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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 27 2023, 12:43
Quote from @Todd Collins:

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.


 Did they sign your offer? If not then you do not have any binding contract. I can say yes we will accept it but a verbal is not binding unfortunately. At this point in time its also too late to do anything but just a lesson learned. 

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Replied Jul 27 2023, 12:45
Quote from @Todd Collins:

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.


 Move on, you never and an acceptance, 

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Replied Jul 27 2023, 15:02

They made a non-binding offer and then got cold feet. Sold it to somebody else and that’s that.

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Replied Jul 28 2023, 05:30

@Todd Collins You should have waited for the written counter the agent suggested was forthcoming... instead you submitted another offer which, as stated above, was not accepted. “My clients want to counter” is not a counter, imo.

Regardless of the outcome of that analysis, while the original listing agent may have some trouble ahead because he may have violated one or more articles of the ethics code, that's not going to change things for you or the current owner. Research local law on the concept of “bona fide purchaser for value without notice”.

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Replied Jul 28 2023, 06:38

Researching contracts and electronic communications in real estate. I found a real estate attorney Neal Beavens who is a expert in real estate law and his book indicates that when a seller counters your original offer it cancels that offer and if you accept the counter offer a new contract is formed and binding. Also I only made my original offer and then accepted the countered offer I did not make another offer 

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Replied Jul 28 2023, 07:15

Neal is a licensed attorney in your state? no. He reviewed your contracts? no.

A binding counteroffer needed to be typed up and signed by the seller. All you have is a indirect text or email from agent nothing signed by seller. You also indicate you never had your agent send an acceptance which needed to be signed by you, sent to seller. Both these forms need buyer and seller signature at closing. You made and offer and do not have a legal acceptance. Next step is mutual consent. Next step is consideration - you needed to give the seller money which was cashed. After BOTH parties sign the contract and money is given in a earnest money deposit then you have a binding agreement.

Your agent was crummy. Let it go. If you just aim to have agent get hand slapped - you can write to the local board, agent's broker, and the state licensing agency and make a complaint but you will not get money.

Next time be faster with the contracts and get things signed. Listing agent #1 played with you but got more money for the seller who he represents. The (tired story) delay sign was your answer: seller has FOMO and some other suitor looks better. This is where your buyer's agent's reputation and negotiation skill could have won the negotiation. Realtors in a city generally know each other personally. 

::: This is not legal advice. Consult an attorney in your state.:::   Most on here offer advice based on experience but we did not see your contracts.

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Replied Jul 28 2023, 07:20
Quote from @Todd Collins:

Researching contracts and electronic communications in real estate. I found a real estate attorney Neal Beavens who is a expert in real estate law and his book indicates that when a seller counters your original offer it cancels that offer and if you accept the counter offer a new contract is formed and binding. Also I only made my original offer and then accepted the countered offer I did not make another offer 

You are correct that a counter offer from a seller serves as a rejection of your offer…that is correct, and is common knowledge. But, since the seller did Not make his “counter offer” in Writng, there was no actual counter offer for you to accept. Real estate contracts, and offers/counter offers, have to be in writing, and signed, in order to be valid. You never had a contract. It was a common tactic for me, when receiving a counter offer (written) for say $350k, to ask the selling agent if the sellers would agree to $340k….if the seller said no, and the buyer would still buy for $350k, then we’d sign the counter for $350k and proceed. A Verbal counter offer/inquiry does Not act as a rejection to a Written offer/counter offer.

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Replied Jul 28 2023, 07:24

Neal is a licensed attorney in NC teaches paralegal classes at a community College in Western North Carolina 

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Replied Jul 28 2023, 07:30

1. My agent sent back my accepted counter offer paperwork immediately. Read the first post. 2. The listing agent took the house off the market put it in his father's name who is a realtor as well and bought the house for what I was paying giving me no chance to negotiate anything not even a back up offer. He sold the house for his own profit 2 days later for 400 thousand dollars costing his clients 65 thousand in their pocket. I am a veteran and this house spoke to me and gave me a sense of peace so letting it go is difficult 

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Replied Jul 28 2023, 08:45
Quote from @Todd Collins:

... I am a veteran and this house spoke to me and gave me a sense of peace so letting it go is difficult 

I billion percent understand this portion, as many of us do. 

I still think of one place that I really, really wish I got as my primary. Dream layout, location was "eh", almost dream price. 3 car garage. Was it near perfect? No. I've seen/visited countless houses over the years and none have been perfect. But that was 2020 and, as you guessed it, It became contingent in minutes. 

Heck, I'll post it here.
920 Stone Crossing

Also, I can imagine it getting away in this potentially unethical manner doesn't sit well.
But here's what happens.
I found several other homes that I really liked had better advantages/stats in some areas, worse in others. Bigger yards, excellent attention to detail/workmanship with high quality materials, more sqft, way better location. Overall they weren't better...just different. When I compare my existing to the previous dream, I realize that dream home had its own share of downsides in comparison to what I have now. There may have been problems I would have experienced I don't experience now. Maybe not getting it was a good thing.

In summary, I would immediately say out loud "So be it. I'm going to let that one go. " and start looking. I 100% believe in time another one will give you a sense of peace...it will just be different.

Be grateful not just when doors open...be grateful when doors are closed as well.

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Replied Jul 28 2023, 08:51

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 

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Replied Jul 28 2023, 10:47
Quote from @Todd Collins:

1. My agent sent back my accepted counter offer paperwork immediately. Read the first post. 2. The listing agent took the house off the market put it in his father's name who is a realtor as well and bought the house for what I was paying giving me no chance to negotiate anything not even a back up offer. He sold the house for his own profit 2 days later for 400 thousand dollars costing his clients 65 thousand in their pocket. I am a veteran and this house spoke to me and gave me a sense of peace so letting it go is difficult 

Your agent did Not send back an “accepted counter offer”….as per your original post, the seller agent “sent a text”, not a “signed counter offer”……what you submitted the second time was “a second offer for $365k”…this second offer was never accepted/signed by the seller, so you Never had an accepted offer, or counter offer.


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Replied Jul 28 2023, 10:54

You  are missing the point. My original offer that I signed and was sent to the seller agent was revised after the sellers countered my original offer. My agent revised only the price of the original documents and I signed that and sent it back to the listing agent through my agent 

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Replied Jul 28 2023, 10:57

Whether it was accepted or not remains to be seen. We will see what the real estate commission says. There are many cases exactly like this that are legally binding contracts. I used to think as you think that everything must be signed. This day and age it is not so cut and dry

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Replied Jul 28 2023, 12:25

@Todd Collins what is the point? 

To what end are you looking for? Do you want someone to come out and announce to the world you were done wrong? How much $ is that worth? Your talking about hiring an attorney. 

Are you expecting to force a hand to convey property to you? Cause that's not gonna happen. 

Are you looking to get paid "damages"? That would be an interesting suit, and again, at what cost. 

Here is the facts, you never had a counter from the sellers. What you did have was a verbal counter from sellers AGENT, big difference. All that agent has to do is say his sellers said they would CONSIDER a counter at ___, not that they would accept it done-deal BUT they would CONSIDER that counter. And how do you prove it didn't happen that way? 

You and your agent screwed up. Your agent isn't that good because if your buyers agent was skilled they would have told the listing agent to write it up and send it over. Hence why it's called a COUNTER-offer, because it's presented by the countering party, as in a signed done deal being offered. You didn't have that. 

What you got is an argument, and that's it. Whatever hijinks listing agent did is between listing agent and sellers unless you have a claim for damages, do you have that? Can you show evidence that you would have made xyz on it? And guess what, if you say you could have bought it for way less and sold it out to whoever as they did, that's called EQUITY STRIPPING, not a great argument to a judge. And most likely the charges agent faces now. 

Best advice is; welcome to real estate. Next time correctly negotiate, don't be the eager beaver running to throw yourself at a listing agent because we will use the heck out of you, that's literally the job of listing agent, use and abuse buyers to get them to fight to the death to give sellers best price and terms. 

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Replied Jul 28 2023, 12:33
Quote from @Todd Collins:

1. My agent sent back my accepted counter offer paperwork immediately. Read the first post. 2. The listing agent took the house off the market put it in his father's name who is a realtor as well and bought the house for what I was paying giving me no chance to negotiate anything not even a back up offer. He sold the house for his own profit 2 days later for 400 thousand dollars costing his clients 65 thousand in their pocket. I am a veteran and this house spoke to me and gave me a sense of peace so letting it go is difficult 

So if you was going to sell your house at a discount, would you rather sell it to your father for discount or some stranger?  

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Replied Jul 28 2023, 12:37

The listing agent took the house off the market put it in his father's name who is a realtor and bought his own former listing from his father for 344 thousand dollars and the sold it to a completely different person for 400 thousand dollars profit 

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Replied Jul 28 2023, 12:43

First I did not run to anyone. Second opinion are just that opinion. I do not have the space and time to convey every detail here as to what happened and what did not happen. I am only wanting to make sure that this type of thing never happened to anyone else. Yes I had a counter. I have had numerous agents and attorneys tell me as such. Thanks for your input

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Replied Jul 28 2023, 12:55
Quote from @Todd Collins:

First I did not run to anyone. Second opinion are just that opinion. I do not have the space and time to convey every detail here as to what happened and what did not happen. I am only wanting to make sure that this type of thing never happened to anyone else. Yes I had a counter. I have had numerous agents and attorneys tell me as such. Thanks for your input

 So… You had numerous agents tell you you had a counter? You had an attorney tell you you had a counter? What did your attorney advise you to do? A few post above you said that you wished you could find an attorney.. like four hours ago. Lol.

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Replied Jul 28 2023, 13:00

I did say that.  Finding an attorney and talking to an attorney are two different things. I was told I had a case but the guy was asking for 10 thousand retainer lol Laugh 😆 

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ModeratorReplied Jul 28 2023, 13:22

This is clear cut. Agents can not enter into a contract on behalf of their clients. So while there is 1 singular case, in Texas I believe, that a text message was constituted as a contract, that was between 2 principals to the transaction. An agent does not have the legal capacity to enter into a contract on behalf of your client, and you have stated the listing agent made the text to your agent.

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Replied Jul 28 2023, 13:25

Yes that is correct. He text while sitting with the sellers that they wanted to counter 

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Replied Jul 28 2023, 13:26
Quote from @Todd Collins:

Neal is a licensed attorney in NC teaches paralegal classes at a community College in Western North Carolina 


 NC State Bar does not show him https://portal.ncbar.gov/verif...

I see his books.

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Replied Jul 28 2023, 14:43
Quote from @Todd Collins:

Yes that is correct. He text while sitting with the sellers that they wanted to counter 

At any point did you have both your signature And The Seller’s Signature on a Contract? It sounds like the answer is No….therefore you Never had a binding contract….End of story. You can read anything anything you want and try to interpret what you read to support your position but you’re just “urinating into the breeze”, as they say.
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Replied Jul 28 2023, 14:44

What the agent did is definitely unethical if he didn't disclose it to his client. If he disclosed it all in writing and that's what the seller decided to do then it's fine. Questionable, but fine.

As far as your acceptance you need a fully executed contract to get anything done. Technically in NC communication of acceptance is acceptable, but if you show up to a hearing without a signed contract it won't usually matter anyway.  

Sounds like the whole transaction was screwy, but unfortunately it doesn't sound like you stand to gain anything. I'd just move on. Unfortunately there's some bad apples out there. Sooner or later they get caught.