Is this a phantom offer?

We’ve been keeping our eye on a house that’s been on the market for over a year now. We haven’t viewed it yet because we were waiting until we had finance secured. We can’t afford to offer the asking price, the max we can afford is about 15 grand less, but we’ve seen on the property prices register that this is roughly what other houses on the road have been selling for, and this one is in quite bad condition.

My husband rang the estate agent last week to book a viewing and he said that there is an offer on the house for €1000 more than the asking price. He couldn’t give us a viewing that suited us that week so my husband rang him back today to book a viewing this week and he mentioned the offer again.

We think it’s a bit odd that it’s been sitting there for over a year and that someone has suddenly come in and offered over the asking price. We also think it’s a bit odd that the seller hasn’t bitten their hand off and accepted the offer. But we are completely new to this and don’t really know what’s normal or if there are any circumstances in which this could occur.

We’ve booked the viewing anyway but we’re not sure whether to bother going.

I generally trust my intuition on matters like this,go along and have a look and let the E/A do all the talking and if at the end of viewing that feeling persists then strike a mark through it and move on,tell the E/A if the bidder?pulls out then you would be in a position to offer 15k less than asking but that would be it,balls in his court.

Sounds like they’re bullshitting you. … 32412.html
It’s incorrect paperwork and not inventing phantom bids that excludes people from becoming property agents. Officious and selfserving, that’s regulating standards and practices Irish style!

Go, you might be put off by what you see and then you aren’t left wondering about the phantom offer.

If you still want it, make the best offer you are willing to make for it and tell the EA it’s a final and best offer - then walk away. You might have to deal with this EA on another house - if he knows your final and best offer is exactly that then he might not try to bullshit you next time.

There are always other houses, viewing one and not liking it after the viewing makes you realise better what you want in a house.

Too little info to make a call on this.
OP, is the house occupied?
Have you or your husband talked to the neighbors? A wealth of information can be gained from talking to neighbors, especially if the house is owner occupied.
The biggest investment in Your life (proberly) is going to require a little homework.

Also, Depending on area, there are more price falls on the way IMO and in the opinion of a lot of other pinsters, so keep that in mind too.


I;ve been looking at houses for about 18 months…

Without exception…all of the times that an Estate Agent told me there was a bid on a house, when I went and looked at the price register it turned out the agent was telling the truth.

There was a lot of talk on this site about phantom offers. I dont believe it happens very much.

Have a look, make an offer you are comfortable with, if they don’t take it there is nothing you can do, move on. It doesn’t matter if they are bluffing or not.

Don’t max yourself out either, if this the max you can borrow, maybe thats too much, always factor in some room to manouver.

Thanks everyone. Think we will go and have a look and tell the estate agent that if it falls through we’re prepared to offer 15k less.
Will also try to get some info about the house, I don’t think there is anyone living in it at the moment. I walked past it in the summer and they were getting rid of all the furniture, it was all very old fashioned. I think the house belonged to an older person, but I don’t think it’s an executors sale.
My mother in law works with someone who lives across the road so I’ll try and get some more info.

If it’s a real offer then I just can’t understand why it hasn’t gone sale agreed. Surely after more than a year on the market they’d be anxious to complete the sale and they must be delighted with an offer over the asking price.

Go, have a good look around, at first try to distance yourself from the EA so you can see it properly, their talk will divert your attention. Then strike up a converstaion with the EA, find out, were there other offers, is the Owner considering the current offer, when was it made, if the house is a probate sale one sibling could be holding it all up. By the time they accpet the current offer the person may have moved on. Remember people hate gaps in converstion and will often blurt out the wrong thing. Let the EA know that you are definetly interested but don’t agree with the value based on the price register and what you would need to spend on renovations. Tell them you will make an offer if the other bidder changes their mind. Don’t mention a price as it could be used against you on another house. Everything gets put on the computer and shared with other branch offices.

Also about 3 or 4 months ago another house on that road went on the market very cheap, but when we rang about it it had already gone sale agreed. The estate agent tried to get us to view this house instead but we told him we couldn’t afford it and he said fine. Then he rang us back a week later and told us that the sellers would probably accept an offer less than the asking price. So I don’t think it’s a case that the sellers are holding out for high offers.

The reason they dont give you a convenient time (and never the time you ask for) is to guage your interest in the house.
If you’ll turn up at 8am on a Tuesday or 5.30pm on a Saturday, youre obviously pretty keen.

Best thing to do in that situation is insist on your own time, and tell them to call you back.
If they dont, call them back and tell them you’ll go directly to the vendor to arrange a viewing if they cant manage it.

Why on earth would you tell the EA what you are willing to offer at this point?
It’s ok to express interest in the property but you are not serving your interests well by offering this information at the moment.
Do yourself a favor and just go seek information off the EA.
You have two ears and one mouth, use them proportionally.

I was just going by advice above. OK then so the best thing to do is just to go, try to find out as much as possible from estate agent, say nothing and hope that maybe he rings us back at a later stage?

We had a similar situation to yours, then the agent was swapped to someone else within the same office. Anyhow it turns out that the bank would not take an offer below X and the other agent was trying to entice us to take an offer at or above X.

Yes, but be very definite that you are interested and willing to make an offer but not at the current price.

This way the EA will give you a call if the deal falls through.

Remember they only get paid if the property sells.

Also consider making any offer towards the end of the month (last 2 or 3 days, enough time for him to persude the vendor) as EA have targets to achieve.

Go talk to the neighbors, find out as much as possible about the property and reason behind the sale. You have to invest time and work in getting to know as much as possible about the property as possible.
You have nothing to lose at the moment except time by doing your research.
When you’ve done your homework then and only then go to the EA and listen.
Offer a little information about yourself but ask a lot of questions. EA’s often will unwittingly offer up valuable information this way.
It works, trust me on this.

If you don’t succeed with this purchase, you’ll at least have gained valuable information and experience.
There will be more houses for sale, trust me on this.

I’m making an assumption here but you seem a little easily persuaded and please don’t take offence to this but consider bringing a more experienced person with you too.

This is good advice imo. Go look at houses you’re not that pushed on too.

My experience too. Mind you, this particular situation smells a little fishy