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Possible Wholesale done illegally?

Todd Collins
Posted Jul 27 2023, 12:31

Made an offer on a house on April 26th, 2023. The sellers countered through a text message from their listing agent which read "My clients want to counter at 365. Heck I am shocked if I had known I would have bought it. I accepted their offer. I signed the contract and sent it back to the listing agent by my agent. He then began giving excuses as to why the sellers were not signing. First it was they did not know how to do electronic signatures. Then they were too tired. That evening a showing was scheduled even with the sellers being tired. The next day a 400 thousand dollar offer appeared. The owners were going with the higher offer. That evening the house was listed as being under contract with a realtor. The next day it disappeared from MLS, and the reappeared a few hours later under the original listing agents father's name who is also a realtor. He then bought the house and closed on May 10th for the exact same price I was paying and sold it on May 12th for 65 thousand dollars profit. Is this legal? I am sure it is unethical because the local real estate commission has scheduled a hearing. I was not made aware of any of his interest in buying the property. I feel like because the owners countered my original offer, I accepted that offer, signed the contract and sent it to the listing agent. We had a binding contract. Thoughts, advice, attorney referral.

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Replied Jul 28 2023, 15:09

If attorneys  were not telling me different I would agree but they are saying that a contract was formed when the seller made their counter offer 

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Replied Jul 28 2023, 15:11

Thanks Matt. We will see what the Real Estate commission does. 

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Replied Jul 28 2023, 16:54
Quote from @Todd Collins:

If attorneys  were not telling me different I would agree but they are saying that a contract was formed when the seller made their counter offer 

Todd, also understand…..attorneys make their money charging by the hour.  Many attorneys will take your case even if they don’t think you’ll prevail……they get paid either way.  The “I think you may have a case” is often just to get you to proceed.

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Replied Jul 28 2023, 16:56

I understand.  

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Replied Jul 28 2023, 18:13
Quote from @Todd Collins:

Thanks for that.  I am trying. Hopefully after the hearing I can get more comfortable letting go. I just wish I could find an attorney 


 How can you not find an attorney. Its as easy as finding anything. A dentist, a plumber, etc.

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Replied Jul 28 2023, 18:17

Finding an attorney that does not cost an arm a leg and two children 

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Replied Jul 28 2023, 18:26

A case and a clear cut path to victory are two different things.

Seems like the person who was wronged here was the original seller yes? A broker who was supposed to be acting as a fiduciary profited by self dealing.

Feels like the damages would accrue to the seller yea?


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Replied Jul 28 2023, 18:44

I agree but feel I also lost the opportunity to buy my dream home. But yes they were absolutely screwed 

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Replied Jul 28 2023, 22:38

First I feel you were wronged.  I am sorry you got $crewed.

I am not an attorney. This is very relevant.  Attorneys study law, pass bar, etc.  Recognize these are my opinions and I am not a lawyer. 

There are multiple issues: 1) what are your damages?  Did you sell a property?  Did you pay for inspections?  Even if you did, damages would be minimal. 2) without seller’s signature on contract, you will have difficulty showing there was a contract.  In addition, you did not convey earnest money. 

I would wait to see what RE commission finds if that is public.

If you have a good case, you should be able to get an attorney to take the case on contingency.  If you cannot find this, there is good chance it is not financially worth pursuing.  Note I have initiated cases that financially were questionable (including one that is still in process).  For me sometimes it is to make the scumbag go through as much grief as I can create.  This route should only be used if you have money to throw away.  The odds of getting compensated for effort and cost is slim.  You may be lucky to recover your attorney fees.

I wish you the best of luck but fear your odds of recovering anything is slim. 

Good luck

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Replied Jul 29 2023, 16:56

seems like the original owner is the missing link. if you (your attorney) can get their side of the deal, it would/could clear up a lot of the unknowns. 

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Replied Jul 29 2023, 17:49

I got a print out and letter that indicates the owners knew and the listing agent knew early on he was going to buy the house as he stated I knew I could get it for much cheaper than listed 10 days before I made my offer. The house was on the market for two weeks when I made my offer. He got a call from a agent the evening I made my offer ( conveniently after no offers) saying she has a client who wants to offer 400 thousand. He advised me the owner was taking that offer. Gave me no opportunity to negotiate, increase my offer or put in back up offer. April 27th the MLS showed the house under contract from April 27th closing 5/10. April 28th the disappeared from MLS and reappeared a few hours later listed under the listing agent fathers name. He the bought the house for 344 thousand dollars and had the owners sign a paper saying they knew he was buying the house only to sale it to the person who made the 400 thousand dollars offer. Her deal was originally declined along with mine because the owners were offended by my questions about the house before my offer and were afraid I would ask for too money for repairs. My offer was cash, as is no contingency. They were afraid of the other offer because of financing issues. So he bought the house with the owners knowing that he was going to make 65 dollars profit and sold May 12 to the girl who made the 400 thousand dollars offer. He should have given me an opportunity to negotiate or raise my offer. He had no intention of losing that profit of 65 thousand

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Replied Jul 29 2023, 21:17
Quote from @Todd Collins:

I got a print out and letter that indicates the owners knew and the listing agent knew early on he was going to buy the house as he stated I knew I could get it for much cheaper than listed 10 days before I made my offer. The house was on the market for two weeks when I made my offer. He got a call from a agent the evening I made my offer ( conveniently after no offers) saying she has a client who wants to offer 400 thousand. He advised me the owner was taking that offer. Gave me no opportunity to negotiate, increase my offer or put in back up offer. April 27th the MLS showed the house under contract from April 27th closing 5/10. April 28th the disappeared from MLS and reappeared a few hours later listed under the listing agent fathers name. He the bought the house for 344 thousand dollars and had the owners sign a paper saying they knew he was buying the house only to sale it to the person who made the 400 thousand dollars offer. Her deal was originally declined along with mine because the owners were offended by my questions about the house before my offer and were afraid I would ask for too money for repairs. My offer was cash, as is no contingency. They were afraid of the other offer because of financing issues. So he bought the house with the owners knowing that he was going to make 65 dollars profit and sold May 12 to the girl who made the 400 thousand dollars offer. He should have given me an opportunity to negotiate or raise my offer. He had no intention of losing that profit of 65 thousand

For a mere $50,000 in fees to an attorney, and two years of litigation, you can tell it directly to the judge and see what the judge thinks.

Bummer, I know, but there is risk in investing in real estate.
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Replied Jul 30 2023, 06:49

Not entirely positive I follow this or where the letter that is the source of your info came from, but if I do follow I think you are dead in the water here. If the owners knew and consented to what their broker was doing with his father I think thats the end of it

The listing agent doesn't represent you and is under no obligation to negotiate. Looks like he may have offered this to his client as a safe option...along the lines of, "I believe this woman will pay and qualify at 400K but I understand you don't want to take the risk, I'll buy it and resell and the risk is on me..."

"Had the owners sign a paper"...you mean the owners consented to this arrangement in writing. Done. 

Feels very dubious ethically and I can see plenty of ways the listing agent could be acting more in their own interest than their clients, but I don't think you are really a major part of this and you don't know.

It sucks, but you have to deal. Sorry I know thats not what you want to hear.

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Replied Jul 30 2023, 07:18

I got a print out and letter that indicates the owners knew and the listing agent knew early on he was going to buy the house as he stated I knew I could get it for much cheaper than listed 10 days before I made my offer. The house was on the market for two weeks when I made my offer. He got a call from a agent the evening I made my offer ( conveniently after no offers) saying she has a client who wants to offer 400 thousand. He advised me the owner was taking that offer. Gave me no opportunity to negotiate, increase my offer or put in back up offer. April 27th the MLS showed the house under contract from April 27th closing 5/10. April 28th the disappeared from MLS and reappeared a few hours later listed under the listing agent fathers name. He the bought the house for 344 thousand dollars and had the owners sign a paper saying they knew he was buying the house only to sale it to the person who made the 400 thousand dollars offer. Her deal was originally declined along with mine because the owners were offended by my questions about the house before my offer and were afraid I would ask for too money for repairs. My offer was cash, as is no contingency. They were afraid of the other offer because of financing issues. So he bought the house with the owners knowing that he was going to make 65 dollars profit and sold May 12 to the girl who made the 400 thousand dollars offer. He should have given me an opportunity to negotiate or raise my offer. He had no intention of losing that profit of 65 thousand

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Replied Jul 30 2023, 07:22
Quote from @Jonathan R McLaughlin:

Not entirely positive I follow this or where the letter that is the source of your info came from, but if I do follow I think you are dead in the water here. If the owners knew and consented to what their broker was doing with his father I think thats the end of it

The listing agent doesn't represent you and is under no obligation to negotiate. Looks like he may have offered this to his client as a safe option...along the lines of, "I believe this woman will pay and qualify at 400K but I understand you don't want to take the risk, I'll buy it and resell and the risk is on me..."

"Had the owners sign a paper"...you mean the owners consented to this arrangement in writing. Done. 

Feels very dubious ethically and I can see plenty of ways the listing agent could be acting more in their own interest than their clients, but I don't think you are really a major part of this and you don't know.

It sucks, but you have to deal. Sorry I know thats not what you want to hear.


 I don't disagree  however the code of ethics hearing is coming up August 28. I think the commission felt there was enough evidence to warrant a hearing. We will see what happens