Can The Seller Demand That?

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Compass 0524642

On each MLS listing there's a field that only members & HAR staff can see. (Agent Remarks). It's an opportunity for the Listing Agent to lay out the use of the title company, earnest money amount and other instructions to guide the buyers agent with their offer. Every once in awhile the agent working on behalf of the seller has a tendency to get carried away with demands...

Today I read the following:


"Seller requires use of electronic signatures. No faxes will be accepted."

To be honest, I don't believe that a home seller would make such demands. But lets assume that they did. First, can they make such a requirement? Is it legal? Believe it or not, some demands are against the law. An example would be that a buyer be required to use the sellers preferred lender when borrowing money for a home loan.  The truth is, I don't know if the two examples I mentioned are legal or not. My opinion is that both demands are understandable, but not something you should put out there for the real estate world to read.

Here's two reasons why:

1. It makes you look like a difficult person/seller/Realtor to work with.

2. As a seller you could be losing out on a possible offer that you may definitely want. 

No Realtor want's to deal with faxes and signatures that aren't legible, but attempting to force another agent to use electronic signatures is silly. There's a lot of clients I have worked with who simply did not like the process of electronic signatures. There's also a segment of our Realtor population that quite honestly don't like them either. There's also people who don't understand how to use it.

Be open to receive any and all offers no matter how they're sent. 

Posted by
Greg Nino
RE/MAX Compass 
Direct & Text 7 days a wk: 832-298-8555 
Realtor since 2004
Mediator & Arbitrator for the TX Assoc. of Realtors
Member of the Professional Standards Committee for the TX Assoc. of Realtors
Arbitrator for the Comptroller's office for the State of TX for Arbitration of Property Tax Values

 Member of the RE/MAX Hall of Fame & Platinum Club


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Comments (8)

Sussie Sutton
David Tracy Real Estate - Houston, TX
David Tracy Real Estate for Buyers & Sellers

I agree Gregg.... Most of my clients have refused electronic signatures. The ones that agree makes the process so much more easier! I am working for my client and I will do whatever they want as long as it is legal.

Jun 13, 2015 02:40 AM
Kim Johnson
Signature Realty Inc. - Coral Springs, FL
Selling South Florida

We've also have some down here where they demand three hand delivered copies of the offer. Guess it's so they don't have to spend any money on making copies?! 

Jun 13, 2015 02:48 AM
Raymond Denton
Homesmart / Evergreen Realty - Mission Viejo, CA
Casta del Sol Realtor®

I don't like working with faxes anymore.  They're often illegible, and pages arrive missing, and need to be re-faxed 1 or 2 more times.  Please, convert it to PDF and email it ... or just overnight it.  Faxes suck big time.

Jun 13, 2015 03:52 AM
Stefan Winter
Real Estate in IL & NV | Owner of Real Estate Web Tech | Daily Vlogger - Las Vegas, NV
Owner - Winter Group & Real Estate Web Tech

I have a feeling the agent wanted that, I do love e-signatures. It safes trees, can get contracts together so much faster, by signing in a wal-mart parking lot if needed. Most of all you have access to your contracts at any time instatley.

Only time a seller might want e-sign is if he is international and is just easier for him.

Jun 13, 2015 04:20 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Greg- I agree with your point that by making demands it sends a signal to the buyer and their agent that you might be a difficult person to work iwht.  Why start off that way. 

Jun 13, 2015 05:03 AM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

That's beyond insane.  What if the buyer doesn't have an email account.  Mind you I only have a handful that don't each year, but I still do come across them.

Jun 13, 2015 11:37 AM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

It can be understandable why some would not want a fax, but if a client does not want to use an electronic signature, they cannot be forced to and that agent is cheating their client

Jun 13, 2015 01:14 PM
Chris and Dick Dovorany
Homes for Sale in Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero, Florida - Naples, FL
Broker/Associate at Premiere Plus Realty

Don't cha just love it.  For some reason that agent needs a reality check.  If you have an offer, fax it to her/his broker.  When they ask why you did that just say "oops".

Jun 15, 2015 04:05 AM