How Do You Present An Offer, When The Listing Agent Cannot Be Found?

Reblogger Robert Vegas Bob Swetz
Industry Observer

For anyone that may have missed this great post by Fred, here it is again!

Great write my friend ...

Original content by Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate Florida Broker BK436788

     Where is the Listing Agent?  Your Buyer found the house they want.  They have signed the offer and written a check for the escrow deposit.   You call the Listing Agent, but he is nowhere to be found.  Your calls, text messages, and emails go unanswered.  You drive to his office; the door is locked and nobody is there. 

     The Listing Broker is a one-man office.  He has no other agents or employees to contact. 

     Now what do you do?  Can you call the Seller directly?




     After exhausting every effort to reach the Listing Agent, can you go directly to the Seller?  Would that be a violation of the NAR Code of Ethics?  What if you have a Fiduciary to the Buyer?  Does that Fiduciary take precedence over the NAR COE?

     First, the laws of your state will prevail over the NAR Code of Ethics.  For example, the Arizona Department of Real Estate has a "24-hour rule" when the Listing Agent cannot be found (see Arizona Administrative Code Rule R4-28-1102).  That rule allows the Selling Broker to go directly to the Seller.  



     What about my state of Florida?  There is nothing specific in Florida Administrative Code 61J2 regarding this topic, nor is there anything in Florida Statutes 475. 

     I faced this situation recently when working with a Buyer for a Tallahassee house (I could not find the Listing Agent to present the offer from my Buyer). I needed legal advice, in a hurry.  I reached out to the attorneys at the Florida Association of Realtors in Orlando.  

    They told me emphatically, "Do NOT go directly to the Seller.  We believe that you could face a violation of the NAR Code of Ethics.  You would probably survive an Ethics complaint, but you don't want to take that chance.  Rather, have your Buyer contact the Seller... your Buyer can even take the offer to the Seller.  From that point, you will be in compliance with NAR COE Standard of Practice 16-13 (the dealing is initiated by the client)."


     "What if" my Buyer doesn't want to contact the Seller? 

     If I have a Fiduciary with that Buyer (if I have a signed Single Agent Relationship pursuant to Florida Statutes 475.278), then I WILL go directly to the Seller.  I have a legal obligation to my client, the Buyer.  I MUST present their offer!* 


     Final thoughts: 

  •     Document, document, document!  Keep a written record of the phone calls, text messages, emails, or office visits where you attempted to contact the listing agent. 
  •      You may want to give a "heads-up" to your Board or Association's Ethics Committee that you are contacting a Seller directly, after all efforts to reach the listing agent have failed. 
  •      You may also want to notify your attorney, and seek her or his advice before proceeding.



     *I am not advising any Realtor, broker or agent to circumvent a listing agent by going directly to a Seller.  If you face this situation, see an attorney for legal advice.



Frederick Griffin, Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker    850-545-1901


Tallahassee Florida Metropolitan Area

Exclusive Representation for Buyers and Sellers 

Call Fred  850-545-1901


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Frederick Griffin, Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker    850-545-1901


Disclaimer:  Nothing in the above blog article is to be construed as legal advice, tax advice, or financial advice.  For legal advice see an attorney.   For tax advice or financial advice see a tax attorney, certified public accountant, or other qualified professional.


Posted by

Robert "Vegas Bob" Swetz  

Direct: 408 410 4171

"Have a Wonderful Day"




Robert Vegas Bob Swetz
Las Vegas, NV

GREAT POST ... Likes & Comments!

Mar 17, 2018 12:45 PM
Ronald DiLalla
Century 21 Discovery DRE 01813824 - Anaheim, CA
No. Orange Cty Real Estate

Awesome post.. appears this is a state by state decision

Mar 17, 2018 01:13 PM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning Vegas Bob - this really was a thoughtful way to fulfill the fiduciary responsibility.

Mar 19, 2018 04:49 AM