Profile picture for JeffWhiskey

Last Minute Seller's Agent comes in as a Buyer's Agent representative

Hi I live in NY and put an offer in for a house that after counter was accepted.
I was on my way to the home inspection when I received a call that the seller has accepted another offer.  As it turns out the seller's agent also represented the other buyer and stands to gain both commissions. They didn't even allow us to counter the other offer, it really just seems like the sellers agent waited to the last possible minute to tell us we lost the house, so that the sellers agent could get both commissions.  Is this legal?  As far as I'm aware we did not breach any part of the original offer.  Even if it is legal, is there any recourse against the seller's agent?  This seems highly unethical.
  • August 07 2012 - US
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Answers (3)

Profile picture for TopNJAgent
Rules vary by state, but here in my region of NJ, once you are under contract, you can't be bounced unless you do not perform under the terms of the contract.  During attorney review, it is another matter. At that time, prior to being firmly under contract, either party can exit the transaction without recourse to the other.

This Spring market has been a very busy one - I had 2 scenarios in which I entered review on the same Friday and by Sunday both deals had collapsed for us under the weight of full priced all cash offers, which we simply could not meet or beat.  But neither of them were scenarios in which the listing agent represented both sides.

Even still, it was a rough weekend, but both buyers are in a better place now, one has closed, the other soon will. One of the deals that was torn away ultimately fell apart, and my buyer had no interest in coming back.  That is a real risk that a seller should consider when they unseat a committed buyer.

In my examples, it was entirely legal, but as an associate to show she "felt our pain"...legal, yes...but it surely doesn't feel ethical.
  • August 07 2012
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Profile picture for JeffWhiskey
Thanks for the response.  Just sort of in shock by the whole situation, it's unfortunate never imagined my first home buying experience to be like this.
Oh well, hopefully its for the best in the end.
  • August 07 2012
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In some areas inventory is low, so it can be super frustrating for buyers. I myself am trying to buy. I had another agent mention that he had an REO coming on the market soon that might have all the elements we are looking for. That was in April, and we LOVED the home. So I have been waiting on it for all these months, and now that it is finally about to come on the market, I heard it may has as many as ten offers....

So even agents deal with frustrations. Even the very best home buying or selling experience can be emotionally draning. Good luck (for both of us!).
  • August 07 2012
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