Home Selling in Santa Monica>Question Details

Love4havasu, Both Buyer and Seller in Canyon Lake, CA

Our home is in escrow, but our buyers are not financially solid so we asked our agent to accept Back- up offers. We found out we had a very solid

Asked by Love4havasu, Canyon Lake, CA Thu Aug 30, 2012

Back up offer for which our agent did not disclose to us and turned it down. What can we do about this?

Help the community by answering this question:


You may have a claim against your agent, if you actually experience any loss or injury...

Is the agent representing the buyer as well? or a friend of them is representing the buyer?

If this is the case, It is just very sad when an agent puts his or her personal interest ahead of the client's. They are short sighted and will probably not be able to get repeat business... whether you find out or not.. the agent who does this type of thing is terrible... unfortunately there are a large number of people out there doing that...

You need to manage our current escrow strictly, and make sure all timelines and contingencies are followed to the "T" if they are not, then you can cancel. Additionally if you are able to cancel because of buyer lack of performance, then you can cancel your listing agreement for "just cause" your agent breached their fiduciary duty to you...

You can also report them to their broker and to the California Department of Real Estate, and please do give testimonials on websites. :)

That said, do what is best for you and not out of spite or anger towards the agent. It may be smarter to close the deal you have in your hands and just move forward... is hard to say without knowing the details... you may want to get someone else with experience (like an attorney or a third party broker) to look over the deal and the agent for you for a fee... if you don't trust the agent anymore.

Feel free to email me if you have any additional questions...

if you like and find my answer useful, please give it a thumbs up.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 31, 2012
Its pretty outrageous that your agent didnt send you the back-up offer as it is their duty to do so. Additionally, your agent should have vetted the buyer so as to learn of their financial capacity before entering into a contract. The contract provides for the buyer to provide a verification of funds along with a pre-approval within 7 days of acceptance....however, it is pretty standard practice that these are provided with the initial offer so you as the seller are not in the position you are in after you are in escrow. If they were not provided up front your agent should/could have asked for them. If you want out of the deal and they can't provide a proof of funds or loan letter, issue a notice to perform which would give them 2 days to provide and if they can't, you can cancel. I would recommend a meeting with the agent and his manager to get this back on track.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 10, 2012
Practically speaking, very little. You are in escrow with a contract so you must live up to that contract.

Speak to your agent. Trying to prove that someone did not disclose something is a very hard thing to do. Your agent, and if necessary, his or her broker is your best recourse for a complaint,
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 31, 2012
You can go back to that agent, and that buyer and see if they are still interested. You should have seen every offer in the order it was given, unless you told your Realtor otherwise.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 1, 2013
This is an older thread - Curious... How did it all turn out?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 14, 2013
Your agent should present ALL offers received to you. Your agent should not take it upon him/herself to turn down any offer.

Keep in mind your back up offer is just that, a back up in case your current buyer does not perform. If your buyer failed to perform, and your agent willfully withheld a back up offer from you, you may want to seek a legal consultation as you may have a claim.

Kawain Payne, Realtor
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 14, 2013
Jeff & Ron said it best. Its an unfortunate situation but it happens! Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 31, 2012
In my state, all offers must be presented to the seller. I would definitely consult your listing agreement to see if it explicitly spells out how your agent is supposed to handle offers (most likely it will).

Also, in my state we enter in to back up "contracts" that explicitly state which position the contract is in (2nd, 3rd, etc) with the help of an addendum.

Practically I would say that there is not much you can do about it but I would suggest that you have a very candid conversation with your agent about this situation. It sounds like the two of you are not on the same page.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 31, 2012
As others have stated you really need to speak with your agent.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 31, 2012
I dont believe I have enough info to make a solid answer.
I have more questions than answers so far.
I can say your agent should have shown you all offers.
I also should say you are still in a contract with a buyer and you have to stick to it.
As for the "funny stuff" with the back up offers you can consult a real estate attorney.

Harold Sharpe - Broker
So Cal Homes
(951) 821-8211
California Department of Real Estate Broker License # 01312992
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 31, 2012
How did you find out about the offer is your agent did not disclose. Have a frank conversation with your agent and find out the specific reasons he or she turned down the back up offer. There should be a good reason. If you are not satisfied with his or her decision, ask to speak with a manager if available. Start there. The option is always to consult with an attorney, but that can be costly and may or may not be necessary. This is why open and honest communication is important between agents and clients. Good luck!

Elizabeth Sorgen
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 31, 2012
My advice would be to have your agent make sure the 'financially questionable' buyers, who have a contract, perform to the terms and conditions of that contract. Specifically, the on-time removal of all contingencies. If they do not perform, your agent should send them a Notice to Perform and if they do not, you are within your rights to cancel and pursue a different offer.

Kevin McLaughlin, Broker Owner
Berkshire West Realty
Murrieta, CA
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 31, 2012
Once you are in contract, you have to go by that contract and its' terms/deadlines.
Back up is not a binding contract - it's an offer.
If the active contract becomes inactive, then you can review all back up offers and sign
a new contract on the offer that you like best.
All offers are supposed to be presented, unless in your listing agreement it says that your agent won't present offers upon contract signing, or if the back up was verbal (check your listing agreement on that). If you don't like your current contract, prepare a timeline - with all important dates that your buyer has to follow. If the buyer does not perform on time or fails to inform you on something that is due, then it could be your way out of the transaction.

Hope this helps,

Irina Karan
Beachfront Realty, Inc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 31, 2012
In my state the listing agreement specifies whether the seller will be informed of secondary offers. Does your listing agreement address this point? If so, this matter will be easier to discuss.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 31, 2012
Hi Love:

It is your agent's duty and obligation to present any and all offers to you, even if they are backup offers. Your agent works for you.

Although you are currently in escrow, make sure that the loan and other contingency periods are held to. If your current Buyer does not get their loan approval by the loan contingency date, showing a lender approval with conditions, this may be a sign that they are having difficulties and your agent may issue a notice to perform to the buyer. If they do no perform, then move on to your back up offers.

Always have a game plan. If the first buyer backs out, have the next buyer in the wings on standby. I do this all the time. In this market, you never know what will happen with the buyers.

Good luck!

All the best,

Kat Becker, Realtor
Prudential California Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 31, 2012
You are under Contract; that means that you are COMMITTED.
You cannot just cancel a contract because you have a feeling; you have to ride this one out.
If your Agent turned down the other offer, it is because they would not wait.
Have you talked with your Agent about all this?
Did you LISTEN to your Agent?

Good luck and may God bless
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 31, 2012
I am not sure of the situation but if in fact your agent did not disclose the offer they are in violation of California real estate law. ALL offers must be presented to the seller. If you dig further and find out this was indeed the case, you may take action. But be clear on the facts first.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 30, 2012
Thank you, Jane. There's so much more to this situation that seems to be unethical. I will take your advice and make sure I have all the facts before taking action. What kind of action can we take?
Flag Fri Aug 31, 2012
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