If my home is listed and my listing agent sells it to a family member does he have to disclose that to us, Washington State

Asked by Diana McDowell, Arlington, TX Mon Aug 9, 2010

home is in a short sale scenario. low ball offer from a limited liability corp, when we did more research on the buyer we found out that it was a family member of our listing agent and that he did not disclose that to us. We were in a short time frame and feel like he took advantage of us. lender has been reviewing the transaction for the past 2.5 months and still no update.

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11
Dan Tabit, Agent, Issaquah, WA
Mon Aug 9, 2010
Wamom,
As I understand what you are saying, the buyer is an LLC which includes a family member of your listing agent and the listing agent did not disclose this to you, but you found out on your own. This does sound troubling to me. You are in an awkward situation, you need to sell and to sell for the most you can as quickly as you can. The lender will ultimately decide whether the offer was a lowball or not.
You will likely be well served to speak to an attorney. Where you have been in process with this sale for 2.5 months, you don't want to jeopardize this sale and have to start from scratch without a full understanding of your whole circumstance. Just because the buyer is related to the agent doesn't make it a bad offer, but it should have been disclosed up front so you wouldn't have these concerns. If you need an affordable legal opinion, let me know. I can refer you to some attorneys I am not related to.
DanTabit@Northstone.net
3 votes
Jo Soss, , Bremerton, WA
Tue Aug 10, 2010
Dan has a great answer. I like his statement "Just because the buyer is related to the agent doesn't make it a bad offer, but it should have been disclosed up front so you wouldn't have these concerns."

Have you confronted your agent? What was their response? I too would speak with a real estate attorney. Good Luck, let us know how it goes!
1 vote
Tonya Brobeck, , Everett, WA
Mon Aug 9, 2010
Wow is really all I can say right now. These types of unethical scenarios are screaming throughout the market and unfortunately more targeted towards distressed sellers. I would go as Dan suggested and run it by a real estate lawyer.
1 vote
Michael Weav…, Agent, Carmel, IN
Tue Aug 10, 2010
Most definitely! Disclosure in this business is HUGE. The fact that your agent "forgot to mention" they have a family member offering on the house, is very deceitful. I want to take this time to apologize on behalf of our profession. Most of us take pride in what service we offer the community,as we give our heart and soul to giving our best. It is unfortunate that you not only were short selling your house, but that you had a shady Realtor on "your side." It is very clear, from the information that you provided he took advantage of the situation, for his gain. Please know there are some bad agents out there, but PLEASE PLEASE don't think we are like that. When it comes time to buy your next home, I wish you the best of luck!
0 votes
Joan Lorberb…, Agent, Boca Raton, FL
Tue Aug 10, 2010
Yes, this should have been disclosed to you. Not only is this unethical but, perhaps, it also goes against your state laws governing real estate licensees.
Further, banks and their servicers require an affadavit signed by all parties in the short sale transaction that the transaction is an "arms length" one. The purpose of this is to mitigate short sale fraud. I recognize that you, as a short seller, might not be in the best financial position to retain an attorney but still I suggest you seek legal counsel as to whether the relationship between the agent and the buyer is arms length. Each bank has their own affadavits regarding this and while I believe all require that there be no relationship between the seller and the agent the fact that the agent and the buyer have a relationship might also be part of your bank's affadavit.
0 votes
Beth Fiorda, Agent, Woodinville, WA
Mon Aug 9, 2010
Yes, this should have been disclosed to you. They lising agent should have YOUR best interest at heart. I hope this all works out for you.
0 votes
Jirius Isaac, Agent, Kenmore, WA
Mon Aug 9, 2010
Wow! is really all I can say right now as well. I cannot believe he did not tell you, but, it is a short sale & as long as you are not going to have a deficeincy against you at closing, it should not matter at the end of the day. I have investors make offers on my short sales all the time when another offer does not come in in a timely manner. Sometimes investors are the only ones willing to deal with the waiting that comes with a short sale. Wait and see what the bank comes back with, and if you are free & clear, I would just get rid of it.

Good luck to you.
0 votes
Janine Kowal…, Agent, Jensen Beach, FL
Mon Aug 9, 2010
As a Realtor , I would have disclosed the relationship in the contract
0 votes
Ben Lunsford, Agent, Lynnwood, WA
Mon Aug 9, 2010
I agree with Mary that if he was worth his salt, he would have disclosed that. If you look back at your "Law of Real Estate Agency" (which he's required to give you) it says in section 4 letter b that his duty is to "timely disclose to the seller any conflicts of interest" and in my opinion having a family member as a buyer is a conflict of interest.
0 votes
Christopher…, Agent, Methuen, MA
Mon Aug 9, 2010
I agree, that should have been disclosed to you.
0 votes
Mary Sunde, Agent, Bellevue, WA
Mon Aug 9, 2010
I would say that whether or not it is required the agent should disclose that to you.
Mary
0 votes
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