Home Buying in Atlanta>Question Details

Ncr, Both Buyer and Seller in Atlanta, GA

Is my real estate agent rude or not?

Asked by Ncr, Atlanta, GA Thu Jun 16, 2011

We've been following a short-sale that we liked, however, we've only seen pictures of it. Initially we asked our buyers agent to look into it, she told us that it was "pending lender approval, NEXT". After having been taken offline for a few weeks, it recently re-appeared. The status was still "pending lender approval". We were curious what that meant, so my wife filled in the online contact form and asked if the house was still available. The response from the listing agent was, "we have an offer on the home that we're working with, but you are welcome to put in a backup offer".

Ok, when we forwarded the message on to our buyers agent for assistance, our agent got PISSED OFF, "how dare you contact the listing agent behind my back. Don't you trust me? Do you want to go it alone?".

Is that normal behavior? The listing agent says, "go ahead, submit an offer", we tell our agent about it, and get verbally abused?

Makes me want to deal with the listing agent directly. No?

Help the community by answering this question:


Short sales can be a long process. If you are willing to hang in there, you could get a great deal. As for your situation cash, and willing. It might be best to put in a back up offer, especially in this market. Remember, communication is the key in all relationships.As for the agents behavior, perhaps having a bad day. Though no one should be treated that way. Best of luck.
4 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 27, 2011
It sounds like they were not to professional.
Flag Sun Oct 14, 2012
Lucky us! Our agents were great!
Flag Tue Aug 28, 2012
My agent informed me about all type of scenarios.
Flag Fri Aug 24, 2012
Hi Ncr,

I scrolled quickly thorough the answers (but didn't read them all), but here is my synopsis. First of all, I would never speak to a client in that manner, so that to me is unacceptable. Given the facts I can see why the agent became upset, but still, she should not have jumped at you.

Next, you asked why people tell buyers not to go to the listing agent, and here is why: the listing agent has a fiduciary duty to the seller. That being said, if they listing agent then represents the buyer as well there could be a huge conflict of interest...how can you adequately represent two sides if you cannot share certain information and want to get the best for your clients? Dual agency is a BIG issue, and one that is subject to much contention. Of course there are disclosures that you sign in such situations, but still...it is hard to argue that your best interests as a buyer would be represented by one with primary allegiance to the seller.

Hopefully you came to terms with your agent. If you are unhappy with an agent it is your prerogative to find one who can represent you and take care of you as well.

Best of luck to you,

Rachel LaMar, J.D.
LaMar Real Estate, Inc.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 28, 2011
There is always two sides of story what you felt was rude may have come across wrong

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 18, 2011
NCR buyer,

The reaction of your buyers agent is that of fear, and i can see their point. I his/her eyes you did go behind their back in contacting the other agent, I presume the agent you have working for you, does not have a written "buyers agreement" between you and themselves, which would eliminate the concern of you going behind their back. I have represented less buyers than i do sellers, so for me, when i ask a buyer to sign a "buyers agreement" they always look at me cross eyed and start to question my motives....HA, it is the other way around but at any rate i rarely get a buyer to sign the agreement that protects me as their representative and in the end protects them because it defines my role. As the professional I am and most agents are, we don't need a signed agreement to act in the best interest of our clients so weather that is signed or not does not dictate my level of service or professionalism...back to your agent acting with disrespect to you out of fear. As an Jeanne Feenick replied below reassure your agent, that you are loyal to them and did not mean any harm in researching the house you "love." In fact if you don't have a buyers agreement written in place, a huge sign of loyalty would be to do that, and would allow you more "Freedoms" because your agent knows they will be earning money in the end for work they are doing.

In regards to short sales, Gerard Carney is right, your offer is just that an offer, it is not binding, and in fact could be used against you when another ABC agent calls the listing agent and says, " i have a buyer with financing or cash that can close quickly, do you have any other offers your seller is considering? they say yes we do, well ABC agent goes back to their buyer and says you need to be 95% of listing price or 110% of listing price if you want you offer considered...ABC has no clue of your offer price, but they know the market, they know what "others" are writing contracts up at and if they are a successful buyers agent will be able to coach their buyer into the strongest possible offer to ensure their buyer gets the house...I have been on the losing end of this many times, and each time i know that my buyers are not as motivated to purchase and I am not as arm twisting as i should be with my buyers to get them up on price. So making an back up offer might just bring you a false hope...On the sellers side of short sales which i have been a part of over 200 times, we take back up offers all the time, infact the last house we close early June we have 4 back up offers, guess what the first CONTRACT we had in place waited through the process and closed....all 4 back ups got an email letting them know they were not the lucky buyers....and i think that is what Gerard might be getting at.

Here is a blog i wrote about passion to help others...I am sure your agent has similar passion.

best of luck to you. if you have found this to be helpful please mark it as such. :) Thank you again.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 29, 2011
First you have no idea what you are dealing with when it comes to short sales, and most likely you Agent is tired of trying to tell people that an offer in if greater than yours is the only offer that will be considered. The banks have not a care in the world as to what you go through it is about them, and they will take the best offer not the first and the will drop any offer under the best off they have. You waste your time thinking you are a back up offer! You never contact a listing agent nor fill out forms of any kind if you have a Buying agent. You run everything through them first. You sound like you want to jump the gun and if you do you may get financially involved in a nightmare. You went to this agent so as to have a professional behind you and to take advantage of that and then you want to jump out into traffic and get hit. Yes maybe the person is a bit rude, but so were your actions, and when the day is over and you purchased a bad bag of goods, they will sleep just fine.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 28, 2011

Most of my real estate business is working with Buyers. If a buyer tells me they have a specific time line for finding and closing on a property I take them at their word. If the time line is short then a short sale most likely is not the best options. I recently represented a buyer in a short sale. It took over 7 weeks for the seller (bank) to accept the offer. Then they (the bank) wanted to close within 10 days. The buyers were paying cash so they were ready to close at any time. If the buyer had a loan it would have gotten messy and may not have closed at all. Two business days before the closing, the seller terminated the contract because they could not sell the property due to excessive liens on the property that the property owner nor the bank was willing to pay. The time line just got shorter. Fortunately, the story has a happy ending. Your agent may have saved you from a bad situation.

When a buyer goes around their agent it muddies the water. Buyers usually aren’t the best negotiator since they don’t do it every day and are emotionally attached to the outcome. At that point the buyer compromises the whole process. Emotions do run high in this business, so you and your agent need to talk and come to an agreement on how to work together or part ways.

Best of luck to you in finding your next home.

Sarah Hodgdon
Keller Willimas Atlanta Midtown
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 17, 2011
Hi, If you do deal wih the listing agent directly just keep in mind they have the sellers best interest at heart, always. It seems that your agent felt like you didn't believe her but she should always remain professional and not lash out at you. As a buyers agent I always try to describe the different status changes for a property in my initial buyer's consultation. I've learned some poeple do it right and others do it differently in this business :o).

Christopher Pagli
Licensed Associate Broker
Accredited Buyer Representative
GREEN Designated Agent
William Raveis Legends Realty Group
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 29, 2011
Okay. First, I haven't read the rest of the answers here, but what you've written has me outraged. I can't stand when people behave rudely. There is just no reason for it. Your agent has to understand that your are the client, and she will get paid when you have a successful transaction. She may not like short sales (I think they are a complete waste of time for everyone, locking a buyer into a never-ending transaction, and dealing with banks that don't give answers for many, many months), but she can simply explain her feelings or concerns to you rather than explode that way. Why would you want to work with someone like that. In my office, we have a clause in the buyer agreement that allows buyers to fire us easily, usually within a day or two of written notice. I feel blessed to have every buyer I have, whether they are easy to deal with or a little difficult at times. I could have no buyers. That wouldn't be any fun, and I wouldn't make any money. I'm grateful for every deal I have regardless of the intensity level and regardless of the net to me. You deserve an agent who appreciates YOUR business.

Good Luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 29, 2011
Your agent was rude, for whatever reason he/she should have thanked you being open about what was going on.. Now it appears you have had a good experience with the listing agent. If you have signed a buyers exclusive agreement with your agent you need to consult an attorney to determine how you need to proceed to terminate the agreement. You don't want to end up paying commission to both agents. I am not an attorney and cannot give legal advice.

You might want to shop for an agent that has experience in short sales. I wonder why the listing agent allowed their listing to stay pending when it was unknown if the person making the offer was still interested in the property. Short sales often end up as dead ends when the agents don't know how to work them. You can clear the smoke by finding out how many short sales they have completed sucessfully. So if the listing agent has not been sucessful in selling their short sales you maybe getting into a fusterating situation since you can't fire the listing agent.

Good luck on your search for a new home!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 28, 2011
It is always interesting to see agents answer this type of question. Here is the bottom line - YOU are the client. YOU are the one buying a home. YOU deserve a better answer that would have satisfied you so that you did not feel the need to then contact the listing agent directly in the first place. With that said, I'm not aware of the specific scenario or communications. However, ultimately you need to be well informed so you wouldn't feel the need to do it the way you had to. Also - DO NOT go directly to the Listing Agent to buy a home. WORST thing you can do. You have NO representation and believe me...there is a lot that needs to be watched by a professional. So please do not go directly to a Listing Agent to buy your next home just because you had a seemingly less than desirable experience. If you're not happy with who you have representing you, make a change...but you need to have a Buyers Agent.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 18, 2011
Interesting answers - let me add another important consideration to the mix. Yes Ncr, I agree, your agent was rude, but your action in contacting a seller directly while represented by a Buyers Agent was in my mind equally offensive and something you should have known was not the right thing to do. It could even represent a breach of your Agreement with that agent. If you did not feel confortable or trust the agent to answer the question you posed directly to the seller, then clearly you need a new agent.

The fact that you have bought a few homes in no way means you are a real estate expert or even competant to enter into and oversee your own real estate transaction. I have represented buyers who have reached a station in life where they have owned many high end luxury homes, and not one of them (including a commercail real estate attorney) could have protected their own position or acheived the same price and terms I did - and in a few cases even kept their deal from derailing.

Certainly, agents have differing levels of competancy, but in all cases, even an average agent is better than no agent, for a host of legal and liability reasons and added protections that represented buyers have that buyer working on their own do not have. If you act on your own and there are mistakes or misunderstandings, or things dont work out like you planned, short of outright fraud by one of the parties, and that is harder to prove than you might think, GA courts deem that self represented buyers are not excercising proper due-diligence and often throw resulting legal suits of self represented buyers out.

Be very careful about buying any home on your own after a buyers agent has identified it to you - and even if you found it own your own during the term of an active Brokerage Agreement with an agent. If you transact with the seller directly on such a property ,and in some cases, even through another buyers agent you later hire, you could legally expose yourself to personally owing one or more more agents a commission out of your own pocket!

Better luck finding an agent you can have a trusting relationship with the next time.

Robert Whitfield
Broker/Owner - Realtor
Professional Buyers Broker
Relocation Expert
New Home Construction Expert
ICC Code Certified Building Inspection Expert
Advantage Realtors
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 18, 2011
- We'll ok, I think I know why.

Well, then, you should be satisfied.

All the best,
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 17, 2011
Just an update!

We went ahead and scheduled a meeting directly with the listing agent (I know, booo hisss). It turned out great as we were able to see the house and found out facts about it that I'm 100% ABSOLUTELY SURE I would NOT have found out if it were from my own buyers agent. Like the fact that they haven't heard anything in a very long time from the 1st person that made an offer back in April, and that they aren't sure that person is even interested in the house anymore. Maybe, maybe not. So, we might have a chance to become the 1st offer, but after having seen it, we're not sure we really want to put an offer down anyway. We also learned about other potential short sales coming in the neighborhood.

So, overall my experience was very positive. I'm not saying that I'm dropping my current buyers agent, but I feel relieved that I have other options, if I choose to use them.

I know I'll probably get a lot of flack for saying this, but I just don't understand why the majority of agents on here immediately bad mouth to buyers the opportunity of working directly with the "big-bad out to protect his clients interest" listing agent.

We'll ok, I think I know why. It has to do with MONEY and the fact that 2 is better than 1, meaning 2 agents getting commissions is better than just 1 getting commission. Please, I've heard all the pros and cons. I've bought and sold several houses so far in my life and frankly, there have been times when 1 was better than 2. Maybe if I was doing this for the 1st time, but in my case, I feel very confident dealing with a new agent, and it was a breath of fresh air learning things from other people, instead of hearing the same things from my buyers agent.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 17, 2011
I agree with Gerard, and I'd like to agree with Aaron, but the fact is, real estate agents are people, not machines. It's not up to us to apologize for agents who are rude, any more than we would expect you or another client to apologize for all the clients that are rude!

I suspect that you may be less than her ideal client. I know from experience that business and personal relationships work best when both parties value each other. I wouldn't work with the listing agent, but I think I'd have a heart-to-heart with my agent and tell her how I will and will not be spoken to, and if that doesn't change the behavior, then I think I would find someone who was more polite and who valued my business to represent me in my purchase.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 17, 2011
No it is not normal behavior what so ever, though you may have caught someone on a really bad day. There is however no excuse to be rude to a customer or for that fact anyone . As far as Short sales go, even in a pending state you can make an offer, and not a backup offer, but an offer that might make the lender change minds if they were leaning towards the other buyer. Some Realtors put Short Dales in pending, when they get a buyer and seller to sign However that is not a contract until the lender of record has accepted the offer, sent their addenda and had it signed by the potential buyer! Until time comes the lender of record usually wants and takes all other offers! So put your offer in and in writing especially if you are offering more than asking price. You may want to try another Realtor to do the offer for you, it seems the one you have is a bit touchy and could use being knocked down a peg or two! Good Luck with you endeavor and I'll keep my fingers crossed for you!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 17, 2011
I would have a candid conversation with your agent, and remind him/her that they have a professional obligation to ensure that your interests are protected, and to work with you in answering any questions you may have. Personally, I never take my clients for granted, and aim to simply be a portal of information - knowing that my clients will do business with me because they like and trust me.

Remember, if you're unhappy with your agent, you can terminate your relationship at any time. However, I would still have your own representation to ensure that your interests are protected.

If I can help, I'll be happy to.

Good luck!

Jody Kell
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 16, 2011
Short sales are difficult transactions that require a lot of patience. With that said, it was inappropriate for your agent to discourage you from a property clearly interested you, and if she was providing fiduciary duty she would have taken it to the next step. That could be why she was defensive about you contacting the listing agent directly, and this causes a real condundrum regarding procuring cause between agents, I feel as though her not servicing you in the way that she should led to your actions. Her behavior is not professional.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 2, 2011
I can understand somebody having a bad day and such a thing perhaps taking them off guard, but going full on like that is over the top in my opinion.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 2, 2011
No, your agent should not have been rude but I understand what she was thinking and feeling. In her mind she was saying, don't worry about it. Just trust me! Not an excuse for her actions just and explanation. Ask the agent to explain the process of a short sale. Right after she stated," NEXT" I would have said, "Hold on, let's go back. Fill me in! Why are you so quick to dismiss it?" Better yet, call me! I'll explain it to you. Can't sell you a home in Atlanta but I can give you the information and because I will not be making a cent, you can trust my advise!

This your learning curve. You will be buying and selling homes the rest of your life! Learn all you can! I love teaching my clients the process. I say, I don't want to just sell you a home, I want to teach you so that if you leave the state, I know you will be a well informed buyer or seller! It's not about the sale but the education!

Granted, you should NOT have to ask but don't be intimidated, She works for you and part of her job is to help you.

Short sales are difficult to navigate but if you know what you're doing and you have patience, you can get some really good deals! To bad she missed the opportunity to teach.

Not a good idea to use sellers agent! If you must, secure another buyers agent. Please tell me, she explained agency disclosure! Oh come on! Work with me people! Work with me! Don't make me come down there! LOL!

Good luck with your purchase!
Tammy Sanders
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 1, 2011
I feel that any realestate professional should answer any question that a client or potential client may ask.
If you want to expain why you feel a certain wat; there is a way to do that.
It came off rude based on what I read. If they were not happy about what you did; they should be able to let you know in a professional manner.

My opinion.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 1, 2011
Customer comes first. No excuse for rude behavior. I do consult Buyers that short sales are difficult and require lots of patients. If you “need” a home then don’t go the short sale route. In Arizona the standard AAR contracts allow subsequent offers to be accepted and submitted to lender(s). Most lenders want to see one offer at a time. Sellers are often reluctant to continuing show their home once an offer has been submitted to the lender(s). They don’t want to be bothered. Most of our sales in North Scottsdale have been traditional sales. Most are all cash offers.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 1, 2011
Your agent is rude and it sounds like they are uninformed and not accustomed to working with short sales. If you decide to change agents make sure your new agent has short sale and foreclosure experience. Best of luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 1, 2011
Hi Ncr,
Kindly remind the agent who the boss is. Yep, you're the boss. If necessary, fire him/her. Wait another year to buy, prices are declining. Good Luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 30, 2011
I also think those of us who act right and put in our best and sacrifices should be commended.
Lets look at the positive and identify role models not just the one who is giving negative impressions.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 30, 2011
First get rid of that buyers agent, second call the agents broker let the broker know what type of agent is representing their company.Third get a "new buyers agent" from a "different company" as a buyer you should always have a buyers agent working on your behalf. You can also report this agents behavior to your states Real Estate Commission go on line type in real estate commission with your state that should give you all the info you need to move forward and make a complaint if you should want to. We agents build our business on word of mouth when we give our professional service to a client we hope they will tell/recommend us to others, the same can be said for the other side of that coin. Make sure you share your very bad experience with other people so that agent can continue to "build" his/her reputation within her/his community.

Good Luck
Maggie Quinn
Crossroads Realty
Jackson/Millstone Office
Cell 732-299-1502
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 30, 2011
Your Buyer's Agent getting "pissed off" was unprofessional on every level. She should have educated you as to why putting in a "back up offer" on a short sale is almost a waste of pen ink instead. When the bank is negotiating wih a buyer, it usually takes 6 months to a year. If the Buyer then backs out, the back up offer will be looked at. there is no way to know if you are the first back up or not, thus not only are your chances slim, but by this time the Seller/owner has not maintained the home, no one is responsible (not the Seller nor the bank) for any action after the close and the Buyer's agent will end up with the phone calls when the home is falling apart. Buying shor sales is a tedious process with no one winning but the bank. They are sold at market price, not under market, and usually inferior and not "kept up". Good luck but I would find a standard sale or REO. If you were in Los Angeles, I'd say contact me at http://www.TSteinbeck.com..... from Terre Steinbeck, Keller Williams Beverly Hills
Web Reference: http://wwwTSteinbeck.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 30, 2011

How goes your home search? I read through the comments below. I think your agent was rude and over-reacted. Personally. if I were in his/her shoes, I would have been happy that you were at least honest about your own independent inquiry. But, at the same time, I know how your agent may have felt. Short Sale transactions are time consuming and not every agent is thrilled to write-up offers or negotiate directly with a lender. I am less thrilled now having gone through several bad experiences.

But, it almost sounds like the agent didn't want you to even entertain the short sales from the beginning by saying NEXT. If that was the case and you wanted to preview both short sale and normal resale homes regardless of the status, you and the agent should have had that understanding.

There's no harm in changing your wants and needs, but you just want to make sure you and your agent are on the same page.

I am curious. Are you still working with this agent? I'd like you to give my friend in the Atlanta a call. I provided his website as a web-reference. I hope ot helps.

PS. My buddy Terence has an awesome website and loves to work with buyers.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 28, 2011
Agents are struggling to make a living in this tough market - sounds like your agent "reacted" and took your direct inquiry personally. If you generally like working with her then suggest you assure her otherwise and carry on. If the relationship has been damaged and you don't think it will work going forward then find yourself an alternative. Some agents are not keen on working short sales, but with the high % in the market, it is really a self limiting plan. If your agent doesn't have the appetite, find one that does.

Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service
Web Reference: http://www.feenick.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 28, 2011
Hi Ncr, It's not like you were trying to cut them out of the deal or something. You were online and the property re-appeared. You told your buyer's agent what the listing agent told you. If the home is back online after 2 weeks I'm assuming there is a problem with the financing, and I'm also assuming your agent wasn't staying in the loop on that "pending" property that you liked. That being said I feel you should put in a back up offer if that is the home YOU would like to purchase. Why wait around for some one else to put in a back up offer on the home YOU want and get the home if the financing on the pending offer falls through. If your agent is not willing to do this find some one who will, but don't go it alone and don't deal with the listing agent as your buyer's representation. You do need seperate buyer's representation and there are some excellent agents on this site who provide tons of helpful information all the time. Check current mortgage rates at http://www.current-mortgage-rates.net If you need help financing I work with BNC national bank. thanks and good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 20, 2011
Since the lisitng agent can only represnt one party in the transaction, they are bound to the seller. If you have any issue arise, their obligation will be to protect the seller's interests and not yours.

Short sales have their own unique challenages. You will most likely be going it alone if/when an issue arises.

I have tried to warn some of my buyers in the past against using the listing agent, but they always know better than those of us in the business every day of the year.

Rodney Mason
Sr Loan Officer / FHA 203K Renovation / HomePath Specialist
Prospect Mortgage
Atlanta, GA
(404) 591-2453
NMLS #151088
Apply Online at http://www.rodneymason.com
Licensed in AL & GA
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 19, 2011
Both listing agent and your buyer's agent should have explained the process a little better to you. Pending lender approval means that there is a signed offer by the seller and a buyer that has been submitted for the seller's lender to review. The lender can either accept, counter or reject that offer...which is why the listing agent said the seller was taking back up offers. Your offer would be subserviant to any offers submitted before you. Technically a seller can only sign one offer (seller can only sell home to one buyer not several), so until the seller's lender makes a decision on the first offer, yours would be considered a back up in the event the first one gets rejected. As for the attitude you received from your agent, people are human and sometimes act irrationally but in a business transaction, a professional should always remain professional. However, please know that agents put a lot of time and effort into every customer looking for properties, researching the market and their values and we do not get paid until a contract closes. Also, the buyer does not pay us, it is the seller that pays the commission, so we frequently work with a lot of buyers and buyers frequently do not tell us they are working with other agents. It is frustrating because this is our job and we work with many customers at the same time, so while an agent may be the precurring cause finding the property, doing all of the background work for a given buyer, if agent is not available quick enough or respond in the manner the buyer thinks they should, a buyer will go speak with other agents. If you have worked with someone for a while and feel like you have built a good relationship with your buyer and then they go talk with another realtor, some agents take it as the buyer being disloyal. The reality of it is this...agents are human, our job is not all glitz and glamour, we must do a lot of work to get paid, we must juggle numerous customers at the same time, too many cooks spoil the soup. Every agent has their own philosphy and temperment, choose one that compliments yours. Remember, if you have not signed a buyers agent contract you are free to talk to any agent you choose.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 18, 2011
Wow. I'm sorry you treated so poorly. If you signed a contract with your buyer agent simply ask for release. You are not obligated to work with this agent especially after being verbally abused. No customer should ever be treated in that manner and if the agent is not willing to the do the work required you should fire them regardless. I would recommend you find a new buyers agent that treats you with respect and is willing to work for you. :O)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 18, 2011
You can do what your heart tells you to do. Make sure there are no binding papers obligating you to that Realtor as well. Dealing with the Listing Agent may be a mistake as they do really represent the Sellers interest first. Consider a Buyers Agent(ABR) and best of luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 18, 2011
It's a short sale... Why would you want to put your self through that? Sounds like your agent hasn't properly explained what it means to be a short sale. In a short sale EVERY ONE loses, except you. You get the house. Think about, the bank is losing money, the owner is losing his/her home and you are getting their home.

I'm 3 months in on a short sale with Suntrust and haven't even been assigned a negotiator yet. Understandably so, the bank isn't going to make it easy for an owner to default on your obligation.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 18, 2011
The issue of an agent for each side has to do with the legal requirements faced by the agent. If they are contracted at client level to represent the seller then they are bound to do that first and foremost. They can work with both parties and cannot do anything illegal but they can do little more for you than prep the paperwork and keep the process moving forward. You are not afforded the experience of a guiding hand through the process - which in this case didn't appear experienced or guiding.

Using a buyer's agent instead of going in unrepresented isn't just about the "big bad listing agent". A good buyer's agent knows how to research, review, write contracts, negotiate, deal with inspections, deal with lenders, deal with appraisers, deal with other agents and sellers, deal with issues that come up, deal with lawyers.....this industry is broken beyond belief and it's not going to get better anytime soon. A good agent makes things go smooth like a good pilot gets you where you're going without issue. The objective is boring closings.

Money is an issue of course but understand buyer's rarely incur an expense for representation - it's typically on the sellers. The idea that not using a buyer's agent will "save money and be expressed in selling price" is nonsensical - the selling agent broker will be paid the contractual fee or very close. If anything is cut, it will be minimal and it will be to the seller, not buyer.

I've been saying it for years, there are still far too many blockhead agents out here and you might have run into one. Good hunting -

Web Reference: http://www.hrmiller.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 18, 2011
Good job, Ncr. Even though am still unsure about the questions I asked earlier, will try to answer your last one. The reason 2 is usually better than 1 is you have a licensed professional on your side of the field representing your interests. Only your interests, if they are doing their job. And yes, there is a financial incentive for that agent as well. If you think it's a better deal working only with the listing broker, by all means go for it. Just remember, by law in Georgia, they can only represent the seller's well-being, not yours, even to your potential detriment. As far as the commission goes, however, the agent representing the other team's welfare will typically keep it all, no matter what price you negotiate with them. So a it's a 50-50 split for both sides or 100% for the other side. No quantum math involved here either. Good Luck!

Michael Hammond

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 18, 2011
Many listing agents are almost always going to encourage backup offers. They have zero to lose. It's better for them if the first offer falls apart to then have a potential waiting. The reality is that the back up offer will probably never have a chance of closing either. If something does happen in the first offer, the second buyer has usually long moved on by that point as it is probably months later. By that time, the property is probably almost in foreclosure.

Short sales can often be very lengthy in time and that is why most bueyrs and agents will avoid them. In contacting the listing agent, a buyer should never do that if they are already working with another agent. Doing so does undermind the process. I am sure that your agent could have presented their frustrations differently though.

Rodney Mason
Sr Loan Officer / FHA 203K Renovation / HomePath Specialist
Prospect Mortgage
Atlanta, GA
(404) 591-2453
NMLS #151088
Apply Online at http://www.rodneymason.com
Licensed in AL & GA
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 17, 2011
Could have had a bad day.
We, REALTORS, are honorable and understanding people.
We love and respect all buyers and sellers, even when we don't like to. Even when we are hurting. We are truly professionals.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 17, 2011
Regardless of what happened and what your agent's issues may be, you would be well advised to continue to seek your own personal representation. Using the same party that all ready has an existing relationship with the seller can lead to a serious "conflict of interest."

If you were unhappy with your treatment by this agent we recommend being direct, expressing your disappointment to both them and their broker, before moving on.

The bottom line is you can contact anyone you wish to contact and your agent may benefit from a reminder.....

Good luck,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 17, 2011
All offers should be accepted by the listing agent up to closing and your buyers agent (that works for you) should submit all offers on your behalf that you request on eligible properties. A property is not sold until the transaction has completed at the closing table. Pending (listing broker has received an offer from a willing, ready and able buyer and there may be conditions attached that allow for a due diligence period for a specified time. In the case of an un- approved shortsale. Sounds like an offer was put in and it took some time for the bank to get to it before it was declined. Hence pending ( in this case pending banks approval). If short sales are of interest to you. Go after approved short sales, at least you know all of the paper work has been prepared upfront and the bank has approved the list price. Agents that make up there own prices and have not submitted necessary paper work to begin the short sale process (Possible short sale listing) somewhat distort the whole process. ( the price is not approved by the bank, but write me an offer and I cannot tell you if and when it will be accepted. In short if you had to call the listing agent to find out information that could have easily been discovered by your agent and conveyed to you. This agent is not a match for you. best Regard's
Web Reference: http://LuxuryAtl.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 17, 2011
It would be interesting to hear the other side's take on this as well, Ncr. Not being as prescient as some here, before I could properly respond would need two questions answered. Did you sign a brokerage agreement with your agent? Does this property have one lien holder or more? From my point of view, if you really plan to "low ball the price" you could be spitting in the wind, particularly in a back up position. The note holders are likely looking for the “highest and best“ offers in a PLA short. Cash gives you more leverage, however, so you might want to go for it, if you don’t have a set time frame to close. Good Luck!

Michael Hammond

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 17, 2011
Hello Ncr;
That is rude, she should have given you the option. Short Sale could take a while to progress especially when it has not been approved by the lender. She should have explained it to you initially. You could have still put an offer in if there wasn't a firm one in hand. Basically, to submit a Short Sale to the lender an offer is required for the bank to move into the processing phase. You need a more Fiduciary wise agent, meaning someone with your best interest and better customer service skills. Keep an eye on it cause if it goes any longer the buyers under contract may walk away.

Good Luck!
Tye Jones
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 17, 2011
Thanks everybody, some GREAT ANSWERS! Let me add a little more context...

No time pressure, we can wait months, if necessary, as we are looking to buy investment property to eventually rent out. We already live in a house.

We hope to bring CASH ONLY (based on price negotiations).

We will probably low ball the price as I'm not sure this market is finished going down yet...

Our sense is our agent is good at "regular" sales, but not so good when it comes to REOs. Maybe, she thinks it a "waste of time" chasing P L A, but maybe it's not as some other posts have said. But I still think she was rude a bit...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 16, 2011
Ahh yes... Pending Lender Approval: As agents checking the status of desirable Short Sale Listings, we often hear that the listing our client is wanting to purchase is Pending Lender Approval. And in most cases, if it truly is then you may be wasting your time pursuing that property. But sometimes the Buyers who have placed that offer on the property get tired of waiting for an answer, withdraw their offer and move on. So submitting your offer may not be a waste of time. But be aware, the term 'Short Sale' is often an oxymoron depending on the lender holding the lien. I just closed on a home for a client (Short Sale) that required us to write the offer 6 separate times and took 18 months to bring to closing! While this was an extreme case, Short Sales can take a long time to close. You need to be patient, educated to the process, and feel comfortable with your agent.

In fairness to your agent, he likely believed the listing was Under Contract. But as I always tell my clients, proper communication is key to a successful sale and closing. Misunderstandings can $cost$ you and also waste a lot of valuable time. Before you leave your agent with a bruised ego, you might want to give him one more chance to clear up things. And if you aren't comfortable after that... Remember, there are a lot of agents who would be pleased to represent your interests. But I would highly recommend that you have an agent specifically representing your interests as a buyer, especially if this is your first home purchase.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 16, 2011
Ncr - It might be time to find a new agent if you feel offended. Your agent is correct that their needs to be trust in your relationship an it seems like that may be shot now and given the response you got which clearly offended you it might be better for all involved to seek out an agent you trust.

With that said we all need to be working in our clients best interest to the best of our ability and if you wanted to try and follow that house more closely then that is what she should have done as that is our duty to you when we take you on as a client.

If you love this house and are willing to deal with the difficulty of working through a short sale than make an offer. The listing agent will need to present all offers to the bank as well as the seller and with most banks working with short sales they reserve the right to entertain offers up until the time they approve the short sale with the first buyer. So if you have a better offer than it is very likely they will decline the first buyer and start the process over again with you.

Just rember there are no gurantees with short sales and they do take incredible patience and sometimes you really have to leave any logic out in trying to figure out what there motives and decision making processes.

Best of luck to you and go make that offer with an agent you feel comfortable with!


0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 16, 2011
"Pending Lender Approval" should not mean unavailable to a buyer's agent. If you showed interest in the home, your agent should have called the listing agent to see if the owners were entertaining backup offers, which many will since short sales aren't short and buyers tend to walk rather than wait if the short becomes extremely long. Sounds like you have an agent that is working with more buyers than she can handle or some other reason that I cannot write so as not to violate ethics. You probably shouldn't have contacted the listing agent, rather you probably should have interviewed other agents who know what Pending Lender Approval means and would take the time to show you a house that has caught your eye and given your current agent some much needed breathing room by lightening her current client load.

As for dealing with the listing agent directly, let me just say, "NO." Each party to the transaction deserves to be represented by someone fighting for their rights. Not to say that the listing agent wouldn't be able to help you, but as your relationship with the listing agent stands now, the agent is looking out for the seller. Anything you say to the listing agent could come back to haunt you during the transaction.

If the sellers are entertaining backups, demand that your agent take you to see the listing or demand to be released, in writing, from your brokerage agreement and find a new agent to represent you and your interests.

Best of luck in your adventure.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 16, 2011
Dear Ncr,
No need to put up with unprofessional behaviour...get another agent .
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 16, 2011
She's a little rude but she's also wise to the short sale/foreclosure nonsense involved with lenders.

She should submit the offer even if it's a back up and total waste of time if that's what you want. But - she should also educate you to this process. I suggest my clients not waste time with short sales, the hype rarely plays out.

I know there will be contrary opinions and that's fine, this is my opinion and the folks I work with feel the same once they fully understand the pros and cons.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 16, 2011
Well, your agent didn't convey that message in the best way, but he does have a point.

I would go ahead and forget about the pending lender approval property. If you really want to submit a back-up offer, get ready for a lot of paperwork, a lot of waiting around, and a good chance to have wasted all that effort for nothing.

Just fill in your agent BEFORE you start contacting other agents and keep him in the loop. You could always ask your agent to contact the same listing agent again. If they refuse, maybe you should find new representation.

You've hired him/her to help you through the process, why not let him do his job?

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 16, 2011

You probably shouldn't have contacted the Listing Agent since you have an agent but your agent was absolutely wrong responding the way they did. Not only as your agent but as a human being. Your agent should have suggested submitting a backup offer if the listing agent says they were accepting them. If you have a written contract with your agent, let them know you want to cancel the agreement (in writing). Then, you are free to submit a backup offer through the listing agent or hire a new agent altogether.

Good luck.

Shanna Rogers
SR Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 16, 2011
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