Either some listing agents are unaware of their fiduciary responsibility to their sellers or they don't read the REALTOR® Code of Ethics, because many agents are violating both. It is absolutely a misnomer that a Sacramento short sale agent can refuse to send a buyer's offer to the seller(s).
I know this practice is more wide spread than my personal experience has shown because I get asked the same question from other agents who ask to write offers on my Sacramento short sale listings. They say every short sale agent handles it differently. They ask me if I am sending all offers to the bank or if I have sent the first offer and am holding the others in back-up. Because that's how many naive agents handle short sales.
They are wrong. Dead wrong. Nobody died and made those agents God of all short sales. Are they lazy? Is that the reason? Incompetent? Is the first offer their own buyer? I don't understand it and don't need to understand it.
A short sale listing agent must submit each and every offer to the seller unless the seller notifies that agent in writing to cease.
Here is an excerpt of the National Association of REALTOR® Code of Ethics:
Standard of Practice 1-6
REALTORS® shall submit offers and counter-offers objectively and as quickly as possible. (Adopted 1/93, Amended 1/95)
Standard of Practice 1-7
When acting as listing brokers, REALTORS® shall continue to submit to the seller/landlord all offers and counter-offers until closing or execution of a lease unless the seller/landlord has waived this obligation in writing.
While it is true that some lenders, Countrywide, for example, won't look at competing offers once it's begun a file on an offer, other banks will. Regardless, an agent must submit all offers.
The next agent I catch in writing telling me that she won't submit my buyer's short sale offer will find herself answering to the Sacramento Board of REALTORS®. I encourage other REALTORS® to report these offenders as well. If we don't come together as a group and put a stop to this nonsense, our profession will continue to suffer from such antics.
The Short Sale Savior, by Elizabeth Weintraub, coming in June 2009.
Photo: Big Stock Photo
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