Here is a common occurance.
How often is it an attempt by the listing agent to jack up the price or add urgency to the buyer? I don’t know.
Often times it’s legit. My niece has made 3 offers in the last several weeks for super inexpensive homes in central Phoenix. All 3 times the listing agent said another offer just came in right after my niece submitted hers.
In all 3 cases, the evidence was the listing agent was indeed being honest with me – 2 homes went under contract shortly thereafter and the third one raised its list price!
(How would like like to be that listing agent? The home was on the market 4 months without a single offer. Then it got 2 offers within 2 days. So what did the seller do? She raised the list price! The seller was a “friend” of the listing agent so the listing agent had cut his commission to the bone. With friends like that…)
(In one case the listing agent obviously “shopped” my niece’s offer and lo and behold the buyer turned out to represented by that very same listing agent. No surprise there.)
Nevertheless, I’m always suspicious when a listing agent says, “Another offer came in just after yours and we’ll be sending counters.”
Real estate agents sometimes use this method to get top dollar for their sellers. This is often accomplished by saying, “Another buyer is seriously interested in this house. You better make your offer fast.”