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How to deal with an Agent who misquoted my offer on a house?

I made a counter offer on a house for $155,900 and the agent of the seller told him my offer was $159,900.  The offer was accepted and when the seller went to sign the contract he noticed the discrepancy and said he only accepted an offer of the misquoted amount.  I want to tell that agent that he should pay the difference of $4000 herself and still make a profit of $600-$700 (at 3percent) and gain a valuable lesson.  The offer given and accepted via Text Message.  I think that if she would have taken the time to pick up the phone and verify the amount in the first place, this would not have happened.  The laziness of the agent is theoretically costing both myself and the seller money!  What are my options?
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January 30 - Plano
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Answers (8)

There is a reason why we go through the hassle of having all parties sign the contract and that is because the transaction is only binding when formally signed and agreed to by both parties. That's why we rush back to the office to get offers in quickly and stay up until midnight getting contracts signed--because without a signed offer/counter-offer, there is no contract and nothing is binding. That's why it's good to write everything down and get it signed in the contract.
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February 18
I always tell clients while we can and often do go back and forth verbally or even by email and text, it's only valid if it is in writing.  That means if a party changes their mind or something gets misunderstood, it is subject to change until we get it down on paper.

It happens.....never fun for anyone when it does, but it can and does happen.  We do it for speed in a fast market.

If the $155,900 would have been communicated correctly would the seller have accepted that?  

Best thing to do is discuss with your realtor, see if there is a way to either overcome it on this house or the next one, and you might consider signing every counter offer on a contract form, so there are no misunderstandings.   That's the safest way, but that might also cost you time in a fast market.   
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February 13
In a hot market I understand your zeal to get a counter in ASAP.  Yet,  for this very reason it should have been in contract form.  I do understand your frustration with the Seller's agent, yet when dealing with agents of varying experience and capabilities it is in your clients best interest for everything in contract form.  

Because the offer was not in written form and signed by the Buyer, I believe it is as if a counter was never presented.  

I completely understand the frustration.  I feel bad for all involved.  I hope the home is still available, you all get back to the negotiation table and are able to put all of the negative emotions aside.  Good Luck!
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January 30
Contact your local Board of Realtors or the Real Estate commission in your state to seek advice.  Good luck!
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January 30
Profile picture for wetdawgs
Offers and counter offers must be in writing.   Texts don't count.  I guess your $155 was not accepted, so either further negotiation happens or you move on.

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January 30
You or your agent should not have used texting for negotiations.  We have a saying in Texas .. Let the written contract and its addendums do the talking for you.  By now you would have either have a contract signed sealed and delivered or have moved on to a better home. 

With this deal you have to decide do you want a free ride to $4000 or a home.

Best of luck in your home search for your family .. Bruce
 
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January 30

It appears to be more of an unfortunate miscommunication and did not cost anyone anything. You offered $155,900.  Regardless of what the seller wants, YOUR offer at $155,900 was not accepted.  I'm not an attorney, but I don't see how the text can be used as legal acceptance of a Real Estate transaction, so I'm not sure why you would ask the agent to pay the difference.

I'll bet that if everyone cools down and goes back to the table, there is a deal here that will be mutually beneficial to all parties.

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January 30
In most states including Texan legal agreements concerning real estate must be in writing to be enforceable, without the seller signature on the offer it was not accepted.  This sounds like an issue the seller should take up with their agent, unfortunately. 
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January 30
 
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