Listing agent not cooperating

Asked by rbb, 75035 Sat Apr 28, 2012

I went to see a home before I had an agent and the sellers agent attempted to get me to sign a buyers agreement where he would act as my agent and another person from the firm would represent the sellers. After the second showing, I got my own agent and got a stern email from the listing agent about some implied relationship between us even though I never signed anything. I got an agent after the second showing and now the listing agent refuses to talk to my agent over the phone. He told my agent that he will only correspond via email because he feels uncomfortable that he previously spoke with me, and now is not sending timely responses to inquiries from my agent.

They currently have a contingent offer that goes out until late June and I put in a non contingent offer giving them exactly what they wanted in hopes I could bump the other buyer.

Listing agent is being very coy and evasive, possibly violating article 3 of the code of ethics from NAR...What can I do?

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12
Damon Willia…, Agent, Dallas, TX
Sat Apr 28, 2012
Even me being an agent representing a buyer that has never met the other agent before I have come across other agents like this. Some agents flat out don't need to be in this business and you did the right thing getting your own representation. I don't care what the listing agent portrays, their loyalty is with the seller.
Web Reference:  http://www.realtordamon.com
2 votes
Guy Gimenez, Agent, Austin, TX
Sat Apr 28, 2012
Bottom line is that the listing agent is required to present all offers to the seller, even if there is a current contract on the home and regardless of whether the current offer is contingent....UNLESS the seller has requested the listing agent not present any further offers.

While in most cases offers must be presented, in this case, the listing agent is NOT required to pay the buyer's agent commission because the listing agent was the procuring cause of the sale based on your post. As long as you and your agent recongnize that YOU will be required to pay your agent, there is no reason not to continue communications between the parties.

If you feel the listing agent is either not presenting your offer or is not presenting it fairly, you can always contat the seller directly and explain your concerns.
1 vote
Well said.
Flag Sun Apr 29, 2012
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Sat Apr 28, 2012
1. Contact their broker review your concerns.
2. Other agents here on Trulia provided great responses

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1 vote
rbb, Home Buyer, 75035
Sat Apr 28, 2012
The agent is being unresponsive in general, sort of a short email response a day to my agents inquiries for updates about our offer/negotiation that still leaves so much in the air. ONE quick phone call would probably get everyone on the same page, but he refuses to do that.

Also the listing agent and I had a discussion about representation after he had sent me the buyers agreement. He very clearly explained to me that if I was not comfortable with their agency representing both buyer and seller that I could go get my own representation which I did.

Besides that, wouldnt he remain as the representation of the seller and appoint someone from his firm to represent me, ratther than the opposite way around? How could he have possibly been impartial representation for me having previously represented the sellers. This is another reason I ran for the hills.
1 vote
Misty McMill…, Agent, Frisco, TX
Sat Apr 28, 2012
IF there is a legitimate complaint, Contact the agents broker and/or office manager. Tell him/her what is going on. I recommend that your agent contacts the broker and discusses what you feel is going on.

HOWEVER, maybe the listing agent is not responding to questions because they are still under contract with another buyer and they cannot provide you with the information you are requesting. You cannot "bump" another offer if they are under contract whether there is a contingency in place or not. You will have to wait out the contingency period, and even then, the seller can agree to continue with the current offer if they wish. They don't have to take yours if they don't want.

What is it that you are emailing the listing agent about that you can't get an answer to? They are not obligated to give you any information regarding the current offer. And how do you know that your offer is "exactly what they wanted" if they already had it under contract prior to receiving your back up offer?
1 vote
Lori Rea, Agent, Allen, TX
Sat Apr 28, 2012
I would contact the broker.
0 votes
Bruce Lynn, Agent, Coppell, TX
Sat Apr 28, 2012
Agency... every brokerage has their own policy about intermediary, but I would say a typical response is if the agent has a relationship with the buyer, who then wants to make an offer on a listing they have, the broker (with the clients consent) will appoint a new agent to the seller, or take over the seller themselves, and allow the agent with whom you have established a relationship to handle your side of the transaction. It doesn't have to be that way, and you could ask for something totally different if you wanted, or as in your case not agree to intermediary at all.
Intermediary can work to your advantage or disadvantage, just as having totally separate agents can. The real trick is you probably don't know either way until the whole transaction is done and over. So far having different agents does not seem to be working out all that well.

If the current contract is contingent based on the sale of another house, then I probably would not expect updates every day as to the status of your offer. My though is they should probably tell you, we have an offer with a kickout clause. We'll get back to you in X number of days if the buyer cannot remove the contingency. This could also take time if the buyer needs to go back and work on finances, determining if they can buy two homes. Maybe they have an offer pending on their current home, just way too many different situations to guess at what is happening.

I'd give it until next Monday or Tuesday. You should have as good a shot as any in most situations. If it doesn't work out, there are PLENTY of homes on the market. If it doesn't work out, keep an eye on it. We do see lots of contracts fall out these days.
0 votes
rbb, Home Buyer, 75035
Sat Apr 28, 2012
Other buyers contingency was to obtain prequal within 10 days AND close their house by late June which would put closing of the house in question out into July. The reason I say I gave them what they want is because they actively countered my first offer, so I adjusted my offer to give them exactly what they wanted in their counter. My offer had a time limit and they let that expire, in the meantime told us the sellers would sign, but still have not received the signed contract. Listing agent also said he would have to modify the contract to say that the offer was a backup offer. I assumed that since my offer has no contingencies and can close in 30 days that they would have no reason NOT to use their kick out clause. I have notified my agent to get the brokers involved.
0 votes
Tim Moore, Agent, Kitty Hawk, NC
Sat Apr 28, 2012
Most contingent offer, that are contingent on selling another house so they can buy that house, will have some sort of kick-out clause giving the buyers with the contingent offer 3 days (or some time frame) to remove the contingency or they get bumped out. Ask your agent to contact the office broker because your agent is not getting timely replys from the other agent.

As Damon said, some people just should not be in this business. Agents like that one give us all a bad name when they act so aggressively with just their goals in mind.
0 votes
Bruce Lynn, Agent, Coppell, TX
Sat Apr 28, 2012
Be patient....if it is the right house it will work out.
The agent should be working on behalf of the seller and not themselves, but it is hard to know in this situation and in probably ever situation if it is the agent or the seller who is being slow.

Also it depends on what the contingency was. If it was financing only they may continue to work the first offer and not even respond to yours. If the contingency was to sell another house, then typically the 1st buyer has some time period to remove that contingency and move forward. If that happens, then they may offer you the chance to be a backup contract.

There's no rule about needing to talk on the phone. Most transactions can be handled by email. I really wouldn't worry about that. There's plenty of transactions that happen like this.

If you really want the house and feel like there is some ill will at this point, offer the selling agent a bonus. Give them an extra $500 of your buyer's agent commission for taking time to show the house and provide you with information. It's a good faith gesture. Discuss this with your buyer's agent and let them do the talking. Now they might not be happy either, but I would think it would not be a big deal for them either since you took very little of their time and dropped a contract in their lap from what I can tell.

It shouldn't but it can cause some ill will or bad feelings sometimes when a buyer has taken the time of the listing agent and then brings in a 3rd party buyer's agent. You buyer's agent really should be the one showing you homes if you want to use one. The seller's agent should do everything they can to sell the house, and even if it is disappointing for this to happen, it does happen now and then and they need to learn to work through it.

I'm not a lawyer, but you also might want to look up information on procuring cause. It could be that your current agent is not due a commission, even if you did not sign a buyer's rep with the first.
http://homebuying.about.com/od/realestateagents/qt/Procuring…
So that's something to think about.

Another idea....far down the list of what I think is a great idea, is that you not use your current agent, but call the broker or manager of the listing company. Explain your situation and ask that one of the agents in their office represent you in the transaction. Interview them and make sure they are the right fit for you and will really represent you. Sign a buyer's rep with them just for this one transaction. That way the broker or office manager of the company is involved, they're motivated to make both sides of the transaction happy, and maybe the deal gets done.

If it doesn't and you really like your current agent, go back to them for future showings and buys. Just be up front with everyone about what your intentions are.
0 votes
Elizabeth Mo…, Agent, McKinney Tx, TX
Sat Apr 28, 2012
I agree with Andrea. Your agent may also want to inform his/her broker of the situation.
0 votes
Andrea Brooks, Agent, Plano, TX
Sat Apr 28, 2012
I would suggest asking your agent to follow up with the listing agent's broker.
0 votes
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