Sara Danowski, Renter in Troy, MI

My fiance and I put an offer on a house and the seller's agent never let us know there was a competing offer and we lost the house. Is that?

Asked by Sara Danowski, Troy, MI Tue Apr 5, 2011

ethical? I called the buyer's agent myself and he hung up on me even though I was nice and just wanted to know the truth since our agent couldnt find out more. When we went to an open house in the same area the next weekend, another seller agent said that the seller agent we dealt with has had problems with ethics in the past and when she showed that property to some of her clients, he never called or sent them the seller's disclosures. How does he get away with treating buyers like this and is it ethical for him not to answer questions from agents/customers?

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Pam Bava’s answer
Hi Sara,

I feel bad that you had this experience, you never should go through this. But believe me, there are many agents working very hard to make sure their clients get the best care and understanding while purchasing a home. Especially when you are a first time buyer, you need to be aware of what is going on.
There may be occasional problems to deal with but we work through them with determination. I recently had a property listed in Royal Oak that did not appraise but all parties involved were able to work things out and came to an agreement.
If there is anything I can do for you please feel free to contact me, I would love to make this a great experience for you.

Pam Bava, Realtor
Real Living Kee Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 5, 2011
The Seller's agent is just that. The Seller's agent. To best represent their seller, one could argue that the agent should have let everyone know there was a multiple offer situation to maximize the likelihood of the highest offer for his seller. Unfortunately he didn't. I would say that omission was more ineptitude than unethical. Ours is a very strange profession. It is easy fo one agent to criticize another, because by diminishing the talents of one it seems to enhance the talents of the other... or so they would have you believe. At the risk of sounding like that which I just described, whenever making an offer in this market, an agent should ask if there are any other offers on the subject property. If so, the buyers should be advised and respond accordingly. If you would like more information, feel free to give me a call.
Mark Mergener - Cell (248) 935-0335
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 5, 2011

Don't give up just understand that you may have to take a more aggressive approach to buying in your price range. Your agent should be able to come up with a strategy to help you get your dream home. You are well positioned to buy and prices and interests rates are still low so stick with it and remember it's a process with great rewards in the end.


0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 5, 2011

I understand your frustration. It's a frustrating time in the market for buyers and sellers. There are also great opportunities to be had, and I hope you will continue to pursue your dream. It will be worth it.

While you have run into a few bad eggs, the majority of Realtors I have worked with in the last decade have been diligent in representing their clients' interests. Hopefully your next encounter will end on a positive note.

Should you wish to pursue this with the Board of Realtors, I have attached a link to our local offices. You could also ask your agent to have her broker call his broker. That can often get answers that were not forthcoming sooner.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 5, 2011
Maureen Fran…, Real Estate Pro in Birmingham, MI
i think its not ethical,but its really up to your local board of realtors. i dont think he was acting in the best interest of his clients,because had you known your offer could of of been more
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 5, 2011
Thanks for your responses everyone. My agent had tried to get a hold of him and his office several times and he just didnt feel like getting back to her apparently. This is the 2nd house and 2nd questionable seller's agent we have dealt with and I am starting not to trust realtors in general. I thought in this market being a couple with 20% down, great credit and pre-approval that it wouldnt be this hard to find something. The first house didn't appraise for a value that we could get a mortage for and wouldn't come down even though when making a counter offer they said they would. I feel like so many of these buyers bought at a terrible time and we are the ones suffering for it. Looks like we will keep renting until I feel like we aren't going to get screwed over again. This is so emotionally exhausting. Being able to invest in a dream home is not the dream I thought it was.

Sara Danowski
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 5, 2011
Hello Sara:

I would like to say I'm sorry for the treatment you received. It was very rude of the listing agent to hang up on you. As Maureen stated it would depend on what the selling agents client has requested. Personally, I can't think of any good reason why a seller wouldn't want another agent to know there was another offer. Informing all agents that there are mulitple offers on a property leads to everyone submitting their highest and best offer which I consider in the sellers best interest. This situation is becoming a norm in my area especially with bank owned homes. If the home is anything decent there are almost always multiple offers on it.

I wish you the best of luck in your search for a new home and always keep in mind that everything happens for a reason and hopefully, that means you'll find a home that is truly perfect for you.

Good Luck,

Karen Paytas, GRI, CMS
Real Living Kee Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 5, 2011
Hi Sara,
Were you represented by a Buyers agent or a Sellers agent? If you were working with a Sellers agent, that agent is representing the seller and has the sellers best interest. I won't repeat what Maureen said but she is correct. If you were working with a Buyers agent, that agent would have a fiduciary obligation to their clients.
If you are under contract with a Buyers agent, that person should inform you of any information they know about the property. I'm confused why you would be speaking to the sellers agent.
There is a process you need to go through when purchasing a home and as you go through each step you should be sure that you understand it. The next time you decide to purchase a home make sure you get the proper representation and have the agent explain how they will be representing you.

It is unfortunate that this happened, I'm sure you were very excited about the home. I will say this, there are multiple offers on many homes these days. Be prepared if it happens again.

Good luck
Pam Bava
Real Living Kee Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 5, 2011
Hi, If the agent was smart and really cared about the sellers interests they would be respectful and keep any additional offers a s a back-up. In this business deals fall apart all the time, it's always nice to have a back-up.

Christopher Pagli
Licensed Associate Broker
Accredited Buyer Representative
GREEN Designated Agent
William Raveis Legends Realty Group
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 5, 2011
Hi Sara,

The seller's agent is not obligated to tell your agent about competing offers, unless he is asked and unless his client has instructed him to do so. It would be hard for you to know what his client instructed him to do unfortunately.

I can think of times my seller clients have chosen not to tell one party that there was other interest. They had their reasons, and it is the seller's prerogative to make that call. It is his agent's duty to carry out the seller's instructions, though the Realtor's Code of Ethics does require him to treat the public honestly. Did your agent ask him during the period before your offer was rejected if there were other offers?

I am sorry you were treated rudely, and I am sorry you did not get the house. I know that is really disappointing.

I will link to the Realtors Code of Ethics, so you can see our rules. I am the Chair of the Grievance committee for our local board of Realtors. It is likely that the agent is a member of my board.

Good luck Sara. I hope you find a great house!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 5, 2011
Maureen Fran…, Real Estate Pro in Birmingham, MI
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