My brother-in-law is looking to buy a house. The house he wants has been on the market for a long time, and it's in pre-foreclosure. The owners are underwater on it. He submitted a lowball offer, waited a long while, and then talked to the listing agent, who said it was too low so he didn't even show it to the sellers. Then he submitted a new, higher offer. The real estate agent then came back to them and said that the offer was too high, and he needed my BiL to submit a LOWER offer. This seems incredibly sketchy, but nobody has any idea what game this guy is playing. Why would a seller's agent ask a buyer to submit a lower offer?
Update: My BiL got some clarification (?) that seems to just muddy the water more in my mind. Keep in mind, I'm not sure he's a reliable reporter, so something may be lost in translation a bit. I'll just paste what he said verbatim: "I've talked to a couple of people that have done short sales and foreclosures before - apparently they're still planning to declare bankruptcy, but with me buying the house, they'll have less to pay out of pocket, so they have to hit a specific number to legally do it."