My weirdest experience, though, involved an empty, pre-foreclosure house on which I made three offers over an eight-month period. Or tried to, anyway. I was mystified. The house needed major work and had been on the market for a year. I was pre-qualified. I could close in two weeks. Yet I never got a counteroffer. I never got a call when the house was relisted over and over. I never got any response to any offers, even the ones that said, "This is not my final offer," and "I may be willing to offer more than the listing price." The seller's agent actually encouraged me to buy another house. What the heck?
Finally, I found out what was going on. The agent was only pursuing offers from buyers that he lined up. He wanted two commissions, one now and one "on the back end": His buddy would buy the house, fix it up, and then re-list it with the same agent. By not forwarding other offers, the agent was deceiving both his client and the bank.
The guy outsmarted himself. The bank, fed up with three failed sales in a row, decided to proceed with foreclosure. Uh oh--the agent would get no commission on an auction. Suddenly, I was his best friend, getting a panicked phone call--I could get the house if I could close in three days and hurry, hurry, hurry! Right; like my lender wouldn't want an appraisal or anything.
The house went to auction. The homeowner now has an unnecessary foreclosure on her record, but at least her greedy agent got nothing. And I'm still in my starter house, which I might not have to leave after all. (Yea for falling-through development projects!)