When I tell a duplex buyer we can’t see a property because the seller has already accepted an offer, I am often asked how much it sold for.
My answer is always the same.
“I can’t tell you.”
I’m not trying to be secretive or evasive. It’s just that even if I know the answer, the law prohibits me from telling anyone until the sale of that property is complete and title has changed hands.
Realtors who list duplexes for sale have a responsibility to the sellers they represent. And that is to act in their best interest at all times.
Imagine for a moment that the duplex agent and seller have agreed to put a property on the market for $200,000. The seller is extremely motivated, and so when an offer comes in at $150,000, he accepts it immediately.
The buyer has a few contingencies, or conditions, that have to be met in order for the contract to be fully executed. He has, essentially said to the seller he will buy the duplex provided everything checks out OK in an inspection, and of course, provided he can get a bank loan.
While the buyer and seller are negotiating any issues that may have come up during the inspection, you tell your Realtor you love the duplex and would pay $200,000 for it all day long.
So your agent calls the seller’s Realtor and asks if there’s any chance the offer they have in place will fall apart, and how much that offer is for.
The duplex seller’s Realtor says he’s confident the sale will go forward, and the seller accepted an offer of $150,000.
A week passes, and guess what? The buyer with the accepted offer on the duplex thinks the seller should replace all the windows in the property or he won’t buy it.
The seller refused.
The two sign a cancellation agreement, and just before the duplex becomes active on the MLS again, the seller’s Realtor calls yours and tells her it’s once again available for purchase.
She calls and together, you quickly write up an offer for $150,000.
A week before, you were willing to pay the seller $200,000. But knowing the amount of the previous offer, you’re no longer willing to pay that much.
In other words, since the seller’s Realtor disclosed that information, he cost his seller $50,000.
Which, of course, is not in the seller’s best interest.
And of course, why I can’t tell you how much that duplex sold for.