Home Buying in Portland>Question Details

Jyl, Home Buyer in Portland, OR

Am i supposed to get a copy of my contract from my agent once the deal is done?

Asked by Jyl, Portland, OR Wed Dec 9, 2009

I recently bought a house and the house was left with much personal property and debris (and filth) in it. The previous owner just decided it would be my problem to deal with (and pay for) so this issue is likely going to small claims court. I am trying to mediate first and found that i have no contract to cite information from, as my realtor never gave me any copys of the documents i signed (ie: earnest money agreement, etc) and now i'm unable to get a hold of her. I have all the purchase documents from escrow, but that's it. What i'm really in need of is the exact part of a purchase contract where it says that the property must be left free of debris and personal property. Can anyone help me out? This was not a short sale, was not sold "as-is", and the contract was very standard. We didn't add any provisions. THANKS to anyone who can help!

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That is an unfortunate situation and I imagine very frustrating! If you know what office your broker is in you can call the front desk and ask to speak to her Principle Broker. He or she should be able to assist you in either A. getting your realtor to return your call or B. providing you with a copy of your contract, or both! Good luck!

Sara Lewis
The Hasson Company Realtors
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 9, 2009
In addition to Oregon law, the REALTOR Code of Ethics requires delivery of copies upon signing. If your broker belonged to the multiple listing service in the Portland metro area, then she also had be a REALTOR member of a local real estate board. This board is the organization responsible for enforcement of the Code of Ethics.

Hence, when you talk to the principal broker of the broker who represented you, if you meet with any resistance, be sure to tell him/her that you aware of the requirements for delivering copies, and you will file complaints with the local real estate board and the State of Oregon if you don't get matters resolved to your satisfaction.

It sounds like you're handling things well on your own. However, if your damages get beyond the jurisdiction of small claims court, don't forget to consult an attorney. You may want to talk to one anyway if you don't know the small claims court limits.

Best of luck,

Craig Loughridge
Web Reference: http://www.bybryson.com
4 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 9, 2009
Hi Jyl - I am sorry that you did not get what you needed in purchasing a home. You have a lot of wonderful answers here already- I just wanted to add that most of the time- I give my clients their copies as they sign them - so you have multiple copies by the time we are done. The offers go back and forth and you would have received copies as the signatures were collected...BUT saying that ...I DO NOT do another copy once the deal is closed...I have always "assumed" (which may be bad on my part) that the buyer or seller would have kept all the copies they had received during the process. So, I hope everything gets squared away for you.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 9, 2009
Hi Jyl,

You're not only supposed to get a copy, it's a legal requirement. Following is pertinent text from Oregon law (OAR 863-015):

"Offers to Purchase

"(1) When a real estate licensee receives an offer to purchase real property or a counter-offer, the licensee must give the individual signing the offer or counter-offer a true, legible copy thereof.

"(2) A real estate licensee must promptly deliver to the offeror or offeree every written offer or counter-offer the licensee receives.

"(3) The licensee must maintain a written record of the date and time of each written offer or counter-offer delivered pursuant to section (2) of this rule and of the seller’s or buyer’s response. The licensee must maintain this record as required under OAR 863-015-0250, and if the seller rejects the offer or counter-offer, the licensee must provide a true copy to the offeror.

"(4) When a licensee receives a written acceptance of an offer or counter-offer to purchase real property, the licensee must deliver within three banking days true, legible copies of the offer or counter-offer, signed by the seller and buyer, to both the buyer and seller.

"(5) Real estate licensees must include all of the terms and conditions of the real estate transaction in the offer to purchase or, directly or by reference, in the counter-offer, including but not limited to whether the transaction will be accomplished by way of deed or land sales contract, and whether and at what time evidence of title will be furnished to the prospective buyer."
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 9, 2009
You need to call your agent's Principle Broker and raise HELL. Not getting copies of contracts you have signed is a violation of an agents fiduciary duties to their client. Since you can't get ahold of your agent, I'm quessing that she is no longer in the business, make your problem her Principle Brokers problem. Realtors are held to high standards, as they should be, and your agents' conduct reflects poorly on all of us. I hope this problem gets settled to your satisfaction. Good luck.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 9, 2009
I would recommend contacting the main office for your broker, as the principal broker for that office should have a full set of documents for your transaction. In the sale agreement that we commonly use, there is a clause roled into the "possession clause," which states that the seller is to remove all personal property (including trash and debris) that is not a part of the transaction and deliver possession to the buyer at a mutually agreed date and time. It's likely that your contract had that specified.

I hope this helps.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 9, 2009
your lender should also have a copy of the contract, as well as the appraiser. if you know how to contact your loan officer, or mortgage broker, or appraiser, you can obtain a copy that way too.

everyone else is right. you should have had a copy the moment you signed something. And the principal broker is required to have it on file in their office. But if that doesnt work, call the mortgage broker.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 9, 2009
Yes the agent is required to give you a copy of the contract. If you can't get her and she works for a company, then call the broker in charge. Whoever did the closing for you would also have to have a copy of the contract so you should also try to contact them. In my state, we do not close until a seller moves out completely so this could have been handled prior to closing by the seller either removing the debris or you (the buyer) being compensated before the seller received their proceeds.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 9, 2009
Jyl, Craig responded quite well below. However, there are times where once a transaction closes, the principal broker will actually close the file to outside sources due to potential litigation possibilities (I've seen this happen). This does not mean you are not entitled to your copies -- your (rookie - ugh! ;-) broker should have given you copies all along the process in a timely fashion. So if your broker failed to get you copies, and the principal broker is less than gracious in supplying you copies in a timely fashion, you might want to make a short call to your attorney to "pry" your rightfully-waiting documents to be forthcoming. Hope you get your home cleaned up quickly. Merry Christmas! :-)
Web Reference: http://www.sellingsalem.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 21, 2009
Thank you all so much for your answers!!

While i do have a few micellaneous copies that my agent emailed me for my signature (which i signed, scanned, and emailed back to her), I don't have the bulk of the documents, nor do i have a copy of anything signed by the seller. I just wrote an email to the principle broker and am expecting to hear back very soon, considering all the info i just learned about this being a legal requirement. I really appreciate all your input. This website has been an incredibly valueable tool for me in learning the "ropes" and providing the answers that my (brand new) agent unfortunately didn't know.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 9, 2009
Jyl, I'm so happy you brought this question to this forum. With as much experience as I have (licensed since 1979) the truth is that I'm not sure our current forms in Oregon cover this issue. If they don't, and you didn't add anything into one of the blanks, you will have a difficult time siting the contract to get your remedy. However, I'm not an attorney and you need to consult one on this issue, even if you only take it to small claims court. Even if the contract doesn't address this issue, Oregon statute may. And you won't know if you don't consult a good real estate attorney. The emphasis is on "real estate" attorney. There aren't many who specialize in real estate, so ask around. I'm going to check our forms, and consult my own legal resources (OAR Broker's legal hotline) to be sure I'm up to speed on this one. It's never happened to any of my clients, but I can see how it could in the future. In Oregon the Broker is required to get you copies of anything you sign. I do this via email routinely with all my clients since I keep copies of all signed documents on my computer, so it's not a hard thing to keep up with. The escrow company should have a complete copy, and the office where your broker works will have a copy--even if the broker is no longer there. You should be able to get one easily from either source.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 10, 2010
Yeah, you know, it's hard not to get a copy of the P&SA. Some agents still use NCR forms, which beg for someone to take a copy off your hands. Then, there are the counteroffers, the scans to email, the Escrow Instructions asking you to ensure that the terms of the P&SA have been met so far, the loan documents that you sign stating that all the terms of the P&SA have been met . . .

Having apparently dropped through the cracks, the office manager of your agent's brokerage certainly has a copy that you can obtain.

But to answer your question, no. As Craig Loughridge points out, you are supposed to get a copy of the contract every time there's a signature or acknowledgement, ASAP. Of course, if you're meeting in a coffee shop to sign a page, you might not get the copy immediately. But as soon as the Agent is near one of these new-fangled copying thingies, they're obliged to make you one and get it off to you post haste.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 9, 2009
Hi Jyl,

Wisconsin requires Realtors to provide a copy of every contract drawn during the transaction upon signing it. As a client, you are entitled to a copy of your transaction documents. The offer to purchase indicates that the property must be free of all personal debris and personal property except personal property belonging to current tenants (if any), or that sold to the buyer or left with the buyer's consent. The items may have been included in the "additional items included in the purchase price" line. If there were many items included, a bill of sale may have been appropriate. If all the items were left behind, the seller may be liable for them and consulting a mediator or attorney is advised, so you took the right step! Hope that helps!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 9, 2009
Sorry April...and a big thanks for Charlotte N.C.......................................
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 9, 2009

Hope all turns out well and you get much joy from your new home...Hope you'll keep us updated maybe we will all learn something from your experience...

To all the Oregon Agents thanks for representing Oregon so well in assisting Jyl.... thumbs up to all of you

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 9, 2009
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