Is refusing to submit my buyer’s offer an ethics violation?

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02/25/2016 | Author: Editorial Staff

After submitting my buyer’s offer for a property, the listing agent told me she wasn’t going to present the offer to her sellers because she thought it was too low. I told the listing agent that it’s a legitimate offer and she should leave it up to the sellers to decide how to proceed. Will she be in violation of the Code of Ethics if she doesn’t present my buyer’s offer?

If she doesn’t present the offer to the sellers due to her personal opinion instead of the sellers’ instructions, it’s likely a hearing panel would find her in violation of Standard of Practice 1-6 of the Code of Ethics, which says that REALTORS® shall submit offers and counteroffers objectively and as quickly as possible.

While the sellers may reject the offer, it is their right to do so (or accept it or submit a counteroffer)—not the agent’s. The only situation in which not presenting the offer would be acceptable is if the seller gave the listing agent explicit instructions to not present offers below a certain amount.

Even if the sellers have previously rejected an offer with your buyer’s purchase price or a higher one, the agent shouldn’t assume the sellers would reject your client’s offer. The sellers’ circumstances may have changed, or aspects of the offer other than the purchase price may outweigh the dollar amount.

Categories: Ethics
Tags: ethics q&a, ethics, sellers, offer

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