Home Buying in Tampa>Question Details

Marie, Home Buyer in Tampa, FL

Does a realtor have the right to refuse to submit a buyers offer to the seller?

Asked by Marie, Tampa, FL Thu Apr 26, 2012

My husband and I had a disheartening experience with a real estate agent refusing to submit our offer. The house is a short sale. The offer that we made was extremely fair and was based upon the few homes on the street that sold within 30 days prior (and with the consulting of a local property appraiser). The asking price that the realtor listed the home at is too high for the area. My question... Does a real estate agent have the right to refuse to submit an offer to the seller/bank? Should not the acceptance of an offer be to the sole discretion of the seller/bank? Thanks to anyone that has insight on this topic!

Help the community by answering this question:


Every offer must be submitted to the seller, although the seller has the right to choose which offers they accept or deny.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 26, 2012
Guess what ! The Realtor Beth Williamson of Coldwell Bankers did not even inform the seller of my offer. And just plainly lied to us by saying the Seller has refused your offer.
I came to know of this fraudulent behavior coz I happen to know the seller's relatives.
There should be a law against this for preventing Realtors from withholding crucial information from the Seller. Its a SHAME really !
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 28, 2016
Your question is:
" Does a real estate agent have the right to refuse to submit an offer to the seller/bank? Should not the acceptance of an offer be to the sole discretion of the seller/bank?"

Clearly you understand it is the bank who will make the selling decision. You also understand "you do not make your offer to the bank but to the homeowner who will walk away from the deal with nothing. The owner is the keeper of the gate to the bank and has final veto when the bank finally responds with the conditions of the short sale. Be aware, all short sales are different and as we attempt to suggest guidelines, be very aware, THERE ARE NO RULES! ANYTHING CAN AND DOES HAPPEN!

The owners willingness to accept your offer will have less to do with your purchase offer and a great deal to do with what is the anticipated actions of the bank or investors involved. Your 30 day comp deal will be irrelevant in a transaction that could take a year to close. Your expressed ability and willingness to adapt to bank/investor counters is most important. If you presented yourself as inflexible, (insisting on comp data at this stage) you are not a good candidate for a short sale.

In response to your question, yes, the agent will present to OWNER and if declined will, not present to the real seller, the BANK. Your usage of 'Seller/Bank' as synonymous makes the question invalid..
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 4, 2012
Realtor must submit all written offers to the Seller. That being the owner of the property. That owner can counter. Once the Seller agrees to price and terms, the offer is then sumitted to Lender. Just hope you have a good group negotiating with lender. Many Realtors are "do-it-yourselfers." Best to have an attyorney. The Banks will use comps, BPOs and an appraisal before they make a final decision and approval. Is the Listing agent representing you? You can have another agent write the offer and submit to listing agent and his broker. Best of Luck.
Jim Soda .. TheSodaGroup.com
Keller Williams Realty
Lakewood Ranch - Sarasota
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 29, 2012
The realtor has a fiduciary duty to the buyer and or seller to submit ALL offers...No ifs, ands, or buts.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 27, 2012
Not if the Seller gives the Listing Agent decision-making power. Then the listing agent can hold on until full offer. Seen an agent and a broker do this.
Flag Tue Oct 22, 2013
Many good answers here, however here are the rules in the State of Florida:
1. All written offers must be presented to the SELLER, unless the listing contract states otherwise, and often a short sale listing WILL have special provisions, such as a minimum offer amount, based on current market and/or what the bank has set.
2. NO offers go to the bank for approval unless the seller has signed off on it--the seller is the one whose name is on the title, therefore still has control until the bank files final foreclosure.

A couple of other comments regarding "extremely fair" and "few homes on the street sold": sales comparables are not established by proximity alone--there are many other factors which can make far more difference, such as:
~ Square footage
~ Condition
~ Features (such as pool, fireplace, garage, landscaping, and interior updates)

This does not guarantee that the Realtor who is representing this seller is either reputable or knowledgable--it could be that they simply have little or no experience with short sales--this is something the buyer's Realtor should establish on behalf of their client (YOU, the buyer!), prior to even showing the property.

If shopping short sales, it is best to consult with a "Real" professional, with experience in short sales--such as myself!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 27, 2012
All offers must be submitted to the seller either in writting or verbally, whichever the case may be, It is then the sellers responsibility to either accept, counter and/or reject the offer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 26, 2012
The offer has to be submitted to the seller. The seller does not have to accept the offer, and the seller does not have to submit offers that they didn't accept to the bank.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 26, 2012
The short answer is No! I work the Tampa shortt sale market. I work with buyers such as yourself and I will suggest an offer based on comparables and I have yet to, not make an offer for a client. It is my responsibility and duty to help you as a REALTOR.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 26, 2012
For a short sale, the Lender must NET a certain amount. It has nothing to do what the comps or an appraisal of other homes came in at.

That is the challenge of short sales.

With short sales it can be a good idea for the buyer’s agent to call the listing agent and get a good feel for what the bank MAY accept. Both agents want to make a sale, so working together is a good idea.

Now, if you write a non-refundable check for $1000 right to that agent, he will take the time to fill in the offer, and submit it, even though he knows it will most likely not be accepted.

Some Realtors have almost "Universal Agency" with the short sale bank. ie they know what the bank will accept and will say up front, NO the bank will not accept anything less than $ xyz. So don’t even bother sending an offer for less.

Good Luck

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 26, 2012
While I understand a realtor has a legal obligation to present every valid offer to the seller, I am not sure I would want to insult a seller if a buyer should want to make an insultingly low offer. It would destroy the trust the seller may have in me. I would advise the buyer to use a different realtor.
Flag Thu Jul 30, 2015
In general the Realtor has the fiduciary reponsibility to his client, the only reasons, that I can think of, why a Realtor wouldn't agree to submit an offer are: if listing agent already verbaly responded to the offered price, if the buyer has not been pre approved or in case of a cash offer, the buyer has not verigied the liquid assets to complete the transaction.
Good lock on your home search, let me know if you need the name of an excellent realtor.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 26, 2012
On short sales the acceptable price is up to the lender. The listing agent does have an obligation to present the offer to the seller. The seller and Realtor do have the right to refuse to submit the offer to the lender if they feel the price offered is so low that the lender will not accept it. Your question does not indicate whether you submitted your offer directly to the listing agent or you had your own buyers agent. If you did have your own agent, you may want to consult with them and have them present the comparable properties that you found to make your argument. Otherwise you can ask how the listing price was arrived at.

Short sales can be tricky - best of luck to you and of course, if I can help let me know.
Debbi Tinker
Keller Williams
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 26, 2012
Yes and No, mostly no. A Realtor can refuse an offer but only if the seller has, in writing, told the agent they do not want to see any offers below $xxx,xxx and the agent must have it in writing. For the most part the Realtor must show all offers to a seller even if they are ridiculously low.

If you think the list price is too high, wait until the bank comes back and says they want more than it is listed for. This often happens because the bank is not involved in setting the listing price.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 26, 2012
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