I saw this happen three times this week, and it’s probably a sign of the times.

A listing goes pending for a day or two, then comes back on the market at a higher price.

They are most likely the bidding wars that failed.  The seller/listing agent took what they thought was the best offer, but then the winners had second thoughts and/or buyers’ remorse set in – and they cancelled.

Because one buyer was willing to pay over list price in the heated moment of engagement, the seller/listing agent decides their offer price must be the market value and others should pay that much too, and they RAISE the list price when re-entering the market.

But nobody was willing to pay that price.

Most importantly, nobody was willing to pay that price when the urgency was at its peak during the first few days on the market.  The buyer enthusiasm is much lower the second time around.

There was one listing-agent story about receiving five offers, and taking the all-cash offer that was $25,000 over list with a 7-day escrow.  Then the buyers checked their calendar and found they couldn’t visit the property in-person during the seven days (they had seen it via FaceTime). So instead of working out an alternative, they just cancelled instead (they may not have liked that the sellers paid 23% less in February).

The listing agent went back to the four losers, but couldn’t get any of them to re-engage.

Part of the problem is how the listing agents treat the losers.

I was involved with one of the three. We looked at the home about halfway through the open house, and there was no names on the sign-in sheet.  I talked up the listing agent, but there was no sign of any interest in the property.

The next day we submitted a cash offer with 14-day escrow that was 3% under the list price. The LA said:

Received! Thank you. I will respond more once I’ve had time to review with sellers.

So there was still no indication that there is any other activity on the property.

A day and a half later, she sends this over:

So you know, we chose to only counter the top offers. We just accepted another offer less than 30 minutes ago, after getting the counters signed. We appreciate you taking the time to put in the cash offer, but for your own knowledge, it was so much lower than the other offers, the sellers didn’t even consider it.

Two days later, it comes back on the market with a $25,000 price hike.

Did she call me to re-engage? No. Did I call her? No – we had already bought something else.

I made bumping the price in the second round look easy here, but that was peak frenzy.  Today’s environment has cooled off, and and many, if not most, escrows are going to be somewhat shaky and nervous.  If they do fall apart, the reeling-in of another buyer is a skill that agents with 12 years experience or less have never had to develop (in both examples above, the homes are still for sale).

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