a seller agent has acted in bad faith. We had a verbally accepted offer, our buyers agent sent the agreement to the seller's agent and

Asked by Marinetanker, 01748 Mon Mar 1, 2010

followed up with a faxed copy. The sellers agent " could not open" the agreement and proceed to show the home to a new client who made a higher offer which was accepted by the seller. I was not given to opportunity to make a counter offer. The seller agent knew there was a verbal acceptance, knew that we had signed the counter offer, claimed that the offer could not be opened, never called to advise me or my broker that there was a problem . What is my recourse.

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Pat & Steve…, Agent, Westlake, OH
Mon Mar 1, 2010
I am a Realtor & an Attorney (30 yrs), licensed for both only in OH & you're not my client. So, anything I write is my personal opinion. This type of issue happens & what recourse you may have is not worth your time or money. Keep your money for the house you buy, not for legal fees. My partner (& husband) & I have a saying we share with our clients & it's only one word, "Next." Pick yourself up & start looking for homes again ASAP. For our clients the next home has been at least as good as the first one & many times the next home is much better!
0 votes
Kathleen Buc…, Agent, Hopkinton, MA
Mon Mar 1, 2010
I wish I had better news for you. Although a verbal agreement is construed as a contract in Massachusetts, a real estate contract is not enforceable and hence binding unless it is in writing. The saying in the industry is, "A verbal offer is only worth the paper it's written on."

This is a very uncomfortable situation for all involved. We should all get in the practice of SPRINTING to get signatures on an accepted offer so that this can be avoided. Sometimes immediate signatures are impractical for whatever reason in which case it is good practice for the agents, and most importantly for the sellers, to agree that the verbally accepted offer will be treated as binding and no other offer will be signed by the sellers.

This stinks for you Marinetanker. I'm sorry for your disappointment.
2 votes
Heidi Zizza, Agent, Framingham, MA
Mon Mar 1, 2010
Unfortunately nothing. The Seller does not have to counter you or take your offer if another comes in. Unless you had an agreement signed by both parties there is nothing you can do. The sellers Agent is legally responsible to bring the better offer to the Seller and the Seller does not have to counter you they can choose to take the other offer over yours. You can ask that your offer be considered a back up offer ib the event the first one falls through. The sellers agent is not to blame.
Web Reference:  http://www.mdmrealtyinc.com
1 vote
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Mon Mar 1, 2010
So, it seems as if the offer wasn't signed by the seller, for whatever reason. And the Seller got a better offer, and took it.

I don't know if you have any recourse, Marinetanker. The Seller's agent's job is to work for the Seller, and if the Seller liked the other offer better, they had no obligation to give you another chance, I'm sorry to say.

None of us understand how one opens a fax, by the way.
0 votes
Territory.c…, Agent, MA,
Mon Mar 1, 2010
That is a disgrace on the part of that listing agent. I suggest you speak to a real estate attorney asap and see if they can help you with the gray area between the verbal and written contract. I would also try and find out immediately if that listing broker is working with the other buyer ... This may explain why that agent was putting his/her interests first versus the sellers interests. If that agent was actually looking out for the interests of his seller client he/she should have called your agent back and told you about the other offer and seen if there was potential to get even a higher price for his client by requesting a best and final from both parties. Perhaps the reason this was not done was because the other buyer is his/her client. Something to check out.

Get an attorney working on this asap - your agent should be able to refer someone.
Web Reference:  http://territoryre.com
0 votes
Brian McMurr…, Agent, Tawas City, MI
Mon Mar 1, 2010
While you always have recourse I wouldn't spend the time and money on this one. While verbal negotiations seem too common - to minimize effort for those involved - this often results in larger issues. When dealing in Real Estate insist on getting the offer/counter-offer in writing. Ultimately the Seller and not the Sellers Agent made the decision to move forward with the subsequent offer. Best of luck as you move forward and hopefully you find a home that actually works out better for you.
0 votes
Scott A. Nel…, , 02155
Mon Mar 1, 2010
If you really want the house you'll need to move quickly. Have your attorney review the documents you have including the fax transmission document & have them contact the sellers representative. You might also want to look into if they deposited your earnest money with your offer.

Good luck, hope that helps, check back and let us know how you make out,
Web Reference:  http://www.MedfordHouse.com
0 votes
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