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Real estate sale issue --- need advice

Waterjunky

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Hello all;

My MIL has gotten her self into a bit of a situation and I am trying to throw her a lifeline on a real estate adventure..... She owns a duplex locally and has struggled to manage it for various reasons that aren't important here but she decided to sell it. She put it on the market five months ago but has now decided to keep it. The catch is that she didn't realize she cannot back out of the listing until it expires in a couple of months without paying full commission rates to the agent and the agent won't let her out, even at a price. Things start getting weird here. The dates on her unsigned version of the contract (which she received the day she signed) are two months different than the ones the agent are holding against her but show obvious white out marks on the date --- un-initialed by anyone. Just random white out changes on a signed document. The agent knows she has changed her mind on selling after it fell out of escrow recently. She is not trying to list it with anyone else, just not sell it and have my wife and I run it along side our duplex. This gets stranger yet in that we just got another offer today from another another potential buyer, who is a real estate agent, for 2K over list price which is now significantly over appraised value ( the reason it fell out last time- 92K over). We suspect something fishy is going on with this agent and offer. She knows we are not impressed with the white out trick.

The questions come in as to how we decline or torpedo this offer without getting ourselves in trouble. Can we outright decline a full asking price offer without violating the listing agreement? If not, what things can we write into the counter that make is incredibly unappealing? The agents contract already says she pays all commissions, so that is out. We are thinking about a huge non- refundable deposit, if so how big can we request and how do we make it non-refundable? Removing the appraisal contingency, no home warranty, all reports and inspections are on them, buyer pays transfer taxes.....

What else can we do to sour this?
Who do we file a formal complaint to or challenge the legality of this agreement that's been illegally altered after the fact? We just want this done and gone at this point. We also need to avoid her being able to legally challenge the MIL with impeding the sale or anything like that.

Thanks for the help!

Waterjunky
 

shintoooo

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What agency does the real estate agent hang their license with? I would call the office and talk to a manager or one of the partners and see if you can get it solved. I don’t think they would want to get sued over something like this with one of their agents clearly changing dates using white out.
 

TOBTEK

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What agency does the real estate agent hang their license with? I would call the office and talk to a manager or one of the partners and see if you can get it solved. I don’t think they would want to get sued over something like this with one of their agents clearly changing dates using white out.


Yes, call and ask to speak with the Broker. If you don’t get any resolve, hang up and contact the Dept of Real Estate. They’d like to hear about contact dates being chanced without client knowledge or consent.


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Waterjunky

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The agent is the broker and owns the office I believe. It is her own brand.
 

shintoooo

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The agent is the broker and owns the office I believe. It is her own brand.
Contact the DRE and explain the situation. They should have a complaints department. There might be other complaints against this agent in the past. Hopefully they will look at the document and open a case against them.

If that doesn’t work, you need to contact a real estate attorney.
 

RiverDave

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If the contract has been changed without anyone initial’ing it is null and void. For something to change they would do an amendment to the original contract.

In RE school they mentioned that people are liable for the commisssions... but honestly virtually nobody does it. Who would want to trap a client that doesn’t want to work with them?

I will ask Stacy in the am.

RD
 

monkeyswrench

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I can't be the only one thinking "Brady Bunch"....

then again, haunted places may sell easier with as mess up as people are!
 

Royally PO'd

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I don't know what state you're in but it's absolutely illegal to change the contract by only one individual, without an addendum signed by BOTH parties.
 

SnoC653

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If you accept the offer through your realtor then you have acknowledged the validity of their contract. If the listing has expired and the only thing extending it is the whited out date, just do not respond and tell them the listing has expired. Send them a notarized copy of the contract your mother has by registered mail and inform them the contract has expired and you are withdrawing the house from them. You can run that by the board of realtors and a real-estate attorney just to be sure, prior to doing that. But as stated, white out on a contract is a voiding condition. The only legally binding correction is a single line through pen and ink correction initialed by both parties. The single line through must still be legible so that a court can determine the validity of the change should it ever be questioned.

Of course addendums are also legal but they are not considered to be corrections. They are modifications.
 

ChumpChange

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If you accept the offer through your realtor then you have acknowledged the validity of their contract. If the listing has expired and the only thing extending it is the whited out date, just do not respond and tell them the listing has expired.
If the OP was thinking this most recent offer was funny business then this post makes perfect sense. Trying to validate an invalid contract.
 

C-2

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Are you sure there's not a countersigned contract out there and the copy your MIL only reflects one version? It will be her burden to prove shenanigans. I wouldn't relay on a public agency to prove anything if she can't prove it herself.

How can she dispute the validity of the contract if she went forward on it? That's gonna be a hard sell to say the contract was good enough to enter escrow, but now that it fell out, the contract is not valid.

DRE is an administrative licensing agency whose mission os to protect consumers. They do that by enforcing licensing laws. The parties are in a contract dispute and that's a civil issue, not a licensing issue. They can't refuse a complaint, but that doesn't mean they will work on it. Besides, nothing there will happen quickly as they have other cases ahead of yours and COVID has everybody home-officed, so things are moving slowly, as in 9 months to a year slow.

That said, DRE may have arbitration available, but then again, the contract most likely also has an arbitration clause which may stifle any program offered by DRE.

Be careful, the broker may have experience with hundreds of similar situation and may know more than you think - whereas you guys have no experience. You need a lawyer. But, who do you pay, a lawyer to get involved, or do you pay the agent to go away?
 

hallett21

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What kind of agent is not using Docusign in this day and age?


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dribble

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Most agents know that a seller can sandbag any sale. They don’t get paid until they bring in a buyer who is ready, willing and able to purchase. Also the seller has no obligation to accept an offer at the listing price as the courts have held that a listing is not an offer but an invitation for someone to make an offer. I would tell her to ride out the listing and verbally let the agent know that she will be the seller from Hell. I once asked an agent to agree to cancel a listing and she did no questions asked.
 

C-2

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BTW, not trying to be a dick and don't feel compelled to respond to my post - just a different angle to consider.
 

DrunkenSailor

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If the agent is ballsy enough to white out the dates on the contract then hold you to said dates they have played this game in the past. Shady as hell. I would at the very least have an attorney review the contract and then when this is over out the agent through as much hell as they put you through.
 

Sherpa

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go visit this agent and bring in your paperwork and ask to see her paperwork. sounds like it's pretty easy to find out she changed the dates without the MIL initialing the changed dates.....

viola. done and out.

--Sherpa

or just wait out the listing.......
 

Justfishing

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I would look up what the proper way to amend a real estate listing. My guess it requires an addendum that stipulates the dates as well as signitures.

All the counter offers i saw were on a seperate page and identified as such.

Real estate commissions can be hard nosed when there is clear evidence of violating the law. I am all for starting a record for the individual or adding to it.
 

petie6464

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92k over and you now have another offer thats 2k higher, 94k over appraisal sounds like the seller needs to think again and sell that dump!
 
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ChumpChange

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I guess everybody here is assuming it is California? Just making sure. And if the offer is that much over appraised value, I would still consider selling.
 

Dennis-19

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You will get more traction and attention to your complaint by going through the board where the licensee is a member. Codes and Ethics are enforced by the board.

Playing devil's advocate:

I can't count how many times I have experienced or witnessed a seller lying about not wanting to sell in order to get out of a contract so they can sell it through their friend for a kick back/discount, do a REFI or flat out try to exclude the agent (procuring cause) from the deal. Some people/clients get weird and shady when it comes to money and business.

The biggest red flag is when a seller says they don't want to sell but are adamant on getting out of the listing asap. If you don't don't want to sell, just let the agent place it hold or withdrawn and let time run out.

People lie. I'm not saying your relative is lying, but I'm sure this broker is playing hardball for a reason. Now if they actually altered the contract without consent and are still trying to play hardball, then this broker is an idiot and asking for trouble. If they didn't, then technically, they did their job (presented an offer) and are due compensation and they are merely protecting their interests (their time and effort). Doing a job and not getting paid sucks.

Contact the local board and file your complaint.

Good luck.
 
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Machally

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This one seems pretty simple for the most part irregardless of governing state... Although forms and some details may vary. This is aside from the fact the listing contract should be unenforceable due to the listing agent amending it without consent and white out none the less.

If your MIL truly does not want to sell simply do not sign the offer as accepted. If the offer is that much over the actual/accurate appraised value she may want to reconsider. In that case require an all cash 7 day close to alleviate a potential loan appraisal issue.

Second simply let the listing naturally expire, she could help the process by amending the listing and upping the list price Significantly.

Last, turn in the listing agent for what is obviously unscrupulous behavior to both the governing real estate body of the state and the DA.

I would only get an attorney involved as a last resort due to cost.
 

Springfield

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If they didn't, then technically, they did their job (presented an offer) and are due compensation and they are merely protecting their interests (their time and effort). Doing a job and not getting paid sucks.

Contact the local board and file your complaint.

Good luck.
I might be jumping in to quick but presenting an offer doesnt warrant a pay day. Check with DRE, seller can ask any price but they do not have to sell at any price offered and Realtor is not entitled to a pay day.
Scenario - Vacant bank building for sale, Knott's Berry Farm wants to purchase. We provided them full price of the sellers asking for all cash, no contingencies. Seller (see"s who the buyer is) and counters us at 250k over his original asking and removes from market. Call DRE and they informed me you are not entitled to a check just because you brought a qualified buyer to the sellers asking price, seller can raise their price anytime or not sell at all.
Then 2 months later seller Broker called and accepted the original contract. Ching Ching :)
 

Waterjunky

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If you have an offer 97k over value...... SELL IT
The snag here is not the actual value but the appraised value. There are almost no comps so things get weird with establishing value.

I am in California, up near Sacramento as is the property. So, do we have to respond to offers? Can we just ignore them? We have no problem waiting until the original date expires here at the end of January, push comes to shove, we could wait until the altered date in March. At this point the plan is to rent it out again.

We just need to get into a stable position between now and then.


I like the idea of filling a complaint with the board or reality. This might also give us traction to refuse any offers as we have an ongoing dispute with an involved realtor. Once that complaint happens, we have a reason to reject any and all offers. Does this sound reasonable?
 

Dennis-19

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I might be jumping in to quick but presenting an offer doesnt warrant a pay day. Check with DRE, seller can ask any price but they do not have to sell at any price offered and Realtor is not entitled to a pay day.
Scenario - Vacant bank building for sale, Knott's Berry Farm wants to purchase. We provided them full price of the sellers asking for all cash, no contingencies. Seller (see"s who the buyer is) and counters us at 250k over his original asking and removes from market. Call DRE and they informed me you are not entitled to a check just because you brought a qualified buyer to the sellers asking price, seller can raise their price anytime or not sell at all.
Then 2 months later seller Broker called and accepted the original contract. Ching Ching :)
If you hire someone to do a job (bring you a ready willing and able buyer) that person should be paid. I myself have let many off the hook, it is what it is. I understand people’s situations change and I’m not going to make someone suffer. Instead I eat my time and money. It sucks but it is part of doing business.



Laws change from state to state. AZ is much more clear about it I really like that about AZ.


When I studied for my AZ exam, I was shocked to see an area for a retainer fee. CA is much different

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RiverDave

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You will get more traction and attention to your complaint by going through the board where the licensee is a member. Codes and Ethics are enforced by the board.

Playing devil's advocate:

I can't count how many times I have experienced or witnessed a seller lying about not wanting to sell in order to get out of a contract so they can sell it through their friend for a kick back/discount, do a REFI or flat out try to exclude the agent (procuring cause) from the deal. Some people/clients get weird and shady when it comes to money and business.

The biggest red flag is when a seller says they don't want to sell but are adamant on getting out of the listing asap. If you don't don't want to sell, just let the agent place it hold or withdrawn and let time run out.

People lie. I'm not saying your relative is lying, but I'm sure this broker is playing hardball for a reason. Now if they actually altered the contract without consent and are still trying to play hardball, then this broker is an idiot and asking for trouble. If they didn't, then technically, they did their job (presented an offer) and are due compensation and they are merely protecting their interests (their time and effort). Doing a job and not getting paid sucks.

Contact the local board and file your complaint.

Good luck.
Isn’t there some time period after the listing expires that if they sell or sell to someone you showed the house too the commissions are valid still?
 

RiverDave

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If you hire someone to do a job (bring you a ready willing and able buyer) that person should be paid. I myself have let many off the hook, it is what it is, but it doesn’t make it right. Time is money.

Laws change from state to state. AZ is much more clear about it I really like that about AZ.


View attachment 958531
I took the AZ class which explains my question above.. lol. There is even things after the listing expired in AZ
 

Springfield

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I believe the property is in California. And yes there is a provision to add time on the contracts, page 1 of RPA #3A (2) for previous shown prospects. And no Ca. does not have a retainer agreement in the contract.

3. COMPENSATIONTO BROKER:
Notice: The amount or rate of real estate commissions is not fixed by law. They are set by each Broker
individually and may be negotiable between Seller and Broker (real estate commissions include all
compensation and fees to Broker).
A. Seller agrees to pay to Broker as compensation for services irrespective of agency relationship(s), either ~ percent
of the listing price (or if a purchase agreement is entered into, of the purchase price), or D$ _
AND , as follows:
(1) If during the Listing Period, or any extension, Broker, cooperating broker, Seller or any other person procures a ready,
willing, and able buyer(s) whose offer to purchase the Property on any price and terms is accepted by Seller, provided the
Buyer completes the transaction or is prevented from doing so by Seller. (Broker is entitled to compensation whether any
escrow resulting from such offer closes during or after the expiration of the Listing Period, or any extension.)
OR
(2) If within ~ calendar days (a) after the end of the Listing Period or any extension; or (b) after any cancellation of this
Agreement, unless otherwise agreed, Seller enters into a contract to sell, convey, lease or otherwise transfer the Property
to anyone ("Prospective Buyer") or that person's related entity: (i) who physically entered and was shown the Property
during the Listing Period or any extension by Broker or a cooperating broker; or (ii) for whom Broker or any cooperating
broker submitted to Seller a signed, written offer to acquire, lease, exchange or obtain an option on the Property. Seller,
however, shall have no obligation to Broker under paragraph 3A(2) unless, not later than the end of the Listing Period
or any extension or cancellation, Broker has given Seller a written notice of the names of such Prospective Buyers.
 

Dennis-19

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Isn’t there some time period after the listing expires that if they sell or sell to someone you showed the house too the commissions are valid still?

Yes. In CA it gets left blank a lot and agents learn the hard way. We fill in 180 days.

Someone tried to pull this on us not too long ago. Million dollar house, 30k commission. We found a buyer, put in escrow.

Seller has a change of heart, buyer is pissed but agreed to cancel the escrow and we cancel the listing.

3 weeks later we find out seller is back in escrow with the same buyer and tells me that he doesn’t owe us anything because it’s a new deal. Lol

He ended up paying us.
 

pronstar

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The snag here is not the actual value but the appraised value. There are almost no comps so things get weird with establishing value.

I am in California, up near Sacramento as is the property. So, do we have to respond to offers? Can we just ignore them? We have no problem waiting until the original date expires here at the end of January, push comes to shove, we could wait until the altered date in March. At this point the plan is to rent it out again.

We just need to get into a stable position between now and then.


I like the idea of filling a complaint with the board or reality. This might also give us traction to refuse any offers as we have an ongoing dispute with an involved realtor. Once that complaint happens, we have a reason to reject any and all offers. Does this sound reasonable?
When presented with an offer, you have four options:
1. Accept
2. Counter
3. Reject
4. Do nothing / ignore

You are under zero obligation to accept an offer. You’re the seller, the broker/agent works for you, not the other way around.

You don’t have to explain to them why you didn’t accept an offer. Especially with a hostile relationship like what y’all have going on.



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ChumpChange

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Doing a job and not getting paid sucks.
Welcome to the world of Commercial Banking where you restructure debt for companies and then the incumbent bank will say that they can do that too! Well why didn't you do it to begin with? That's right. Because it would benefit the borrower and not the bank. But competition comes knocking and suddenly you'll figure it out. Or they were just not smart enough to come up with better solutions in the first place.
 

Dennis-19

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Welcome to the world of Commercial Banking where you restructure debt for companies and then the incumbent bank will say that they can do that too! Well why didn't you do it to begin with? That's right. Because it would benefit the borrower and not the bank. But competition comes knocking and suddenly you'll figure it out. Or they were just not smart enough to come up with better solutions in the first place.
Yep just got to keep plugging away and not let the defeats get you down.
 

ChumpChange

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Yep just got to keep plugging away and not let the defeats get you down.
Yup. Had a really bad beat a few months back. Would have been on of the largest loans I've ever done at just under $30mil. The incumbent bank already said no to a certain structure which I was able to pull off. Ultimately, the incumbent came around and said that they'll do the same which would save the company money due to not having to pay the prepayment fee. And here we are this week where I'm presenting a request for two times that amount. lol.
 

Waterjunky

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Hello all:

Just wanting to let everyone know that this is now worked out. The RA let my MIL out of the contract with the stipulation that she not re-list it until after her altered contract would have expired and any previous people that make a new offer come back through her. We are more than happy with these terms.

Thanks for all the help along the way with this.
 

evantwheeler

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Hello all:

Just wanting to let everyone know that this is now worked out. The RA let my MIL out of the contract with the stipulation that she not re-list it until after her altered contract would have expired and any previous people that make a new offer come back through her. We are more than happy with these terms.

Thanks for all the help along the way with this.
But did you figure out if agent indeed changed the contract date illegally?
 
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