Home Buying in Roseville>Question Details

Eroomk, Home Seller in Roseville, CA

Can a seller cancel the purchase contract if they find out their agent did not present a better offer written 3 days prior in California?

Asked by Eroomk, Roseville, CA Tue Jul 10, 2012

The seller' agent withheld putting the listing on MLS for approximately 30 days. Withheld offer 1, presented a dual agency offer 2 and actively tried to conceal offer 3 that was for 23k more than the dual agency offer she presented. Now the buyer hired an attorney and is demanding sale performance.

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Ron Thomas’ answer
Jim is right;
It is an incomplete story at the least,
Many of the supposed FACTS would be CONFIDENTIAL,
and, although you are relating the facts as the Seller,
You are at best, a BUYER with no interest in the transaction.

There are many factors which raise the hair on the neck.

Interesting, very interesting!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 10, 2012
At this point, you have to let your lawyer make the decisions.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 10, 2012
That is an outrageous story (outline) . Did the dual agent give an explanation for her / his actions? Is the buyer an innocent? Or do buyer and agent have some sort of "side agreement". You have an interesting introduction to a story here. Could you come back on to this thread and write out the whole case? You may want to consult with your attorney before you do that, but it sounds fascinating.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 10, 2012
Jim Walker, Real Estate Pro in Carmichael, CA

First, I agree with comments stating the Seller needs to obtain legal advice at this time. I can see multiple paths to both rectify the Listing Agent's unethical transgressions and address the Buyer's threat of a Specific Performance claim.

I also believe Dual-Agency can be executed correctly; however, understanding "advantageous advice" may be lost can be a sobering deterrent for any Seller - especially when you have an unethical Dual Agent!

"The seller' agent withheld putting the listing on MLS for approximately 30 days."

Note that if the Listing Agent belongs to the local MLS they likely have MLS rules stating when a Listing must be released to the MLS after a Listing Agreement is signed and unless there is a Seller-signed Waiver to delay the Listing.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 10, 2012
Ugh... We all hate to hear stories like this... so sad. and that agent has committed major ethics violations and will probably lose his license if not more.
I also agree with the other comments and think the agent will be liable for the sellers potential loss. but, the sellers will need to get legal advise before cancelling the contract.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 10, 2012

That's a great question! It's unfortunate but there are many agents that double end deals and will set aside other offers that are much better to present their own. It is critical that all offers are presented to the seller regardless of price or terms. It is the seller who chooses the offer to accept and of course the seller always asks for our advise, but it should come down to the net for the seller. This is unethical behavior and should definately be looked into by their broker and a real estate attorney.

I don't agree with John who states "A seller should never accept any dual agency" as there is dual agency when one or more agent of the same company writes an offer on the same property or the listing agent and the selling agent are with the same company. So there are different types of dual agency that should be addressed to the seller at the listing appointment. The seller should always try to be aware of the right questions to ask an agent and should interview several before making a choice of which agent to hire.

Good luck with your situation.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 10, 2012
As a broker I would say the buyer with a signed contract has the right to expect that contract to be performed. But this truly is a question for an attorney who can protect the seller and determine if the broker has any legal liability for their actions.
If I may... this is another example of why sellers should state up front in their listing agreement that they will not accept any dual agency offers.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 10, 2012
Listing agents can only withhold listings from MLS with explicit written permission of seller.

Withholding offers to double-end her own deal is definitely cause for an ethics infraction. Let your attorney give you advise what to do. But agent's behavior definitely needs to be reported to DRE and the local MLS.
Actions like this give the whole real estate industry a bad name and need to be stopped.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 10, 2012

Great question!

All offers must be presented to the seller until the close of escrow.

Sellers must see all offers that have submitted by the buyers in writing. If a real estate agent active conceals from the seller an offer that was presented by a buyer, the real estate agent can get into some serious trouble.

The attorney demanding sales performance should be able to provide an adequate picture of what has occurred thus far.


Ahmad Zeki, J.D.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 10, 2012
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