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Legally speaking: So the seller keeps contacting me about my buyer…

By Lorie Garland, OAR Assistant Vice President of Legal Services

The OAR Legal Assistance Hotline receives an array of real estate-related legal questions — including license law issues, disclosure, contract law, ethics and commission problems, among others. In an effort to help you work within the law, our “Legally Speaking” series spotlights some of the timely questions that are being asked by REALTORS. This one involves the best way to handle an overzealous seller… 

Q: I represent a buyer interested in purchasing a condominium listed with another company. Last week I submitted an offer for my buyer that the seller rejected. I recently delivered another offer for my buyer. The problem I have is that the seller is emailing me with questions about my buyer’s offer. I have forwarded the seller’s emails to the listing agent requesting that he address his client’s questions, and have also left him a voice mail message to that effect. I don’t know if he has responded to his client, as he has not responded to me, but the seller continues to request a response from me. I want to do what is best for my buyer and I know I have to respect the listing agent’s agency relationship with the seller. What do I do?

A: The license law prohibits a licensee from negotiating directly with a seller knowing the seller is exclusively represented by another licensee. Negotiate includes delivering, discussing, or reviewing the terms of any offer. The only exception to this prohibition is if the listing broker consents in writing to direct negotiations with their client. In the situation described above, the agent acted properly by notifying the listing agent of the seller’s emails and requesting he address his client’s questions. If the listing agent fails to respond, as the buyer’s agent you should notify the listing agent’s broker/manager who can ensure the seller is receiving proper service.

Tags: legal, Legally Speaking