Is it ethical for the buyers agent to offer to pay the seller to extend an option period without consulting the buyers?

Asked by Bfoster, Austin, TX Sat Apr 14, 2012

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Bill Austin, Agent, Austin, TX
Sun Apr 15, 2012
Yikes! The variety of answers is scary! Unethical, yes in the manner described. Changing
0 votes
Bfoster, Home Seller, Austin, TX
Sun Apr 15, 2012
Thank you for your responses. I am the seller. I was asked to extend the option period from 12 days to 15 days. I had already scheduled movers 2 days after the option expired to remove rented staging and did't want to pay to have it returned if they cancel, so asked for additional funds to extend the option. The buyers agent gave my agent a personal check from her account saying she didn't want her clients to know. No addendum or contract was attached, so I refused as I felt it was unethical. "Under the table", so to speak. All inspections had already been done. I felt they had the information they need to decide with 4 days remaing in the option. My agent said this is common practice. I am hoping she is wrong. There are two days remaining in the option...
0 votes
Bruce Lynn, Agent, Coppell, TX
Sat Apr 14, 2012
Extensions must be done in writing and there should be a fee involved. This is on the extension form. That's part of contract law called consideration. I am not an attorney, but the way I understand contract law is that the seller could not extend the option period without receiving some type of consideration for doing so. What is appropriate is somewhat vague. Some attorney's have told me for example $1 is not enough probably to be valid consideration....but then the question is if $1 is not enough, then what is? If the original option fee was $100 for 10 days, would $10 be enough for anther 3 days?...you only find out if you go to court.

There's probably more to the story, but in most cases I would think anything the agent is doing for either party would be in consultation with that party.

Talk to your agent about it. Tell them you want to be involved 1st before even any informal discussions or negotiations are done.
0 votes
Don Groff, Agent, Austin, TX
Sat Apr 14, 2012
All parties must always be in agreement when any changes to a contract are made. Obviously this action was for the benefit of his clients, the buyers, and this may have been done because the agent missed a deadline... either way unless all parties agree your are bound by the executed contract unless an amendment is executed with the option changes.

Don Groff
REALTOR® | Mortgage Broker
Keller Williams Realty | 360 Lending Group
o 512.669.5599 m 512.633.4157
listings@dongroff.com
http://www.AustinListed.com
0 votes
John Crowe, Agent, Austin, TX
Sat Apr 14, 2012
Don't know the inside baseball, though first blush leads me to write a strong "No!" to answer your question. Which side are you on - seller or buyer? Curious.

Good luck!
0 votes
Kevin, Agent, Austin, TX
Sat Apr 14, 2012
All depends on the situation and if the "client" has authorized the agent to do so through the cooperating agent on an Amendment prior to the option expiration. Some agents will ask before putting things on paper, which again depends on the situation.
0 votes
Guy Gimenez, Agent, Austin, TX
Sat Apr 14, 2012
Absolutely not. Even if it is in the buyer's best interest to extend the option period, the buyer's agent MUST consult with the buyer before discussing the possibility of contract changes with any other party.
0 votes
Heather Witte, Agent, Round Rock, TX
Sat Apr 14, 2012
Offering and doing are different issues. The option period can't be extended without your signature on an amendment. As buyer's agents, we're there to relay the buyer's wishes, so it would be best to speak to the client before having that conversation with seller's agent.
0 votes
vivianne dor…, Agent, Austin, TX
Sat Apr 14, 2012
No. The buyer's agent should not do anything regarding a transaction without consulting the client he/she is representing.
0 votes
Keith Tutor, Agent, Leander, TX
Sat Apr 14, 2012
Yes, if the buyers agent is the one "paying" for the extension.
0 votes
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