Home Buying in Hartford>Question Details

Aml0516, Home Buyer in Center Barnstead, NH

Can a selling agent contact other interested parties while the house is still under deposit and rescind papers have not been signed?

Asked by Aml0516, Center Barnstead, NH Tue Apr 6, 2010

My finace and I are first-time homebuyers. Entered a contract 3/25; inspection on 4/1 determined roof needed to be replaced asap. Asked seller for assistance; she offered $500 on 4/2. Thought about it over the weekend and determined we wanted the house. Meanwhile, family friend's son inquired about house after under our deposit; he called us 4/5 saying the selling agent contacted him, said our offer fell through and asked if he was still interested. We had not signed rescind papers stating we were backing out; we made it known we were considering it due to the cost of the roof, but said nothing definite. We jumped to accept the $500 towards roof that was still available, but feel like we were pushed into taking the offer before they could talk to anyone else, also that any other chance to renogotiate was taken from us. Was it fair play for the selling agent to contact the other person? Does it make a difference that the selling agent and our agent are from the same company? options??

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What may make a difference is who made the contact - the family friend's son, or the listing broker.

In any event, barring a written agreement to the contrary, the listing broker (who you call the Selling Agent) certainly can contact other interested parties.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 6, 2010
When you put in your offer Dual Agency should have been explained to you. It will be hard to determine if that was breached however, the selling agent after having conversations with your agent knew you were hesitating on the contract. It is in the selling agents interest to begin calling and soliciting the other agents/buyers that contacted them to let them know the contract may be falling apart and it was coming back on the market. I hope you got what you felt was a good deal on the home and until the rescind was actually signed you did not have to jump as you say you did.

On another note, if you are using FHA financing, and the roof is in really bad condition, appraisers seem to be noticing this and stating so in their appraisals. The bank will require it to be complete prior to cloing. So this is something that your agent should have used in helping you to negotiate. By needing a roof, it must be disclosed and then begins to limit the lending options, your mortgage broker should be able to answer this.

I also suggest you have a heart to heart with your agent and if you feel that you have been pushed, speak directly with their broker. This is a happy time and you should not be feeling remorse prior to the closing at all.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 6, 2010
Many do not feel comfortable with working with a buyer's agent and having the seller's agent in the same office. It is legal, but questions always arise.
It is fair for the seller's agent to contact them and is actually doing what is in best interest of the client(seller).
As far as being pushed into the agreement, hopefully you put in a sound offer at the beginning and are happy with the $500.00. Time is of the essence with any transaction and it is important to take note of the stated times. This is not 2005, but some homes are selling quickly and you should be happy that you are getting what you want, not losing out to someone else.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 6, 2010
If it is specifically stated in your Purchase agreement that the Sellers Broker "shall not" continue to market the property during the pendency of you agreement then no they can't. However most contracts leave it up to the broker to determine if the property will continue to be marketed. So in most cases the answer is yes they can. They do however need to disclose to any potential buyer that the roof has an issue.

It definately can make a difference that they are in the same office. Unfortunately you have no way of know what type of relationship the two agents have. They could be friends or hate working with each other. You just don't know. My feeling is the listing broker and the selling broker should be completely different, Not all agree with me but at least you get sole representation.

Michael Duncan
Duncan Real Estate
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 6, 2010
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