Home Buying in Orange>Question Details

nelson.debbie, Home Buyer in Orange, CA

Switching Buyer Agents

Asked by nelson.debbie, Orange, CA Mon Feb 11, 2013

My husband and I (first time home buyers) found an REO property we were interested in. We went with a Realtor that was out of the same office as the Listing Agent (we didn't know any better). We negotiated back and forth and decided to walk, as the price kept getting pushed up (we originally offered List).

Afterwards we said we wanted to work with this Buyers Agent in the future, but she never returned our calls and then out of the blue started sending us MLS listings without asking us a single thing about what we wanted or was interested in. She dissappeared for almost three weeks with no return phone calls but will all of a sudden called about the original REO, wanting us to put in another offer.

Meanwhile we were put in touch with another Agent (who we adore) and has been working with us very daily. The REO we originally offered on dropped 10K and we submitted another offer through our new Agent. Now we are being ignored by the Listing Agent. What can we do?

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Louri Groves 767-8158’s answer
Hi Nelson.Debbie,

Have you mentioned to your current agent about the original offer that you and your husband submitted on this property? There may be an issue of who "procured cause," which may spark a commission dispute between your original agent and your current agent.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) defines procuring cause "as a uninterrupted series of causal events, which results in a successful transaction," i.e. sale/purchase of a property. The agent who procured cause will likely be the agent awarded commission.

You might want to discuss with your current agent especially if you choose to pursue this home and eventually purchase it. Your scenario may not be so black and white. Your current agent should be prepared.

In regards to the REO, I would be diligent and yet pleasant. Have your agent contact the listing agent or the broker for an update. Some listing agents prefer a text, others a phone call or an email. Politely remind them that you are ready, willing, and able to perform as buyers and would appreciate the opportunity to work with them... or however you want to communicate that you are sincere in your desire and ability to purchase this property.

In the meantime, I would suggest you continue to search for other properties.

Best of luck to you. I hope this has been helpful!

Louri Groves
Prudential California Realty
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 11, 2013
Go to the listing agents broker. This is an violation of the realtors ethics. They must present the offer to the client.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 10, 2013
You shouldn't do anything. Your buyer's agent should have her broker in charge contact the listing agents' broker in charge and tell them that if evidence of your offer being presented and a response isn't received within 24 or 36 hours that you and they will be filing a formal complaint with both the State Real estate commission and an ethics complaint against the office, listing agent and broker in charge with the local MLS service. I assure you this will get their attention and a quick response.

Understand also that foreclosures are a royal pain in the a**. The asset managers who oversee these properties are incredibly arrogant, and in my humble opinion having dealt with them for a quarter of a century now generally dumb as dirt. They tend to serve more as impediments to successful transactions rather than as facilitators. It's not uncommon for them not to respond for days at a time. The listing agent however should respond immediately and acknowledge that your offer has been submitted.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 10, 2013
Try placing a call to the local board of realtors and present your situation to them......they will be able to determine if there is an ethics violation that should be addressed.

Good luck,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 10, 2013
ok, If you feel the listing agent is ignoring you out of being mean sprited, have your agent contact the listing agent's broker.

REO listing agents often do not return calls in a timely manner. Many of them, because they have solid relationships with assest managers get so many listings they simply can not provide personal attention to them. This property could already be in escorw, and the listing agent just has not updated the MLS. In my experience with REO agents, when you get ignored it is because they already have a deal on the table.

Try not to get too hung up on this property. Sounds like you have an agent you trust and who seems to be working hard for you. I am sure he/she will find a home for you!

Best Regards,
Kawain Payne, Realtor
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 9, 2013
"Tim Moore stating that you would get "less representation" because both agents are within the same office, is just honestly ignorant & stupid, especially with a bank owned property. "

Disagree. Tim Moore hit the nail on the head. Buyer even knows it, stating "we didn't know any better." It is ALWAYS better to use an agent that is NOT in the listing agent's office. Always. Otherwise, who is really working for whom?

Procuring cause? That was over when your agent abandoned you. Even if she had a "procuring cause" claim who get's paid has nothing to do with representation. The listing agent still must return your calls no matter who gets paid in the end.

Google "procuring cause broken chain of events" and "procuring cause abandonment."

Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 13, 2013
The office will have a Manager or Broker. Call the office and ask for Manager/Broker. There could be issue with commissions with first agent offer and 2nd agent offer. Either way the Manager/Broker should be able to rectify the situation.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 13, 2013
Talk to the Broker or Manager of the office. In the mean time keep looking for other property.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 11, 2013
If there is a Broker Manager in that office contact him/her to voice your concerns. All offers must be submitted to the seller, if the home is active, however with an REO it sometimes takes a bit longer for a response.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 11, 2013
Have your new agent talk t the listing agent...if that doesn't get you a response...Your agent should call the managing broker of the listing agent....

Now...I have to wonder....this is a question you really should be asking your new agent!!! :)

Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 11, 2013
Have your agent show up in person.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 11, 2013
Nelson.debbie's situation is odd, but Tim Moore stating that you would get "less representation" because both agents are within the same office, is just honestly ignorant & stupid, especially with a bank owned property.

It is my opinion that the listing agent is not avoiding you because your offer is now being presented with a new agent. The listing agent has to be fair & present all offers OR the highest & best choices to the asset manager they work with. It is NOT in the best interests of the listing agent to do Anything to jeopardize the Account he or she has with that bank.

Multiple offers are occurring on most REO properties & the listing agents don't call back everyone who offered. It's just the way it is these days. If you're offer IS in the highest & best pile, you would be hearing from the agent.

If you feel you're being treated unfairly, contact the listing agent's broker, if the listing agent is the broker, you would only be able to file a complaint with their local board of Realtors for starters & that probably won't get you the property anyway.

Shoot me an email directly if you'd like to talk about this further. I don't look back on this same Trulia thread for answers posted after mine.

Emily S. Knell
562-430-3053 c
Realtor Since 1996
Realty ONE Group
Short Sale Specialist - 99.9% Listing / Closing Success Ratio
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 11, 2013
In this case, your current agent may be left in the cold if this transaction goes through, because your original agent--whom you made an offer with already--would likely be considered the procuring cause.

That aside, if the listing agent is ignoring you, have your agent try to go directly to the seller or at least have them (or their broker officer) speak to the broker officer at the listing agent's firm.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 11, 2013
Talk to your new agent and ask him/her what to do in this situation. Their answer should be towards the fact him/her is looking our for your best interest. The new agent can write an offer on the REO property but you do need to let the previous agent know that you have chosen to use another agent.
I would check with the new agent because ethics are involved. Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 11, 2013
If the listing agent and the agent you dealt with are in the same office then that is a Dual Agent situation and you get less representation than if you have your own Buyers Agent. I don't know the rules in Calf about listing procurement and if a dual agent situation must be disclosed in writing. Hopefully your agent does. If nothing else a call from you or your agent to the office broker of the listing company might help, just let him/her know of your displeasure and that you wish to use the new agent. The listing company will still get 1/2 of the commission if you buy it so there is still incentive there to make it work. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 11, 2013
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