We put in an offer on a short sale. The sellers signed off on it, and the listing agent told our agent that

Asked by Tressa101, Richmond, VA Thu May 14, 2009

she thought the bank would believe the bid was too low. She then told our agent that she thought a particular number would be the minimum the bank would probably accept.

Then our realtor disclosed to her (via email, without my approval) that the amount she suggested was within our budget and to let the loss mitigator know that we can afford that much to see where it goes from there.

What recourse can I take now? I want the house, but I didn't want to pay our maximum budget, and it certainly wasn't his right to disclose what our budget is. Obviously, I feel like he isn't representing our best interests at this point.

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Dee Mason, Agent, Richmond, VA
Fri Mar 25, 2011
The bank does have another option. They can counter offer. This would be if they turn the offer down. Happens all the time and unfortunately they usually don't budge off the sales price they want once they make that decision. If you really don't want to pay more then turn it down but if you really love the house then go for it. You are already getting a good deal based on the fact this was a crisis sale.
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Jeff E Riggs, , Midlothian, VA
Fri Mar 25, 2011
Just because you can afford the house at a higher price, doesn't mean that you are willing to pay that higher price. I would just hold firm with the price that you want to pay. The bank's only options are to accept your price or not accept and hope the next offer is higher.

As long as your Realtor didn't tell the Seller's Agent that you were willing to pay the higher price, I don't think your negotiating position was compromised.
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Sam Miliotis, Agent, North Chesterfield, VA
Tue Mar 22, 2011
This is why lawyers stay busy.
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Dee Mason, Agent, Richmond, VA
Tue Mar 22, 2011
That is unfortunatee this happened to you. There was a breach of confidentiality in this case by your agent if things happened as you said. With that said you certainly can and should go to the agents broker so this does not happen again and yes you can report her to the board of realtors as this is an ethics issue. Since I am not an attorney I am not able to give you legal advice but you may want to discuss this with a real estate attorney to see if they can get you any damages. But the bottom line is if you like the house you need to go for it because all the options you have won't impact the price of the home at this point. You can always purchase the house and deal with all this other stuff later. Sorry I can't give you better newws.
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Bina Shah, Both Buyer And Seller, Richmond, VA
Wed Jan 26, 2011
If you really want this house than just go after it.
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Jim McCowan, Agent, Arlington, VA
Wed Dec 29, 2010
Your agent obviously isn't working for you! I'm sorry that happened. I'd go straight to his/her broker and explain what happened.
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Chris Small, Agent, Richmond, VA
Tue Dec 28, 2010
Sounds like you need a buyers agent who understands what the job is.
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Evelyn Hunt, , Richmond, VA
Wed Oct 27, 2010
This is certainly a breach of fiduciary relationship with you, if all you report is accurate. I would begin by going to his/her broker, and discuss the occurance, and ask what can be done to rectify this breach. If you get no help there, you can report it to the ethics panel of the Association. I hope it will work out to your satisfaction, and the agent and all in the office will learn from this mistake.
Web Reference:  http://www.HomesRichmond.com
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Janet Promin, , Richmond, VA
Wed Oct 20, 2010

If these facts are correct; This is certainly an ethic violation. An agent must protect your privacy and confidentiality just as if he/she was your doctor or lawyer. Your agent should be working for you, not the other party in the negotiation. I am sure the goal was to get you the home but this wasn't the way to do it. To provide your private information without your written permission is just wrong. Your agent totally took away your negotiating ability. Contact his broker, and if that doesn't get you where you want to be, contact the Board of Realtors and if that doesn't work contact DPOR.

I hope this helps you and please know that most realtors are really great to work with. Good luck.
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Ty Dwyer, Agent, Richmond, VA
Wed Jun 9, 2010
This type of behavior makes all real estate agents look bad and this where people can easily tell their friends about the bad experience they've had with the agent they used. It's very hard in our profession at times to be taken as professionals. But don't let one agent's wrongdoing tarnish all of our reputations. There are agents out here that are obviously trying to help you. That's what this is about, understanding that most agents are awesome and do represent your best interest.

What the agent did is a violation of ethics for sure. Now you have to deal with the confrontation of it all. And nobody likes confrontation. I hear some people saying get an attorney but that's time and money. I guess it really boils down to how bad you want the property.

The agent disclosed more than they should have, but at the same time, would you of paid that to begin with?

Also you may be able to go after the agents errors and ommissions insurance, each broker has their individual agent insured for things similar to this in nature.

Overall it stinks because now you are in a weird situation with your buyer's agent.

Ty Dwyer
First Choice Realty
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Michael Allen, , Glen Allen, VA
Tue Jun 9, 2009
Hi Tressa

According to your statement this does not should ethical - your Agent should be working for your best interest,

If you are buying then your Realtor should not be discussing your financial situation, you have cause for concern.

Since working with Short sales for over a year I’ve notice that short sales are different transactions on the sellers end, however, ethics are ethics, and your negotiating power was compromise by that disclosure.

Mike Allen
Keller Williams realty
1061 Technology park dr.
Glen Allen, VA 23059
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Emmanuel Sca…, , Collin County, TX
Sun May 17, 2009
Hello Tressa101,

If you have the proof as you indicated then it is obvious that this RE Agent is NOT representing your best interests. It is obvious then that the Agent has well overstepped the legal and ethical boundaries of their license. Yes you can take this to a lawyer. However, do you really want the aggravation, expense and delay of purchasing a home?

In my opinion I would not only drop the Agent like a hot potato but also file a complaint with the State licensing agency handling Realtors FIRST! You can also copy the local and state RE associations and his/her Broker. The State licensing agency will have the most long term effect on the Agent with the other two adding sanctions if they desire to. Associations are there to service the members first and the consumers next, They have no real legal powers over an Agent as far as license disciplinary actions whereas the state licensing agency does.

Good luck on the house hunting!

Emmanuel J. Scanlan
PS Inspection & Property Services LLC
214-418-4366 (cell)
TREC License # 7593
International Code Council, Residential Combination Inspector #5247015-R5 (Electrical, Mechanical, Plumbing and Building)
Certified Infrared Thermographer (ASNT-TC1A Standards)
Texas Residential Construction Commission, Third Party Warranty Inspector #1593
Texas Residential Construction Commission, Inspector, County Inspection Program
Texas Department Of Insurance, VIP Inspector # 08507061016
Hayman Residential Engineering Services, Field Technician
CMC Energy - Certified Energy Auditor

Knowledge is power, but sharing knowledge brings peace!!
Web Reference:  http://www.psinspection.com
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Tressa101, Home Buyer, Richmond, VA
Sun May 17, 2009
My agent forwarded the emails exchanged between them with the ratified contract to me. I could see where he had deleted other exchanges (his signature remained each time he'd sent something back to the other agent, so I could tell that something had been sent and he'd later taken it out). I'm guessing he accidentally left that portion in there about our budget, not realizing that we'd see that as well as the contract. Thank goodness he did, otherwise we wouldn't know what type of dishonest snake we'd been working with.

Thank you for the information - I will definitely be moving forward with this...and getting a new realtor!
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Vicky Chrisn…, Agent, Purcellvile, VA
Thu May 14, 2009
How do you know that your agent did this? If your agent is a BUYERS AGENT, then she did violate the confidentiality regulations. Honestly, I think I'd consider talking to an attorney. You can make complaints through the broker and through the REALTOR association, but if you have monetary damages then you need to talk to an attorney.

Be careful, though and make sure you know that your agent is YOUR agent. If you don't have an agreement for her to represent you as a buyer agent, then by default, she represents the seller and was simply complying with her duties to represent the seller by sharing all information relevant to the transaction.

Ouch. This could be ugly.
Web Reference:  http://www.vickychrisner.com
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Mark Goad, Agent, Richmond, VA
Thu May 14, 2009
Tressa - here are some of your options: talk to your agent's broker about the situation (perhaps the broker can assign you to another agent?); report the action to Richmond Association of REALTORS; you can also report it to Virginia's Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, the agency that manages our licenses.
Web Reference:  http://www.dpor.virginia.gov
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