Boston Real Estate for Sale

Here’s the way it’s supposed to work, if you are a real estate agent.

You and your client see several properties. At some point, your client decides he likes one a lot and wants to make an offer.

You, the agent, write up the offer based on how much the buyer wants to pay and when he wants to close, etc. The buyer signs the offer, it goes to the seller’s agent and then on to the seller, who either accepts your offer or makes a counter-offer.

After going back and forth a couple times, the two sides might agree on a price, and everything is all set.

You, the buyer’s agent, write up a new offer, with all the revised language. You have your client sign it, then send it on to the seller’s agent, to have the seller sign it.

Only after both sides have signed an offer is it legally binding.

Which, of course, means there is a lot of room for trouble.

Such as, the seller getting a second offer sometime during the time between your buyer’s original offer and signing.

The seller wants the best offer which often means the highest offer price. The seller’s agent is required to protect the interests of the seller.

That doesn’t mean the seller’s agent has to be a cheat or liar, though.

jlewisNoah Rosenblatt, a NYC real estate agent and creator of the blog, has a story out today about a deal he was working on where things didn’t go as planned.

Basically, his client made an offer. It was accepted. Presumably, both sides signed the offer.

The buyer contacted his attorney, who reviewed the purchase & sale contract. He okayed it, then sent it to buyer to sign. Buyer signed, then sent the contract & 10% deposit back to his attorney, who sent the docs on to the seller’s attorney.

That was on February 20th. Eight days passed.

WED FEB 28th at 7:21PM – THE DAMAGE IS DONE. Broker calls me to apologize and tell me that seller got another offer last week and that she decided to take it. She also admits to lying to me and that she decided NOT to tell me what was going on because she had to verify that the offer was genuine. All of this while my client’s signed contract + 10% deposit is sitting at seller’s attorney office, never sent anywhere.

As Noah points out, the seller’s agent may have acted legally, but we need to question whether or not the behavior was ethical (or moral!).

All signs point to “no”.

(The only part I’m confused about is whether or not the original offer was signed-off on by both sides. If it was, then there was a signed contract, and the seller would be obligated to sell to the buyer, as far as I know. Alternatively, the seller had the option of sending a signed letter to the buyer, saying she was pulling out of the deal, and returning any initial deposit.)

It’s never occurred to me, but sometimes, I guess, real estate agents can be sleazy.

Complete story: Dirty Behavior: A Broker Lies – By Noah Rosenblatt,

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Updated: 1st Quarter 2018

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