The agent does not have to release the other offer to you or any info. about it. That's confidential between the listing agent and their client until the property closes. That listing agents job is to protect their seller, not you, which is why it's critical to have proper buyer representation making sure your best interests are being represented as well.
Proving fraud in any instance is a long shot and probably not worth the time and money it would cost you. The best thing is to learn from this situation and move on.
In our current market, inventory is low and competition is high. You are not the only buyers out there who are feeling this way. What my clients have found is that If they love a home, odds are 15 other people out there love it too and have all submitted offers, so they need to be extremely aggressive in the offers they submit if they want to snag "the one".
Let's assume the listing agent is playing it strait. The order in which offers are received is irrelevant. All offers must be presented to the seller, but the seller is under no obligation to accept the first one they get. Yes, the listing agent will advise the seller about which offer is best, which may or may not be the highest offer. The seller must choose which offer to accept and submit to the bank.
Once submitted to the bank, anything can happen. One possibility is that the bank, seeing that the buyer is unrepresented, would negotiate the commission down to what the listing agent would get if the buyer was represented. So do not be so sure the agent is serving his/her own self interest.
Even if your offer was accepted and sent to the bank, you would be in for a roller coaster ride, but that is a subject for another day.
If you think you have been wronged, do as Lee said; gather your evidence and file a complaint with the Georgia Real Estate Commission.
Best Atlanta Properties
Some people think that if they make an offer they have the property tied up and the seller must deal with them before considering another offer. That is not true. The seller does not have to respond to any offer they do not wish to respond to. If the seller decided not to respond to your offer the listing agent should tell your agent that your offer was rejected with no counter.
The only thing that the agent COULD have done illegal is, not present the offer. But good luck proving that. Other than that, all is fair in love and war when it comes to multiple offers.
One other note: on a short-sale the owner is who you are negotiating with, not the bank. So the owner may have seen your offer but chose not to pass it on to their bank. Nothing illegal about that.
The short sale process is a very complex one. Purchasing a home via short sale is not at all an easy process. A lot will depend on how experienced the Listing Agent is. You can expect for most short sales to take at least 3-6 months from when the seller first contacts their mortgage lender(s). If they have a 1st and 2nd mortgage, they must get approval from both companies.
Short sales have so many ways in which they can go wrong. Many short sales simply never close after several weeks or months of work. This is a fact that every buyer needs to completely understand. If you are purchasing a property and must close by a certain time, then a short sale is probably not your best option.
A lot of the reasons for the fallout depend on the seller. To qualify for a short sale, the seller must submit all of their financial documentation AND prove that that currently have a financial hardship. Many sellers donâ€™t submit the proper paperwork resulting in delays. Some sellers cannot demonstrate the required financial hardship. If a seller files Bankruptcy during the process, that will cause a delay. There are countless things that can and often will go wrong. Some can be overcome, some cannot. No Listing Agent, no matter how good they are, can control every action of a seller.
A short sale is VERY time consuming for all parties involved. A Buyerâ€™s Agent has absolutely no control in the short sale process. They are solely dependent on the Listing Agent and the seller.
When it comes to offers, GA Real Estate Law requires that the seller be presented with all offers made. It is strictly up to the seler on which one they may ultimately accept. Many homes today are going for at or above List Price. I have buyer right now offering on a regular re-sale that just hit the market. After 3-4 days, there were over 25 offers. Only one of those buyers will ultimately have their offer accepted and that assumes the seller even does that.
With a Short Sale, seller acceptance of an offer is just the first step. The seller's lender must also agree to all of the terms.
Offers are privileged information and are not a matter of public record. Only the two agents, the buyer and the sellers are privy to the contents. It would be unethical for the agent to disclose information. Once the transaction has closed, the sales price, seller contribution amount, loan type, and closing date will become available.
Working with a knowledgeable and seasoned professionals is critical in today's market.
Rodney Mason, NMLS #151088
Sr Loan Officer
825 Juniper St NE, Atlanta, GA 30308
Office: (404) 591-2453
Apply Online at http://www.rodneymason.com
Licensed in Alabama & Georgia with over a decade of lending experience.
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Based on the information you provided (long story short) your offer LOST!.
The listing agent is required to represent the seller and advise if required, what would be in the best interest of the seller, not the buyer. Additionally, the listing agent and the seller have reached agreement regarding how purchase offers received will be processed, at what time intervals and the evaluation process.
YOU, ME AND NO ONE RESPONDING EXCEPT THE SELLER AND AGENT KNOW WHAT THIS AGREEMENT, IF ANY, CONTAINS.
You allegation, 2nd party does not have a real estate agents, typically results in a savings to the home owner, the SELLER, not exceptional income to the agent. My 'Buyer Elite Pan," and "First Look" program are all based on that premise. The seller benefits through savings. I, the agent, benefit because I have control over the process providing a greater assurance of the closing occurring on time, within budget and as stressful of possible.
TRANSLATED: My time is not wasted with poorly vetted buyers
Your assumption, like most, is not based on any fact that you have revealed.
"Any ideas on how to verify our assumption?"
You are chasing smoke.
Consider offering a fair market value free of contingencies. You would be surprised how well that works.
Best of success to you,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group
Palm Harbor FL
To answer your questions specifically - the seller's agent has no obligation to you whatsoever. They don't have to show you, nor should they show you, any other offers presented or accepted. Is it unethical for them not to present an offer? Yes. Could you submit a complaint to the regulatory agency that oversees real estate agents in your state? Sure. Will it make a difference in the end and will you gain anything from doing it? Probably not.
The real estate business is not "policed" so to speak. We are all bound by a code of ethics - however it doesn't mean that everyone follows that code - and the almost impossible part is "proving" that the agent deliberately didn't.
It seems to me that there was a sudden shortage of homes a few months back. By withholding inventory it drove up prices and frustrated Realtors because there was nothing to show our clients.. So now there is a shift in the market and the banks seem to be shaping it "again.â€
So, as I stated, you have to find the house you want, and bid like a "Pit bull" - Aggressive. You Realtor should advise you to look at the house with your inspector or contractor and make a decision to buy. Look at what the house was worth before the economy crashed was it $300,000? See what the comps are showing in the area? Is it listed for $150,000 and values are in that ball park? You need to bid at least $158,000 "AS IS", Closing in 25 days with an APPROVAL not a pre approval, and don't ask for closing cost. You can ask for the right to inspect although you are purchasing the property as is. If you overbid - you will have to bring the difference in cash to the closing table if you are financing.
I also strongly agree with the other Realtors here; donâ€™t take it personal, and just keep it moving. Have your Realtor send you some more listings. If your Realtor has had experience listing homes, then take his/her advice because they know what they are looking for in an offer, so they know how to write the winning offer for you. I am sure you picked a Realtor you have confidence in and I am sure the Realtor has or will do the best for you. When you screen your Realtor, go ahead and trust your Realtor and take their advice to help you win your deal. It is so hard to work for clients who are always suspicious and second guessing us. Most Realtors are good; we have to go through ethics training to even earn the title of Realtor. We are governed by strict laws and we work hard to get and maintain our licenses. I would never suggest that anyone try to sabotage someoneâ€™s career on speculation without solid facts. The truth is a client may send a house in the morning that is active, and you call them back and say I am sorry the house is under contract â€“ they donâ€™t believe you. It happens to me every day. They second and double guessing and doubting everything we say and do are extremely frustrating. Our number one priority as buyerâ€™s agents is to protect our client from getting a bad deal. And to help you win the bids on the home you really want. You canâ€™t protect someone, nor help them win if they are suspicious and wonâ€™t listen. And you wonâ€™t listen if you have the mindset that you canâ€™t trust your Realtor. Find one that you trust. And let them know you trust them. Itâ€™s something about those words that makes a professional take pride in what they do. Tell your Realtor everything you want and the truth about what you are working with. A good Realtor is going to cover you on things you donâ€™t even think about. And now that you have used the trust word, he or she is empowered, and feel confident about the relationship and is going to work twice as hard to make sure you are protected and you win your deals.
But seriously - you really have to bid more, and ask for less.
I don't show short sales and advise my buyers against them as strongly as possible, in short it's like three card monty. The agent is expected to present all offers and most recommend the best one to the seller. The seller accepts - binds - one offer and that offer is submitted to the lender. The accepted offer doesn't always mean highest offer, it usually means most likely to close. However, buyers are pretty much hostage to the short sale process once that offer is sent - all of the vairables are outside of their control and when things blow up, they realize the time wasted.
As Lee said, you're way too into this. You being accepted hardly means the deal would close so let it go. You might be correct in your assumptions, there are many deceitful and manipulative agents out there as this business does nothing to control them.
Do you have an agent? If so then have him/her press this to find out why you were rejected. If you don't have an agent, then interview and find an experienced one. Also, understand the siren song of short sales - they're not what everyone thinks and the days of scoring major bargains are over - http://hankmillerteam.com/2013/01/04/no-short-sale-bargains/
All that said - I agree with Lee, if you feel something is worth chasing then contact GREC let them look into it.
We can certainly understand why this is disappointing to you and why you are questioning the process. As described...illegal, probably not. Unethical, a matter likely best presented to the local board of realtors for their ruling.
As a "short sale" initial acceptance of an offer by the owner is only the very beginning of an often stormy process and one in which the lender makes the final decision. With these types of transactions,"it aint over until it's over."
Our recommendation is to have your agent continue to monitor the progress of this transaction. Agents will tell you that it is not uncommon for these types of sales to go "pending" and then return to "active status." If this is the one, don't throw in the towel prematurely......
Is this illegal? (If the seller's agent fails to present all offers to seller,that agent is in violation of Georgia Real Estate Law)
Does the agent have to release the second party's offer if requested? (Not sure what you mean. If you requests it?)
Is it possible to get any information about the second party's offer? (No. Not if the listing agent is a good agent)
Any ideas on how to verify our assumption?( No, However it would be good to never fall in love with a house you have made an offer to purchase. Too many things can happen from offer to closing. The next time you plan to make an offer on a property make sure you have a good buyer realtor to work with you.
Will net them the most money.
What does your agent say? obviously you are being represented by an agent, you should really consult with him/her.
that being said, there is no such thing as a "primary" offer. Agents are legally obligated to present every offer received to the seller, and the seller (with the advice of the agent) decides which one to take. Your offer has no advantage just because it was submitted before the other one. In fact, often times seller may chose to wait and see if any other offers come in after receiving a first offer.
As an agent, i would have a very difficult time convincing a seller to accept one offer over another just because i can get more commission out of that one. A more likely scenario is that the second offer had some advantage to the seller. Maybe the price was higher, maybe the closing costs were lower, maybe it was all cash and had a quick closing, etc.
Might I ask how you know the second party doesnt have their own agent?
If the second offer has been accepted, then yes, your offer is effectively "in a trash heap" until something changes, for example: the short sale bank doesnt approve the terms of the offer, or the buyers terminate because of inspection issues. I encourage you to have your agent continue to check in with the listing agent to be sure the property is not available again. Many listing agents dont bother contacting previously submitted offers if the first one falls through. they simply re-list the property and hope for another offer to come in.
Again, you should speak to your agent about this.
Chapman Hall Realtors Premier
I am proud to be a Dekalb Association of Realtors Pinnacle Award Life Member!
Make offers like you are serious - you have to be a "Black Friday Christmas Shopper" type of home buyer nowadays. Bid like you want it. Low ball days are over.
My apologies if I am totally off base. I am just trying to figure this out as my wife and I have been searching for many months and absolutely fell in love with this home. If nothing else, the listing agent was extremely lack luster at her job : (