When you are in the market to buy a home, as your buyers agent I am 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. It’s why I suggest that we have a meet and greet at the outset in an informal setting, so we can go through the procedure and you can ask any questions.
Today I wanted to discuss the confidentiality of your offer. In the business we refer to them as an offer to purchase. As your buyers agent all personal and financial information is forever confidential. I am bound by law to keep it confidential, even after you buy a home; or not. Information I know of that might affect your purchase about the seller or the property will be shared with you. (It’s unlikely this seller was ever a previous client of mine but if they were, then I could only share information about the property.) Now you have all the information you can possible get, you decide you want to make an offer, we discuss numbers, contingencies, a strategy and put pen to paper. Your offer is submitted with support showing financial ability to buy and submit direct to the listing agent and wait.
Is your offer confidential? Yes. Right now the only people that know the information are those involved in the possible transaction. Seller and his broker, you and me.
Can it remain confidential? Yes if agreement is reached. At that point it is likely the managing broker of the office will see it and maybe an office secretary but they are duty bound to keep it confidential and it goes into a locked cabinet. Only once closing has passed will your purchase amount become public knowledge. Some other details of the transaction are also known, like your closing date, any personal information is still in confidence with me.
Can it become unrestricted information? Possibly. Consider the possibility that your’s is not the only offer made at the same time. The listing agent and seller might have two or even more offers. It’s the sellers decision as to how he wants to deal with the offers. He can choose to negotiate one at a time until he gets an agreement or he can use details of one or more as leverage to try to gain more money or a faster closing. It’s at this point your offer MAY become unrestricted information. Details might be passed on to the other potential buyers and they have zero duty to keep any of what they are told confidential. You have no say in this at all.
It’s ultimately your choice how you want to deal with your offer should you find out you are in a multiple offer situation. Proceed and hope you are the winner or withdraw your offer. Should you find out at the outset there are multiple offers, you might choose not to submit yours at all. That is really the only way to make sure your offer information remains confidential Just know your personal information is never shared, only the terms of your offer with proof of funds may not remain confidential.
One other thought. If you choose to work with the listing agent you’ll likely be sharing details of your offer with them. What happens if more offers come in but the listing agent , working for you, knows you’ll go higher? The listing agent has already agreed with the seller to get as high an offer as possible. It’s kind of like in court, the lawyer asks a question to the witness and then withdraws it immediately. It’s done purely to plant it in the minds of the jury. Withdrawn or not, that knowledge is there, you cannot ask a Jury to erase it from their memory.
Hire a buyers agent and limit spoken words to one side. I would be happy to represent you.