Many buyers are frustrated with the process of putting an offer on a bank owned home and not getting a response. Buyers agents are frustrated too. They spend hours (sometimes days days or weeks) finding a property for a buyer, explaining the process and discussing how it is likely the property will sell over the asking price. The offer is written and sent it. The buyers agent follows up to make sure they got it and that the pre-approval and earnest money deposit is in order. They call and call and call and call and call...weeks go by and no answer from the seller. No counter offer...no rejection...no nothing. One month later the property is still "active" on the mls. A call to the listing agent reveals..."we have over 15 offers" send us your highest and best". Another month goes by and the property is sold for a few hundred dollars more than the other you put in. hmm?
Did the listing agent present the the offer as soon as possible? Did the bank review the offer?
As I understand it, the banks can do as they wish (within the law), however if the LISTING AGENT uses the MLS to market the property, they are REQUIRED to follow the rules. If the listing agent is a REALTOR (which they most likely are if they're listing property on the MLS) they must adhere to the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS ® which states:
Standard of Practice 1-6
REALTORS® shall submit offers and counter-offers objectively and as quickly as possible. (Adopted 1/93, Amended 1/95)
The listing agent must present the offer asap, however there is nothing that I know of to prevent the bank from taking it's sweet time in reviewing the offer. What you may want to do is ask for the signed document from the seller (the bank) stating they did not wish to review your offer when presented. If the agent cannot produce the document, you may want to file a complaint against the listing agent. You should be able to get help/guidance from the local board of Realtors.
For more information about the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS ® visit: http://www.realtor.org/MemPolWeb.nsf/pages/COde