Leagally, can a real estate agent present a bid without a signature on the bid?

Asked by Nadine, Utica, NY Mon Feb 25, 2008

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Joe Sorrenti…, , Buffalo, NY
Mon Feb 25, 2008
As Gail said, you can do it verbally, present it that is. In order to protect the seller, the buyer and the broker, an agent should deliver an offer in writing to the seller, regardless of who the agent represents and who's buyer it is. People can get pretty nasty if the deal turns sour and you have no proof that the offer existed. 5 minutes before I read this I just negotiated an offer verbally. If someone else comes along before it is signed by both parties, the first could lose out.
Let me ask YOU a question. Let's say you applied to a company for a job 500 miles away that paid $20,000 per year more than your current job that you have been in for over 5 yrs. This new company offers to pay all your closing and moving costs and will also give you a sign-on bonus of $10,000.
Would you quit your current job without getting the new offer in writing?
I rest my case!
2 votes
Dan Therrell, , 36532
Mon Feb 25, 2008
Since a contract cannot be created with an unsigned bid, it would be a waste of time and effort, although not against the law to do so. If the purpose of an unsigned bid is to gauge a seller's interest at a certain price, the agent can make a phone call to the listing agent, or the owner, if it is for sale by owner, and have a verbal discussion. Then a written offer can be prepared, signed, and delivered to the seller.

Dan in Fairhope, AL 36532
2 votes
Mike Kelly A…, Agent, Santa Rosa, CA
Mon Feb 25, 2008
We may have some confusion as to what a "bid" and a "Contract" really mean in this instance. Here in the greatest state of California if you do not have it in writing, signed by both parties, you have NO contract. We've had some "short-sale" listing agents actually presenting offers without the Seller's signature stating it's subject to the "lender approval" so why do we need the Seller's signature? Uh, they OWN the property? We regularly get Assett Managers who will issue a counter-offer with NO signature from their side but insist when our Buyer's sign the counter-offer it is NOW a valid contract! Huh?
I've had agents I know accept a verbal from a buddy of there's only to fine out the deal doesn't materialize and they've told another offer to kiss off. Seller's get real angry when you do that! As Deb stated at the beginning of the thread, since the days of the Magna Carta, get both parties signatures on the deal then you can call it acceptance of the contract.
You bring me an offer with no signature I'm going to throw it right back at you. It's the same B.S. when an agent accepts "per telephone conversaion". You'd better look real nice in a suit when you appear in front of the judge!
1 vote
Gail Gladsto…, Agent, 11743, NY
Mon Feb 25, 2008
In New York, unlike other areas of the U.S., the "sales agreement" is used as an offer sheet. If it is my listing and my buyer, I don't even bother. If it is another Realtor, I will look for the paperwork to be signed, although the signature really means nothing.

so to answer your question, yes your bid can be presented without a signature...it is up to the listing agent as to whether they insist on it or not. It can always be faxed over later.
Web Reference:  http://GailGladstone.com
1 vote
Ken Herrera…, Agent, Las Vegas, NV
Mon Feb 25, 2008
Absolutely True.....A contract with no signature is just another piece of paper.
The key word I would use it that you have something that is unenforceable!!
Web Reference:  http://www.c21infinity.com
1 vote
Deborah Madey, Agent, Brick, NJ
Mon Feb 25, 2008
Many agents will only present offers that are complete, in writing, and with signatures.

Some agents might convey a verbal offer....but absent signatures.....it cannot become a contract.
1 vote
J R, , New York, NY
Mon Feb 25, 2008
In NY, at least the part of NY where I live, we rarely have signed offers.
0 votes
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