If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on [email protected] for help. Thanks :)

House gone sale agreed, highest bidder not alerted

  • 11-07-2022 11:16am
    Registered Users Posts: 19 Ficus Jam

    Rural-ish house has been on market for roughly 3 weeks. Huge interest in house (fairly unique property, decent price, in good area, not many come available around here). I attended a viewing, and liked what I saw. Spoke with agent, who informed me current bid was now 13k above listed price.

    Put my bid in via email, 1k above current bid, to offer to 149k (I've changed the exact number a bit for anonymity). Didn't hear back, though I've come to expect agents to be slow to respond in this seller's market. Followed up about 30 hours later to check. Agent comes back 6 hours later: 'sorry, meant to respond to your email but it slipped my mind. There's a new offer of €150k on property'.

    I respond an hour later, increasing my offer by another 1k (151k). Hear nothing again, but clearly responding to emails is not this agent's strong suit. Fine.

    I attend another viewing of the property on Friday. Overhear agent telling other viewers that the current bid is 150k. I ask her if she had received my email earlier that week offering 151k. Agent looks at phone, comes back and says 'oh yeah, got the email, but forgot about it. Shivers, sorry.'

    I'm annoyed, but as long as it's now agreed I have the highest bid, I'm not going to get all het up. (Though I make a note to never ever sell through this useless agent.) Agent says she's looking to get things finalised by Monday (today). Before I left the viewing, I asked her to keep me informed either way the bidding goes. She says she will.

    I'm the highest bidder to my knowledge, so I assume if another bid comes in, there'd be a check with me first to increase my bid before finalising with this other bidder. It's a decent bit of land, so I'm fully prepared to be outbid and have to increase my offer again.

    Check the listing yesterday, and see it's now listed as 'sale agreed'. I've emailed the agent last night to ask what's going on, and haven't heard anything.

    Is this normal? This is my first home purchase in Ireland, but surely even in the Wild West that is the housing market in Ireland, the highest bidder receives formal notification of bid acceptance by the vendor pretty quickly? Agent knows I am a cash buyer and chain free so can close quickly, and even has the details of my conveyancer ready. I can't think how another buyer might be more attractive. I'd expect the agent would want to get the deposit from me asap, but I've heard nothing.

    How long do I wait for an answer before going in with all guns blazing? I'd like to know what is going on with this agent who apparently isn't interested in higher bids, and goes sale agreed with so little notification. Feeling a bit aggro with all of this jerking around.



  • Registered Users Posts: 107 ✭✭ LunaLoo

    It could be the other bidder was a cash offer that the sellers were happy to accept.

    When we had ours for sale we had 2 people bidding 1 was first time buyers ready to go 2 was people who had to sell their house to buy so even though #2 had higher bid we went with #1 to avoid chain.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,816 ✭✭✭ BronsonTB

    Yep, plenty of reasons & is normal enough in the housing market. The EA works for the seller not the buyer. Highest bid really means nothing until contracts are signed.

    BTB - Be sure to hit the 'Thanks' button please.

  • Registered Users Posts: 19 Ficus Jam

    Fair call. Unfortunate for me, but that's the nature of the beast.

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 3,445 ✭✭✭ Kat1170

    Just because it's Sale Agreed nothing to stop you putting in another offer to the agent. Nothing final until Sold.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,921 ✭✭✭ SteM

    Should have been phoning them with offers and then following up by email imo, then you'd be sure everyone is on the same page. I was certainly on the phone to EAs a lot when we were buying.

  • Registered Users Posts: 19 Ficus Jam

    Quite, but this agent asked me to communicate with her via email - she has kids and is often at viewings, so phone calls aren't convenient for her.

  • Registered Users Posts: 19 Ficus Jam

    Agreed this would a reasonable assumption, however 'Agent knows I am a cash buyer and chain free so can close quickly, and even has the details of my conveyancer ready. I can't think how another buyer might be more attractive'.

    Logical answer, as suggested upthread, is another bidder offered a significantly increased amount with a take it or leave it condition. Agents are after the most money with the least amount of effort, so I presume every action of theirs is would be based on this premise.

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 4,640 ✭✭✭ Xterminator


    i always say know your rights. there is a code of practice for estate agents managed by the PSRA

    Principles of the Code of Practice

    1.Act Professionally



    4 Confidentiality

    5 Effective and Open Communication

    6 Professional Development

    So if the agents does come back to you and tells you what the decision was based on - then you have no grounds for complaint. There is nothing in your situation that indicates the agent was doing anything wrong, yet.

    if they blanked you or refused to engage then you could make a complaint based on point 5. It will not get you the house, but if an agent falls short of the conduct expected you should report them.

  • Registered Users Posts: 19 Ficus Jam

    Agree completely. I won't be bothering with any of her properties in the future.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,826 ✭✭✭ Dodge

    Sounds like a poor agent but there’s not much you can do about that.

    Vendor can choose to sell it to whoever then want, doesn’t have to be the highest bidder. Going in “all guns blazing” won’t change much IMO. If the vendor is happy, the best you’ll get from the agent is an apology, and I’ve a feeling that won’t help you much

  • Registered Users Posts: 19 Ficus Jam

    I wouldn't think it likely that the agent would admit to improper behaviour, which is why I came here to see if there was a logical explanation for the outcome.

    I'd suggest this agent is on the lower end of diligence (and that bar is low), and in a buyer's market would struggle, but this is a seller's market. Barring outright illegal behaviour, there's nothing to be done.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,283 ✭✭✭ JeffKenna

    I dunno, I would have always thought an agent had to revert to you if you're the highest bidder to give you a chance to come back again. I mean that's what the whole concept of bidding is surely.

    Fair enough if there's some other reason they want to take the other bid but at least communicate that to you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 19 Ficus Jam

    I suspect I'd have to resort to carrier pigeon to actually get my bid communicated. This is good advice, and with a better agent, I'd definitely consider it. I'll keep it in mind as I continue looking. Thank you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 19 Ficus Jam

    This is my experience too - I've been outbid for precisely this reason, because the other bidder had a chance to beat my offer. The other offer must've been too good to pass up.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,283 ✭✭✭ JeffKenna

    Yeah who knows, maybe cash or something. Might get an idea when the sales price is up on property price register.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,826 ✭✭✭ Dodge

    They don’t have to do anything. They act for the vendor and whatever they want, they act on it. Of course normally, the vendor wants the highest bid. Sometimes (often) cash buyers are preferred. The point remains, they don’t have to inform any bidders of anything

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 19 Ficus Jam

    Just to reiterate from the original post, since it's been commented on a few times:

    I am a cash buyer and chain free so can close quickly

    No doubt there's some reason I'm not privy to which has meant I've lost out on this property, but this isn't a cash vs mortgage issue. I have the cash in-hand and ready.

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,542 ✭✭✭✭ Spanish Eyes

    If there were locals involved and you are not one of the known people..... it could be that the vendor sold to someone bidding that s/he knows of. Rural Ireland.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,826 ✭✭✭ Dodge

    I was talking in general and responding to the post that said they have to inform you.

    They can do what they like effectively

  • Registered Users Posts: 180 ✭✭ Curiousness99

    I was the highest bidder on a property about a year ago, agent rang me a few days later told me house was withdrawn, saw a sale agreed sign outside the house a few weeks later and subsequently found out that it was bought by the party I was bidding against…

    seems to be standard practice among some rural estate agents. Not sure what the strategy of agent was but vendor would have got more money from me as I would have bid another 10 to 15k

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,852 Mod ✭✭✭✭ shesty

    The vendor doesn't always want more money though.

    We lost a house a few years back because although we were bidding 5k more, the seller went for the bidder who was first time buyers with no other commitments.

  • Registered Users Posts: 19 Ficus Jam

    This would gel a bit with the agent's lack of interest in communicating with me. Forgetting about a bid struck me as odd - surely it'd be in the agent's best interest to log every bid and use every opportunity to drive up the final selling figure? Of all the emails to 'skip your mind'!

    So it seems that either there was a further offer so substantial that there's no way a counter-offer could've outpaced it, or the vendor had a specific buyer or type of buyer in mind (not me).

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,590 ✭✭✭ Xander10

    not that unusually.

    Circumstances of each bidder can be relevant.

    Are you a cash buyer?

    Are you in a chain of selling your current house?

    Are you buying to reside in it or looking to buy as an investment property?

  • Registered Users Posts: 19 Ficus Jam

    Cash buyer.


    Buying for full-time residence.

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 3,590 ✭✭✭ Xander10

    well, you tick all the right boxes. Bad on the auctioneer not updating you and giving you an opportunity of a counter offer.