NJ does not have a mandatory homeowner's disclosure law, that's true, but failing to disclose known latent (hidden) defects would be a cause for claims of fraud, I believe (but I'm not an attorney) both civil and criminal. So the bank is on shaky ground if they failed to disclose previously known conditions, such as the septic problem.
Additionally, the septic problem can become VERY expensive. I would STRONGLY recommend that you go no further with this deal until you have a firm quote from a reputable contractor for the cost of whatever fix is needed. The septic system is HIGHLY controlled by the state and there is NO getting an inexpensive (let's say CHEEP) fix. It has to be done right and to the state code.
So, there you are. Unlike Gina, I will say that your agent does not seem to be dealing with a full deck. It has not been explained as to whether this is because of lack of knowledge on the agent's part but in any case, the ultimate relationship for you is not with the agent but with her agency and her broker of record. So the advice that you have been previously given, that is to call the managing broker, (there well may be other brokers in the office) is a good piece of advice.
An agent should be competent in handling the client's needs and should respond by obeying any legal order that you may give, including one to clarify the situation so you understand exactly what has transpired and where the situation stands.
Finally, at this point, you are dealing with a great deal of money and very indistinct definitions. It is always a good thing to have Legal counsel, because a realtor, unless licensed to practice law, cannot act as an attorney and, in my opinion, you have reached the point where having one would be a wise investment.
Best of Luck.
This is clearly not going in the direction you would like it to go. Our recommendation is to take charge of the situation and control what you are able to control.
First, your agent should be an extension of your position and needs he/she doesn't have to agree with your position but should be able to help you "process" what is on the table.
The bank clearly did not accept your offer.....they are offering you a counter. It may be that your offer was the highest of those offer they had but are fishing to see if you are willing to go higher..this is your decision. In situations like these, if the buyer is still interested in the home, a little (and I mean little) movement is better than none. It should give them the signal that you want the home but cannot go any higher.
Septic issues can be costly. Be sure you have an appreciation for what the price range will be for correcting this problem.
I just recently read a post on a blog that say agents should watch what they write and how they word it....
There is such a different way of saying something and talks like this are better done on the phone or in person NOT via email. I would say more but for the fear of a slander lawsuit...I will remain silent.
But get your questions answered before you proceed. Start with your agent's broker, then go to the sellers side.
Keller Williams Atlantic Shore
Once again I see your frustration but you said..."My agent called a day later and told me I won the bid and to read my Email" and then you said..."This time they are not given an amount, they are letting the buyers give their offers and they will take the highest bidder." Which is the most recent information? Obviously your offer was not accepted if they countered. It can be where they countered only your offer but it really wasn't accepted then or do you have to give your final and best?
As far as your agent knowing the listing broker..that honestly comes with the business. From time to time agents from two different brokers work on previous deals together, perhaps worked for the same broker at one time, belong to the same realtor board, etc....Her knowing the broker doesn't have much bearing unless you think she is not working in your best interests as your agent. I know initially you were concerned about lies, etc. She may tell you one thing and then the next because once again she can just be repeating what the listing agent is telling her. Only the listing agent is communicating with the bank so what the bank is actually saying and doing is getting to your agent secondhand. As far as the counter being fair, depending on what your offer was and what the counter is and what the house is actually worth (and its only worth what a buyer will pay for it)...the counter offer may or not be fair. I will provide my clients with all the knowledge so that they make an educated decision. Whether it means they buy the house or don't buy it...I will tell them too so unless the counter is really not fair then she may be trying to guide you as well.
"This time they are not given an amount, they are letting the buyers give their offers and they will take the highest bidder." This was what she sent me. I dont know what the heck is going on. Is it me or is she the most incompetent on record?
It's Gina again, remember me from your other questions? With that being said, I'm unclear as to why you agent would only be interested in the responding to the closing date and not the counter offer? I know that you have been leary from the start on this one and the other day I had told you and am still reiterating that if you do not want to proceed...do not. At this point you are still not under any obligation to. I would call your agent immediately and/or the manager or broker. If they are countering, you have not yet won anything.
Gina Chirico, Sales Associate
Prudential NJ Properties