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May 8, 2018 • Stay Connected!

QUESTION:  Seller has signed a binding purchase agreement which is now pending with no known problems or contingencies. Another agent, whose buyer lost out when 7 offers were presented on the first day the property was on the market, insists that we present her offer to the seller. She thinks it will be much better than the contract seller already signed. If all written offers are presented after seller is already under contract, it would to seem to create chaos and it would encourage sellers to breach the binding agreement leaving the first buyer holding the bag on inspection and appraisal costs with no recourse but to sue the seller, which of course, most buyers cannot afford to do.
Must listing brokers present offers from additional buyers after seller is already under contract? Can we put a statement in the listing agreement indicating that seller agrees they will not be accepting offers after one is signed by all parties?

ANSWER:  The answer to this question is crystal clear, without any room for discretion by listing broker. The answer is demanded by the Agency Law, RCW 18.86.030. Broker MUST timely present all written offers. Broker has no ability to choose not to present a written offer timely or to choose to withhold a written offer until such time as seller's existing purchase agreement fails. The fact that seller has already accepted another offer is irrelevant.
Seller may reject the new offer or seller may put the new offer in backup. The choice is seller's exclusively ... not listing broker's. Seller may make the decision that seller does not want to review or consider any offers presented after seller is in a binding agreement with a buyer but that does not change listing broker's Agency Law duty, a duty that cannot be waived, to timely present the offer. Upon presentation, seller may reject without reviewing the offer. Still, broker must "present" the offer. It would be improper for broker to include any language in the MLS agent remarks indicating that listing broker will not adhere to broker's Agency Law duties.
Listing broker should counsel seller to avoid breaching any contract, including the contract to which seller is already a party. That advice, however, does not justify listing broker withholding a written offer from seller. If it appears that seller intends to breach a binding PSA, broker should immediately, both in conversation and in writing, advise seller to seek legal counsel.


The Legal Hotline Lawyer does not represent Washington REALTORS or its members. To browse through our database of past Q & A's, visit Attorney Annie Fitzsimmons writes the Legal Hotline Question and Answer of the Week. Please submit questions to . Please tell us your NRDS number when you e-mail the Hotline with your question.


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Primary Mortgage Rates Survey
(updated every Thursday)  Source:  Freddie Mac
 May 3, 2018       30-yr FRM  15-Yr FRM  5/1-Yr ARM
 Average Rates  4.55%  4.03%  3.69%
 Fees & Points  0.5
 Margin  N/A  N/A  2.76

 April 26, 2018       30-yr FRM  15-Yr FRM  5/1-Yr ARM
 Average Rates  4.58%  4.02%  3.74%
 Fees & Points  0.5
 Margin  N/A  N/A  2.76

 April 19, 2018       30-yr FRM  15-Yr FRM  5/1-Yr ARM
 Average Rates  4.47%  3.94%  3.67%
 Fees & Points  0.5
 Margin  N/A  N/A  2.76

 April 12, 2018       30-yr FRM  15-Yr FRM  5/1-Yr ARM
 Average Rates  4.42%  3.87%  3.61%
 Fees & Points  0.4
 Margin  N/A  N/A  2.76

Date Class Location CE  
10-MAY Current Issues in WA RE Bellingham3.5More info...
17-MAY Real Estate Safety Matters Hood River3.5More info...
17-MAY Washington Landlord Tenant LawSeattle3.0More info...
21-MAY  Accredited Buyers Representative Puyallup 15.0 More info...
23-MAY At Home With Diversity Olympia7.5More info...
23-MAY Corral That DealWalla Walla 3.5 More info...
23-MAY Into the BreachWalla Walla4.0More info...
29-MAY To Disclose or Not to Disclose Wenatchee3.5More info...
29-MAY Best of the Legal HotlineWenatchee4.0More info...
30-MAY CORE & MoreKennewick7.5More info...

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