the other buyers had already gone above the list price and this was a squeeze to get the seller a second round of bidding. This seems like a real questionable area of real estate. Besides, how could a seller's agent present an offer better than the buyer's broker who created it?

A: They can't. This is usually a control issue that listing agents accept as a Standard of Care. Granted, some sellers are elderly or too ill to withstand in-person presentations. However, real estate attorneys find is hard to believe that listing agents promote the idea of not meeting every buyer's agent in person, and especially avoiding including sellers in live presentations. After all, it's the sellers who will be entering into a legally binding contract with the buyer. Having sellers miss in person-presentations and negotiations prior to signing a buyer's offer is, according to one prominent real estate attorney, just plain silly.


Pat Kapowich,, owns Kapowich Real Estate in Cupertino. Send questions to