Was the Listing Agent unethical or am I overreacting . . . .

Real Estate Broker/Owner with NoVa Brokers LLC 0225 094634 VA/ 643686 MD

So here is the scoop . . . .


  1. Showed property that was listed for short sale.
  2. Put in cash offer for my buyers for listed price and attached my buyers earnest deposit and bank statement showing the amount of money to cove purchase.
  3. Listing agent contacted me via email and said “I just met with my sellers and they signed your offer”
  4. Listing agent asked for my client to fill out a financial statement, asking a lot of personal financial information, (even though she has a document showing enough funds for purchase.
  5. After refusal, she insisted this was “standard”.   (First I have heard of this) (Sounded kinda sketchy . . . )
  6. She then gave up this argument.
  7. Listing agent began asking me for Preliminary HUD 1 and to sign affidavits for the short sale bank.
  8. Still no contract back with seller’s signature.
  9. Listing agent attempted three times for me to use her title company.  We said no on all three occasions and she was not happy with that.
  10. Still no contract back with seller’s signature.
  11. Listing agent is asking for more documentation
  12. Still no contract back with seller’s signature so I told her after we receive a signed contract, I will send additional docs.
  13. Listing agent sent email to me stating that since she did not receive our documentation her seller went with another offer.


Do you see something fishy with any of this or am I overreacting?  Does this seem like there is something wrong with this picture.  When I looked up the agent, she has been an agent for some time and it is scaring me that there are agents that are unethical and are still practicing real estate, but maybe I am misreading this . . . . Just plain fishy


Posted by




NoVa Brokers LLC

1483 Chain Bridge Road Suite 103

McLean, Virginia 22101

571-814-3002 OFFICE

703-999-6104 CELL

571-281-2866 FAX



Licensed in Virginia & Maryland





Comments (20)

Kimberley Kelly, SFR, HAFA, GREEN
HK Lane, Christie's International Affiliate, 760-285-3578 - La Quinta, CA
I do Real Estate like I played polo-to WIN!

Fishy!  Could just be a scam..asking for financials..what?  She's pulling something!

Dec 09, 2012 10:51 PM
Stella Barbour
NoVa Brokers LLC - Vienna, VA
Principal Broker, Serving Virginia and Maryland

She is a Maryland Realtor and has been for some time.  She thinks she has done nothing wrong.

Dec 09, 2012 10:54 PM
Morris Massre
Pembroke Pines, FL
Real Estate Instructor Broward County Florida

What he or she asked for as far as disclosures, etc. are normal, but only after signing the contract for crying out loud.  I never heard of a financial statement or for you to provide a HUD beforehand.  How could you?  Perhaps this is an inexperienced agent? 

Dec 09, 2012 11:29 PM
Stella Barbour
NoVa Brokers LLC - Vienna, VA
Principal Broker, Serving Virginia and Maryland

That is the strange part Morris.  She has been an agent since 2000 and has sold about 75 homes during that time.  She even sent me an email stating that I was unprofessional and basically said I was an out of control agent.  How funny is that. I have never come across this during my career. 

Dec 09, 2012 11:34 PM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

Until you get a Signed Contract, no further information!

Demanding that much information is not normal, at least not here in Florida! The words, "This is Standard" sets off Red Flags.

Furthermore, for her to call you "unprofessional and out of control" may be a breach of the Code of Ethics.

Dec 09, 2012 11:43 PM
Stella Barbour
NoVa Brokers LLC - Vienna, VA
Principal Broker, Serving Virginia and Maryland

I was thinking the same thing.  Thanks Fred.  I thought I was not imagining a load of ethical violations.  There is actually a part 2 to this already which shows the same breach of the Code of Ethics. 

Dec 09, 2012 11:47 PM
David Grbich
Realty One Group - www.FindCARealEstate.com - San Juan Capistrano, CA
Orange County Real Estate - 949-500-0484

Unethical or maybe her first short sale?? Listing agent gets the estimated HUD-1 and sounds like you already provided financial statements adequate to cover the purchase. It's the seller that needs to fill out a financial statement in a short sale. Once again looks like her first short sale.

Dec 09, 2012 11:59 PM
Stella Barbour
NoVa Brokers LLC - Vienna, VA
Principal Broker, Serving Virginia and Maryland

You would think that David but she has completed some in the past.  I am still so puzzled by this behavior that I just have to try to let it go.  But maybe she had help  on the others and not this one.  You may be right about first short sale.

Dec 10, 2012 12:05 AM
Than Maynard
Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma - Purcell, OK
Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862

Sounds to me like she was trying to get you to do her short sale work and/or didn't understand the process.

  1. Most companies are requiring a HUD-1 before they will agree to the short sale. (Probably why she wanted to use a particular closing company)
  2. Financials: Those a normally required of the SELLER to prove they need to short sale. (Which is probably why she gave up that argument)
  3. Signed contract, she may have the seller's signature, but not the Mortgage companies signature/agreement. (She should have sent the contract with just the seller's signature and a clause stating it is subject to lender approval)
  4. Signing affidavits: Not unusual
  5. More documentation: Not unusual (depending on what they are, of course
You definitely should have received a signed copy of the contract with the seller's signature only. The rest sounds like she didn't understand the process and just because she has been in the business a long time doesn't mean she understands short sales or has ever done one.


Dec 10, 2012 12:11 AM
Stella Barbour
NoVa Brokers LLC - Vienna, VA
Principal Broker, Serving Virginia and Maryland

Than - She returned the contract today with a "rejection" and the seller's signature side "blank".  Her previous email said, "I just got the seller to sign your offer and we have a contract".  Interesting.  Yes, my title company closes short sales daily and closes over 100 closings a month so familiar with that.  Affidavits not unusual but need a contract back and same with the asking for more docs.  Once I receive a contract back the title company would have completed a HUD 1 within the hour.   You are probably right about he lack of understanding of short sales.  Attempting to do short sales without the knowledge is not helping out anyone in the situation and could be damaging.  If she would have told me, I would have offered assistance to get it done. 

Dec 10, 2012 12:19 AM
Dan Hopper
Dan Hopper - Gold Way RE - Westminster, CO
Denver Broker / Real Estate Advocate

Many more lenders taking a short pay-off are requesting more documentation from the purchasers.  Lately, they are requesting more than the stand alone lender letter, like proof of funds (POF), and some financials relating to those funds.  Getting all the necessary docs required by this lender should not be delayed, like affidavits and such.

Now, since the listing broker asked to use their Title company, that is understandable from many stand points.  One, is I have used the same closing agent for 20 yrs, and she has done short pay-offs for me over the last 12 yrs... a lot of trust goes into this short sale process!!  Two, that title company is very familiar with producing the proper HUD-1 up front for the short sale lender(s) to review their nets. 

Remember, the seller is still the individual with the greatest risk, when doing a short pay-off, and they have the right to know that the buyer is not only willing, able, and ready to buy... but has the MEANS to buy in this short sale process!!

Anymore, I will not submit any buyers offer to the short sale lender until the buyer has performed their inspection and produce the earnest money up front.  If this is unacceptable to them, then a short sale may NOT be their chocie of buy!  The fact that documents were not signed or produce forced this listing broker to take another offer.  I do not believe this would make me unethical.

With that being said ... there is NO excuse to not getting a signed contract back to you, in a timely manner!!  This is entirely irresponsible of that listing agent/broker, regardless, of the above processes.

Dec 10, 2012 12:20 AM
Stella Barbour
NoVa Brokers LLC - Vienna, VA
Principal Broker, Serving Virginia and Maryland

Thanks Dan for your comments.

Dec 10, 2012 01:07 AM
Scott M. Stulich
Signature Realty Group, LLC. - Dundalk Sparrows Point, MD

Gotta love the agents that know more then you do. I had that happen to me. The buyers agent kept quoting the contract letter for letter. I had to explain to her that do to the addendum that was signed, this no longer applied to this transaction. What a great business we all are in.

Dec 10, 2012 05:15 AM
Jim Patton
Aspire Home Real Estate 209-404-0816 - Modesto, CA
Realtor - Stanislaus ,Merced, San Joaquin Counties

Stella - She doesn't sound like she is familiar with short sales at the very least.  Asking the buyer to provide financials is not something I have seen or heard of.  It's the listing agent that needs to get the HUD to provide to the bank for the short sale approval.  Something fishy may be going on with this agent.  You and your clients are probably better off with someone else.

Dec 10, 2012 09:00 AM
Stella Barbour
NoVa Brokers LLC - Vienna, VA
Principal Broker, Serving Virginia and Maryland

Scott, thanks for stopping by and commenting. That is funny that you have experienced this too. 

Dec 10, 2012 09:43 AM
Stella Barbour
NoVa Brokers LLC - Vienna, VA
Principal Broker, Serving Virginia and Maryland

Jim, My clients decided not to deal with someone like her.  You are right about her not being familiar with short sales I suppose.  I wish people would not do things that they are not qualified to do.

Dec 10, 2012 09:46 AM
Satar Naghshineh
Satar - Amiri Property and Financial Services Corp. - Irvine, CA

I think you are over reacting. The listing agent has a right to ask you about your client's financial information. however, you do not have to provide it and simply walk away. I wouldn't give you a signed contract until all the terms and conditions are hammered out between buyer and seller. Then again, I wouldn't have the seller sign the purchase offer either.

I am curious why the buyer's agent is responsible for providing the HUD. I would think it is the responsibility of the title company company that the parties decide to use.

Dec 11, 2012 01:12 PM
Stella Barbour
NoVa Brokers LLC - Vienna, VA
Principal Broker, Serving Virginia and Maryland

Satar - The financial information she asked for was an actual statement asking for all of my client's debt and income and employment, etc. which should not have been necesary since I provided an updated letter from his bank stating that funds for the entire amount of the home was available to pay cash for the home and we can close at anytime.  The Hud comes from the title company.  The buyer picks out the title company but she insisted to use hers even though it is a buyers choice in Maryland and Virginia.  She wanted me to go to the title company and ask for a a HUD 1 but a HUD 1 cannot be done until the title company sees that there is a an actual contract.  

Dec 11, 2012 08:48 PM
Satar Naghshineh
Satar - Amiri Property and Financial Services Corp. - Irvine, CA

Yeah, in that case the listing agent makes no sense! I would think if it is this difficult before the short sale negotiations, one has to wonder how the rest of the transaction will play out!

Dec 12, 2012 06:34 AM
Stella Barbour
NoVa Brokers LLC - Vienna, VA
Principal Broker, Serving Virginia and Maryland

thanks Satar, you have a good point. 

Dec 13, 2012 06:25 AM