Market Wise Q&A: Why Weren't We Informed of the Details of the other Offers, too?

Pat Kapowich for the San Jose Mercury News Q: We lost out on a property to a competing buyer. We noticed after the closing of the sale that the sale price and closing date were identical to the terms in our purchase offer. That cannot be a coincidence. Could the seller's agent disclose our offer to competing buyers and their agents? If so, why weren't we informed of the details of the other offers, too?

A: Welcome to residential real estate. Experiencing the unsuccessful end of negotiations can be unsettling, especially if a buyer feels unfairly treated. The seller's agent has numerous techniques to deal with buyers' agents with regard to ratification of a home sale. Some methods are more amicable than others, including sharing the details of a competing offer. All the more reason why seller reps must provide well-mannered open lines of communication at all times. The most successful negotiations result when the "losing" buyers and their reps know they were treated respectfully at every juncture; something a skilled negotiator can do effortlessly.


By Pat Kapowich, owns Kapowich Real Estate in Cupertino. E-mail questions to him at