I submitted my buyer-client’s offer to the listing broker of a property, but the listing broker told me to work directly with the seller. Doesn’t the listing broker have a legal obligation to present the offer to his client, advise him, negotiate on his behalf, and so on?

Section 1101.557 of the Real Estate License Act contains provisions that impose requirements regarding client communications and negotiations that a broker must follow when representing a party. The Act prohibits a broker from negotiating or attempting to negotiate directly with a party represented by another broker. The provisions also state that a broker …

  1. Must inform his client if he receives material information related to the transaction, including the receipt of an offer
  2. Must answer his client’s questions and present any offers to or from his client.

These requirements exist even for brokers who provide limited services. A broker cannot avoid these requirements by removing himself from negotiations.

However, there are certain circumstances in which you may deliver an offer directly to a seller represented by another broker without violating the Real Estate License Act. You must have the other broker’s consent to the delivery, and you must send the broker a copy of the offer.

If the other broker isn’t fulfilling the minimum requirements, there’s not much you can do in the short term. You have a fiduciary duty to look after your client’s best interests. However, you may not interfere with the other broker’s agency relationship or do anything to prevent the transaction from closing. Continue to make every effort to contact the other broker to discuss your concerns. You should also keep a record of your communications with the other broker.

If you believe the other broker violated these minimum requirements, you can file a complaint with the Texas Real Estate Commission.