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Ghost Bidders

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Hi all, I recently placed a bid on a house and was told there were no other viewers or interested parties. The day I bid, I was told another party had placed a higher bid and asked what I wanted to do.

It seemed a bit off, and I was wondering what you guys think the chances of a ghost bidder tactic being used? The agent is one of the 'biggest' around. While it may well be someone being kept informed reacting to my bid, I wonder what you guys reckon. Don't want to be bidding against myself.

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Hi all, I recently placed a bid on a house and was told there were no other viewers or interested parties. The day I bid, I was told another party had placed a higher bid and asked what I wanted to do.

It seemed a bit off, and I was wondering what you guys think the chances of a ghost bidder tactic being used? The agent is one of the 'biggest' around. While it may well be someone being kept informed reacting to my bid, I wonder what you guys reckon. Don't want to be bidding against myself.

I had exactly this when I bought my house. I told them that was my offer and if they had a higher offer they should take it. They kept going on and even said "the vendors really like you and would rather sell to you if you could match the higher offer". I told the EA that I was not a friend of the vendors so why would they possibly prefer me? It was obviously all fictitious. I then told the agent that if the offer was not accepted by the end of the week then it would be reduced by £5k a week for 4 weeks, after which it would be withdrawn. The agent became almost apoplectic that I wouldn't play the game. Bought the house at my original bid price.

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I then told the agent that if the offer was not accepted by the end of the week then it would be reduced by £5k a week for 4 weeks, after which it would be withdrawn. The agent became almost apoplectic that I wouldn't play the game. Bought the house at my original bid price.

Great tactic!! I must remember it if asking prices ever get sensible enough for me to start viewing again.

Edited by danlee74

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Hi all, I recently placed a bid on a house and was told there were no other viewers or interested parties. The day I bid, I was told another party had placed a higher bid and asked what I wanted to do.

It seemed a bit off, and I was wondering what you guys think the chances of a ghost bidder tactic being used? The agent is one of the 'biggest' around. While it may well be someone being kept informed reacting to my bid, I wonder what you guys reckon. Don't want to be bidding against myself.

These games do happen. offer what you want to pay and no more.

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Hi all, I recently placed a bid on a house and was told there were no other viewers or interested parties. The day I bid, I was told another party had placed a higher bid and asked what I wanted to do.

It seemed a bit off, and I was wondering what you guys think the chances of a ghost bidder tactic being used? The agent is one of the 'biggest' around. While it may well be someone being kept informed reacting to my bid, I wonder what you guys reckon. Don't want to be bidding against myself.

Hello back on HPC after many years.. finally bought earlier this year (to live in) after a long process (4 months) that should have been quicker (probate sale)

when I went to collect the keys the senior partner at the estate agent told me that an institutional buyer had tried to gazump at 15% over the agreed

but very luckily the seller stuck to his agreement with me after some wobbly thought- so it does happen. Had offered on the property on the first day and was the third to view property (and had later approached asking on vendors request), made an offer on the spot as had been attending auctions (throughout 2012) with little luck.

After several auction attendances its appears institutional investors on the phone to london(?) (south west -wessex area here) that are willing to bid up asking prices when the auctions stall (and presumably can act and have the backing to occasionally buy if they accidentally win the auction). Also lost a buy-to-let repo to an institutional investor (and national player in reporting on the marke)t, when local bids had been 15-20k under asking, eventually investor weighed in at 10% over asking price..they seem to be setting a floor by bidding up when properties look cheap. If you think about it a small fighting fund to maintain the cheapest floor of entry level houses could support the whole house of cards, especially if you have already have a large regional or local area portfolio to protect,,,,,, mantaining that floor is crucial to propping up the whole portfolio asset value. If there is much of that going on behind the scenes it is only a fraction of the portfolio value required as new asset purchases to deflect the market?

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Hello back on HPC after many years.. finally bought earlier this year (to live in) after a long process (4 months) that should have been quicker (probate sale)

when I went to collect the keys the senior partner at the estate agent told me that an institutional buyer had tried to gazump at 15% over the agreed

but very luckily the seller stuck to his agreement with me after some wobbly thought- so it does happen. Had offered on the property on the first day and was the third to view property (and had later approached asking on vendors request), made an offer on the spot as had been attending auctions (throughout 2012) with little luck.

After several auction attendances its appears institutional investors on the phone to london(?) (south west -wessex area here) that are willing to bid up asking prices when the auctions stall (and presumably can act and have the backing to occasionally buy if they accidentally win the auction). Also lost a buy-to-let repo to an institutional investor (and national player in reporting on the marke)t, when local bids had been 15-20k under asking, eventually investor weighed in at 10% over asking price..they seem to be setting a floor by bidding up when properties look cheap. If you think about it a small fighting fund to maintain the cheapest floor of entry level houses could support the whole house of cards, especially if you have already have a large regional or local area portfolio to protect,,,,,, mantaining that floor is crucial to propping up the whole portfolio asset value. If there is much of that going on behind the scenes it is only a fraction of the portfolio value required as new asset purchases to deflect the market?

Can't imagine the institutional investors (pension funds, insurance etc.) are operating in Northern Ireland. To be honest, if I was the vendor I would have taken the 15% from the institutional investor. You'd be hard pressed to find a better buyer.

Maybe it's happening in the South West with residential, but it's not happening here.

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Can't imagine the institutional investors (pension funds, insurance etc.) are operating in Northern Ireland. To be honest, if I was the vendor I would have taken the 15% from the institutional investor. You'd be hard pressed to find a better buyer.

Maybe it's happening in the South West with residential, but it's not happening here.

I'd be amazed any financial institutions were spending time and effort buying one house at a time at auctions. If they were wanting in to property i imagine they would be buying apartment blocks or complete developments at a time, not a £50k house.

With tens and hundreds of millions to invest, it's not worth their while.

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Hi all, I recently placed a bid on a house and was told there were no other viewers or interested parties. The day I bid, I was told another party had placed a higher bid and asked what I wanted to do.

It seemed a bit off, and I was wondering what you guys think the chances of a ghost bidder tactic being used? The agent is one of the 'biggest' around. While it may well be someone being kept informed reacting to my bid, I wonder what you guys reckon. Don't want to be bidding against myself.

If you suspect it's falsified do something about it. Call their bluff, go into the office and request to see evidence of the other bid.

All bids are logged.

If there's no evidence report them to the OFT.

End of.

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If you suspect it's falsified do something about it. Call their bluff, go into the office and request to see evidence of the other bid.

All bids are logged.

If there's no evidence report them to the OFT.

End of.

End of what?

Nothing will happen. What makes you think they have the right to see the other offer?

Here's what the OFT says

However, the OFT cannot help you with your individual dispute and you will not get an individual investigation of your complaint.
Please note that the Estate Agents Act 1979 and its associated legislation does not cover:

gazumping

gazundering

property renting

contractual matters

quality of service issues

valuations

overseas property transactions.

End of.

Edited by 2buyornot2buy

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The OFT do not investigate independent cases but it always worth keeping them updated with any complaints you have. If enough complaints are received they may look at the agency.

http://www.tpos.co.uk/about_us.htm

Many estate agents have in addition agreed to follow the TPO Code of Practice for Residential Estate Agents. Estate agents signing up to this Code of Practice are required to provide additional consumer protection that goes beyond that required by the law. They can be recognised by the blue TPO logo.

Not compulsory - but here is the code of conduct regarding offers for EA's who have signed up - EA's internal complaint procedure should be used first.

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland you must keep all prospective buyers who have recently made offers through you, and which have not already been rejected, informed of the existence of other offers submitted to the seller.

7f You must be fair and not misleading when disclosing the amount of any offers made to other prospective buyers. Before disclosing the amount of an offer, you must advise the seller of such intention and get his agreement; and you must warn all prospective buyers who make offers that it is your practice to do so. If you do disclose any offer to one prospective buyer, then all offers must be immediately disclosed to all prospective buyers with a current interest in negotiations for the property.

7g After an offer has been accepted subject to contract, you must promptly tell that prospective buyer if the seller accepts another offer.

7h By law you must not misrepresent or invent the existence, or any details, of any other offer made or the status of any other person who has made an offer. If you know that the seller has instructed a solicitor to send a contract to an alternative buyer, you must then

tell your prospective buyer in writing.

If you think there's fishy business going on, it is worth putting it in writing.

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I had the same with a house I offered on. I simply told them we weren't interested in getting into a bidding war for ethical reasons (not wanting to push up house prices any further) and we hoped the other party would be very happy in their new home.

The look on the estate agent's face was priceless

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I had the same with a house I offered on. I simply told them we weren't interested in getting into a bidding war for ethical reasons (not wanting to push up house prices any further) and we hoped the other party would be very happy in their new home.

The look on the estate agent's face was priceless

:D:) nice move...

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End of what?

Nothing will happen. What makes you think they have the right to see the other offer?

End of.

Put end of for a bit of mischief- was banking you'd be the first to take the bait.

Law says

It is illegal to mislead buyers or sellers in any way. Specifically, you must not give misleading information about:

offers for a particular property, or invent bids

the existence or status of any potential buyer.

A statement that is factually true might be presented in a misleading way.

Examples of misleading statements:

You cannot claim to have first time or cash buyers, unless you can show why you think this is true.

You cannot advertise or claim that you have potential buyers, unless you can prove that this is true.

Therefore once again rather than bitch on here - which may be therapeutic, I would advise potential purchasers to question everything and demand to see evidence.

This not something you'd advocate? Would you not advise complaining if they found this to be the case?

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Put end of for a bit of mischief- was banking you'd be the first to take the bait.

Law says

It is illegal to mislead buyers or sellers in any way. Specifically, you must not give misleading information about:

offers for a particular property, or invent bids

the existence or status of any potential buyer.

A statement that is factually true might be presented in a misleading way.

Examples of misleading statements:

You cannot claim to have first time or cash buyers, unless you can show why you think this is true.

You cannot advertise or claim that you have potential buyers, unless you can prove that this is true.

Therefore once again rather than bitch on here - which may be therapeutic, I would advise potential purchasers to question everything and demand to see evidence.

This not something you'd advocate? Would you not advise complaining if they found this to be the case?

Ok I'll bite again, just so the OP doesn’t get the impression he can really do much about these sharp practises.

You can't complain to the OFT about an individual case.

Less that 33% of EA are signed up to their voluntary code of practise.

The legislation can say x,y,z. You'll need to go to court to enforce. In the meantime the place is sold.

Why would an EA give you access to bids, I see nothing in the legislation so say you have the right to access it. Demands would be a waste of time. The EA is the seller’s agent, not yours.

So rather than write to the EA bitching, I would just let it go or head down to the land registry, get the vendor details and contact them directly. Or put a note through the door.

EAs are not heavly regulated. They've been engaged in these sorts of dodgy dealings forever. If it makes you feel any better I'm sure there are thousands of transactions like yours every year.

edit to change can to can't

Edited by 2buyornot2buy

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Ok I'll bite again, just so the OP doesn’t get the impression he can really do much about these sharp practises.

You can complain to the OFT about an individual case.

Less that 33% of EA are signed up to their voluntary code of practise.

The legislation can say x,y,z. You'll need to go to court to enforce. In the meantime the place is sold.

Why would an EA give you access to bids, I see nothing in the legislation so say you have the right to access it. Demands would be a waste of time. The EA is the seller’s agent, not yours.

So rather than write to the EA bitching, I would just let it go or head down to the land registry, get the vendor details and contact them directly. Or put a note through the door.

EAs are not heavly regulated. They've been engaged in these sorts of dodgy dealings forever. If it makes you feel any better I'm sure there are thousands of transactions like yours every year.

2buyornot2buy is completely correct in that anybody who uses estate agents, have very few rights. To enforce anything you need to firstly, deal with a reputable agent and secondly, prove that it happened - practically impossible.

Going to LR or sticking a note through the door will get quicker results and be less stressful and expensive.

The Consumer, Estate Agents and Redress Act 2007 (CEARA) amended the Estate Agents Act 1979 (EAA) to allow the Secretary of State to require (by means of a redress scheme Order) those engaged in estate agency work in respect of residential property to be members of an approved redress scheme ('estate agency work' and 'residential property' are defined by the EAA as amended by CEARA). Under the CEARA the redress schemes need to be approved by the OFT. The CEARA is available on the UK Statute Law Database at www.statutelaw.gov.uk.

The Estate Agents (Redress Scheme) (Penalty Charge) Regulations 2008 will come into force on 1st October 2008.

if you require consumer advice on your individual dispute or wish to make a consumer complaint against the agent, contact Consumerline. Visit www.consumerline.org or call the helpline on 0300 123 6262. Consumerline is a partnership between the Northern Ireland Trading Standards Service and the Consumer Council of Northern Ireland.

I wouldn't advocate writing a letter bitching to the estate agent - a simple complaint letter asking for clarification would suffice. It is not always the owner or manager of the agency you are dealing with, however it will be the manager or owner who receives the letter. The owner may (should) be more concerned with the long term reputation of the business - they may not approve of the sales persons methods either. Better still, if the agency is part of a group of agents or network any complaint letter will have to be passed up the chain.

We as consumers of estate agents often have little choice other than to use an agent and have few rights when we do - If we don't maximise and act on the few rights we have, agents will view any regulations safe in the knowledge that the public will not use them, therefore they do not matter ie; with the same attitude as we do.

But, for a short term fix with no letter writing or complaints procedure to contend with do what '2buyornot2buy suggested and skip the middle man. He/she is definitely correct in saying that EA's have been practising in this manner for so long, with no comeback that thousands will have been 'done' over the years.

You are not alone...

:blink:

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I wouldn't advocate writing a letter bitching to the estate agent - a simple complaint letter asking for clarification would suffice. It is not always the owner or manager of the agency you are dealing with, however it will be the manager or owner who receives the letter. The owner may (should) be more concerned with the long term reputation of the business - they may not approve of the sales persons methods either. Better still, if the agency is part of a group of agents or network any complaint letter will have to be passed up the chain.

But, for a short term fix with no letter writing or complaints procedure to contend with do what '2buyornot2buy suggested and skip the middle man. He/she is definitely correct in saying that EA's have been practising in this manner for so long, with no comeback that thousands will have been 'done' over the years.

You are not alone...

:blink:

The OP states 'it was one of the biggest agents around'.

So my guess he's talking about either TR or BT.

Both signed up to codes of practice.

I'm sure both would take a formal complaint/ letter seriously.

You're right that people allege the practices have been going on for years, however the only way to stamp it out is one agent at a time.

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The OP states 'it was one of the biggest agents around'.

So my guess he's talking about either TR or BT.

Both signed up to codes of practice.

I'm sure both would take a formal complaint/ letter seriously.

You're right that people allege the practices have been going on for years, however the only way to stamp it out is one agent at a time.

Personally, from my experience, I would put incompetence and sloppiness high up on the list irrespective of any 'code'.

So both ****-up and conspiracy. A toxic mix.

Edited by Shotoflight

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I've a similar story, offered a lower price after ghost buyer dissappeared, was accepted :-) 1990

Simple rule : In a buyers market NEVER raise your bid, and NEVER bid against someone, be prepared to walk away.

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Simple rule : In a buyers market NEVER raise your bid, and NEVER bid against someone, be prepared to walk away.

It is often the case that the bidding wont start on a property until someone places an offer. That may or may not be the case here. As someone who bought building sites I have often seen that and indeed I have stood on the sidelings until a bid came in.

In this case, if there is another bidder, he/she may very well be wondering if you are a Ghost. What we do know id the number of properties selling and therefore purchasers and bidders is increasing.

However, in saying all that Ride-on's advice is good for both 'so called' experts and first time bidders. Never let the agent believe there is another bid in you. To obtain that, the agent will have to have experienced you walking away on other properties. Therefore, you may well have to go through this process a number of times.

I wouldn't say 'never raise your bid' as you can understand most would not expect you to raise with your best and final offer.

Edited by BelfastVI

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Personally, from my experience, I would put incompetence and sloppiness high up on the list irrespective of any 'code'.

So both ****-up and conspiracy. A toxic mix.

That fits well with my experience of estate agents, both ones I have worked with and ones who are friends!

It is often the case that the bidding wont start on a property until someone places an offer. That may or may not be the case here. As someone who bought building sites I have often seen that and indeed I have stood on the sidelings until a bid came in.

In this case, if there is another bidder, he/she may very well be wondering if you are a Ghost. What we do know id the number of properties selling and therefore purchasers and bidders is increasing.

However, in saying all that Ride-on's advice is good for both 'so called' experts and first time bidders. Never let the agent believe there is another bid in you. To obtain that, the agent will have to have experienced you walking away on other properties. Therefore, you may well have to go through this process a number of times.

I wouldn't say 'never raise your bid' as you can understand most would not expect you to raise with your best and final offer.

I have also stood back and waited for another offer to come in. Sometimes it is undoubtedly the smartest move (non move). There are ghost bidders and there are some that only appear to be ghost bidders. Useful to view this situation from a differing perspective VI.

;)

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I still maintain that in a 'buyers market' there are more sellers than buyers, therefore no need to bid. Its another debate if it has swung back to sellers, although I personally don't think it has.

I might also sit on the side line waiting for a bid, but I am actually waiting a 'period' for the seller to get more desparate for my bid. If another bid arises I will walk away.

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I still maintain that in a 'buyers market' there are more sellers than buyers, therefore no need to bid. Its another debate if it has swung back to sellers, although I personally don't think it has.

I might also sit on the side line waiting for a bid, but I am actually waiting a 'period' for the seller to get more desparate for my bid. If another bid arises I will walk away.

If you dont bid, how do you expect to acquire the house.

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