Home Buying in 90027>Question Details

Bill, Other/Just Looking in Los Angeles, CA

Can an agent refuse to make an offer?

Asked by Bill, Los Angeles, CA Mon Aug 17, 2009

We wanted to make an offer on a house that was in probate. Our offer was be about 20%
under the listed price. The agent refused to present our offer as he thought it was too low.
Is this legal or ethical?

Help the community by answering this question:


A licensed REALTOR must present ALL offers. Your agent is supposed to work for you! The only time an agent can refuse to present an offer is if a law is being broken ie: fair housing, discrimination, etc.
I would not stand for this at all. Call this agents broker and inform them of your situation.

Good Luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 20, 2009
All licensed Realtors or Real Estate agents must present all offers. However, if the offer is not what the seller is wiling to offer, they do not have to respond to the offer. It is always better to counteroffer to keep the communication lines open, however there could possibly be other offers already received for the property. Many of our properties are receiving multiple offers right now and severely under bidding could possibly mean you will lose out on a good house you might have really wanted. Also, if it is a probate sale, it has to be approved by the court.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 18, 2010
Well, we don't know what happened since August 2009.

I'd like to suggest that an agent absolutely can refuse to write up an offer; we are not obligated to take up our time for what we consider frivolity. Once an offer is written up, however, we are bound by licensing law to inform the seller of the offer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 18, 2010
Dear Bill,
Realtors must present all offers to the seller....UNLESS...they have been directed not to do so by the owner. Perhaps this is the case in your situation.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 18, 2010
Hello Bill,
Unless you were making some kind of request that your agent felt was in violation of fair housing laws, he should have presented your offer.

I am taking this on the surface... a relationship between buyer and agent is personal as well as professional and if he did this for personal reasons, for instance, you have made many offers that you back out of for no reason, are making multiple offers on multiple properties and not following through, etc, then perhaps the agent would refuse to present another offer and basically fire you as a client.

Those are the kinds of reasons I can see an agent just not making an offer on your behalf, but just going with what you wrote, he should have presented it.
Always happy to assist.
Richard "RJ" Kas (SFR, SRES)
"Representing the finest properties from Los Angeles worldwide"
KAS Properties - Coldwell Banker Previews International - Beverly Hills East
9388 Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
310.859-5334 office - 310.488.9826 mobile - 310-273-0670 fax ATT: RJ
RichardKas@gmail.com - http://www.RJforLA.com - DRE: 01352771
Sellers Buyers Investors Leasing Consulting
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 18, 2010

I have to agree with Abe. A REALTOR does not have discretion as to if he or she wants to present your offer. If they have written insturctions from their client, they may reject the offers without showing them. Other than that, unless a law is being broken, they must present the offer. I would contact the agents broker and file a complaint with the real estate division. This is why brokers carry insurance.

Check out the link below which is the REALTORS code of ethics.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 18, 2010
I am not an attorney but my reference materisls say "For a non-IAEA probate all offers MUST be at least 90% of the Probate Referee's Inventory valuation." Was this the explanation your agent gave? If so it might be reasonable.
What was the reason given?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 18, 2010
You got 1 side of a story Bill. It might be helpful if you told us WHY YOUR agent refused to submit the offer...If they knew that there were multiple offers on the property, 99.999999999999999% your 20% below asking was just going to make a few people chuckle for about 5 min. till their side hurt and then they would be forced to stop at that point to avoid injury.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 20, 2010
The letter of the law states that the agents must submit ALL offers to their listing clients.

The reality of the situation is much different here in the cutthroat market in LA. The agent you are dealing with, as unprofessional as they may have been, is undoubtedly correct by their refusal to take your offer. Remember, it's our job as agents to sell the property fast and for the most $$$. Right now in this market there is simply no way that anything in LA would go for 20% less than what the probate price was. I don't care if it's in Pacific Palisades or Palmdale, nothing is going for 20% under asking. The agent was saving your time and paper, so at least take comfort in the fact that it was more green!!
Web Reference: http://www.skyminor.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 9, 2009
Listing agents may have the authority not to submit offers below a given amount (or on the basis of some other condition,) if they've been instructed to do so by their clients. The sellers have simply chosen not to respond in these instances and the offer expires. Good Luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 2, 2009
My understanding of the law is that an agent MUST submit every offer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 20, 2009
The agent works for you. You don't work for the agent.
What you signed with your agent is not a contract, it's an agreement.
You can always fire your agent. and get a different agent.
I have investors that have offered 30% below the listing price (non-of the offers have been accepted, LOL)

Good luck,

Jes Sierra, B.Sc., Realtor®
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 17, 2009
That is extremely unethical of the agent and depending what contracts you signed outlining your agents fiduciary responsibilities to you, it may also be illegal. Your agent had a good point about the offer being very low however you will never know if the seller felt the same way because your agent never presented the offer! We always present our buyers offers even if we advise them the offer is too low. My advice - find yourself another agent to work with!
Web Reference: http://www.nyhometeam.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 17, 2009
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