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Confirming the Presentation of Offers

Dear Joey: Can I receive confirmation that my client’s offer has been presented to the sellers?

ORLANDO, Fla. – Dear Joey: In this market especially, when most properties have multiple offers, how can I know my client’s offer was presented? I want to make sure I’m the expert for my clients.

Dear Real Estate Professional: Great question! The answer is yes, there is a way to know your offer was presented– and, the Code of Ethics has an article and two standards of practice to support this.

You said you want to be the expert for your clients – serve them and their interests to the best of your ability – which of course includes confirming that their offer was presented, especially in today’s market when many buyers get their hopes up only to find out their offer was rejected.

Article 1 in the Code of Ethics says that Realtors® have an obligation to promote the interests of their clients. And Standard of Practice 1-7 expands on this in confirming that offers were presented. It states:

“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. Upon the written request of a cooperating broker who submits an offer to the listing broker, the listing broker shall provide, as soon as practical, a written affirmation to the cooperating broker stating that the offer has been submitted to the seller/landlord, or a written notification that the seller/landlord has waived the obligation to have the offer presented. Realtors shall not be obligated to continue to market the property after an offer has been accepted by the seller/landlord. Realtors shall recommend that sellers/landlords obtain the advice of legal counsel prior to acceptance of a subsequent offer except where the acceptance is contingent on the termination of the pre-existing purchase contract or lease. (Amended 1/20)”

One note: Standard of Practice 1-8 was amended in January of this year and the same rule now applies to buyer’s/tenant’s brokers as well:

“Realtors, acting as agents or brokers of buyers/tenants, shall submit to buyers/tenants all offers and counter-offers until acceptance but have no obligation to continue to show properties to their clients after an offer has been accepted unless otherwise agreed in writing. Upon the written request of the listing broker who submits a counter-offer to the buyer’s/tenant’s broker, the buyer’s/tenant’s broker shall provide, as soon as practical, a written affirmation to the listing broker stating that the counter-offer has been submitted to the buyers/tenants, or a written notification that the buyers/tenants have waived the obligation to have the counter-offer presented. Realtors, acting as agents or brokers of buyers/tenants, shall recommend that buyers/tenants obtain the advice of legal counsel if there is a question as to whether a pre-existing contract has been terminated. (Amended 1/22)” 

As you can see, Standard of Practice 1-7 states that “upon written request of a cooperating broker who submits an offer to the listing broker,” the listing broker shall (this word creates an obligation) provide as soon as practical a written affirmation to the cooperation broker stating that the offer has been submitted or that the seller has waived the obligation to the have the offer presented.  Similar language is in Standard of Practice 1-8 in reference to buyer’s/tenant’s broker’s obligation to respond in writing with regards to the submission of counter-offers.

To make sure you receive confirmation that your offer or counter-offer has been submitted or that the party has waived the obligation to have it presented, request it in writing. 

Now, you may be thinking, “What if the broker refuses to provide the written affirmation after I have requested it in writing?” If that does occur, they could be opening themselves up to a potential Article 1 violation.

Joey Sale is the former Director of Local Association Services for Florida Realtors
Note: Advice deemed accurate on date of publication

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