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Confidentiality of putting in offers

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Posted: Friday, April 12, 2013 6:57 am

Are offers confidential? When you are in the market to buy a home your agent is required to advise you of several things. It’s likely most buyers never really think about many of them, after all why would you, you just want to buy a house.

Today I wanted to discuss the confidentiality of your offers. Many buyers and sellers are under the false understanding that offers cannot be discussed with others.

However, the standard listing agreement on page 2 section 8.iii states “disclose to any licensee making an inquiry the receipt of any offers on the Property and the offering price of such offers.” Another form most buyers sign when making an offer states “Buyer is advised that Seller or Listing Agent may disclose the existence, terms, or conditions of Buyer’s offer unless all parties and their agent have signed a written confidentiality agreement.

Whether any such information is actually disclosed depends on many factors, such as current market conditions, the prevailing practice in the real estate community, the Listing Agent’s marketing strategy and the instructions of the Seller.” Clearly this shows that offers are for the most part non confidential. So feel free to have your Realtor ask what’s the highest price offered on the home you are interested in.

In today’s competitive market buyers may move in and out of the bidding process, but everyone is aware of all the bids and the final price is no secret. With today’s low inventory this process makes for a noisy, hyperactive and frenetic process, BUT … it’s very clean, transparent and neat. And when the gavel goes down and the deal is done, there is no confusion about who bought the property and for how much.

Our area experienced an amazing 29% price increase over the last year. This price appreciation along with continued low inventory makes it more important than ever to utilize the help of an experienced Realtor. As they say, the person with the most knowledge has the most power. So I hope this little tid bit of information helps to empower you as you search for your dream home. Happy house hunting!

Sheri Aguilar is the president of the Lodi Association of Realtors and can be reached at