Can the seller's agent show me a copy of a competing offer on a house I submitted and offer on? This happened to me, and I have an electronic

Asked by Lexyo, Los Angeles, CA Tue Feb 22, 2011

copy of of the other buyer's written offer-- I didn't think that was legal. I was shocked because it led me to believe that the seller's agent fully disclosed to the offer that came in after us, exactly what our offer was. Is an agent allowed to do that?

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Jeri Creson, Agent, Studio City, CA
Fri Apr 13, 2012
It isn't illegal, if the agent has the seller's express permission. Which I highly doubt is the case. I can only imagine the conversation asking for such a thing…. "hey, you don't mind if I show all your cards to other people during negotiation, do you?"

What it is, and what it shows is a serious breach of etiquette, sense of FairPlay, and downright tackiness. One would have to ask one's self: "Do I wish to do business with someone who conducts business in this way?" The fact of the matter is: Anything someone is willing to do FOR you - that person is also willing to do TO you. Ethics are important - key, really - in this business, as is a pattern and practice of using good judgment. A real estate transaction is quite involved and takes many twists and turns along the way. One of the best ways one can protect one's self when buying or selling real estate is to watch the agent for their sense of ethics and FairPlay - and run the other direction when it becomes clear that the agent doesn't have a sound ethical foundation.
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Dorene Slavi…, Agent, Torrance, CA
Thu Apr 12, 2012
Dear Lexyo,

I have never heard of this practice. I think it's unwise, but I don't know that it's actually illegal. If the agent has permission to share these details from the owner.
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Oggi Kashi, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Tue Feb 22, 2011
I believe as long as you haven't signed a confidentiality agreement and the seller has given his/her agent permission to do so, then the agent is not breaking any rules. Whether or not it's a wise thing to do would be a different subject. As an example, here is the clause dealing with this topic in the San Francisco purchase contract:

"NON-CONFIDENTIALITY OF OFFERS. Buyer is advised that Seller or Seller's representatives may not treat the existence, terms or conditions of offers as confidential unless such is required by law, regulation or a pre-existing written agreement between the parties. "

I hope this helps.

Oggi Kashi
Paragon Real Estate Group DRE 01844627
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