Home Selling in Los Angeles>Question Details

41cycledude, Both Buyer and Seller in Los Angeles, CA

Is it normal or Ok for a listing agent to advise seller to counter all offers on terms such as which escrow company is used?

Asked by 41cycledude, Los Angeles, CA Fri May 17, 2013

Recently my listing agent brought in a clean,strong offer well above asking price which I agreed to accept. He then advised me to counter which escrow company would be used and the buyer walked! Is that normal? And should have advised that to begin with?

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It's quite common that the seller will reserve the right to choose the services, which usually are recommended by the listing agent, which is no bad thing. If the agent has companies he usually works with , they are most likely to pick up the phone to him as early as possible to make him aware if their is any issues on the horizon etc, which can only lead to you the seller getting the best bang for their buck. So no, that's not abnormal.

In regards to the buyer walking away because of this, that is rather strange, and almost certainly they would have walked no matter what you would have done. They probably had multiple offers in as it is a sellers market so some buyers are staring to panic and put offers in on anything they can.

I'm sure you will have another buyer soon enough, and hopefully at a better price than you agreed the first time.

Best of Luck.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 8, 2013
In most cases here in California seller reserves the right to choose services. If the buyer walked simply because you did not want to allow them to choose the escrow company, I question how serious this buyer was.

Your agent advised you right, YOU should be the one choosing the services. In this low inventory market, again any buyer who walks for such a thing is NOT very serious!

Best of Luck to You!!!!

Kawain Payne, Realtor
Prudential California Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 28, 2013
This is interesting and I'm not a CA agent so I won't touch this but I am curious. In VA, each party pics their own settlement/closing company. I prefer this so each party has representation. Do you close with settlement agents or are attorney's present?

From what I read, it's typical in CA for the seller to dictate who the buyer uses? Wouldn't the buyer want to use their own company, purchase title insurance from their selected provider, etc?

I don't think I've ever suggested that a seller counter with a different settlement attorney of office except for a few instances when the buyer's were using out of the area offices.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 25, 2013
Any time you counter a buyer for any reason, they can walk.
What your agent did was within acceptable practices.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 20, 2013
Dear 41chcledude,
Yes this is standard practice. It's odd that the buyer quit for that reason, it doesn't make sense.Normally the term "Seller picks services" is in the MLS listing.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 17, 2013
Sorry, every here is not telling you the truth. The truth is, yes seller usually chooses esrow and title companies but when I say seller I really mean the listing agent. Just like everything else, that is negotiable.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 17, 2013
Absolutely the norm. If they walked because the choice of the escrow company, you probably would have had more trouble with that buyer down the road. You want to have the best possible escrow company working for you on your transaction, to make sure that everyone is doing what they need to do, when it needs to be done. I like to be able to sleep at night and know that my escrow company is not going to drop the ball or keeps me informed when something needs my attention.

Your agent can put notes on the MLS that either identifies the escrow co. specifically or that the seller will choose escrow & title.

good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 17, 2013
It is normal and usually seller select service providers.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 17, 2013
Yes, it is normal but it's still negotiable.....the danger is exactly what happened in your situation. In cases like this when the buyer walks for a relatively minor issue, there is generally more to why they elect to "over react."

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 17, 2013
I can't speak for the norms in Glendale but here in San Diego, the listing side usually determines the escrow company. Your agent didn't do anything outside the norm.

Frankly, if the buyer walked over an escrow company, he/she was not all that serious about the proeprty! I haven't heard of that one!

Given how hard it is to buy a home these days...and how hot the seller's market is...it was his loss.

You'll get another deal!

Take Care!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 17, 2013
It is a common practice. The buyer probably walked because a different reason.. it is very common for the seller to reserve the right to use their escrow and title company of choice and that is usually (but not always) influenced by the listing agent.

Hopefully you are working with a good listing agent that you trust and yo don't have to be checking up after them...

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 17, 2013
Hi Clyde,

I think it's odd for a buyer to walk over the issue of escrow unless, of course, they work for an escrow company and can get a phenomenal deal on the escrow fees.

Truth be known, these buyers may have just found another property which was the real reason.

Good Luck,

Barbara Grandolfo
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 17, 2013
It is okay to counter a buyer on which title and escrow company to use, but if the seller's happy, just make the deal happen. And while I agree with Ron Thomas, below, Why take the chance of ruining a sure thing?

Caroline Harabedian
RE-Search Concept
8700 Reseda Blvd., Suite 213-B
Northridge, California 91324
(818) 967-9626 mobile
(818) 979-0226 fax
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 17, 2013
The counter offer and Residential Purchase Agreement are also part of the Escrow Instructions.
Therefore, all items, such as Title, Escrow, Home Warranty, Termite Company, etc. need to be clearly identified so the escrow company and other participants know who is doing what.
Seller's choice is not the name of a company.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 17, 2013
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
I'll get you 7 to 5 that the Escrow Company had nothing to do with him walking.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 17, 2013
Yes, it is common practice. You can choose your own escrow co.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 17, 2013
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