Buying or Selling a Home/Fiduciary failure?


I have been an expert here for almost six years (december).  I have a house for sale.  Real Estate agent literally "strong armed" me into going to contract with buyers even though their contract payment was only $2000 (on a $150,000 purchase price).  She said they had a "letter of commitment" from a bank but I never received a copy.  Well, guess what.  They had a "pre-qual" letter and went to several banks, no one would give them a loan.  So now: tomorrow was closing date, counter offer is to rent to own (no way).  I want to know if I can somehow force the broker to reimburse me the $2,000 based upon false information provided by my agent who reassured me, over and over again, that the sale would go through.  I am in NY State.  I would also like to file charges with the State regarding this woman's lack of professional integrity.  Any advice?  Thank you.

A real estate agent cannot strong-arm you into accepting a transaction, Jill. Technically, you do not have to accept ANY offer whether it is your price or not. You would simply have to pay the listing agent (providing you are listed with an agent)his/her commission if the offer meets your price and terms.

If it was me, based on what you say, I would tell the agent to go fly a kite. But do not expect to keep any portion of the earnest money with the contract, unless you had to spend funds during the negotiations. If you don't accept the offer, you are not entitled to keep any part of the earnest money. Your agent was obviously hungry to make a deal so she tried to force you into a transaction.

As far as I can see, you do not have a sale of your house, certainly not a rent-to-own . . . unless you did sign an acceptance saying so. If you wasted money in this negotiation you can take the matter before a small-claims judge for the $2,000. But you better have proof that you lost $2,000 in one fashion or another. You can also take the whole matter before a real estate attorney and get it settled that way.

If you want to complain to anyone, you should complain to the local Board of Realtors.

I do wish you well.

Dick Dennis

Buying or Selling a Home

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Dick Dennis


With more than 41 years as a real estate broker, I can solve most any problem presented. If I can`t, I do my research. Problems with mortgages, trust deeds, foreclosures, odd ways of conveying titles. Most any good Realtor can answer questions satisfactorily, but I answer questions that most cannot. Also, ask about my hard-copy newsletter, The Landed Gentry. It can also be sent to you via PDF.


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