Simply put, don't put a wall around your listing that agents have to crawl over to submit an offer.

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP 0524642

When you're trying to sell your home the very last thing you should do is make upfront demands or offer any kind of negative insults to agents who will be showing your property.

More often than not, home sellers don't even sign off on, or approve these "seller instructions." Many times these are really "listing agent instructions to any other Realtor" showing the listing. These instructions are not viewable by to the public unless you are an MLS member with access to Agent Remarks.


This morning I noticed a listing with a set of "instructions before writing an offer." On top of the instruction page was a giant head shot of the listing agent with him sitting on the hood of his antique sports car. Keep in mind that only Realtors will see this list of demands from the listing agent, so the need or desire to flex his Texas sized ego was duly noted. 


Here were a few examples of his requirements:


1. If buyer wants a home warranty they will use XYZ Company or there will be no concession from seller to buyer.

2.  Buyer's agent to deliver the earnest money check and option fee check WITH the original offer.

3.  Seller will not pay HOA transfer fees, will not pay for a survey.

4.  Buyer to use XYZ title company (the one the listing agent is part owner of) or seller will not pay for Owners Title Policy. 

5. Buyer's agent agrees to pay a pro-rated amount out of his commission of $100.00 each day the deal does not close on time.

6.  Buyer will get pre-qualified with seller's preferred lender, not approved.


The list was 2 1/2 pages long. Essentially the listing agent was directing you, the buyers agent, how to write up an offer on behalf of YOUR buyer! 


How negotiable does the seller look at this point? How reasonable do you think the seller will be about anything going forward? 


I could offer a counter-point and valid argument for each and every demand this listing agent has, but that would take up way too much white space on this post. 


I will say this, no reputable or knowledgeable agent would ever deliver an earnest money check "with an offer". In Texas, the earnest money is delivered within a reasonable time AFTER execution, usually 48 hours. The option fee check (a Texas thing) is required to be delivered (already stated in the contract) within 72 hours of execution. Demanding these checks up front is a controlling practice by the listing agent and I doubt VERY seriously any seller would agree to 2.5 pages of listing agent demands if they actually saw them. 


Simply put, don't put a wall around your listing that agents have to crawl over to submit an offer. 




Posted by


Greg Nino
, Houston area Realtor®.
Helping residential buyers, sellers and tenants 7 days a week.
Available @ 832-298-8555 

RE/MAX Compass (Formerly RE/MAX WHP)




The information contained in this blog is believed to be reliable and while every effort is made to assure that the information is as accurate as possible, the author of this blog, and its comments disclaim any implied warranty or representation about it's accuracy, completeness or appropriateness for any particular purpose. All information is copywritten and the property of Greg Nino.  






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Robin Rogers
Robin Rogers, Silverbridge Realty, San Antonio, Texas - San Antonio, TX
CRS, TRC, MRP - Real Estate Investment Adviser

Bad enough that some listing agents put a list of their demands in the MLS Confidential Remarks. I ignore them. If their client wants to sell the house, they will ignore them too.

Jul 13, 2016 05:48 AM #6
Jill Winchel
Royal Shell Real Estate - Koffman & Associates - Cape Coral, FL
We make it easy. You make it home.

Agree with your post. If my buyer hasn't specifically asked to see a home with all those types of 'requirements for offer' I would skip it. Down the road the listing agent and/or seller would likely be trouble.

Jul 13, 2016 10:51 AM #7
Ann Wilkins
Golden Gate Sotheby's International Realty - Oakland, CA
Oakland, Berkeley, Piedmont CA

Does sound like an REO listing.  I would be ticked off but would do what is asked of me with a smile and would be best buds with the listing agent to get my client the house.    Regarding the title company - again sounds REO.  Our sellers NEVER pay the title insurance so if the seller wants to pay the title insurance if we use their title company...then would probably go for it. 

Jul 13, 2016 11:10 AM #8
Theresa Akin

I have seen listings with these type of "demands "and have moved forward to the next property. If the buyer sees a property with said demands I let them know about it and they can make the choice to proceed to view or not.

Jul 13, 2016 11:23 AM #9
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Amazing!  In Arizona, those are violations.  A listing agent can't direct anyone to use a title company, it has to worded carefully, but buyer is still able to choose their own company.  Same goes for EM.  Wow - Texas sized ego says he!

Jul 13, 2016 11:26 AM #10
Lynn B. Friedman
Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty Call/Text 404-939-2727 Buckhead - Midtown - Westside -- and more ... - Atlanta, GA
Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers

Greg Nino 
You always get me from the TITLE and then bring me to interesting reading! The favorite one that happened to me was the following:

  • LYNN: Hello, may I bring a Client to see your Listing tomorrow?
  • OTHER AGENT: Can't you read? It says to TEXT if you want to ask for an appointment. I'll answer your request for an appointment when you text it.   Agent hangs up the phone.

My question: Is that serving the Seller's needs?
All the best - Lynn


Jul 13, 2016 01:41 PM #11
Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

In our area,  builders will often demand that a buyer be pre-qualified for a loan with one of their preferred lenders. Listing agents at times "request" escrow be left with the title company where they have opened escow (and sometimes there is a good reason for that) -- but a list of demands? I think you pegged the "Texas-sized ego" correctly.

Jul 13, 2016 02:32 PM #12
Arlene Garcia Hanner / Arlene Garcia Hanner, Broker - Downey, CA

In the Southern California area that I work, I have seen many of these lists. (Except where agent pays out from their commission if escrow closes late!) Like many other agents, when representing a buyer, we find a way to work with the listing agents demands if it is something the client really wants. 

Although services and terms are usually negotiable, a buyer has less leverage in requesting seller to pay for buyer's selection of services, in a seller's market.

In my area, selection of title insurance usually goes to the person paying for it.  Therefore, seller gets to decide which insurance company's policy they purchase.  The buyer can decide which title insurance they want to use for any title insurance the buyer is purchasing. 

Also let's be real, not very many sellers or buyers are picking the servicers.  It is their agents that guide them.  If all title insurers are equal in policies offered, a consumer would be more swayed by cost.  If my buyer is NOT paying for the policy, why would they care which company is being used, as long as it is a reputable company?




Jul 13, 2016 05:59 PM #13
Randal Jenkins
Coldwell Banker F I Gray and Sons Residential, Inc. - New Port Richey, FL

There is an agent in town that I have called at least 4 times in the last few years.  Never spoke to him.  I have made offers on his homes and have never had a response.  He is the ultimate in selling his own listings.  A lot of his deals are REO's,  when I see his name on a listing...I just page past it.  No need to waste my time.   I would name his name, but I am getting wiser in my old age.  BTW.  My hair is gone...need to update my picture.


Jul 13, 2016 11:20 PM #14
Tony Morganti
RE/MAX Crossroads in Cuyahoga Falls and Stow, Ohio - Cuyahoga Falls, OH
CRS, ABR - Cuyahoga Falls, Stow

Great post Greg. This should be required reading for all new agents........errrr, make that ALL agents.

Jul 13, 2016 11:51 PM #15
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

This kind of thing is why I believe the COE protects bad agents far more than it protects clients. Those sellers should be told, but you can't do it because it would violate the COE. 

Jul 14, 2016 01:22 AM #16
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County

Control freaks..that is where this list falls in within the realm of behavior problems!

Jul 14, 2016 02:18 AM #17
Stanley Ching
2020 International Real Estate - Pearl City, HI
Come invest with me on Multifamily Property in USA

There are also real estate company who also have relationship or interests with mortgage brokerage and escrow company. Their purpose is to make more money of a transaction not necessary a better or smooth transaction for anyone. Too bad we just have to live with these bad apples.

Jul 14, 2016 06:26 AM #18
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

That is a huge list of demands!  Its like you should tell the buyer up front about these requirements before you even show the house!

Jul 14, 2016 06:30 AM #19
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Sounds like he is deliberately trying to intimidate newer agents that don't know any better?  Or just an ego thing?  Either way, seems like there are a lot of unreasonable requests there.  Wow.  It sure makes you want to find another home to show your buyer!

Jul 15, 2016 11:40 AM #20
Sonja Patterson
Keller Williams - BV - College Station, TX
Texas Monthly 5-Star Realtor Recipient for the Hou

Wow--so where does request #5 go in "Special Provisions for Pansies"?  ;)  or page 9 of the contract?

Jul 16, 2016 03:15 AM #21
Robert Vegas Bob Swetz
Realty ONE Group - Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Henderson Homes for Sale

Hello Greg

Very well written post and featured to the group:


Jul 17, 2016 12:14 PM #22
Doug Rogers
Bayou Properties - Alexandria, LA
Your Alexandria Louisiana Agent

The contract is between the buyer and the seller. Tell "Big- Tex" to F*ck Off and present the offer as written.

Jul 20, 2016 10:48 PM #23
Sussie Sutton
UTR Texas Realtors - Pearland, TX
UTR TEXAS Realtors - Rep for buyers and sellers.

I have seen some of these demands before and I don't like them.  Maybe a copy of the demands should be sent to some suit who can "fix" this type of person.

Aug 06, 2016 11:50 AM #24
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Real Estate

I've sold REO's with less demands. Not a real welcoming presentation from the seller because of him.

Aug 08, 2016 06:45 AM #25
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