Home Selling in 94549>Question Details

ffoote, Home Seller in New York, NY

What can I do if I determined that my listing agent and the buyer knew each other and did not disclose their relationship.?

Asked by ffoote, New York, NY Mon Jul 22, 2013

My listing agent presented a low ball offer to me last August. I was taken back that I didnt get any offers even though I lowered my asking price. When the offer was presented I rejected it. My broker was working me over hard with comps of other homes with backyards and pools but were smaller houses on smaller lots.
I had 1 1/3 acres in the woods of lafayette ca. So after a middle ground between my asking and their 1st offer we closed on the house. My realtor represented both the buyer and the seller. She said to me that these people came in and loved the house but had to do many changes to the layout and did not want to pay my asking price. After the close of escrow I heard them talking about events they went to a year before. Then I realized they knew each other! How do I know my realtor was even showing the house when in fact she could have been keeping the house on ice until the buyer had his house sold. What can I do?
I also noticed that I paid for a home buyers warranty.

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Ron Thomas’ answer
Most importantly;
KNOWING someone is not a disclosable "relationship".
You had to have signed the form for her to represent you both in a Dual Agency Agreement.
You had the chance to read all the documents, include that you were paying for the Warranty:
You cannot blame these things on her!
You don't mention how much the selling price was, but I can imagine.
You have sold the house, which was your objective, and now you taste sour grapes.
Get over it, and move on.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 23, 2013
Ron - I understand what you are saying however, the people she represented were also real estate agent. My listing agent cold called me for 3 weeks until I relented and gave into hiring her. She said she had a marketing approach that my other realtor did have. After 1 month with her I realized she did the same thing and was pressing me to lower my price. I wonder if she put this house on ice until her real clients were ready to buy two months later just as I was taking it off the market.
It is possible she was really working for them all along and went through the motions.
I am meeting with attorney to see if we have a case. When I received the appraisal of the house after it sold, there were listings that she never showed me as comps. That would have help me to stand firm on my price. Instead she showed me houses that had pools and large back yards that were for sale at the time. Really dishonest.
Flag Tue Jul 23, 2013
I respectfully disagree that sellers always pay for home warranties. We work in four counties and usually the buyer or buyer's agent pays for it so as not to be seen as nitpicking small amounts.

If the listing agent had a relationship with the buyer they should have disclosed that to you. You need to consult a real estate attorney to find out what your rights are, but there are things you can do without taking legal action, such as filing a complaint with the DRE and/or their local MLS. That said, proving these things is very difficult, especially in a he said/she said situation such as this.

Another thing you can do is post a review of your experience on yelp and other similar sites, but make sure to be factual.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 23, 2013
Sellers should always provide a home warranty. This is absoluely normal practice in California, although you should have been told about that in the course of the transaction.

If you didn't get any offers when your home was listed for sale, even when you lowered the price, then assuming the home was listed for sale on the MLS and that your agent marketed it for sale online etc., the likelihood is that it was overpriced. The Lafayette market has been strong for a while now and well-presented, properly marketed homes have been selling quickly, provided they were not over-priced.

Having said all that, I believe your agent should have disclosed that the buyers were friends, if that was the case. In addition, when I list homes for sale, I won't represent both sides of the transaction as I believe it reduces the level of service I can provide to my seller. It surprises me that more sellers do not seem to care about that.

Bernard Gibbons
J Rockcliff Realtors
Web Reference: http://bernardgibbons.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 23, 2013
To start, paying a home warranty is a normal seller cost.
I believe the relationship should have been disclosed - particularly if they are friends - but if the house was listed in the MLS, and held open, it probably got fair exposure.
A real estate attorney would be the next step - with a short consult they can likely help you figure out if there is a further case.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 22, 2013
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