One Bad Apple Has The Potential to Ruin the Whole Bunch!

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Heritage Realty

I tend to be a positive person who believes that we should focus on the positive attributes of someone. No matter who I am dealing with, I try to always give the benefit of the doubt and believe that people are being truthful unless they prove me otherwise in their actions or in their words.

No matter how hard I try, my positive attitude has been put to the test lately. Here's why:

I've been working with a specific Buyer for the last two months. This particular couple is very nice, have only owned one home in their adult life and have asked me to represent them in the purchase of a new home. With more than 25,000 homes on the market in Central Florida, one would think this task would be an easy one.

The challenge that I have been having is that these Buyer are looking to purchase a home that is bank owned. The listing agent has been less than forthcoming with information and although I have explained the challenges in purchasing a home that's been vacant for a year, has extensive repairs needed, doesn't have power or water on and is being represented by a less-than-cooperative agent, they still decided they wanted to pursue an offer.

And so we did. We wrote an offer 10 days ago on a home that was listed at $175,000. We wrote an offer for $165,000 and acknowledged in the offer that the purchase was being made AS-IS, as stated was required in the MLS.

With that being said, the offer was submitted last Saturday with a time period for acceptance to be this past Friday at 5:00pm, as the agent indicated that the bank could turn around an answer within a few days.

And so we waited. Each day, I would call or email the agent to ask if he had heard anything or if other offers had been submitted. The responses I got were always the same, "no", there were no other offers and "yes", I should have an answer by the deadline.

The day before our offer was to expire, I received a call from the listing agent's office manager saying that there were now two offers and the bank is asking for both Buyer's Agents to submit their "highest and best offer." Of course, I communicated this to the Buyer, who opted to keep their offer the same.

On Friday, I contacted the listing agent via email and inquired as to the bank's decision.

I still have not heard anything and the property is still active in MLS today.

So, to find out what the scoop was, I had the Buyer call the listing agent directly to see if he would reveal more information to them (as a potential customer, rather than a competing customer with another agent) and low and behold, the agent informed them that the property was still available and that there have not been any offers submitted to the bank for their review.

Odd, don't you think?

So, here is my I now contact the Broker to see what the issue is in getting our offer submitted for review by the bank? Or, do I have the Buyers go through the listing agent and have the listing agent write an offer (since the listing agent won't respond to me, but will to them), or do I ask for the contact information for a representative at the bank so that I can submit the offer directly?

It is my opinion that the listing agent has not submitted the offer I wrote in hopes of securing a Buyer himself. Since there is no guarantee that the offer was ever submitted, we are scratching our heads wondering what to do next.

As I am sure you would agree, I think I am dealing with "one bad apple."

As much as I want to help the Buyers to secure the home (they really want to buy it), I am very concerned that if this listing agent is willing to be this unethical with me, how well do you think he will protect the Buyer's interests if they were to go to him directly?

What do you think of this situation and what are your suggestions in how I can be assured that the offer I wrote has actually been presented to the bank?

Posted by


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Greg Hampton
Re/Max Around The Mountains - Blue Ridge, GA
North Georgia Mountain Property,Blue Rid

Weather you are dealing with a Buyer or Seller,you always have the right to fire them if they are bad.

May 27, 2008 02:00 PM #1
L. Wayne Denton
Denton Properties, Inc. - Loganville, GA
I have a handle on your market!!!

Regardless of anything else, if you have documented your actions then yoiu take your documentations directly to the broker as it is their money being tampered with.  Explain the situation directly to them as soon as possible if you want your buyers to get their home.  This is why we have a commission and a board to bring bad apples out of the barrel.

You are so true about a bad apple ruining a whole batch and we are the whole batch.  You represent the ethical ones among us and if we don't take a stand to keep our industry ethical, they will start laughing at us like we are used car salespeople.

Great post.  Take it straight to jail and don't collect $$$$$ as you pass go.

May 27, 2008 02:05 PM #2
Marc Baysek
Iron Horse Properties, LLC - Rockingham, NC
Iron Horse Properties

I would contact the broker, don't waste time with incompetent people, work your way up the ladder and get answers, but don't risk your client and let them communicate with listing agent.  Good Luck

May 27, 2008 02:05 PM #3
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

I would call the agent's manager first.  This is really looking pretty bad.  If you can prove the offer wasn't presented, I would file an ethics complaint against the agent as well == when the deal is over.

May 27, 2008 02:07 PM #4
Joel Weihe
Realty World Alliance - Wichita, KS
Helping you to use your VA home loan benefits

I would contact the broker.  There's no reason you should send your client directly into the arms of the listing agent, especially when you know they are not acting ethically.  Let the broker know the timeline, then let him know the agent tried to get a best and final.  Then let him know that your clients called him up directly off the sign to try to find out what was going on since you couldn't get any information, and he flat out LIED to them about having no offers. 

If he is sitting on the offers, he is violating his fiduciary to the seller and you want the broker to know when he has an agent that is skirting around license law. 

May 27, 2008 02:10 PM #5
Melody Botting
Broker Associate PenFed Realty - San Antonio, TX
You Deserve The Best

I have been there recently.  It was exactly the same scenario.  Right before I did what Marc suggested I magically got an answer from the agent.  I would take Marc's advice if your phone doesn't ring first thing in the morning.

May 27, 2008 02:12 PM #6
Kim Tavares
Legend Residential Sales LLC - Dix Hills, NY
e-PRO - Long Island, NY

I agree with everyone else about going straight to the agent's broker, but also ask for an acknowledgment of the offer from the bank.  You have to protect yourself and your buyers and must have written proof your offer was presented.  Good luck!

May 27, 2008 02:19 PM #7
Debbie Summers
Charles Rutenberg Realty - New Smyrna Beach, FL

Bad Apple?  How about Rotten!  I'm on board with going to the broker directly, most don't know what these lone wolves are up to.  I don't think the other agent knows who they are dealing with, you go get them girl!  Please update us on how this turns out...

May 28, 2008 03:06 AM #8
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LaShawn Norden

REALTOR, (321) 377-0157, Your Real Estate Advocate in Central FL
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