Has an agent breached his fiduciary duty if he verbally presents an offer but does not send a physical copy

Asked by Michelefong, 18020 Mon Aug 31, 2009

or inform the seller of the expiration date and time and allows the offer to expire?

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Jim Simms, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Louisville, KY
Mon May 23, 2011
I am not clear on a few points. Were you informed of an offer for your property verbally by your agent or did you make an offer on a property that was presented verbally? I have seen sellers not even make a counter offer on a ridiculous offer. The agent did not waste the time to meet with the seller, simply read the offer over the phone and asked the seller for their response. In my area a seller is not required to respond to anything other than a full price offer.

Fiduciary is a concept about acting on behalf of the client, so without knowing who was being represented it is not possible to answer this question. I agree with Terrence.
Web Reference:  http://jamessimms.com/
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Brigita McKe…, Agent, Stroudsburg, PA
Mon Aug 31, 2009
Hi, Michelefong!

An offer MUST be presented in writing in order to be legal. A verbal agreement means nothing. Now, a buyer's agent can verbally inform the seller's agent that an offer is coming so that they know to expect it. But a written offer must follow.

When an "Agreement of Sale" is written, not only does it show the price offered to the seller, it also includes dates for deadlines, such as response dates, mortgage commitment dates, inspection dates, etc. The "Agreement of Sale" also has financing information, whether or not the various inspections are waived, contingencies, etc.

The offer is officially executed once both parties have signed and approved the "Agreement of Sale" and each are aware the the offer has been accepted.

I hope this information clears things up.

Brigita McKelvie, REALTOR, e-PRO, GRI
Residential, Rural and Horse Properties
Keller Williams Real Estate, Bethlehem, PA
Office: 610-867-8888 Direct: 610-393-9424
E-mail: brigita@brigitamklv.com
Web: http://wwwRuralAndHorseProperties.com
Blogs: http://activerain.com/blogs/brigitam
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Terrence Cha…, Home Owner, Allentown, PA
Mon Aug 31, 2009
More information is needed about this to make an informed response. The way I understand what you are saying is that the agent verbally told you of an offer, you (I assume) agreed, no paperwork was signed and nothing further was said about it? I could assume that the agent got a verbal offer from another agent and never received anything else because the buyers didn't continue with the offer.

That being said, a verbal offer is just that.... verbal. Until all of the paperwork is signed by both parties, then there has been no execution of the Agreement of Sale. After all the paperwork is signed (and during, really) the agent should inform you of all of the deadlines which should be met.

Hope that helps,

Terrence Charest
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