What can homeowners do when you bad agents?

Asked by Axel Henschel, Cape Coral, FL Thu Mar 24, 2011

My second empty home is for sale with a large realtor group I have a cash offer by a buyers agent, effective date 03/11 inspection period 7 days, closing 03/28 I receive no info and on 03/18 email my agent Response Just heard back from buyers agent Inspection on 03/15 found several leaks in the copper lines in the attic, the buyer would cancel the contract and my agent would forward the cancellation papers as soon as received I live 12 miles away and had no info on the inspection being done. March 21 informed my agent that the next day a large national plumbing contractor will repipe the whole attic with CPVC pipes Wonderful, I will forward this to the buyers agent
On March 23 I emailed my agent regards closing date/location. Reply received from buyers agent, he has a note in his office written 03/17 by buyer that they are withdrawing the offer This note was sent as an attachment to my agent March 23 Never received letter of cancellation Is this how real estate contracts work?


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Monika Wilson, Agent, Cape Coral, FL
Sun Apr 17, 2011
Just to recap, you had an offer on your house, the buyer did the inspection, the buyer cancelled the contract because of leaking pipes, you said that you will take care about the problem and repipe the house, you never received the written cancellation and the buyer is still not going to close. If the offer was presented on an "as is" Far/bar contract, the buyer (and the seller) have the right to cancel the contract if home inspection is not acceptable. Even so you offered to take care about the problem, the buyer still can "walk".

However the leak of communication between you and your agent for sure did not help the situation and of course I can imagine that you feel that you agent might not have communicated that you are going to repipe the house to the buyer (buyer's agent). On the other hand, it is in your agents best interest to make a transaction go through since that is the only way he/she gets paid. I am pretty sure that he/she did communicate with the buyer's agent but that then the buyer decided to "walk" regardless. That is really unfortunate and should not happen. I think you can talk with your agent and his broker to address the problem and may be if you are lucky and the buyer did not move on yet - there might be a very slim chance to save the deal.

But be prepared to move on and find another buyer - the good is, now you know the problem, you take care about the problem (pipes) and will not run into the same issue again (with a new buyer)
1 vote
Dp2, , Virginia
Thu Mar 24, 2011
Schade. Sounds like you best option might be to meet with your broker, discuss what happened (and didn't happen), and move on.
1 vote
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Thu Mar 24, 2011
Dam, Axel.

Real estate contracts "work" in writing. If the written agreement gives the buyer the option to walk if the inspection isn't satisfactory, then, they can walk - regardless of whether you're willing to make good on the defective items.

This doesn't mean that your agents can't put the deal back together, by the way.

All the best,
1 vote
Jessica Hood…, Agent, Gambrills, MD
Sun Jan 6, 2013

I'm so sorry that you had this experience. This is NOT normal and is completely unprofessional. Talk to that agent's broker about being re-assigned within the company or released from your contract.
0 votes
AJ Ackerman, Agent, Cape Coral, FL
Sat Jan 28, 2012
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0 votes
LUCIFER, , Cape Coral, FL
Sun Oct 23, 2011
RUN RUN RUN there are many other agents out there.
0 votes
Marc Comisar, Agent, Bonita Springs, FL
Mon Apr 4, 2011
Time to move on.

0 votes
Alma Kee, Agent, Tampa, FL
Fri Mar 25, 2011
Hi Axel,

Best to move on and get it sold to another buyer.

If your contract was written on the standard FAR/BAR As Is contract (look at the to and see if it says AS IS and at the bottom of the contract and see if it says FAR/BAR) then the buyer can cancel for any reason up to the expiration of the inspection period. They do not have to give an explanation or jump over any hurdles.

Sometimes buyers just get buyer's remorse and will use any excuse to cancel. And in many cases nowadays, buyers are signing offers on more than one property. If they get an acceptance on a property they liked better that may be the true reason they cancelled.

Also some buyers may use the inspection report to try to "renegotiate" the contract to get a better deal. Because you decided to go ahead and fix the problem they couldn't try to get a lower price from you.

Good luck on your sale and right now buyers are getting their tax returns so properties are going under contract quickly.

Make sure it is back to "active" status so you can immediately find another buyer--and hopefully for a higher sale price!

Hope this helps.

0 votes
Roy Barker Jr…, Agent, Pompano Beach, FL
Thu Mar 24, 2011

I would get the agents broker involved. As a Broker, I would want to know that something of this magnitude was brewing. Real Estate can be complex and there may be circumstances involved that we who are answering are not privy to and it may change the landscape of some of the answers that have been posted: however, it does not change the fact that something is not right and it needs to be fixed and getting the Broker involved is the best way to accomplish that.

Best of luck and I am terribly sorry that your Real Estate experience has not been satisfactory. The majority of agents out there are good hard working people who generally really care about their clients. As always though, there is the rule that says some can ruin it for the many, and this may just be a very unfortunate situation that needs to be addressed, really really quickly.
0 votes
BG, Home Buyer, Phoenix, AZ
Thu Mar 24, 2011
In my opinion, most agents with "proper" training can execute a basic transaction with little problems. However, when it come to issues raised by both sides prior to closing, buyer/seller are pretty much on their own. Agents either don't know or not willing to point it out. This must be a "don't ask don't tell" thing to avoid complication or liability of some sort. God forbid that issues came up after COE, then you are really on your own.

As soon as you received the verbal notification from your agent, I think that should be enough for you to understood that the deal was not going forward. There is no "requirement" that the written withdrawal from buyer must get to your hand. That is only between you and your agent, if you want to see it.

I am not sure what is the reason why you have to schedule plumbing contractor and then forward this information to the buyer ?? were you hoping buyer will accept the repair ? most buyers wouldn't because you fixed the leaks but you haven't really fix the damages. That is what scared this buyer away , in my opinion.
0 votes
Terry McCarl…, Agent, Cape Coral, FL
Thu Mar 24, 2011
Hi Axel,

As the others have told you, it would be a good idea to contact the agents broker and explain the problems you have experienced. You may very well be able to cancel your listing agreement and relist the home with someone you feel more comfortable working with. It is a good idea to interview at least 3 agents and find the one that most fits your needs. Communication is real estate transactions is critical to getting a home from listing to closing so make sure you discuss this need with the agents you interview.

Best of luck!

Terry McCarley, Realtor®, CDPE
email: leecountyrealtor@earthlink.net
cell: 239-707-4575
0 votes
Myke Atwater, Agent, Santa Rosa Beach, FL
Thu Mar 24, 2011
Axel, lets make this a little clearer--
effective date of contract: 3/11/2011
Inspection done: 3/15/2011 within the requirements of the contract and buyer informs of cancelling contract-- will forward you the cancellation papers.
You communicate with buyer 3/21/2011 that the plumber will repair whole attic with CPVC pipes (it appears that buyer has already stated his intention to cancel contract based on home inspection results).

One of the questions I have is, did you receive in writing a notice that the contract was being cancelled due to results of home inspection? If you did, it doesn't matter if you made arrangements to make repairs. If you did not, then if buyer walks you might be entitled to the escrow deposit. Can your agent produce the notice that he sent to you informing you of the cancellation due to home inspection? If not, and the buyer agent can show you that they did in fact notify your agent, go to the broker with your written proof of what happened.

Most agents are very careful regarding these things. Best of luck resolving it, and apologies from me as a professional for possibly someone doing a poor job that occured at your expense (emotionally and possibly monetarily)

Myke Triebold, GRI, LMC
Web Reference:  http://www.MykeTriebold.com
0 votes
Joyce Sass, Agent, Cape Coral, FL
Thu Mar 24, 2011
Hello Axel,
I am sorry to hear about your troubles. The first thing you should do is contact your agents broker and let them know the problems you are having. If you are not happy with the agent you are working with, check your listing agreement. You may be able to cancel your listing and move on to someone you are more comfortable working with. Depending on your list agreement, if the buyer you were working with agrees to purchase after you listed with a different company, he/she may or maynot still be entitled to a commission.

If you would like to talk about this further, please contact me and I will be more than happy to help. Good luck!

Joyce Sass SFR,ABR
Rossman Realty
0 votes
Tim Moore, Agent, Kitty Hawk, NC
Thu Mar 24, 2011
Sometimes they get to be like this one and it takes an experienced agent to work through problems. The question seems to be did they give timely notice of their withdrawal. After a home inspection they can if so written in the contract. You would be best advised to speak to your attorney and get their opinion.
0 votes
Danielle Sha…, Agent, Cape Coral, FL
Thu Mar 24, 2011

I'm very sorry to hear that things were not up to your expectations. Sally is correct in her suggestion to contact the managing broker. It may not be all your agent either - if the buyer's agent has been uncommunicative or hasn't been forthcoming that would make relaying information to you more difficult.

Best of luck to you and I hope it all works out.
Web Reference:  http://www.mysharphomes.com
0 votes
Sally Grenier, Agent, Boulder, CO
Thu Mar 24, 2011
This situation sounds very complex and if you're not being represented properly, then you should contact your agent's managing broker.
0 votes
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