Bully Agent or Crook Agent?

Hello All Wise Men & Women:

I have a dilemma I hope someone here could shed some light on. I have a short sale, the first one I started, which has finally been approved. Closing is scheduled for 1/29/08.

Out of nowhere, I received a phone call today, from a guy, who claims that he is the listing agent for the property, and that he has a buyer with an offer which, obviously is higher than what I’ve negotiated and gotten approved by the bank. For nearly a year that this property has been vacant, they neither show nor advertise it. And the whole time that I’ve been negotiating with the Lender, for over 6 months, no agent was in sight. The seller told me that he was selling FSBO. Which in fact, is how I found the property, on a FSBO sign by the house.

I am just flabergasted with this guy. Now all of a sudden, he is looking out for the interest of the seller. RIGHT! I am like dude, how long ago did you sign a listing agreement? When was the last time you spoke with the seller? When was the last time you showed the property? Where are you coming from, or who sent you? For all these months, he is just now, today talking to the seller.

These are my question:

  1. He claims that with their offer, the seller will walk away with $20k even though the seller owes the bank more than their offer. Therefore, they are shorting the second. He is trying to use this as motivation for the seller not to go to closing. Does anyone think this legal? Can he do this? Can they give the seller money from the sale, legally?

  2. Since my offer has been approved by the bank, what recourse do I have if for some reason, the seller refused to close?

  3. What about the lender, can they change course, and retract their approval?

  4. Does anyone here see a case to either sue or file a complaint to the NAR against this agent and his broker?

Any other suggestions or advise would be appreciated.

By the way, I am in Jersey.

Thank you all.

If you have a signed contract to purchase the property you should have an equitable interest in the property, right. I would go down to the recorders office and record the contract. Then I would call the agent back and offer to sell him my contract or the right to purchase the property.
You have done all the work in this deal, don’t lose it

For starters their listing agreement has probably expired by now if you have been working on it for 6 months; but talk with your seller and ask them if they have signed anything and if so do they have a copy of it.

To answer your questions…

  1. the seller can’t get money back from a short sale so he has to be selling it outright which you seem to have proven aint the case because they owe more than its worth…!!!
  2. you should have a signed contract which is a legally binding contract so you can sue for specific performance…
  3. not sure on this one…
  4. you could file a complaint with the state board of realtors and the broker for the agent, but that would be my last resort, i would call the agent and have them forward the listing agreement and provided it’s valid I would try and work out an arrangement. if the listing agreement isn’t valid, the agent doesn’t have anything to box with so i wouldn’t even sweat what he is saying… keep in mind that there are SO MANY new realtors that he is probably new and doesn’t have a clue what is going on…

I would find out if the listing agreement has expired or not first. If it has expired then he does not legally repressent the seller any more and if he continues to give you trouble then I would contact his broker (who ever runs the company he works for, most brokers will be very unhappy with an agent this is trying to scam people). If the listing contract has not expired then I would find out why he has not had a sign in the yard and where he has been the past six months. The bank also would probably have know if it was on the market due to a BPO or appraisal that the people doing these would have pulled up comps on the mls.

GoodLuck and keep us posted