Home Buying in Saint Louis>Question Details

Barbara, Home Buyer in Saint Louis, MO

A Real estate agent submitted her buyer's contract to the listing agent for a bank owned property.

Asked by Barbara, Saint Louis, MO Tue Mar 25, 2008

The home had been on the market for approx five months. The sales contract was accepted by the listing agent. The bank made a counter offer with $5,000.00 to be helt at their title co. The agent's buyer agreed to the $5,000.00 but made a counter offer. In the process of waiting to see if the offer would be excepted the lisiing agent called and said he had taken another buyer's offer and the house was sold. Is the ethical?

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As someone who works frequently with bank and other corporate owned properties, I would echo Dale's comments. In these situations the corporation always reserves the right to negotiate, accept, or reject offers regardless of the order in which they were submitted. There was nothing unethical done by the listing agent. Remember, the listing agents only fiduciary responsibility is to their client, not to you as a buyer. When we act as a buyers agent we always encourage our clients to write an offer as soon as they decide on the home, and for the best possible price. However, even this does not ensure that you will be the winning bidder.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 26, 2008
Banks start out by telling you that they will accept the offer that is in their best interests and that they will not pay any attention to the order in which the offers are made. Having an offer on the table being negotiated means absolutely nothing to a bank. Please note that the LISTING agent does not have the legal right to accept an offer. They have a legal obligation to present any and all offers that they receive to the property owners (which may be the bank, a homeowner, or a combination of people and institutions). They are required to present the offers as they are received, even if another offer is in the process of being negotiated since the other offer was not yet accepted (if it had been accepted, they would still have been required to present it until the point that the contract had closed and ownership had transferred). I'm sorry you lost out, but even if a bank had not been involved and it was a contract between two individuals, this can happen. That's one of the reasons why Realtors often tell people to give their best offer up front, don't waste time trying to get the price down really low and risk losing the property if you really want it.
Web Reference: http://www.yourstlhome.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 25, 2008
Barbara,
Until you have a written acceptance on all terms of the contract, there is still an opportunity for someone else to purchase it. It is frustrating to be in negotiations and in the middle of counter-offering, and have the rug pulled out from under you. Unfortunately, the bank owned properties often sit for a long time and then all of a sudden there are multiple offers. And it frequently happens that there are delays in getting the accepted papers back from the bank assett manager who signs the documents. I hope you have better success in your next attempt. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 25, 2008
Until every part of the contract is agreed upon, there is no agreement. The bank was able to take another offer because you did not have the full agreement on the contract.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 25, 2008
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