Profile picture for novpj

how to report potential unethical conduct of a broker

Hi
I have had a bad experience with a seller's agent and am looking for advise on what I can do about it.  Here are the details:

1.  I am looking for a house in Atlanta.  I found one that I liked and made a lowball offer on it since its been on the market for 1.5 yrs.  I did not recieve any response from the seller.  In conversations with the seller's agent my agent communicated the maximum price I was willing to pay.  Seller's agent indicated that it wasnt close to what was required to do the deal. 6 weeks later we found out that the house was solde for less than what we were willing to pay to a buyer who was represented by seller's agency - Dorsey Alston.  I think this represents an abdication of seller's agents responsibility since he didnt reach out to us to get an alternate offer that could have been better.
2. We decided to let that slide because we were interested in another house in the sub-division from the same seller (and agent).  When we made an offer on this second house the seller's agent told us that she would not submit the offer because she was negotiating with some one else.  My agents reminded her that if the house was not under contract she had to submit our offer.  yesterday we got a response form the seller that he will not respond to our offer since the house was already under contract.  We suspect that the seller's agent did not submit our offer as soon as she got it.

I am going to contact the seller directly but am interested in advise on what else I can do t uncover this as well as report it if its unethical.
  • January 09 2010 - G. L. Garcia
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Answers (5)

Profile picture for user4125597
[off topic removed by Zillow moderator]
  • October 25 2012
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Yeah, I'm not implying the agent in this particular scenario was a jerk.

But it can be a factor in the mix, good or bad.
  • January 09 2010
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Profile picture for Blue Nile
I like Michael's #6.

If I were a seller under such circumstances, it wouldn't matter if the offer was twice as high; I would reject it without even looking at it.

Of course it is not "unethical" nor "illegal".  People can complain about jerks all they want, but it won't change anything.

Not saying there is a jerk in this particular circumstance; but it does make one wonder.
  • January 09 2010
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Having an offer where the dollar amount exceeds the dollar amount of other offers does not guarantee that your offer will be accepted.

There are many factors that are considered by sellers and price is just one of them.

1) Whether your offer is an all cash offer or will require substantial financing. And if it's financed, does the buyer have the ability to obtain financing.

2) Quick close versus a longer closing time. Time is of the essence in a real estate transaction.

3) Type of financing. If the buyer is only qualified for FHA and VA financing and the home won't pass rigid FHA and VA rules, there's no point in further entertaining an offer- no matter how much more the offer is when compared to the successful bid.

4) Inspection versus no inspection. Personally I think a buyer would be insane to pass on an inspection of a single family home (not as critical with a condo), if a buyer opts not to have an inspection, they have an advantage over a buyer that insists on an inspection prior to closing.

5) Those pesky contingencies. If the buyer has a home to sell before closing, they often go to the bottom of the pile when the seller is considering offers. If the buyer makes excessive demands for repairs, demands for appliances, light fixtures, etc - they go to the bottom of the pile.

6) Whether or not the buyers agent is a jerk. Is that fair? No. Does it happen? Yes.

Short answer; there are many factors that are considered by the sellers and their listing agent. Price is just one of many of those factors.

I encourage other agents to chime in on this short list.
  • January 09 2010
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How was your second offer presented to the seller's agent? A fax, an email or hand delivered? Did the seller instruct their agent regarding your offer/s? Was your offer verbally presented to the seller or did the seller actually see the full thing? If you had gone directly to the seller's agent the first time, might you have purchased the first or maybe second home and at a lower price than your agent could manage?

If there is a reason for complaint, I suggest you first discuss it with your agent's broker. You may not like what you find out. By all means speak with the seller directly. You just might learn that fault, blame or failure lies elsewhere.

I'm not saying a buyer's agent cannot be beneficial. Just don't believe that they will get you a better deal than working directly with the listing agent. It is a myth, a scare tactic, an absolute lie that listing agents will rip off buyers.

  • January 09 2010
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