Is the agent playing games?

Hi all,

Trying to buy my first IP at the moment and would greatly appreciate any advice.

Some background:
3 weeks ago I put an offer in on 2 bed unit in North Brisbane, it had been advertised at offers over $239k, then dropped to offers over $229k. I offered $223k subject to finance/building & pest/body corporate searches and missed out. Found out today that the owner went with a cash offer of $217,500.

Cut to now:
Another unit in the same block has come up for sale, advertised at offers over $239k. It's in a bit better condition, currently tenanted whereas the other one wasn't etc.

At the open on Saturday the agent told me they already had another offer but didn't have the Body Corp disclosure statement ready so couldn't sign any contracts.

I put in an offer of $241 (before I knew what the other one sold for!) subject to Building & pest/body corporate (no finance clause).

Now the agent tells me that he's waiting on a third offer and that mine is the lowest of the three and do I want to reconsider. I'm finding it really hard to decide what to do, is it likely this is just a ploy?

He'd previously said at the open to put in your best offer and he'd take them all to the vendor/wouldn't bid people off against each other, but that feels like exactly what's happening!

I'm considering going back and saying that my current offer will expire 5pm tomorrow and walking away..? Although I think it is a pretty good investment, maybe increase it a little and make it expire tomorrow?

Thanks in advance and sorry for such a long post!!
I've been in this situation a few times in the past few weeks. Agent either won't put the offer to the vendor or is holding out for a better offer. If you have hit your max value and/or willing to walk away then a deadline can work.

I had an agent tell me they were holding an open the next week but they weren't rejecting my offer. I ended up putting an expiry on the offer and it turned out that the agent hasn't put my offer to the vendor as there were high price expectations. Some agents are securing business based on giving the highest appraisal so are unwilling to put forward discounted offers or offers they know the owner won't be happy with.

Lots of game playing in this market. Agents that haven't worked in a hot market before and not coping with the levels of interest and multiple offers.
Okay, thanks.. good to know it is not just me! I think I will bite the bullet and stay as is and let it expire tomorrow.

Another question I have, is it likely the sale of the other unit will affect my bank valuation? It was due to settle today but I gather it takes some time for data to get onto sites like RPData? Is it likely the valuer would actually contact an agent to find out recent sales prices?
In Queensland the agent must present all offers to the seller. This doesn't have to be over dinner, and could be just a text message if it's not a serious contender. It also doesn't have to be immediately. Some agents will work on you before they go to their client at the end of the day.

The seller may have told the agent to go back to each buyer to try and increase their offers.

Keep in mind that in the current hot market, sellers are often the first to increase their expectations, and play hard ball.

In my experience with sales agents, they generally don't lie. A reputation like that is hard to shake. If an agent tells me that my offer is lower than others, I'd believe them. If an agent tells me that there are 'better' offers, then that could mean any number of things (shorter settlement, no clauses etc). Words are chosen carefully in negotiations.

Also it goes without saying that the agent is not impartial. Plenty of people complain that the agent is playing games and trying to trick them into offering more. Of course that's what the agent is doing, and they are being paid for their skill in doing so.

If you are not comfortable being 'played', then that's where a buyers' agent can be useful, but they also come at a cost.

At the end of the day, it's a gamble: offer the least that you think you can get away with, and the seller will push you to the most they think you'll pay.

The agent is legally bound to present all offers to the vendor unless specifically instrusted not to (eg only present offersw to me over $##.

Remind the agent of his obligation or report him.
Usually in the QLD contract, there is contact number of the vendor.

I usually call them and mentioned "just submit the offer via agent, hope we can discussed soon". Never mention more than that.

Then the vendor will cross check to the agent :D

Based on my exp 99% agent will call you with the result. If agent didn't follow up, then move on to the next deal
Hi everyone, thanks for all the replies. Offer ended up expiring tonight so I guess there were better offers on the table!

I didn't have a contract or any vendor details so didn't end up going down that path.

Back to the search I go. Thanks again :)