Q: We recently made an offer on a home. Our real estate agent told us there was another offer and suggested we amend our offer and instead offer the full asking price for the property.

So, we offered to pay the full asking price, and the seller came back with a counter-offer that included a lot of other stipulations.

Here’s my question: Is the agent allowed to tell us there was another offer made on a home if there really wasn’t? And, is she allowed to put her own stipulations on a counter offer. I am unsure of the legalities of what an agent can do to sell a home.

A: Are you being represented on this purchase offer? Or, is the seller’s agent also acting as your agent? It sounds to me like you’re getting advice from the seller’s agent, who is being paid to sell the home. This agent doesn’t represent you and has no fiduciary interest in making sure you get a fair shake.

You need someone to talk to you about your offer and what kinds of strategy you might want to employ in order to secure this home.

As for the seller’s agent, he or she can tell you what is true: There is another offer and that if you offer full price for the property, you might get it. The fact that the seller came back with more stipulations on the offer doesn’t surprise me. You’re now engaged in a bidding war. The only way to take back control is to decide if you really want this property and at what price and under what conditions.

If the seller’s stipulations aren’t to your liking, rescind your offer and walk away.

And, find a good buyer’s agent who can help you navigate these waters.

April 14, 2007.