Socalperson33, Home Buyer in Santa Monica, CA

How do you know if a selling agent presented your offer to the sellers? Is there a way to find this out?

Asked by Socalperson33, Santa Monica, CA Tue Sep 29, 2009

Help the community by answering this question:


I think we are confused by your term 'selling agent'. As confusing as this might sound, a 'selling agent' actually represents the buyer. The 'listing agent' represents the seller.

If you are asking if the listing agent presented your offer, then there are some steps that a buyer's agent can take to get you more assurance. They can present the offer with a form requesting the seller actually sign that the offer was presented. (they are not obligated to do so). Or the buyer's agent can request that they be allowed to present the offer personally to the seller. (they cannot stay during any discussion by the seller and their listing agent, just to present it).

In the case of bank owned properties, it's difficult to do either of these two because the offers are normally submitted in a computer generated system. The final selection is the only actual contract that is then sent to the bank during the final counter stage.

We need to rely on the ethics of the realtors and their commitment to our code of ethics. You can, as a consumer, question the practice of the listing agent through the Association of Realtors or the Dept. of Real Estate. I have no experience on how that works exactly, but I think there is channels there that you can pursue. In most cases, the reputation of the realtor will be questioned and in the long run, it will be detrimental to that person if they aren't acting correctly in presenting all offers (both financially and in retaining their membership). However, even if you pursue that route, it's best to move on to another property and not expect those efforts will give you a chance to buy the house you're having the question on.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 30, 2009
SoCal thanks for clarifying.

So you suspect the listing agent is not transmitting your offer to the seller (A bank, I presume)
The banks will often instruct the listing agent to only submit the 3 highest and best offers or only offers received between certain dates. If you were one of a dozen or so offers in the middle or the back of the pack, then it was the listing agents duty to follow his clients express written instructions to transmit only the highest and best offers and leave the others in the tray.

Bank listing agents these days are more likely to be gate keepers (to keep people out) than the conduits that normal listing agents are. .
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 30, 2009
Jim Walker, Real Estate Pro in Carmichael, CA

Why would an agent take the time to write the offer, if they did not plan to present it?
That does not make any sense.

The only exception that I can think of is if you wrote a "frivolous offer" Such as I will pay you $1 dollar for Donald Trump's mansion or some such silliness.

If you wrote a valid offer, your agent had every incentive to supply that offer to the listing agent for presentation (or submission) to the seller.

Presentation is an old fashioned word for the way business is usually conducted, by email and facsimile.
In the 21st century now, the majority of offers are transmitted, not personally delivered in face to face meetings.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 30, 2009
Jim Walker, Real Estate Pro in Carmichael, CA
Hi all, thank you for the advice. As one answer pointed out, I used an incorrect term. I assumed selling agent meant the agent for the seller. I believe the term I meant to use was listing agent.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 30, 2009
Hi SoCal,
Well, you honestly don't know for sure..but it concerns me that you have so little trust in your Agent. A buyer agent will not get paid unless there is a successful sale, so it makes no sense for your agent to keep your offer.
Purchasing Real Estate is a big investment, not just in your finances. I would recommend you terminate your agreement with this person and find an honest and excellent Buyer agent to work with.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 30, 2009
It's amazing what you can accomplish when you ask for something and expect it. We recommend that you request that your agent provide you with documentation that the offer has been presented to the "seller." An accomplished agent SHOULD be able to provide you with this information.

Good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 30, 2009
I am saddened for you that you have not been assured of whether or not your offer has been reviewed. Unfortunately there is no certain way of knowing, that part is beyond your control. The two things that you DO have control over is making sure you have a professional and experienced REALTOR representing you, and making sure you have made your best offer. My best to you out there!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 29, 2009
I'd like to believe all real estate agents are ethical and would present all offers unless the seller has directed them not to. If the real estate agent is a REALTOR, that REALTOR has subscribed to a code of ethics that state they will in fact present ALL offers to the seller unless the seller has provided written instructions.

There are a few bad apples on every tree, but for the most part, I do believe a majority of agents are compelled to do the right thing and the right thing is to present ALL offers to the seller.

The seller and the listing agent are not obligated to respond to a written offer. Personally, I respond to all offers as I believe it is the respectful thing to do. But in truth, the listing agent isn't contractually bound to respond.

The REALTOR Code of ethics state the following:

Standard of Practice 1-6

REALTORS® shall submit offers and counter-offers objectively and as quickly as possible. (Adopted 1/93, Amended 1/95)

Standard of Practice 1-7

When acting as listing brokers, REALTORS® shall continue to submit to the seller/landlord all offers and counter-offers until closing or execution of a lease unless the seller/landlord has waived this obligation in writing. REALTORS® shall not be obligated to continue to market the property after an offer has been accepted by the seller/landlord. REALTORS® shall recommend that sellers/landlords obtain the advice of legal counsel prior to acceptance of a subsequent offer except where the acceptance is contingent on the termination of the pre-existing purchase contract or lease. (Amended 1/93)

Standard of Practice 1-8

REALTORS® , acting as agents or brokers of buyers/tenants, shall submit to buyers/tenants all offers and counter-offers until acceptance but have no obligation to continue to show properties to their clients after an offer has been accepted unless otherwise agreed in writing. REALTORS®, acting as agents or brokers of buyers/tenants, shall recommend that buyers/tenants obtain the advice of legal counsel if there is a question as to whether a pre-existing contract has been terminated. (Adopted 1/93, Amended 1/99)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 29, 2009
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