How can I keep my sells agreement?

10 Replies

Please help! Time sensitive...!A dual agent, mother-daughter duo deliberately withheld my reduced offer to the seller so that they could get a higher commission off of the sell. They have also pursed another offer even though my contract is not officially terminated.

How can I take action to keep my contract?

An offer is an offer, not a contract. @Bomani Howze Sounds like you lost out, or the seller is considering another offer that is higher than yours. Has the seller accepted an offer, is it under contract to sell?  If it is still available, let your agent know that you are interested, if you want to make a new offer.  If not, you have nothing. If it was to fall out of contract, there may be another opportunity. Talk more with your agents, they need to know your top dollar in advance. Good communication will make you a team. If they are not good teammates, find another.

@Kathy Henley Yes, it’s under a new contract but the agent started a new contract without first having terminated mine. 

@Theresa Harris I learned two days ago from the seller that my agent and his agent (her daughter) have been withholding our communication so that they could get a higher percentage off of the sell. What can I do at this point, to stop the new sell?

@Bomani Howze when you make an offer, regardless of which Realtor or how many are involved, the seller can choose to respond (reject, accept, counter) or not respond.

 Dual agents are illegal in FL and many states since it refers to someone with full fiduciary responsibilities to both sides, something that is not logically possible since you can't look out for the best financial interests of both sides at the same time.  However, in FL it is legal to be a transaction broker to cover both sides of the transaction without full fiduciary responsibilities to either side. Honesty and confidentiality is required, but each side is on their own to decide what is best. I list all of my sellers properties as a transaction broker so that I am able to work with direct buyers as well. So calling this a dual agent situation is likely incorrect.  Sounds like they may have been mother and daughter co-listing agents, which is perfectly acceptable.

  If, after making an offer, you receive a counter offer, your original offer is no longer valid and the option to respond (reject, accept, counter) or not respond is now on you. For all intents and purposes, your first offer is off the table and the sellers have now made you an offer of a price they'll accept to purchase their property.  If you then counter offer back to them, their first counter to you is no longer valid and it is again on them to respond or not to your offer.  No response IS a valid and legal response to an offer or counter offer.  Without all parties agreeing to and signing all terms, you do not yet have a contract. Yes, as a Realtor, they must present the offer, but that is not the same as any requirement for you to receive a response, there is no legal obligation for response which is why there's an expiration date on offers.

I've had an offer ignored that was actually higher than the offer that was accepted and what the property was then sold for. The lower offer likely had better terms than what my buyer's offer did.  It is a free market and sellers are allowed, legally, to accept, reject, counter, OR IGNORE any offer as they see fit.  If a seller fails to accept an offer at full list price, their list agent likely has some recourse to pursue payment of commission.  If you can prove that your offer was not presented, you may have some recourse as well.  But aside from absolute proof of failure to present, you can't just assume it wasn't presented because you didn't receive a response.  

It's all part of the game of Real Estate....

We've also had situations where our all cash offer with no contingencies or inspection period was passed over for a "lower" offer. Who knows what goes on behind closed doors??

Don't sweat it, there's about 6 million houses that sell every year in the USA. Find a different one.

On a different note, an offer we've been going back and forth on for several days was accepted by the seller today. We finally got it for the original offer price after rejecting multiple counter offers. We didn't want the house all that bad so we just stuck to our lowball number. Still nothing signed so I guess it could fall apart still.

@Russell Holmes My post is a question trying get a resolution. I understand that I may or may not have be able to recover the sell. However, in the event that I do have proof, and I do...from the seller, that she never made the counter offers. She actually came back with her own counter offers still attempting to keep the sell at a higher transaction.

Obviously it's not in the seller's best interest to corroborate this malpractice, but with an open contract with me can she legally proceed with another contract, considering the circumstances?

What recourse do I have in this case. Would her broker or the PA Real Estate Commission be the route to pursue?

@Bomani Howze

I am having trouble following the situation as you say there were no counter offers and then that there were.

It sounds like you’re not actually under contract but are still negotiating the deal.

When an offer comes in, the listing agent is always going to reach out to other interested parties and try to stimulate some competitive offers for the best interest of their clients seller.  Until your contract or counter offers are agreed-upon by both sides, it’s an open playing field.

From your posts, it sounds like the property has not been under contract but simply that you have submitted a written offer. Do you have paperwork with the seller's signature on it accepting an offer? Or a signed counter offer from the seller that you signed and returned?

If not, you have the right to be frustrated but no legal recourse.

@Lydia S.

For clarity, yes, the seller accepted my initial offer and I do have a signed contract. 

I learned after talking with the seller that my agent and/or her daughter never communicated my correspondences to negotiation a better price. On the contrary she simply lied and said they rejected my asks.