Can a realtor refuse to submit your offer?

The realtor plays an important role in any real estate transaction. They are the one that liaises between the seller and the buyer in most cases. This means you’ll have to send your offer through the realtor. So, can a realtor refuse to submit your offer?

A realtor is a real estate agent belonging to the NAR. They can’t refuse to submit your offer because it’ll go against the Standard of Practice. But there could be exceptions for offers not up to the minimum set price by sellers. Most states also prevent estate agents from refusing to submit offers.

However, if your realtor or real estate agent refuses to submit your offer, you can report them to the board or association and submit your offer directly to the seller. Here, we discuss whether realtors can refuse to submit an offer and what you need to know about realtors.

Who Is A Realtor?

A realtor is a licensed real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). This is what distinguishes a realtor from any other real estate agent.

While every realtor is a real estate agent, not every real estate agent is a realtor. Realtors or real estate agents are professionals who help people with all kinds of real estate transactions.

They help their clients to buy and sell houses and can also be involved in other capacities. Realtors usually earn based on commission.

There are two realtors in most real estate transactions, one for the buyer and the other for the seller. It may happen that one realtor is handling both sides too, but this isn’t as common.

In their position, the realtor is an agent of the buyer or the seller. As an agent, there’s a fiduciary duty to protect and promote the interest of the party they’re representing.

Duties of the Realtor

The realtor has several responsibilities. But here are some of the key duties:

1. Find the Right Home For The Buyer

The buyer’s agent has the duty of finding a property that matches their client’s taste. This is why they make sure they fully understand the buyer’s needs first.

Local agents are usually the best because they have superior knowledge of the area. It’s not every time that a buyer gets what they want. But the agent makes sure they get something closer to what they desire.

2. Advice The Client

Both the buyer and seller agents advise their clients on various aspects of the transaction. For example, the buyer’s agent can estimate how much the house is worth in the market.

This guides the buyer in making their budget. If such homes aren’t available in the market, the agent will tell them. In terms of the finances, the agent can also advise clients on how much to bid for a house, refer them to loan officers, and help with negotiations.

The seller agent, also known as a listing agent, plays a very important role. They set the listing price for the property. They also recommend how to increase the home value to ensure a successful sale and assist in other areas.

3. Drafting Offers and Negotiating

In most cases, the buyer’s agent will draft the offer based on their clients’ instructions. The seller and buyer may not see each other until the negotiations are over. Both agents communicate the position of their clients to one another.

Just as the buyer agent must submit an offer, the seller agent must also present the offer to their client. So, both the agents are actively involved in negotiations till the closing of the deal.

Obligation to Submit Offers

There’s usually a legal obligation for the realtor to submit any offer they get for the property to the seller. This means that the real estate agent can’t refuse to submit your offer. If the real estate agent is a realtor, i.e., a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), they must follow the Code of Ethics Standards of Practice.

The Standards of Practice 1-6 provides that the realtor must present every offer they receive to the seller as soon as possible. Even sellers should know about informal offers such as verbal or text offers. What amount to as soon as possible will depend on the individual’s situation. But in an age where there’s the internet, it’s possible to inform the seller immediately.

The NAR Standards of Practice 1-7 further make it possible for the buyer to request acknowledgment of receipt of the offer. So, if the listing agent claims to have submitted the offer, the buyer’s agent can ask for proof.

However, not all real estate agents are realtors. In a case where the listing agent isn’t a realtor. The NAR Standards of Practice don’t apply to them. But, that doesn’t mean they can refuse to submit your offer. Each state usually has its rules guiding real estate agents.

Submitting all offers from the buyers is one of the common rules. So, even real estate agents who aren’t realtors still have to submit the offer.

What To Do When the Realtor Refuses to Submit Your Offer?

Refusal of the agent to submit an offer could result in discipline if you report it to the Realtor Association or real estate agency board. The maximum punishment is usually withdrawal of license as such an act is seen as violating professional ethics. If the listing agent refuses to submit your offer, you or your agent can take it to the seller. While this might seem odd in some cases, it’s acceptable, and the listing agent can do nothing about it.

When Can the Realtor Refuse to Submit Your Offer?

However, the agent may refuse to submit an offer at times. In the case of the buyer’s agent, they may choose not to submit an offer if the buyer is unserious. When the buyer submits a low offer with no chance of being accepted, the buyer agent can advise them on the right offer to make. If they don’t, the agent can stop working with the buyer.

The seller’s agent may also refuse to present an offer to their client based on the client’s instructions. An example is where the seller states the minimum offer they’ll consider. If there’s any offer below, the agent may not submit it. This applies especially when the seller insists they don’t want to see such an offer. But in most cases, the agent will still inform the seller about the offer even if they don’t eventually submit it.

In Conclusion 

The agent can’t refuse to submit an offer. This can go against the profession’s ethical standards and result in sanctions for the realtor. But there are some cases where the agent won’t submit the offer.

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