Mass1, Home Buyer in Cambridge, MA

Does Mass have any governing body to oversee realtors or are they allowed to roam free? After making an

Asked by Mass1, Cambridge, MA Fri Feb 15, 2008

offer, suddenly there was 2 competitive undisclosed offers on it at or above the listed price and the seller's realtor wanted to know if I wanted to make a higher offer. I passed on this and the property is still active after 4 months, a second home was listed as a short sale just before we sign the P&S. What gives? No wonder you need lawyers to finish the sale process.

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With all due respect, Mass1, it sounds as if your situation (irrespective of the real estate agents involved) could be more a function of the current market than incompetence on the part of the real estate contingent. It's possible that the offer accepted on the house had a buyer whose loan was pulled out from under them (bank issues/changes due to massive fraud in the lending/real estate industry over the last several years); an inspection that hit the skids; appraisal issues (if, like us, you're in a designated "declining market"); or any number of minor issues that now break a deal.
On the other hand, it could be that the real estate person involved played poker and lost. That seems like an idiot move in a market such as ours, as evidence of the fresh "short sale" down the street that you describe.
I hope it's the former, although it would appear that the "lesser of two evils" is hardly a comfort.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 17, 2008
There is a board. I can tell you from a recent case they are ssssssssllloooowww and nothing you said here is any violation so you're not going to get very far pursuing anything.

Yes you should always have a lawyer. Yes there is a painfully low barrier to entry in the profession and a bunch of yahoos get in the business. BUT just because the property is still on the market doesn't mean there weren't other offers. I have 2 properties that have gotten into competitive bid situations lately only to have the winning bidder not perform - the fact that you didn't get a call from the agent to say " hey still want to buy? the thing fell apart" is not good salesmanship but is not unethical.

Clearly you should have had some notice about the seller being short but the fact is sellers aren't always upfront with their problems. Sometimes they aren't even organized enough to know they have a problem. And sometimes their just too embarrassed to say anything, people are people.

Count on it being a pretty wild ride out there for a while. Be patient. Buy smart.
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3 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 15, 2008
John the Bruce:
I am talking about Realtors or licensed real estate agents of Realtor or no.

The past few years saw a flood of people join the profession. The barrier to entry is low, too low in my opinion. In Mass you can take a weekend course then a test and you're in. It wasn't any harder for me in CT, or NH either. The ease of entry has allowed a bunch of dummies in the business. I'm not saying nobody is any good....I am in the business myself after all... and I do know a number of excellent agents but overall quality control is low.
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2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 10, 2008
One of the risks of purchasing a short sale or foreclosure property is the having to wait for the bank to accept an offer and even then most still retain the right to cancel the sale or go with a higher offer even up to the day of the closing. It's one of the risks for the "deal" your getting on the property. Your first part of the question states your working with the sellers agent. Did you specifically ask if there were other offers at the time you were writing your offer? The sellers agent is bound by rules of ethics if they are a Realtor. By law they're required to disclose material facts that might affect your making an offer. At the end of the day they still are not your agent though, they work in the best interest of their client. You should've found out if the offers were the listing agents offers or other agents and there's still a chance that they would let the other offers know that your writing an offer to possibly up their offer (again working in the best interest of their client). If you feel something is amiss, consult the broker of record that the agent works for and if your still not satisfied and they're a Realtor you could go to their Realtor Board and also the legal route.

Sorry to hear of your experience, hope this is helpful
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 15, 2008
Brecht said: "Yes you should always have a lawyer. Yes there is a painfully low barrier to entry in the profession and a bunch of yahoos get in the business."

Brecht, I had to go back and re-read that. I thought you were talking about Realtors â„¢.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 9, 2008
Try and look for The Official Website of the Office of Consumer Affairs & Business Regulation (OCABR). Not knowing your real situation, you may not get anywhere - but this is the answer to your question.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 9, 2008
I can understand your frustration but unless there is more to this scenario, I think the agent acted fairly.

First did you have your own agent represent you?

Second, this happens a lot in a case of a multiple offer situation. The listing agent goes back to all the parties and tells them that they have offers and they cannot disclose the terms of the other offers unless they have the written permission from the seller. This gives the chance to everyone to go back with their best and final offer if they wish.

It is better than if you found out that they accepted another offer and you were not given the opportunity to raise yours.

The fact that it's still on the market doesn't mean that there were no offers. If you have solid evidence that the agent was lying, then I urge you to file a complaint with the broker and the local board.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 16, 2008
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