Profile picture for BoroJJHan

Is it okay for a real estate agent to not inform the seller about an offer?

Hi everyone.

I have been house shopping for a while and finally found a house that I fell in love with. I'm working with my agent who works for a large, well-known real estate company, and my agent had put in an offer for me. It was not a verbal offer, but an official offer. I signed a lengthy paperwork, had a lawyer friend look at it, and the offer would require me to complete the transaction if the seller takes my offer/ contingent on inspection.

However, my agent and I just found out that the seller's agent chose to not even tell the seller about our offer. Yes, my offer was lower than the asking price, but I was offering 100% cash upfront and was willing to meet halfway if there was a counter offer. To me, it sounds kind of unprofessional that she wouldn't even tell the seller about an offer. Is this even an ethical conduct? I still want this house but wonder if I should just move on to different properties rather than dealing with such an unprofessional agent...

Is it customary for an agent to not inform the seller about an offer if he or she considers it not lucrative enough? I would like to know so it would save me a lot of disappointments and headaches. 

Thanks!  

   
  • May 09 2014 - US
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Answers (14)

Unless the seller requests otherwise, the listing agent must make the seller aware of all offers. Why do you think the offer wasn't presented?
  • May 12 2014
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After thinking about this for a few moments . . . how did you find this out?

  • May 09 2014
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Profile picture for themorrigan20
After reading the comments, it seems to me that simple business courtesy dictates that the seller's agent acknowledge the offer and refuse it in the same breath, if the seller had said not to show certain offers.  Why would she not? 

I've made a couple of low offers in my life and been told pleasantly that it needed to be higher or they wouldn't even counter.  I had a seller's agent hide my offer from the seller illegally.  I recently walked away from a property due to a recalcitrant seller's agent.  Who knows what happens in people's minds?

If nothing else seems "off" about this realtor, I'd ask my realtor to email her and copy me, explain politely but with certainty that you've become aware that your offer was not shown to the seller and you would like an explanation.  If you're not satisfied with the answer, IDK what to tell you, except there's probably nothing you can do except move on.  Filing complaints won't get you the house and she's unlikely to be reprimanded.

But you can post online reviews that can be effective in bringing karma about by helping others avoid her.   
  • May 09 2014
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Ask your lawyer friend, BoroJJhan, ask your lawyer friend!

All the best,
  • May 09 2014
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Profile picture for sunnyview
No. It is not ok. The seller's agent should present all offers so the owner can choose the one they feel is best.
  • May 09 2014
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It is an ethics violation PLUS a violation of license law.  Even if the owner has given instructions to the contrary.  PRESENT ALL OFFERS is not negotiable anywhere.
  • May 09 2014
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I think it is unethical. 
I submit all offers to my clients even if they did say that they don't want to see anything below "X" .  
 The best way to put a value on anything is to find out what a buyer is willing to pay for it.  It could be that this seller might be missing out on lower priced offers because he thinks it is worth more than it actually is.  
 Have your agent ask the listing agent why he didn't submit your offer and let us know right here.    
  • May 09 2014
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Listing agents MUST present all written offers to the seller UNLESS the seller gave the agent written instructions on what offers not to present.  I would not jump into the conclusion that the agent did something unethical as we don't always know what the seller and their agent have agreed on.

Cash is great, especially on multiple offer scenarios but it doesn't always justify a discount.
Terms such as a 'quick closing 30 days or less" or "as-is sales" can also be great negotiation tools if presented the correct way!
  • May 09 2014
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As a buyer, it's hard to understand what's going on behind the scene between the listing agent and the seller and what kind of instructions the seller has given to them. Assumptions about the listing agent and their motives should be avoided unless there is something clearly unethical or illegal going on (your agent and/or their broker should be able to point those situations out and offer a course of action in that case). 

Have your agent talk to their agent and see if they are willing to offer any insight as to their actions and instructions from the sellers - they may or may not disclose the details but it never hurts to ask.
  • May 09 2014
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Wetdawgs is correct. All offers do not have to be submitted if the seller has instructed the agent to not bring any offers below $xxxxx, and I require my sellers to put that in writing and I send it to the buyers agents when they do make an offer that is lower.

Also, cash is nice but it does not make up for low offer - In My Opinion.
  • May 09 2014
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I agree with Wetdawgs. If the seller has instructed the agent not to present offers that don't meet a set criteria (usually price), then the agent should not present such offers.
  • May 09 2014
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Profile picture for mmbennett100
Seller Agent should present all offers; unless, the seller has accepted an offer.
  • May 09 2014
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Profile picture for WayneEllis
In my area of the country we present all offers.


Wayne
  • May 09 2014
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
The listing agent must present all offers to the seller unless the seller has specifically told the agent that they will not consider offers not meeting certain criteria.  Usually that cut off is at or lower than a specific price.

  • May 09 2014
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