Buyer's agent took a HUGE chance in exposing the Seller to major financial exposure if the home had been burglarized, an accident occurred while painting was being done or God forbid, a fire or storm damage.
Is reporting this individual something Mr. Seller should pursue? ABSOLUTELY! I follow the law and have experienced having to put movers on hold and get a hotel when my Friday afternoon funding did not take place until Monday morning. And, the Seller's agent GAVE ME THE KEYS! I was not in real estate then and as a matter of fact, it was first home. It is what it is folks, the law is clear on this subject and I prefer Frances to protect the integrity of my profession by filing the complaint.
Thank you for sharing Frances!
I disagree with the other posts.
Let me ask you this: How would you feel if this agent did this toa friend of yours?
Unless you do something they probably will. My suggestion is to write a letter to the agent's broker and explain the situation. I don't think that there are monetary damages, however, if you don't say something, it will probably happen again.
If you do not hear a response from the broker, then I would consider filing a greivance with either the department of Real estate OR the local association of REaltors.
One more thing...who gave the Realtor the keys?
Normally in a real estate transaction the transfer of the deed does not record until the loan funds. I don't know what Texas law is about, but talk also with YOUR Realtor.
As to whether or not you should file a complaint? Since the property closed and funded, I wouldn't necessarily file a formal complaint, but should you decide to do so, you'll want to file it with the Texas Real Estate Commission at http://www.trec.state.tx.us.
However, I would recommend at writing a letter to the agents involved to express your dissatisfaction with their actions. Many people believe "no harm, no foul" and won't think twice about repeating the same actions again unless they are told that what they are doing is wrong. Hopefully this is the first and the last time that the agents will release keys prior to funding.
But know that YOU are liable for whatever happens to or whatever happens on the property until the funds are issued!!! Period.
TREC doesn't have time to look into every complaint? I bet if they had more than one small complaint on the same realtor.... they would look into it!!!
Save others from this bad realtor!!!
File a complaint!!!
If I may take this chance to interrupt your question with a note to buyers , sellers and agents. Just because of problems like this I , and a lot of seasoned agents in Texas, leave Fri. closings to Cash sales.
I do not know if this was a Fri. closing but most of us know Fri closings do not go smoothly, if and when they close they seldom fund. I have had many a buyer left stranded.
And Lucy was right , with out a buyers tempory lease no one shoud have been in this home.
What if this was the one time in 10000 that the lender did not fund, something was wrong with the paperwork.
What if, as Lucy stated, the paint spilled, they put newspapers all over , started crying, drinking beer and smoking and the house burned down with them in it.
Boy there can be some what if's.
Thank you for your decision...and for helping to make this industry adhere to the professional standards that are in place to protect Buyers and Sellers...and to hopefully help real estate agents better understand and appreciate their responsibilities to their clients.
Alan Wynn - Realtor
Like NO ONE Else!
The attitudes that I read in some of these posts...no harm - no foul, let sleeping dogs lie, pick and choose your battles in life, etc...are exactly why things like this happen to Buyers and Sellers in the first place. Who gave the keys to who and when really doesn't matter...there is no clear cut procedure for this anyway. But what does matter is that you as the Seller were put into an extremely dangerous situation.
Until the Buyers loan is funded, you as the Seller have complete and 100% responsibility for the property. That is one reason you don't cancel your homeowners insurance until after the actual funding date. If the Buyer had caused accidental damage to the property...like a fire...or had fallen off of a ladder and injured themselves or the keys had gotten into someone elses hands and the property was vandalized...any number of things...you as the Seller would have been responsible. I am sure you know all of this already. And fortunately you were luck and none of this happened.
But here's the thing...
If you do not do anything about what happened, this sort of unprofessional behavior will continue and the next time it happens, the Seller may not be so lucky. Our business is one of professional standards. And to take such a casual attitude towards it as I have read in these posts is one reason we as real estate agents are not respected as we should be.
The Texas Real Estate Commission has a procedure for filing complains against the real estate community for issues just like this. The procedure was put in place for a reason...so that we can stop these kinds of things from happening again. And sometimes, TREC may even create a standard to cover this sort of situation if they feel it is important enough. But if they don't hear about it...not much they can do.
Our Code of Ethics states that it is our responsibility as agents to our clients to protect and provide for their best interests. My opinion...I don't see that this was done in your case. And I believe the real issue is...were you represented properly by your agent.? If you don't at least file a complaint, you are doing the real estate industry a disservice. To me, this was not a minor issue...it could have turned out quite badly
As you can see, I feel very strongly about these kinds of issues. And only you and the many other Buyers and Sellers that these types of things happen to can help us in clean up this industry. Too many agents take a much too casual approach on how they do business and in the end it usually affects their clients.
Again, this is my opinion but you are in a position here to make a difference.
Alan Wynn - Realtor
Like NO ONE Else!
As you can see, the consensus surely is that the buyer's agent should not have released the keys to the buyers until their loan actually funded. You can't wait for the recording, because, depending upon where you are, that can take time. The seller hasn't sold the house until the money changes hands...FUNDED!
The real problem here is who gave the buyer's agent the keys to the home? The buying side of the transaction should have access to the house for a final walk-thru, but not retain possession of keys until the actual closing. If your realtor gave the buyer's agent the keys, that was a mistake as well -- or if the title agent was not given explicit instructions when to hand out keys, that is a mistake on the listing agent's side as well.
I am the Professional Standards chairman for our Board of Realtors, and I am not sure this case would be forwarded to us for a hearing, if it were filed, because there does need to be more clarification. As tough as this is, now you know how critical it is to have all procedures clearly spelled out in advance. If it is any consolation, however, the buyer's most likely would have been liable, if the coverage date for insurance, the actual date of closing on the bank's loan papers, and all the documents still read the actual date of closing, not the funding date. That means if something happened to damage the property, they would have been the"constructive" owners and therefore, liable. I am not an attorney, but procedurally, in closings, that is the case.
Hope this helps.
Carol Wilsey, Broker-Owner
Exceptional Properties of SW Florida
No, they should not touch your house until the loan is funded and the title is recorded to under their name.
We do not hand over keys to either buyers agent nor buyers before close of escrow. What happens if there was problem with funding and somehow the buyers can't get the loan at the last minute (change jobs? Lenders closing - we heard that a few times last year), or if whatever they do caused damage to the house/?
That's just not the right thing to do. I assume you close escrow with no further incidents, but I think you are justified to file a complaint against either your agent or the buyers agent (whoever allows them to do so) if you want to, or you should at least let the broker know how inappropriate that is.
The first question that is going to be asked when you file that compliant is " How did their agent get the keys?" The reason for this question is that their agent was not to of had the keys until closing and funding either. As stated by Carol Ann it is your agent that was in the wrong or the Title company..Quite often they are left with the Title company until closing if the seller has signed.
The buyers agent represents the buyer, the Listing agent represents the seller
I hope this clears up some of your questions, a compliant will also be a compliant against our agent
I applaud you for going through with your complaint filing and SHAME ON YOU agents that advised otherwise. It would almost make me think, if I were a Mr. or Mrs. J Public, that you may be some of the very ones that didn't take special precautions that this type of thing DIDN'T occur on your watch.
Just my opinion and I'm sorry if I offended anyone but we have to watch out how the public preceives our practices. I value my license as I am sure you all do.
I personally would not pursue the matter further. The buyers were obviously thrilled to be the new owners and anxious to get into the house. Many sellers would not have an issue with the buyers getting into the house on faith that the funding would occur. You happen to be one who did.
Check with your agent first to make sure he/she didn't receive a call asking, "Do you think your seller would mind if the buyer's have the keys tonight since we know the funding will occur tomorrow?" The agent could have given the buyer's agent the go ahead thinking it wouldn't be a big deal to you.
Great question. I have two questions for you - Has the laon funded yet? If so then there should really not be a problem and you might (through your agnet) be able to charge rent for one day or however many days the bueyr had occupied the house prior to funding. The second question is how did the buyer agent get access to the keys? You really need to talk to your realtor and if you think the buyer agent acted wrongly then you can visit the Texas Real Estate Commission and file a complaint against him/her.
I don't know the complete story but (acting as the devils advocate if you allow me to) the buyer agent could have had a good reason to do give the the key or open the hosue for them (i.e. bueyr's did not have a place to spend the night).
Hope this helps.