Home Selling in Hershey>Question Details

Scooter, Home Seller in Bucks County, PA

I have been reading the responses for Can a Seller reject any offer? I have an additional question.

Asked by Scooter, Bucks County, PA Mon Apr 13, 2009

I have been reading the responses for Can a Seller reject any offer? question posted on your website. My question is this. If on the contract signed it states under Payment of Brokers Fee that SELLER WILL PAY BROKERS FEE IF A READY WILLING ABLE BUYER IS FOUND BY BROKER OR ANYONE INCLUDING SELLER. A WILLING BUYER IS SOMEONE WHO IS WILLING TO PAY THE LIST PRICE OR MORE FOR THE PROPERTY OR ONE WHO HAS SUBMITTED AN OFFER ACCEPTED BY THE SELLER. can we still reject an offer and not have to pay a commission? Have we lost control over our property and have to except the offers the realtor has found and we feel are their own clients? I have received mixed answers. We are not happy with this realtor and do not want either of the offers we've been given. Unfortunately the contract signed was one where the realtor is a dual agent
Any information would be appreciated.
Thank you

Help the community by answering this question:


Although you have the right to accept/reject any offers, you probably should consult with a lawyer to determine whether you'll still need to pay that agent even though you intend to reject those offers. Yet, if your only (or main) objection with your agent is that s/he didn't find a buyer "who [was] willing to pay the list price or more, . . ." then you probably should take your property off of the market now, or have a heart-to-heart with your agent. If your property is overpriced, then you're simply not going to find ANY buyers who'd be willing to pay the list price.

Before rejecting your agent, you should order an inspection and appraisal or at least ask to view a copy of the results of the buyer's inspection and/or appraisal (which they technically don't have to show you). Does at least 1 or both of the offers feature a purchase price that's in the ballpark of the appraised value? If so, then changing agents won't help you, and you probably should take your property off of the market for a while--at least until the market value of your property minimally matches your ideal list price.

However, if you have to sell, then you'll need to realize that you're only going to make that sell when you're willing to sell that property at its current market value (which might be lower than you'd like).
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 13, 2009
Have you spoken to your agent's boss, the BROKER?

I would call him/her and explain why you're unhappy with the agent. See what he/she offers to do.

I would also call a real estate attorney if you are not happy with the Broker's response.

I am the broker of my company. I can tell you that if someone calls to complain that they're not happy with someone in my office, or our services, I would never force them to sign something they were unhappy with. I also would never personally pursue a commission (even if we bought full price offers to you) if there was a good reason to reject them.

Situations change during a listing. If your situation has changed and you want out of the listing contract, tell your broker the truth and see what he/she will do for you.

Personally, I believe a satisfied client isbetter than an unhappy one who will spread bad press about me.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 14, 2009
Thanks to DP to pointing out the thing that I forgot to add. If you DID sign the offer then only a lawyer can provide next step advise to you.

But - as a non-lawyer - Let's say that you did sign the offer. What will happen next is that the buyer will order an inspection and then submit to you a $ of what they want you to reduce at closing (or have them done at your expense) - based on it's results. You can refuse. And they may then choose to walk away (or proceed forward anyway and buy it at the offer price).

Again - your question does seem to imply that you signed a contract. But it's not crystal clear. Would you clarify?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 13, 2009
As investor--not an agent nor a sales pro--who invests in commercial and residential real-estate in multiple markets (including Philly), I can assure you that I use attorneys for some of my transactions--and so does one of my mentors (who's from York PA).

The question is a legal interpretation one. I wouldn't hire a lawyer to fix my car ot to sell my software; similarly, if I were you, then I wouldn't rely on the legal advice of someone who isn't my attorney.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 13, 2009
Hi Scooter,

The part that concerns me the most is the very last thing that you wrote: "Unfortunately the contract signed was one where the realtor is a dual agent".

Here in PA, When you SIGN the offer then you are Under Contract. Did you sign any offers? If no, then you have no legal obligation to do so. No one can FORCE you to accept an offer. Just because you "have offers" doesn't lock you into taking the next step.

For example, maybe you are waiting for an "all cash" offer, rather than the offers you have now - perhaps one of these is a house sale contingency offer and another is a finance offer with 3.5% down. So ... you can be waiting for a really good offer, from a well-qualified buyer.

If you don't respond at all, then the offer is supposed to become null and void 24 hours later - that's a PA thing. Here we also typically don't use real estate attorneys - which the agents in VA and CA aren't aware of.

What that contract of yours is really saying is that of the 5% (or whatever) that you agreed to as part of your listing - that a portion of this goes to the buyers agent. That's it. Unless you go to contract, and then the house goes to settlement (closing) you do not owe anything to the buyers agent.

In any case I would NOT accept any offer brought to you by your listing agent, unless it is proven to be above the recent SOLD comps. One can't represent Your needs and the Buyers needs equally. I would be very concerned that your agent will become more concerned with their double commission than representing your needs - where they bring the buyer to you.

The really really GOOD news is that you ARE GETTING OFFERS. That's great!

Would you mind outlining why it is that you don't like either offer? What are you listing at - and what are the offers? Do they have contingencies or serious financing considerations?


0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 13, 2009
You need to consult an attorney for legal advice.

In general when you list your home with a Realtor, part of the initial discussion is "how much do you need to net at the close of the transaction?" leading up to "what price is acceptable to you"?.

If your Realtor is able to produce an offer, either via another Realtor or by himself, then becoming a dual agent, and the offer meets the criteria of the listing, then the Realtor has done what was contracted. Now, if you as the seller decide that you don't want to sell, that is what I would call "canceling the listing". which is handled one way.

OTOH, it sounds to me as though you are not wanting to pay the commission because "you are not happy with the Realtor". I would have to ask you if the Realtor has produced two offers, one from a client he obtained, and one from another Realtor, and they are approximately the right price and terms, what exactly do you want?

Put yourself in the shoes of the Realtor. How would you like to market a home, then find two buyers that are willing to write an offer, and then be told that you are not going a good job? Sounds funny to me.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 13, 2009
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
If you are rejecting perfect offers, you may owe a commission.

You do not, however, have to permit any arrangement which is dual agency. It is not in your best interest. Tell the agent that you won't accept it because of that... and if you are uncomfortable with the listing agent, contact the broker, as if the broker will assign someone else from the office to represent you in the negotiations. That way, your agent can continue to represent the buyers.... BUT, if you have given that agent confidential information and you feel it will be breached, well... I am not sure what to tell you.

Start your discussions with your agent, if that's not comfortable, remember you really hired the brokerage - they hired the agent. So, go to the broker and discuss your concerns. If you are still unhappy, then contact an attorney.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 13, 2009
In the case of a contract dispute you should always consult an attorney. I will say however, there is more to an offer other that just the price. There are loan terms, closing date etc that may or may not not be satisfactory to you. In reality it is hard to find a buyer that is offering 100 percent of what a seller wants. If the agent fulfilled his/her part of the contract to you by bringing you a buyer that meets the terms in your listing agreement and your only issue is you do not like the agent, you may have a hard time defending yourself in court if it were to go that far. We do not practice dual agency in Colorado because of the potential for conflict. I strongly recommend you seek legal counsel to find out what your options are. As realtors we cannot give legal advice. I hope this helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 13, 2009
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