Can a listing agent send a counter offer to a potential buyer’s offer without providing any signatures from the seller on the counter?

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Can a listing agent send a counter offer to a potential buyer’s offer without providing any signatures from the seller on the counter?

This is a relocation sale where the agent indicates the homeowner makes the decision but can not sign anything. The relocation company apparently must sign everything, but won’t sign the counter offer. We believe the listing agent is doing all the negotiating himself without direct acceptance or rejection from the homeowner or the relocation sale.

Asked on April 4, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you believe the price is being raised without due notice to the homeowner or relocation company and the offer is not being properly shown to the appropriate party, your agent or broker needs to call that agent's broker and find out exactly what is going on. If there is any concern, this person and the broker should be reported to the Department of Real Estate in California and an investigation will begin regarding this matter. Any lawsuits that derive from this will need to be carefully developed before filing to determine what the exact damages should be. It could be the benefit of the sale as the damages or perhaps forcing the sale with inclusion of the seller and relocation company as interested parties. Interference with contractual relations is a theme coming into play here but of course, that might be something more between the seller, the listing agent/broker and relocation company.


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