Realtor's role in the offer process

JamieMarch 10, 2011

Is the realtor obligated to share all the terms of the offer: identity of offerer, amt and location of earnest money depost, etc. In other words, am I, as seller, entitled to demand to see the paper? Did I sign away this right when I contracted to let him sell my house?

Looking back on all my buying and selling experiences, I recall always being very formal (on paper, pass $$, reveal my identity) when I make an offer, yet when I am selling the realtor does not present these documents to me.

In the past, with my eyes on the prize, I never questioned this, either as buyer or seller. Now I am questioning. I don't want the realtor to block me from stuff that is addressed to me. Is this typical, expected? I don't like it. His "service" in this regard, if it means I don't have access to all info, is a "disservice".

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"Is the realtor obligated to share all the terms of the offer: identity of offerer, amt and location of earnest money depost, etc. In other words, am I, as seller, entitled to demand to see the paper? "

I have always seen the written offer, and additional details about purchasers to base my decision on.

It is different in some places were lawyers negotiate the actual terms of sale, but you still see the final contract to sign.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2011 at 5:32PM
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In my area, the "offer" is written but verbally presented to the owner. (usually over the phone) Once all the details of the offer are agreed upon, the "offer" is sent over to the atty for him/her to draw a final contract. The owner never sees anything to do with the potential buyer until they go to their atty's office to sign a contract. (usually about 10-14 days after the offer). Just a side note, I've never had a seller ask the name of a buyer. They do, however ask if they are "pre approved" which would indicate they have spoken to a mortgage person and have a verified downpayment, solid credit and can afford to purchase what they are offering. (occasionally, if I have an elderly seller, I will present the offer in person. This is because sometimes they need to see paper to know there is a real offer).

    Bookmark   March 10, 2011 at 10:30PM
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When I have sold... I see the written offers, it's usually brought to me by my realtor. If there is haggling or conditions, it is written and passed back and forth and initialed as accepted, countered or just left unsigned and defunct. There is always a paper trail both parties see, and I like it like that.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2011 at 10:38PM
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Just a question. Do you have a 'binder" or offer in your state or does the agent write a contract? If like in NY, the "offer" is really not binding, so there is no point in meeting with the owner to show paper which could be what is happening in your situation. You will have a formal contract. The timing of that varies state to state.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2011 at 10:40PM
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I've heard around here that Realtors are also working out offers and counteroffers verbally before going to paper, just to keep the paperwork cleaner - less lining through, initialing, scribbling in the margins, etc. It's also faster than faxing and printing and initialing and faxing back, and people want faster responses anyway.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 10:06AM
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The typical process here. Written offer is received (this is an actual earnest money contract). Seller's agent calls seller tells seller the basics. Emails offer to Seller. The written earnest money contract will show the names of the buyers and their address. Typically you will get (sometimes you have to ask) a copy of the buyer's loan preapproval or the buyer's proof of funds if a cash buyer.

In the old days Seller would make any counteroffers in writing with it going back and forth until there was a deal. For the last several years, counteroffers tend to be oral and when an oral deal is reached (anyone can back out at any time of course), then the written earnest money contract offer is modified to reflect the deal. That contract offer also reflects how much the earnest money will be and usually has a copy of the check.

Once signed by the parties, the contract is delivered to the title company with the earnest money check and the title company sends out a copy to the seller, buyer and their agents.

In my states, attorneys are typically not involved with this (can be, but usually not).

    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 11:26AM
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