Have you submitted an offer for a property, and you didn’t hear from the seller? It happens a lot of times that the seller goes with someone else. But you could also be concerned that the seller didn’t get your offer. So, how do you know if your realtor submitted your offer?
The realtor has the duty to submit an offer to the seller. But if you’re in doubt, you can find out by asking your realtor, talking directly to the seller, sending an offer that requires a response, asking the new buyer how much they paid, and filing a complaint with the board or realtor association.
However, using all these methods doesn’t mean you’ll find out. Here, we discuss how to know the realtor who submitted your offer to the seller.
Duty of the Realtor to Present Your Offer
Real estate agents are legally obligated to present any offer they get on the property to the seller. Most states have laws that make this compulsory, and not doing so could result in a sanction such as losing or suspension of license. Beyond the state rules, real estate agents part of the National Association of Realtors must comply with the REALTOR Code of Ethics.
Standard of Practice 1-6 of the Code provides that realtors must submit all offers and counteroffers objectively and as fast as possible. If your real estate agent isn’t a part of the REALTOR Association, there are still likely other laws that’ll apply to them.
However, the obligation to present the offer didn’t include a formal acknowledgment of the offer. It also didn’t require the seller to send a rejection of the offer. This makes it difficult to ascertain whether the seller got your offer. It also means it’s possible for some realtors to disregard the code of ethics, especially if it’s going to be beneficial to them. All they have to do is make sure they’re not caught.
The National Association of REALTORS recognized this issue in 2018. That’s when it decided to amend the Standard of Practice. The amendment requires that a listing agent or broker confirm in writing that they submitted an offer to the seller if that cooperating broker requires it. The listing realtor must confirm the submission of the offer unless the seller has a written waiver where they waived the obligation to see the offer.
Ways To Determine If Your Offer Got to The Seller
There are several ways you can determine if the seller saw your offer and just chose to reject it. They include:
1. Ask Your Realtor
Your realtor is the first person you should talk to if you’re concerned about whether the seller received your offer. As your realtor, they have an obligation to you, and it’s in their interest that you buy the property so they can get a commission. You’ll most likely submit your offer through your realtor unless you’re handling the whole process yourself. If you’re using a realtor, your realtor interacts with the seller’s realtor. So you can raise your concerns with them, and they tell the listing agent.
If you need to request a letter confirming that the seller received the offer, your realtor will make this request. So, your realtor is the best person to ask about it. But if you’re handling the whole house hunting yourself, you can ask the listing agent.
2. Talk To The Seller
If the listing agent isn’t part of the Realtors Association, they may not be obligated to tell you they submitted your offer. In that case, you may consider talking to the seller directly. You should do this before the house sale so that the seller will confirm whether they received your offer.
If you have a realtor and decide to contact the seller directly, you’ll ruffle some feathers. But since you’re trying to ensure due process, don’t hesitate to ask. The seller would most likely be open to telling you. You could even be helping the seller, especially in cases where the listing agent is unethical.
3. Send An Offer With A Condition That Requires Response
Sometimes, the realtor submits your offer, and the seller gets it. They’re just delaying to see if a better offer comes in. Other times, the realtor might be waiting because they want to collate sufficient offers before taking them to the seller. Whatever the case, you can confirm the seller received your offer. Just make an offer that requires a response within a particular time.
The response time doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing deadline. But let them know they have to get back to you within the time frame. If they don’t get back to you within that period, you can believe they rejected your offer. You can start looking for other options. Should they try to accept later when it turns out your offer is the best, the offer would have expired. So you won’t be bound to the contract.
It also means the realtor will have to show the seller to get their response even if the seller isn’t ready to accept your offer. They’ll at least counteroffer or ask you to extend the time to reply to the offer. This keeps you in negotiations instead of just in limbo.
4. Ask The New Buyer
If someone else ended up with the house, you could ask them how much they paid for it. This could give you an idea of whether your offer got to the seller. Of course, the fact that the buyer paid less than your offer doesn’t mean the seller didn’t see your offer. The lower offer might be the best because it has fewer contingencies. Of course, the buyer isn’t obligated to tell you. But you may find such information through public records in some states. In others, you can’t.
5. File A Complaint with The Local Realtor Association Or Any Relevant Body
If you’re very sure, there’s an impropriety. Then you can file complaints. Of course, you should have more than just mere conjectures to prove this. You shouldn’t use this option unless it’s necessary.
Trying to buy a house in a red-hot real estate market can be challenging. But you at least stand some chance if the seller considers your offer. If you have concerns that the realtor didn’t submit your offer, there are ways you can find out.