Dora Stavrol…, Home Buyer in New York, NY

Is the seller's agent obligated to present every offer to the seller?

Asked by Dora Stavrolakes, New York, NY Tue Jan 15, 2008

I am interested in a home up for sale, i would like to rent with an option to buy and i do not have an agent. i've been speaking with a seller's agent who is unwilling to present the owner with this offer probably because she just wants to make the sale. what should i do? go straight through the listing agent?

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YES!!!!!!!! Go to the listing agent or get yourself a buyer's agent. The seller's agent is in violation of the Code of Ethics by refusing to submit the offer!!!!! Call the agent's manager and you have recourse with the agent's local Board. This is NOT ALLOWED!
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1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 15, 2008
It is against the code of Real Estate ethics for the agent to withhold your offer. I would contact the owner of the Real Estate company and if you get no where there go right to the owner.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 19, 2010
The others have adequately answered part of the questions but I caution you that UNLESS you have a very good REAL ESTATE attorney you should not even consider Rent with option to buy. Often times you live in a place for a while and get to know the idiosyncracys of the place and perhaps even discover problems and unless you have a good attorney you can wind up in a bad position. Just a word of caution from a non-attorney nor agent but one who was saved by a good agent!!!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 16, 2008
All offers must be presented--but the seller has representation so why don't you? Keep in mind that if the home is listed for sale more than likely the seller wants the property sold and move on. Your offer to rent with the option to buy at a later date should be presented and the seller has the option to accept/reject.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 6, 2009
All agents are required by law to present all offers. Period. The agent may have asked the homeowner whether they wouuld be willing to hold a note or rent the property but they should still present the offer and allow the homeowner to say yes or no. There are ways to find homeowners that are willing to do what you require but they are far and few between. If you would like assistance, please contact me. Ralph Windschuh, Century 21 Princeton Properties, 631-467-0009 or
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 5, 2009
Unfortunately, there is often confusion related to a buyers and sellers rights, and an agents responsibilities. The ONLY time that an agent would not have to present any offer is if the seller of the property has given specific written instructions to the contrary. Present your offer in writing, demonstrating that you are qualified, and if the agent will not present the offer, go the agent's broker. That is your legal right, as well as the agent's legal responsibility!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 5, 2009
Dora, I agree with Gail's answer! That is not our place as a listing agent to decide if the seller will or will not take an offer. It is our fiduciary duty to present any and all offers! I would really encourage you to seek out a buyers agent to represent you!

You should read an Agency Disclosure so you can read about all of the different types of ways agents can represent you. That way you can decide what is best for you and your situation. If you need a copy of this please contact me through my website and I will get you a copy. My website is

I hope this information helps! Best Wishes!
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 26, 2008
Renting with an option to purchase is generally meaningless to a homeowner, particularly one who is looking to sell rather than to rent. Obviously, the answer to your question is yes that agents are required to present ALL offers. However, if the agent you presented the offer to is unwilling to present, find another agent. I'm not certain what you mean when you say "I do not have an agent" and that you are "speaking with a seller's agent" and then asking if you should go directly to the Listing Agent? If you don't have an agent, WHO is this seller's agent you are talking to?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 26, 2008
I agree with Gail. In an industry somewhat saturated with poor quality and under-educated professionals you would be doing a great service to yourself, future home buyers and sellers, and well-qualified professionals to report this agent to the agent's manager. The more the "hacks" of the industry are exposed, the better the environment for all involved.
As for your plan of a Lease-Option or Lease-Purchase, I would strongly advise that you speak with a local Realtor. In the current U.S. housing market (depending on the specific location) it may not be the greatest idea to offer a Lease-Option or Lease-Purchase. Although I hold strong faith in the U.S. housing market and it's future recovery, it is very possible that a complete rebound may take 5 or more years (again, depending on the specific location - and why I advise to speak with a local professional). And come the time you are at the mercy of either executing your option at a purhcase price possibly 20-30% higher than the true value or forfeiting your consideration for not exercising your option, you may be stuck between a rock and a hard place. So, again, I would advise you to speak with a local professional and research the ins and outs of Lease-Options before following through with this idea.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 15, 2008
In the absense of specific written instructions from the seller, the listing broker is required to present all offers. I suggest that you talk with the managing broker of the listing broker's office. I suspect you may find an opportunity to at least get your offer considered but I would not anticipate the seller being any more pleased with it than the listing broker.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 15, 2008
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