Thursday, November 5, 2015
Orlando REALTOR® | NovemberDecember 2015
A properly discussed, documented, and signed listing contract keeps everyone in their place
REALTOR® A, the listing broker, presented an offer to purchase to his client, Seller X, which was $20,000 less than the property’s listed price. The property had been on the market for several months and had not generated much interest. In his presentation, REALTOR® A told Seller X that, in his opinion, the offer was a good one and Seller X should consider accepting it. Seller X decided to accept the offer and the transaction closed.
Several months after the sale, Seller X filed a complaint against REALTOR® A alleging a violation of Article 1, as interpreted by Standard of Practice 1-7. It had come to Seller X’s attention that a second offer had been made on the property after Seller X had accepted the first offer but prior to closing. This second offer, alleged Seller X, had not been submitted to him by REALTOR® A and was for $2,500 more than the first offer. Seller X’s complaint stated that by not presenting the second offer to him, REALTOR® A had not acted in his (the seller’s) best interest, as required by Article 1.
At the hearing, REALTOR® A produced a copy of the listing contract, which contained a provision reading: “Seller agrees that broker’s responsibility to present offers to purchase to seller for his consideration terminates with seller’s acceptance of an offer.” REALTOR® A told the hearing panel that he had explained this provision to Seller X at the listing presentation and that Seller X had agreed to it, as indicated by Seller X’s signature on the listing contract.
The hearing panel found REALTOR® A not in violation of Article 1. In their decision, the panel noted that REALTOR® A had explained the contract provision relieving him of the obligation to submit subsequent offers to Seller X; that Seller X had agreed to the provision and had signed the listing contract; and that, while it was unfortunate that Seller X had received less than full price for the property, REALTOR® A had fulfilled his obligations under the listing contract once the first offer to purchase had been accepted by Seller X.