Profile picture for heatherandjohn

Is this allowed?

Is a realtor hired by the seller allowed to tell the buyer to put in a lower offer because the seller is motivated?  I had a realtor who I was interviewing show us a listing sheet and mention in passing that if we were interested in a certain home (we weren't) that it was priced below market value and the lady would take less than the asking price.  I couldn't help picturing him promoting our house to a potential buyer and saying that we would take less.  If I hired a selling agent, I would expect them to get me the highest price possible and be working for me not the buyer.  As an outsider not in the bbusiness it seems like there are some conflicts of interest that arise.  What do you think of this?  Is this allowed? 
  • April 24 2009 - US
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Answers (7)

Profile picture for sunnyview
I would say no it isn't allowed. You are right. A selling agent is supposed to represent the interests of their client the seller. Even in a dual agency transaction their main responsibility lies with the seller. I do not think that a good agent would compromise their client that way. If you consider using this agent, be careful what you tell them like your maximum price on a specific house or it may end up with the seller's agent when you finally find a house to buy. I would find it hard to trust an agent like this. It might be worth interviewing a couple more agents to find a really good one.
  • April 24 2009
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Realtors ha certain Guidelines to Follow and Loyalty is in our Code of Ethics. However, passing Judgement without all facts is difficult. Perhaps the Seller agreed with the Listing Agent. Let's agree we all love a Bargin, especially if it's fulfills a need or want. Some Sellers are willing to Deal in sufficent losses in order to move nowadays.   Some Sellers suggest marketing their home as a Bargain.  I tend to feel my Client out, find out what they want me to accomplish and with care procreed. It is nice when it's a Win/Win for all Parties!
  • April 28 2009
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Profile picture for droopyd
"Is a realtor hired by the seller allowed to tell the buyer to put in a lower offer because the seller is motivated?"

How do you know that the seller and his/her agent did not agree on that sales strategy? If the goal is to get a sale at an acceptable price, this is one way to get the ball rolling.
  • April 28 2009
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No, the realtor representing the seller cannot reveal confidential information about the seller nor do or say anything that is not in the seller's best interests. However, if the seller has directed the agent to use this tactic to get the home sold, the realtor would be following the sellers instructions. Personally, I would not use this tactic because it feels sleazy and dishonest. Just because I wouldn't do it doesn't mean that another realtor might. Sigh.
  • April 29 2009
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I thought this kind of confused representation was a critical reason we went from just having agents to having seller's and buyer's agents.  Years ago, I remember reading articles that warned sellers that, in the just "agent" world, the agent always represented the buyer because the agent always represented the sale.

In this case, if the seller had agreed to the agent releasing bottom dollar information, I would expect the agent to include that information.  As in, "The seller has instructed me to share the lowest price they are willing to accept."  Not mentioning seller' approval implies the information is confidential.  Personally, I would remove that agent from my list of possibles.
  • April 29 2009
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Profile picture for Buckeye45875
I would also attempt to contact the sellers and have a conversation about your conversation with the agent. If the roles were reversed (i.e. you were this seller), wouldn't you want to be notified of the conversation the agent had with you? If the agent is implementing the seller's strategy, no harm done. If the sellers are unaware of the agent's actions and they have not approved of this type of information being released, the sellers need to know what is going on behind their backs.
  • April 29 2009
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The seller's agent has a fiduciary duty to their client and providing confidential information just get a sale is breaking that duty. If its a sales tactic which the seller has agreed to, the duty has not been breached, but its not really professional because now you're wondering if she did breach that duty or not which loses your faith in the the Realtor's organization. It also can raise issues of fraud, misrepresentation and other legal issues that lawyers would LOVE to pick at. You may want to call the Realtors Association https://reg.realtor.org/Icreqonl.nsf/Feedback?OpenForm
and ask how you can report it if necessary.

You may not do anything about it, but what if you were to hire her and this would happens to you? Would you want someone who knew about the issue to do something about it? It may be nothing, and it may be just a question of fact. But I rather get it resolved than have it happen to someone else or it becomes a standard practice (like it became standard practice to offer home loans without proof of income).

Professional organizations are serious in keeping a clean record, so just pick up the phone, ask them your questions and report it if needed. You may call the realtor's company too (they may not like that practice either, legal or not).

Good Luck!

Will Concord
VanDyk Mortgage
  • April 29 2009
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