I hope that you haven't learned this lesson the hard way...

Real Estate Agent with Azalea Realty 01483292

In keeping with the learning experiences theme from yesterday's blog, "Has this ever happened to you..." I wanted to tell you all about a big learning experience for me,

Two years ago, REO's were starting to pop up in our market.  I had a Short Sale at the time that I showed to some prospective buyers. It wasn't quite for them, so I kept in contact and sent them a few listings.  One caught their eye, it was an REO.  We looked at it and then my buyers called and said, "Let's write an offer!" 

So we did, but it was a long process because in addition to the 8 page Purchase Agreement, the bank provided a 16 page addendum that basically took away or limited many buyer protections found in the contract.  We submitted the offer, along with 5 other offers.  As with many multiple offer situations on REO's the bank came back and said highest and best, and they wanted all offers submitted by 5 P.M. that night, atleast that's what the agent said.  We submitted our highest and best and in the morning the agent called me up and said, "The asset manager has accepted your offer."

So what did I do?  I called my clients to tell them the good news!  Whoops, bad idea because one of the other agents that hadn't responded by the dead line came back and upped the price $5000 above our best offer. I had to call my clients and tell them, that they accepted another offer.

The lesson I learned was don't say a thing until there is ink on paper and it's sitting on your desk!

I felt horrible and what's worse, I lost those clients to another agent.  She wrote an offer for them on another home and they closed on it.  They said it wasn't me, but that transaction clearly left a bad taste in their mouths.

Although it was my fault, I still owe that agent for pulling that maneuver.  Without jeopardizing my ethics or putting one of my clients in a bad position, how could I get back at that agent?  Or should I just drop it? Dropping it is probably the best way to go: Take the high road, but any suggestions for retaliation would be fun.


Comments (5)

Katie McBride
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Hopkinton, MA
The McBride Team

That wasn't your fault.  They changed the rules for one agent with a higher offer.  Not fair.

Jan 13, 2010 04:19 AM
Team Honeycutt
Allen Tate - Concord, NC

Yeah not fair...oh well I hope you have a good 2010!

Jan 13, 2010 04:24 AM
Tony Hager
United Realty Texas - Denton, TX

I've had the same situation happen to me!  The listing agent insisted against my better judgement to verbally negotiate to speed things up.  We made an agreement (verbally) and I made the changes to the original offer and emailed them to the listing agent to get signed by her out of town sellers.  You guessed it, another offer came in higher and they trashed our agreement before they signed it and took the other offer.  My buyers had a hard time understanding why they lost it.  Now it is hard for me to trust even the good ethical agents I know would not do that to me, but yet I have to protect my clients.  All you can do is drop it and move on because in reality the listing agent is working in the best interest of their client and regardless of what they have told you verbally they have to do what their client instructs them to do.  All you can do is log that in your memory bank and not ever trust that agent in the future.

Jan 13, 2010 04:29 AM
Andy Parker
Azalea Realty - Cutten, CA

Yes, a Verbal Agreement is worth the paper it's written on.  I learned that before my real estate career and had to learn it again as a Realtor.

Jan 13, 2010 04:44 AM
Amy Gooden
Allen Tate - Charlotte, NC

I have found that REO's are very suspect in our market lately. I have caught REO listing agents "saving" the offer for a rainy day. They recieve my offer and put it in a drawer for a few days until they can drum up more offers. Most of the REO agents here upload the details of the offers into an online form that goes to the asset manager. Now I ask for a copy of the submission receipt to prove they submitted it in a timely manner.

Jan 13, 2010 11:01 AM