The listing agent (acting as a dual agent) used my offer as pressure to invite bidders to create multiple offer scenario.

Asked by Investor, Marietta, SC Wed Feb 27, 2013

I had been watching a property and had spoken once with a local agent. A property I was interested in was suddenly reduced and the listing agent worked in same office as a friend. My friend had the listing agent call and we decided to put in an offer the same day. An hour later, I received a call from the prior agent (different agency than listing) saying listing agent (acting as my dual agent) called to let them know an offer was pending. She waited to send my contract until she received the opposing offer and acted as if she was being helpful by changing my unsigned contract to raise my offer above the other buyer (a client of the prior agency) while fully aware of the bank policy to solicit best and final in a multiple offer situation.

By disclosing my pending offer to an outside party to create a multiple offer, she forced me to raise my bid. Shouldn't she have a fiduciary duty to me or decline dual representation if she was going to solicit offers from other agents with bid?

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Michael Cheng, Agent, San Jose, CA
Wed Feb 27, 2013
Yes, she shouldn't have done that. But, not a whole lot we can do about that now except to let others know about her practices with clients.
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2 votes
My NC Homes…, Agent, Chapel Hill, NC
Thu Feb 28, 2013
To begin with no Seller or Buyer should ever allow one agent to represent both sides in a single transaction. This clearly presents a conflict of interest and despite whatever an agent may say to minimize this their frankly lying and their sole motivation and focus is on retaining the entire commission and nothing more.

Did you sign an exclusive Buyer Broker agreement with your friend or with the listing agent?

Understand the listing agents duty is to represent their sellers best interest. Notifying every agent or potential buyer that an offer cam in in and attempt to get a second or third offer is what they should be doing. Additionally the listing agent (unless you signed a buyer broker agreement with them in which case their now a dual agent) has no confidentiality agreement with you and you should presume their going to use your offer to try and generate a higher bid.

If you feel you were mistreated or taken advantage of my bet advice is to call and speak with your states Real Estate commission and let them know what happened. If there was any wrong doing on the part of the agents involved they'll investigate it and punish them if they find them guilty. They can also explain to you why nothing wrong was done if this is the case.
1 vote
Jim Olive, Agent, Key West, FL
Thu Feb 28, 2013
Again, not knowing all the facts makes answering this difficult, but...I'm a whole lot less concerned about your agent advising others there was an offer on the table. That's a bit sleazy, but acceptable. Her job is to let people know she has a hot commodity and getting people to make offers. What I was concerned with is the agent changing your unsigned offer price. Hello?? Did you authorize her to do that without checking with you first??? That would be a significant concern to me if the facts suggest she was acting beyond her authority. Best of luck with your purchase...
0 votes
We agreed on an amount and the agent was supposed to send me contracts to sign but conveniently held them until others offers came in and then changed my previously agreed upon amount to a higher offer to sign in an effort to seem las if she was helping me get the deal while having full awareness that my offer would be countered even if it was higher. The offer was unsigned paperwork so while I felt this too was inappropriate, it did not have my signature.
Flag Thu Feb 28, 2013
Joanna Morris, Agent, Inverness, FL
Thu Feb 28, 2013
Sounds to me like the price finally got right and it created a sense of urgency on your part and other buyers were doing the same thing. Yes it does create a multiple offer situation and then everyone has to decide how bad do you want the property. A buyer is only going to pay what they feel the property is worth at the time. They may regret it later but if well educated on the market they will make solid decisions.
0 votes
Ken Pujdak,…, Agent, GREENVILLE, SC
Thu Feb 28, 2013
Did you sign a buyers agency agreement with the seller's agency? If you did not then there is no dual agency. If you did sign, then you should have signed a dual agency disclosure form prior making the offer. All brokers must have a client in any transaction. The seller is the default client until the buyer hires them away under the buyer's agreement. Clients are owed confidentiallity not buyer customers. The client's best interest is required to be represented by the broker, not the cusotmers. Even as a customer, you should have been given the SC Agency Disclosure form and a reasonable explaination by the broker as to what it means to you. This should have been done near the beginning of your converstaion with any broker and definiately prior to any negotiations and transaction.

Ken Pujdak, Sales Director
Only Way Realty Greenville
2724 Wade Hampton Blvd., Ste E
Greenville, SC 29615
0 votes
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Thu Feb 28, 2013
Not knowing what really happened, you should know that a dual agent does not have a fiduciary duty to anyone, and if a listing agent is asked if there are other offers, they are ethically obliged not only to answer truthfully but to disclose whether they have written one of them.

All the best,
0 votes
I am not certain why you feel a dual agent would not have a fiduciary duty to anyone, if I listed my home with an agent or purchased my home with an agent and they are earning a commission off the sale or purchase, they have a fiduciary duty to parties who have retained them, that is without question and I am certain every buyer and seller would agree, stating an agent (whether taking on a dual capacity or not) does not a fiduciary duty to their clients is preposterous.
Flag Thu Feb 28, 2013
Let me clarify. I am aware of what happened, as I spoke with the agent but the question allowance did not permit me to include all the details:

The listing agent, who was acting a dual agent and earning dual commission, called and disclosed my bid to another agency and their buyer(s) to create a pressure to bid. She was not asked about offers by the other agent.
Flag Thu Feb 28, 2013
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