Multiple Offers and the Realtors Code of Ethics
There are 17 Articles in the Realtor Code of Ethics, and each of those are broken down into three divisions. You can read the entire Realtor Code of Ethics here.
- Duty to Clients and Customer's
- Duty to Public
- Duty to other Realtors
Article 1 of the Code of Ethics
When representing a buyer, seller, landlord, tenant, or other client as an agent, REALTORS® pledge themselves to protect and promote the interests of their client. This obligation to the client is primary, but it does not relieve REALTORS® of their obligation to treat all parties honestly. When serving a buyer, seller, landlord, tenant or other party in a non-agency capacity, REALTORS® remain obligated to treat all parties honestly. (Amended 1/01)
Within each Article are Standards of Practice
Standard of Practice 1-6
- REALTORS® shall submit offers and counter-offers objectively and as quickly as possible. (Adopted 1/93, Amended 1/95)
I interprete this to mean you can not hold onto one buyers offer "while you wait" for another offer to come in.
Quickly means quickly.
A client is someone you have a contractual relationship with, a customer is someone you are helping with your services but have not signed a Listing Contract with or a Buyer Agency Contract with.
The Code requires us to promote and protect OUR CLIENTS best interest
Being honest and fair to all parties and other Realtors is part of the Code of Ethics of Realtors. Let all parties know up front what your plan is in a multiple offer situation.
As Realtors working with Sellers and Buyers the ultimate decision is up to them, we can advise them, show the data to them, but do not in any situation make decisions for them.
Today the Ann Arbor area Board of Realtors sent out a email on this to remind Ann Arbor Realtors, how to handle multiple offers. We are seeing so many homes with multiple offers. My TEAM submitted some offers where the listing agent told us she would not present until "after the open house."
We have seen some Brokerage's holding their listings until an offer comes in from an agent in their own brokerage. Our MLS in Ann Arbor rules in Ann Arbor allow for 2 days before the listing has to be made public. In a tight market this is allowing for companies to sell their own listings.
One of my buyer agents has been going out to the homes the minute they come on the market and doing an IChat with her buyers, then writing the offer...sight unseen. It is working as she got 4 under contract last week that way. Crazy out there.
If you are thinking of listing your home, now is a great time to do so, which the demand for homes in Ann Arbor is up due to the low inventory.