First, I would like to say I am so sorry to hear about your experience. Things like this should NOT happen if all parties are doing their due diligence with regard to reviewing contracts, etc.. Without being part of the negotiations, it is difficult to say if this occurred because of negligence on the part of the Broker or if there was something else going on with the builder. Builders/sellers/banks can simultaneously be negotiating contracts with multiple buyers because a fully ratified contract does not occur until ALL parties have signed. Up until that point, other negotiations with other parties can be occurring. For instance, if multiple buyers are bidding on the same property and counter offers are submitted (WRITTEN), a multiple counter offer would be submitted to the buyers that the seller wishes to work with. This would be your indication that there are other buyers involved in the process. However, because the negotiations were verbal, it becomes more unclear and gray areas become apparent.
What I would advise in the future is to get EVERYTHING in writing as you move through the process and select a Realtor who is going to force this issue with the seller/builder. This market is very challenging and it is essential that you work with someone who not only understands what you want, but actually makes it happen through constant communication with all parties, written negotiations, and persistence to make sure that all phases are completed properly and within a timely manner.
Again, I am so sorry to hear about your frustrating experience. If I can be of any help to you, please don't hesitate to contact me. My partner and I are totally committed to our clients and take every precaution to make sure that situations like this do not occur.
Michele Castillo de Almeida
JSCA Real Estate Group