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Old 03-01-2008, 03:09 PM
332 posts, read 831,563 times
Reputation: 240


About three months ago my fiancee and I began working with a real estate agent in a particular area of New Jersey. We signed a paper saying that she would represent us as a buyer's agent but she specifically said to us that signing the paper did not mean that we had to use her exclusively. Shortly thereafter we found a home we liked and had her submit an offer. The offer was flat out turned down with no counter offer. We then asked her to submit a second offer ($10K higher than the first) which she claimed she did and told us that again there was no response. After this we decided to look in another area with another agent (the original agent did not work in the area) and found nothing we liked.

We thought it was odd that our second offer on the home we originally were interested in was never acknowledged so we decided to call the listing agent ourselves. He claims that our buyer's agent agent NEVER SUBMITTED THE SECOND OFFER OF $240K!!! He encouraged us to submit the offer, but he claims that we are now bound by New Jersey law to use our original buyer's agent. Is this true? Even if it is, didn't our buyer's agent break the law by not submitting our offer? We really want this house but don't want to work with our original buyer's agent, can someone please advise us? I have a gnawing suspicion that since she knew that we were pre-approved for $260K (we made the mistake of getting our letter printed out with our max approval amount even though we didn't want to spend that much) she thought she would drive up the price by claiming that our offers were being turned down. In any event, if there is any way we can dump this woman for another buyer's agent we'll do it in heartbeat.
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Old 03-01-2008, 04:20 PM
Location: WNY
1,049 posts, read 3,484,875 times
Reputation: 268
I assume that you can talk to her and tell her you would like to be released from the contract, get that in writing.

I am amazed that she would have you sign a contract and then tell you that you didnt have to use her exclusively? Perhaps she meant that she didn't have to be the selling agent as well? As in dual agency.

I didn't research this, and anyone else feel free to chime in, but even though you are contracted with her, if this went to any ethics board and she indeed did NOT submit your new offer and it was accepted, then she is would probably NOT be entitled to the commission if another agent submits the offer on your behalf.

I can understand the listing agents hesitance to get involved. I would call her and ask her why this happened in the first place. Be honest, tell her that you called on the house and this is what you were told and now you want to know why she didnt put in the offer, see what she says,,,,,,and it really doesn't matter what she says, based on that alone, I would then tell her you formally want out of the contract.

There are two sides to every story. IF she did not submit that offer on purpose, that is pretty low. The commission on 20k isn't enough to ruin your repuation, and it's totally unethical.
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Old 03-01-2008, 10:21 PM
Location: Salem, OR
14,002 posts, read 32,901,717 times
Reputation: 12755
In Oregon she would get suspended for failing to present an offer and then lying about it. That is a huge breach of fiduciary duties.

You need to read over your contract and see what is says about terminating the relationship. I use buyer agency agreements and people just need to send me an email (or some other writing) to terminate.

I also agree with CAugust that since she broke the chain of procuring cause by not presenting the offer (I mean it doesn't get any less procuring than that) she would most likely not be entitled to compensation from the MLS, but it depends on what her contract with you states. If you agreed to pay her directly, then she could sue you for her commission.

So...I would look over the contract and see what it says you need to do to terminate. Then I would call your agent to terminate the contract. If you run into issues, talk with her principal broker about the situation. The principal broker may elect to have another agent from the company represent you. Remember that the contract is with the brokerage and the principal broker, the agent underneath is just acting on their behalf.
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Old 03-01-2008, 10:52 PM
7 posts, read 13,878 times
Reputation: 10
Default Buyer's Agent

Contact the Buyer Agent and ask for an explanation about presenting the offer and the Listing Agent's remarks. If not satisfiedmake an appointment with the Broker in charge of the office where the buyer agent works. They may agree to release you from the agreement if the accusations are correct. Otherwise, you might want to contact the real estate commission in your state.
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Old 03-02-2008, 07:03 AM
Location: Palm Coast, Fl
2,249 posts, read 8,060,272 times
Reputation: 1002
First, read the agreement you signed. Does it say you are responsible to pay her a commission of any sort or is it just a form explaining what your duties are to each other?
If no money is involved..you aren't committed to pay her anything...then go get a Realtor® and put your offer in. Let them fight it out after that because it doesn't concern you. Commissions/procurement/arbitration issues come after the closing..your only concern is to get the house with someone you trust.
If it's a true buyer's agreement contract and it states in there you are paying her a commission, then you need to call her broker and tell them you want out of the agreement. Personally, I wouldn't talk to her about it at all...I'd go straight to the broker. Let him/her straighten out what did and didn't happen. That's their job. If it turns out she did submit the 2nd offer and the other agent didn't receive it for whatever reason then she still didn't do her job because she didn't follow up. If she didn't submit it then she's in a heap of trouble and if I were you, I would file a complaint with the local county office and then the state board of Realtors®. Once you know what really happened you can either ask the broker to handle the transaction themselves or to release you from the contract and find a Realtor® you trust.
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