Seek advise for a non-responsive seller agent

6 Replies

Hi All! I'm looking for advise for dealing with a non-responsible listing agent. I'm an investor. I usually work with the listing agent. This property came on market yesterday. I called the agent and got the instruction from him to look at the property. He said he already had 3 offer on the table so I needed to submit an offer by today in order to be considered. I told him that I would wanted him to prepare the offer for me and he was OK.

So I submitted my offer last night around 10. And I called him first thing in the morning, wanted to make sure that he received my offer. However, he simply doesn't respond to any calls or emails... I tried to call his office but the secretary said I had to contacted him directly to write an offer, no other agents were available to help. Around noon I got a text message from him saying he'd call me later, but he never did.

This is a pretty good deal. In a market this hot, I'm guessing that the seller/listing agent is working with a buyer already. I'm not surprised that my offer is not the best one. But I really think this agent is not professional. He doesn't give any updates at all!

My question is, at this point, can I still ask another agent to represent me and submit an offer? I really like the property and would like to try very hard, in a reasonable way. I don't want to create any trouble -- it's a small word anyway and I may need to work with this agent in the future. But since he has never agreed to represent me, and we've never reached any agreement, and the property is shown as still available, can I ask another agent to present me? 

Any advice would be great! Thank you for reading.

hey Emily it would definitely help to reach out to another agent to represent you although clearly this agent is working with another Buyer already. Frankly if he was really on-top of the ball he'd realize he would be making both sides of the commission (assuming your not a broker) but he definitely didn't take advantage of that. 

It is definitely nothing out of the norm these days for agents to resort to radio-silence if the property is under contract already, don't take it personally :) 

If you really want to stir the pot a bit then contact the Broker directly and explain to him you'd just like some Feedback on an offer you submitted and to ensure everything is ok with the Listing Agent! 

First we need to be clear if the Broker is representing the seller as his agent and you are representing yourself, or if the Broker is acting as an intermediary for both you and the seller.  If the former, the Broker, or his agent, have only a duty to present your offer to the seller, not to call you within any time frame (although it would be courtyess and probably good business) until such time as the seller either accepts, rejects, or counters your offer.  If the Broker has placed himself in the role as intermediary, it then would seem that he would be obligated to get back to you within a reasonable amount of time, but that is not the case, because he does not represent you and is not your agent.  Once again his obligation would be to inform you when the seller has accepted, rejected or countered.

Bottom line is if you want a broker to be attentive to your needs, you will need to engage his services and have him operate as your agent.  Otherwise the extra time he spends with you is either because of the benefit to his client, or as a courtesy.

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Thanks for the replies! I understand the agent is not obligated to respond to me  -- and you are right, I'm not even sure he'd like to represent me at all... When I asked him to represent me, he said yes. But when I actually submitted the offer to him, he never got back to me or prepare any paper work for me....

 I just wanted the property really badly so I wonder if I could ask another agent to represent me and give it a try. From an agent's perspective, would that be every offensive? I want to try everything I can without creating any trouble.

I guess I just need more people to tell me that my assumption is right -- he's working with someone else and I need to move on ;-(

Hi @Emily Allen ,

I agree with @Don Konipol . Assuming based on the context he/she is representing the seller, his/her best option may very well be to not tell you anything. If he/she is working on another offer it may be best to keep you in the dark to come back to later. As an example, lets say the property is listed at 100K.

He/she has an offer on the table for 92K

You made an offer of 90K.

If I was representing the seller and their best interest was at heart I may string you along until the 92K deal either didn't work out... or was pretty darn close. Say they were close at 95K after some back and forth and had 9 hours left before the offer died. I may very well call you and say "There is another offer and I need your highest and best, and I need it within 6 hours".

If he/she told you that you weren't the best earlier, you may leave and look at something else. Then he/she could not come back and use you as a bargaining chip later. His/her legal obligation (at least in my area) is to his/her client (the seller... period). I would even tell the other buyer "I currently have another party with an offer waiting, so please put in your best offer".

I understand how on one end it may sound "not right" but the seller is paying him/her to represent them (be their agent in their best interest, get them the most money for their house). He/she has a legal obligation to them.. not people who call with offers, a good agent should be using the other offers to get his/her client the best price/terms for their property, even if that means stringing a person along a bit that does not have any representation.

Just my thoughts and I hope it works out for you. 

Thanks Mike! But from the listing agent's perspective, won't the best thing be calling highest and best? that may prompt everyone to submit a higher offer.  But now the listing agent is only working with that one buyer. 

Yes calling highest and best is a good idea and I am sure they did. However why get rid of fish two until you have fish one in the boat?


Offer 1: 92K, transfer of title contingency, inspection and attorney approval. 24 hour life of offer. Put in at noon

Offer 2: 90K, inspection and attorney approval. 24 hour life of offer. Put in at 1:00

Respond to offer 1 with counter 96K give them 24 hours. (Can't counter offer 2 because you can't sell to both)

Offer 1 responds 16 hours later with 94K and leaves a 24 hour life of offer.

Client responds to offer 1, with OK 94K but ditch transfer of title. leaves 17 hours

At what point do I tell offer 2 "Never mind you are out have a good day?".... If I am truly interested in the best deal for the seller? I should wait until something is rock solid.