Home Buying in 53717>Question Details

Dan, Home Buyer in Crivitz, WI

is it legal or even ethical for a realtor listing a home to "taint" an offer by telling the buyer not to offer below a certain amount of money?

Asked by Dan, Crivitz, WI Fri Jan 24, 2014

Help the community by answering this question:


Is it legal or ethical to tell a buyer not to waste their time?

Yeah, I think so.

If you're insistent, then of course, the agent is required to deliver the offer.

All the best,
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 24, 2014
"the agent is required to deliver the offer"
However, it must be on paper.
Flag Sat Jan 25, 2014
Tainted?-----IF that means kicking the low-ballers to the curb before they even 'think about it" that seems a efficient and effective policy imposed by the seller. ----- Translated it means, 'Please don't waste our time.' ----- So, Dan, are you going to allow the REALTOR who has listed the home keep you out of the negotiation process?----Dan, do you understand the buying and negotiation process sufficiently well to realize this is just vapor?----Dan, who do you have on your side? I think you may benefit from the experience of those who help buy and sell dozes of homes every year.----As you have demonstrated, tainting does weed out the weak, indecisive and inexperienced.----All of the choices you offered, Legal, ethical are invalid. It's simply a well played strategy. Are you going to fold or make an offer?
Best of Success,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate Remax Realtec Group
See my list of Homes For Sale in the Palm Harbor University High School district http://annettelawrence.mfr.mlxchange.com/?Page=-1
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 24, 2014
Annette, Take him out to the woodshed and tan his hide!!!----
Annette, maybe you could make your response a bit more condescending.----Annette, geez, the guy is obviously new at this and confused…not to mention he is already mad at a couple of realtors…why not make it three?---
Flag Fri Jan 24, 2014
Dan, if the seller instructed their listing agent to pass along the fact that they did not want an offer below a certain price, that is perfectly fine. The list agent is working on behalf of the seller. Additionally, often times you will also see in some properties, right in the MLS remarks, a desired price range a seller is looking for. Again that is at the direction of the seller. As a buyer you would be best served by having a qualified "Buyer-Agent" work on your behalf and help you negotiate through the process. Good luck on your home search.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 24, 2014
This is useful.... I never had any realtor actually give me a money number before.
Flag Fri Jan 24, 2014

This is a very interesting question! There are a number of factors that come into play to answer it.

During the showing process the agent may be operating under what is known as "Pre-Agency". This means they are not working for the buyer or seller. They are simply showing homes and delivering facts and figures. All that changes at the time of negotiation! At that time the buyer can choose to contract the agent as a "Buyers Agent". If they don't, then the agent will be representing the seller by default.

In Wisconsin, If the agent is a "Buyers Agent" and is representing the interests of the buyer they may offer advice and opinions about how to procure the property. Ultimately, however, they must follow the instruction of the buyer as to the terms of the offer they draft.

In Wisconsin, If the agent does not represent the buyer via contract then by default they are representing the seller when they draft the offer or take part in negotiation. In this case they can only promote that you structure the offer to benefit the seller. They cannot provide you their advice or opinion to structure the offer to benefit you! They can only explain and complete the offer for you. This is why Buyer agency benefits the buyer. Prior to negotiation they should provide you with a "Broker Disclosure To Customer" that outlines the duties they owe to all parties.

There is no way for anyone other than an attorney or judge to tell you if the Realtor acted legally in your case. The Realtor Code Of Ethics is what outlines whether the Realtor acted in an ethical manor.

This may seem odd to the typical consumer but just because you are working with an agent does not mean the agent represents you! Agents must follow state law in regards to representation. They must also disclose, in writing, who they represent prior to any form of negotiation.

I hope this helps!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 24, 2014
All of the below!! Answers.
As a listing agent I rarely give a number, because it may limit the number and likelihood of offers.
Even if i get a silly low offer, i can usually get another buyer off the fence with the threat of a competing offer. That means multiple offers and a better price for sellers.
I would only give a minimum number if I had it in writing from seller if he/she doesn't want to be bothered by lowball offers.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 24, 2014
Thanks for asking!

A listing Realtor or even another Realtor who may be assisting Buyer draft & deliver an Offer to Purchase on another Realtor's listing, if not in an official "Buyer-Agency" relationship with Buyer, is bound to treat both parties fairly but Owe their Loyalty and Obedience to the Home-Seller. If Seller asks listing Realtor to make sure buyers know Offers presented below a certain amount are a waste of time, NOT sharing this information would be unethical.

The Realtor may not want to share this information and even find doing so difficult or unpleasant, but MUST if it is asked of them by Seller....because to serve one's own wants instead of one's clients would "taint" the real estate profession.

My advice to all Wisconsin home-buyers is to make sure you enter a "Buyer's Agency Relationship" with an Accredited Buyer's Representative at the onset of your home search. In Wisconsin real estate, if you and your Realtor do not sign an official "Buyer Agency" (WB-36) contract the Realtor working with you is actually working FOR the best interests of Seller. Go with Buyer's Agency to make sure Realtor's loyalty and obedience in a transaction are to you and your best interests.

Hope this helps, Dan.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 24, 2014
If there are multiple offers, the question is - How much are you willing to Pay? - many Sellers have a number in mind and won't consider anything below that. Hire a good agent, let them do their job and listen to their advice. I don't want you buying a home I can't resell and unhappy clients don't refer more business. It's not about this check but the checks to come. That's what I've learned in the past 35 years. If It's really the right home, Pay What you must and verify the decision with an appraisal. Good Luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 24, 2014
If the seller has directed the listing agent to tell prospective buyers that he/she will not accept an offer below a certain number, then the agent is doing his/her job. If the listing agent is making statements as this without the seller's knowledge or wishes you may have an issue. The listing agent works for the seller and not the buyer so I'm not sure what is being " tainted". More info would help to give you a more specific answer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 24, 2014
How is it tainting an offer? The Realtor should know the market and has possibly talked with the listing agent, may know that there are other offers either already received or expected and wants you to be in a good position.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 24, 2014
My answer to your question:

Why are you dealing with the Listing Agent?

A Buyer Agent can help you determine the best offer to make for you, the Buyer.

The Listing Agent works for the Seller.

Ethical? Sure.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 24, 2014
That is their job, assuming the seller instructed them to do so.

But I like your description, mind if I borrower it? I think I saw a tainted loan application this morning. I like it better than what I have been using.

Good luck,

Jim Simms
NMLS # 6395
Financing Kentucky One Home at a Time
I answer questions about financing real estate based on my decades of experience dealing with mortgage underwriters. This answer is my personal opinion, has not been reviewed or approved by the company I work for. I do not offer legal or tax advice, if you need answers from an attorney or CPA find one knowledgeable in your local market.
Web Reference: http://jamessimms.com/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 24, 2014
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