Tuesday, March 6, 2012

What Can I Do If The Listing Agent Does Not Submit My Offer To The Seller?

     It is March of 2012.  I am teaching a post broker license class at Climer School of Real Estate in Orlando.  I thought we were in the middle of an economic depression.  My students assure me that we are in a BIG seller's market.  A major problem today is getting your offer on short sales and bank owned properties accepted.

     Let me address the two separately.  When you make an offer on a short sale, be certain that you understand that the seller owns the house.  The bank does not own the house.  The bank can not accept or reject your offer.  The seller owns the house.  Only the seller can accept your offer.  The bank might decide whether or not we go to closing but only the seller can accept or reject your offer.  Understand this important point. 

     If you have a concern that your offer is not even being shown to the seller, mail a copy of the offer to the seller at the same time that you contact the listing agent.  I assume that, as a competent Realtor, you are able to find the seller. If you are concerned that your offer is not being submitted to the seller, mail a copy of it to the listing agent by certified mail return receipt requested instead of email.  Better yet why not suggest to the listing agent that you and he conference call the seller to submit the offer. Why would he object to that?

     Assuming the buyer's agent is smart enough to find the seller, would the buyer's agent be breaking any law to mail a copy of the offer directly to the seller?  Would they be violating the code of ethics of the Association of Realtors?  I don't see how.  What legitimate Realtor would object to that? 

     I would not want to do this all the time.  If a particular agent had a local reputation of  NOT submitting offers timely, this might prove to be an effective strategy.  Most of the time reputations don't happen with no truth to them. 

     If, as a buyer's agent, you can not find the seller, I suppose you are at the mercy of this unscrupulous agent that does not submit all offers.

     With a short sale offer, have your buyer offer to pay the seller two thousand dollars in cash at closing.  If the listing agent tells you that you can't do that , ask them to modify the offer to suit the sellers and initial the changes and submit the counteroffer back to you.

     A lot of the advice in this article depends on how much effort you want to put into getting your offer accepted.  This article started when one of my students told our class that she had made six offers on REO properties with a particular agent in her market that had a reputation for not responding to offers.  No call back , no response at all.  My students inclination is to not show her listings. 

     If I suspect I will have an occasion in the future to be showing this agent's REO listings, maybe it would be prudent to pave the road ahead for my next offer. 

     Maybe, if I believe my offer was not submitted to the bank,seller, I should turn in a complaint to the Florida Real Estate Commission alleging that my offer was not submitted to the seller. In Florida, when a complaint is made, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation is required to investigate the complaint.  This will create a little bit of work and aggravation for this unscrupulous Realtor that did not submit my offer.  This is also going to create a little bit of work and aggravation for me. 

     This may seem a little bit extreme.  This would be analogous to a victim of domestic violence calling the police every time her husband hit her.  If she doesn't do this the abuser will keep on abusing.  If there are consequences, maybe he will quit.  Maybe he won't but,after time, a pattern will be established.  What is the message?  IF YOU DON'T SUBMIT MY OFFERS, EXPECT A COMPLAINT TO BE FILED WITH THE FLORIDA REAL ESTATE COMMISSION.  I did not complain to the Association of  Realtors.  I complained to the Florida Real Estate Commission.  That is the folks that can suspend your Florida real estate license.

    In Florida, it is a violation of the real estate license law to NOT submit all offers unless we have written instructions from the seller to not submit certain offers.  There is no law requiring the listing agent to respond to the buyer's agent unless there is a counteroffer. The real estate law does require the listing agent to submit all offers.  If you think your offer is not being submitted to the seller, turn in a complaint to the Florida Real Estate Commission.

     Maybe we need to be tough and have a reputation for being tough.

     If you think you are violating some rule or law by mailing that offer to the seller, would it be okay if your buyer wrote a letter to the seller (bank ) and told them how much they like the house and ask them to please, please, please accept our full price offer by contacting my Realtor at ---------?  The truth is you have no control over what your buyer does.  If he contacted the seller via mail or email, you would have no control or responsibility for that.

     If you are going to take the time to show a house to a buyer, don't let an unscrupulous listing agent stand between you and a well earned commission. 


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  2. Thanks for sharing this.I agree with all of the points keep up the good work.

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