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Listing agent will only allow us to submit offer through her & not our own agent

Hello,

My family & I found a property that we liked based on what was advertised... a short sale, more than 4,000 sqft, 6 bed, 4 bath, lot size almost 3/4 of an acre. Zillow shows DOM 660+ days, another site 330+ days. We contacted the listing agent for a showing, & found out that the house was very small. The sq ft, bed, & bath advertised was actually combined with a 2 BR in-law suite above a detached 3-car garage. The house also needs an incredible amount of work done. Never updated from the 60s, basement leaking, etc,... the listing agent herself said that it would need over $100K in work. That same week, we called her twice to ask what bank it is as the buyers agent that we were going to work with was reluctant to get involved if it was a big bank. She did not return our calls. We called a 3rd time to ask for a 2nd showing to see the in-law suite (refused to show at the 1st showing), & finally got a response. During that timeframe, they accepted an offer, which we were told was low (it was hinted at 50K below asking) & submitted to the bank already. We contacted a buyers agent to submit a back up offer. The buyers agent contacted the listing agent -- who told the buyers agent that she would ONLY accept an offer through her as she showed us the house twice. I don't feel she would have our best interests vs the seller (personal relationship, their adult children have known each other since childhood) & I don't feel comfortable with it. She also said that she would only accept ONE back up offer & that she was still showing it (rush, rush). I am unsure of what to do now... we want to make an offer, but we don't want to get screwed down the road somehow. In a short sale, does that matter (dual representation) as much since it is mostly the bank calling the shots? Any thoughts and advice would be appreciated.

Thanks.
  • April 28 2012 - US
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Answers (9)

In my state, either party can get out of dual agency with written notice to the agent, agents broker. Ask an attorney to make sure that this will work where you are before you do anything.

An agent also has to submit all offers by law, unless conscent not to is expressed by the seller. Once again ask your real estate attorney. You should have one if you are making offers on Short Sales and a good agent with experience in short sales.
  • May 01 2012
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Profile picture for MBExclusive

We recommend contacting the agents broker on this subject to make a formal complaint. Best of luck.

  • April 30 2012
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I totally understand what you are saying and makes me INSANE to read. I don't know where this property is located but in TN, we have agency, which means we can represent ONE party and ONE party only. If I am the listing agent representing the "sellers" interests, I cannot..... represent yours.  PERIOD.  They can drop to facilitator which means a pencil pusher and represent neither party. Unfortunatley, I am not into lawsuits and many are because the sellers thought the agent represented them and buyers thought same. Not the case!  They are GREEDY! Want both sides and actually represent NO ONE.  AS a listing agent representing the Seller, it is my job if you call to see the property, to SHOW it.  If you have interest and want to make an offer, I explain that I represent the seller and cannot represent YOU.  You can either find a Buyers Agent to represent your interests or have the Broker assign one you agree to.  I have never in 12 years SOLD one of my own listings. Ethical I Guess.  The fact that the Sellers agent refused to show you the property means she was not REPRESENTING her sellers best interests!  And I would contact the bank that had the property and make them aware of all including the Real Estate Board.  As far as your Buyers Agent not wanting to write because a bank was large means you chose the wrong Buyers Agent.  I would find a reputable Buyers Agent, write your offer and submit to the agent, copy to broker, and have them call and fax the lender.  Any offer you write MUST be submitted to the seller in a timely manner unless in a state where the laws are???()()*)   They MUST be submitted.

MY job as a listing agent is to get the HOME SOLD. And I would imagine the seller whether bank, HUD, whatever would not want ANY agent listing their homes that is not doing 110% to sell the home. PERIOD

  • April 29 2012
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Blub blub has it all right in my opinion. As a principal broker who supervises 54 agents, I was extremely impressed with blub blub's explanation about short sales. Exactly right on target And I also agree that the agent who did not want to get involved, was only thinking of their own interests. Not the clients.
  • April 28 2012
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I introduced a potential buyer to one of my listings...she then asked that the offer be written & submitted by a friend of hers..

I told my manager that I thought it was wrong and he should fight for my commissions due me...he said let it go and just close the deal....I thought it was wrong but I let her choose the agent...

I have since relocated to another office that offers more support
  • April 28 2012
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Profile picture for blub blub blub
First of all, the listing agent should have discussed Dual Agency with you prior to showing you the house the first time.  Should probably have had a buyers agreement signed as well and made it very clear as to what her responsibilites are to both parties.

Not having either document signed by the buyer could go against her, however, she probably would be entitled to the commission for having shown the property twice before contacting  a buyers agent of your own. 

Second, personally, I would have an issue with a buyers agent that doesn't want to deal with a big bank.  The agent should be concerned about your best interest, not theirs.

Another issue you have here is that an offer has been accepted by the seller.  Since this is a short sale, it is contingent on the bank approving the sale.  Your offer would/should be a back up offer and not presented until the first offer is dead.  You will have to wait through the process which could take months before your offer can be presented.

In this case, you have a buyers agent that doesn't want to deal with a big bank.  Not sure how much effort they are willing to put in to push your offer along.

You also have a listing agent that feels that they should have written the offer.  Not sure how willing that agent will be to push through an offer written by someone else.

Since the listing agent has already shown the property to you twice, and probably entitled to the commision, you would be better off having that agent write your offer.  At least this way, if the first offer does not go through, you would be next in line and the listng agent could keep you in the loop about where you are at.  May be the best option for a not so perfect situation.  Best of luck to you.
  • April 28 2012
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Profile picture for Ofe Polack
You already established a pattern on this relationship.  You did not call your buyer agent to get an appointment and accompany you  to the 1st or 2nd showings, that obviously means that you do not have a buyer agent. I always ask buyers if they are working with a buyer agent, did the listing agent asked you that question prior to showing you the property the first time?  The Listing agent is entitled to the procuring costs, since you have been dealing with her.  I do not believe that she can prevent you from working with a buyer agent but most likely you will have to pay that agent.  If you decide to work with the listing agent, you will be in Dual Agency situation and will have to understand the terms of Dual Agency which are described on the Dual Agency agreement.  If you need further claification on this issue, I suggest that you sit down with the  managing broker of the agency you chose to represent you so you can better understand the situation.  
  • April 28 2012
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
From a consumer's perspective, I suspect what you've run into related to submitting offers is that you asked the listing agent to show you the house twice and now late in the game you want to bring in another agent.    If you'd casually wandered through on an open house and then brought in a buyer's agent you'd be in a stronger position.  
  • April 28 2012
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Hi. There is something called "Procurring Cause". That means that the agent that showed the house 1st is entitled to the commission. In this case, since you didn't go to your buyer's agent to see the house but rather called the listing agent to see it, the listing agent is entitled to the commission. Your buyer agent wouldn't get a dime so if you do want the house, you would have to use the listing agent. In a case of dual agency, the agent can represent both interests of the buyer and seller (and bank). It's tough but can be done. The biggest stumbling block I see is that there is an offer submitted to the bank already. The bank will work with that offer until no compromise can be reached. Short sales can take months and if all you have submitted is a back up offer, can you wait to see whether or not you have a chance at it after all is said and done?
  • April 28 2012
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