To Sue or Not To Sue? That Is The Question.

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty



As a licensed real estate professional of 15 years I have a little experience under my belt and came to the realization long ago that as a Realtor I really don’t sell anything. Oh sure, I sell real estate but it’s not my real estate so I’m not really selling the real estate, just the knowledge and information of how one would go about purchasing said real estate without experiencing hardships, pitfalls and loss, either monetary or otherwise. So, really real estate agents sell information and advice. Wouldn’t you agree?

I’m currently working with a buyer who has been the ideal buyer. He has taken my advice and ran with it.  I sent him to see my favorite lender and he made an application, was pre approved for a zero down payment USDA Rural development loan and a pre approval was emailed to me. I was told by my lender that my client had a great credit score, a very low debt to income ratio and to find him a house asap.

This lender that I work with is a gem. If he says approved, then it’s approved. 99% of our transactions go as smooth as silk and I rarely have any problems concerning financing (some of the information and experience I sell).

Everything was going along smoothly until he found a house that he liked that was a bank repo owned by Bank of America.

This particular property I have had some experience with. I sold it in 2006 (just after hurricane Katrina) to a plumber from Chalmette for $205,000.00 who decided one year later to sell the house. I then sold it for $250,000.00. It was now being offered as a bank owned property for $145,00.00. What a deal, right?

Not so fast.

In the listing information it disclosed that offers cannot be submitted without a Bank of America online pre approval.

The only experience I have ever had with Bank of America was two years ago. I had a buyer client who made an offer on a property that was supposedly owned by Bank of America. They accepted the offer and my client proceeded with inspections, etc. He had a home inspection done, a survey and a septic inspection at a cost of almost $1,000.00 before the closing attorney informed us that they didn’t actually own the property and that they had foreclosed on the property by mistake. The property was actually owned by a different lender who Bank of America had sold the loan to.

Nevertheless, my client and I looked at the house, decided to make an offer and proceeded to get a Bank of America online pre approval.

In the interest of saving some type I think I’ll just call them BOA. They resemble a reticulated python anyway and if the shoe fits….

So, my client goes online, makes an application with and is turned down. Mainly because he didn’t want to lie to them and say he has 3.5% down when he doesn’t even though he’s not getting a loan with them anyway.

They never send him any documentation or email or anything. I call the listing agent and find out that the application is required to make an offer and my client tries again. He was turned down a second time. He still gets nothing in writing saying he’s been turned down but, gets to see the words “not approved” on the computer monitor.

I contact the listing agent to let him know that there was no documentation sent from BOA and was informed that there is now another offer coming in at the same time and that I should send him my offer anyway. So I send it to him.

The next day I’m informed by the listing agent that BOA made a mistake on the listing and that it should have been listed at $152,000.00 (pretty convenient to get a price increase while there are two offers on the table).

My client makes another full price offer and we submit it.

I found out the next day that the other offer was accepted even though our offer was higher because the other party was pre approved by BOA.

I’m not 100% sure of this because I have not spoken with an attorney yet but, my client and I feel like we have been wronged in the worse kind of way. I feel like there has been a restriction placed on BOA repos that keep some buyers from buying even if they are paying cash. I know that they have restricted my business and cost me over $4,500.00 in commission.

In my opinion this is just NOT fair. Not fair to my client who was beat out of a great deal, not fair to me and not fair to anyone else buying BOA repos. They are simply acting like the playground bully.

Didn’t the US government bail out BOA? Doesn’t BOA have a responsibility to be fair to the citizens who bailed them out? This is exactly why I am so against the feds bailing out anyone but, that’s another blog.

I know this Russian lawyer from that loves going after big money on a contingency and I am considering going after BOA to set things straight so this doesn’t happen again.

What do you think I should do?


Comments (4)

Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

Lee - I know the feeling. Recently we had a case where we lost to a lower offer even when our offer was over the full price and higher than the accepted offer, and it was cash.

The agent said that the bank took another offer, and when we contacted the attorney, he said that the bank can do anything they want.

Also, I  learned that these type of lawsuits are practically never taken on contingency. Our attorney charges $200 an hour.

Jun 16, 2012 03:32 PM
Jackie Hillen
Melson Realty - Porterville, CA
Tulare County ~ (559) 999-8088
It's frustrating, but I think you need to just move on.
Jun 16, 2012 03:44 PM
Barbara Tattersall
Keller Williams Realty Metropolitan (Keene,NH) - Keene, NH

When I see that a listing is being handled by BOA I cringe.   Former clients of mine and I were trying to get permission on a short sale...working in good faith...while BOA was arranging an auction on the property!  The property was bought back for less than the offer we had and then sat on the market, vacant and stripped.  Finally sold a year or so later for about 1/3 of the offer price and way below what the bank bought it back for at the auction. Stupid. Our tax dollars at work!

Jun 16, 2012 08:50 PM
Gary Frimann, CRS, GRI
Eagle Ridge Realty / Signature Homes & Estates - Gilroy, CA
REALTOR and Broker

The way the lenders have handled foreclosures have hurt the market.  I don't think you have any recourse however.  Find something better.

Jun 16, 2012 09:36 PM