Home Buying in 91387>Question Details

Cowchick1000, Home Buyer in Santa Clarita, CA

Found out my agent didnt show me a better higher offer made on my house cuz he wants my home to go to his client that he will get both commissions on.

Asked by Cowchick1000, Santa Clarita, CA Sun Apr 24, 2011

Can he do this? I only know this because my brother in-law told me that his friend made an offer of the total asking price but was told by my agent that an offer had already been accepted, which one was accepted but was unaware that a higher offer was submitted. Long story short, both offers were made the same day but I was not told about the higher offer. My home is in approved short sale and the higher offer is the best in my eyes because of the least $$$ lost on the sale. Come to find out that my agent accepted the offer of one of his buying clients so he can get both buyer and seller commissions. Now my house is in a sale-pending, status but I want to take the higher offer. Can anything be done? Do I have to wait for it to fall out of escrow?

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DP2, your point is correct in that non price elements of the offer should weigh heavier than price sometimes, however the rules are pretty clear, we as listing agents must present all written offers up until closing unless directed otherwise by the seller.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 25, 2011
If you had already ACCEPTED the first offer, then it is true that they cannot accept any more primary offers. The second offer would have to be submitted as a BACKUP offer. In the state of Texas, special forms are required to submit a backup offer and cannot be accepted without those forms.

Your AGENT cannot accept offers. YOU are the only one that can accept an offer by signing the offer. Did you sign off on the first offer before the second offer was made? The agent could get into serious trouble for this. In the state of Texas, if YOU accepted the offer, there would be nothing you could do unless the contract fell out. Of course, you make absolutely no concessions if they come back and ask for repairs, closing costs, or what ever. I'm not sure about the laws of California, so you would need to speak with your agent, their broker, or a real estate attorney.

I wish you luck in this problem. There are not any easy answers. Even if the first contract falls out, you will not really know that the second offer is still interested. (Hint: Get the contact info of the buyers agent for the second contract, and call them before you make any decisions about what to do on your first contract. This can be dangerous too, because they will know you canceled the first contract and could play hardball knowing you have limited options left. You are between a rock and a hard spot at this point.)

It's more than real estate. It's RAYL-Estate!

Brian Rayl, REALTOR®, e-PRO, SFR
Keller Williams Elite Dallas Park Cities
Web Reference: http://brianrayl.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 24, 2011
Ethics require we as agents to not screen written offers just because an offer has already been accepted. The seller should still know of the existence of another offfer. In Illinois, only written contracts are enforceable, probably same in your state. And if a another agent feels out the listing agent in a verbal offer way that does not qualify as a bonefide offer. The bank is a 3rd party approval to the contract and so the seller should only sign one contract at a time and use contract provisions for modifying or cancelling the contract.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 25, 2011
John, to clarify, are you saying that a listing agent should still present other offers to a seller after that seller has already accepted an offer in writing (of course, unless specified otherwise)? I knew that a listing agent could accept back-up offers, and I knew that they could present those offers in certain cases.

Even if the poster had known about the second offer, after having already accepted the first one in writing, then would it really matter (assuming that s/he didn't include a contingency with the right to go with a better offer)?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 25, 2011
Hi, This is simply unethical and the result of greed. i would first approach the Broker Of Record or Principal Broker for the company the agent works for, immediately. If the agent is the Principal Broker then go to the local Board Of Realtors and if necessary the Dept of State. I people don't report this stuff it wil cntinue and certain agents will get away with unethical behavior. I personally can't stand it, there is no need for greed. It also gives other agents a bad name and is totally not fait to those that are ethical and professional.

Christopher Pagli
Licensed Associate Broker
Accredited Buyer Representative
GREEN Designated Agent
William Raveis Legends Realty Group
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 25, 2011
You should have been presented that other offer. It doesn't mean that you would have selected that offer but the rules are clear. I also agree with what the other agents said, price isn't the only thing you should look at - the quality of the buyer, the terms, the seriousness of the offer, motivation to buy your home etc. I can't tell you what you should do but if you want to know what happened you should speak with your Realtor and ask them and then ask to see that offer. Based on what results from that you may wish to take additional steps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 25, 2011
Just because one of the offers was made at a higher offer price, that doesn't necessarily make it the better offer. What if the offer with the higher price also had a lower EMD, more contingencies, a questionable lender, etc? What if the lower price offer came in, and was accepted 5-10 mins before the higher offer came in?

Instead of making all of these (possibly false) assumptions, why not clear things up with a call to the broker?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 25, 2011
The only thing worse than dual agency is transactional brokerage, and the only thing worse than transactional brokerage , TB is presumed transactional brokerage like you have in Florida. Dual agency done right does not have this outcome! TB means that each agent only works to advance the transaction, not the interest of either party. This could have had the same result if listing agent knew of a specific buyer's price point for a neighborhood, and told the seller to list it at that price and then listing agent referred it to another agent in the office for a 50% referral fee and wouldnt be dual agency. There is no defense for presumed transactional brokerage, meaning that agency doesnt need to be discussed to the consuming public how agency works in Florida.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 25, 2011
And yet another reason why it is best to deal with an agent that represents you personally and avoid dual agency.

Many contracts containg a clause that says, "will present all offers." If your listing agreement contains such verbage, you should have received the offer in question.

If you suspect unethical behavior, you may want to consider being in touch with the agent's broker to file a complaint or get in touch with the local board of realtors and to ask about filing a complaint.

Good luck,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 25, 2011
Alan is right, I am not a lawyer and my advice should not be construed as legal advice. CA is an escrow state and normally attorneys are not involved in transactions. I am quite sure about contract presentation rules, but the bank is a client here and they have a right to know that the agent was in fact acting deceptively.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 25, 2011
NAR ethics are very clear, we as agents are required to present all WRITTEN offers regardless of pending status unless directed by the seller to not present an offer under whatever circumstances. For example, you direct your agent to not even bother presenting an offer under $350k. The only defense for your agent if the offer was off the cuff, verbal and never received written offer. That is OK as long as you gave an order and it wasn't discriminatory, i.e. violating HUD laws. Talk an attorney, talk to the managing broker, fire your agent, get a copy of that written offer and submit it to the bank. If the bank chooses to kick out offer #1 then your agent has a problem with his buyer. If the bank knows that the agent was not acting in the best interests of the bank, they will chop his double commission and use it toward the dificiency.

If you like my answer, thumbs up and best answer me, Thanks!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 25, 2011
If everything is as you say it is, then No, he cannot do that. It sounds as though you need to make a call to his managing broker immediately, and lay out your case.

You may also need to enlist the help of a real estate attorney. If, indeed, your agent knew about two offers, prior to any of them being accepted, without notifying YOU of both offers, he may well have crossed a legal and ethical line.

If your home is in "sale-pending" status, you may not be able to extract yourself from that sale, but you might be able to force your listing agent (agency) to make up the difference in sale price, due to your agent's incompetence and deception. (the other buyer might have a case against them too, talk to a RE attorney to see if it's worth talking to them, and bringing them into your case).

I am not a lawyer, and certainly not knowledgeable in California law... so this is not to be construed as legal advice.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 25, 2011
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL

Please call your Agent's Broker and discuss this issue with them ASAP.
Web Reference: http://www.buyvegasnow.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 24, 2011
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