Submitting Multiple Buyers' Offers
Every new market condition creates new challenges for the active REALTOR®. Often we are faced with dilemmas about how far to go in our actions that will both serve the needs of our clients to the fullest, yet remain on the safe side of risk management and the Code of Ethics.
Currently there is an issue with agents representing buyers that have had a difficult time getting an offer accepted; they are resorting to creativity in how they are writing their offers and how many offers they are submitting at the same time.
It goes without saying that if the buyer is an FHA buyer with 3.5% down, and the REALTOR® writes the offer as conventional with 20% down or anything that is not accurate, that there may be a violation of Article 2 of the Code of Ethics which prohibits the “exaggeration, misrepresentation or concealment of pertinent facts relating to the property or the transaction” and Standard of Practice 2-4: “REALTORS® shall not be parties to the naming of false consideration in any document”.
Risk management experts have also stated that submitting multiple offers on behalf of buyers without full disclosure to the sellers involved may open the possibility of actions against the buyer for “lack of good faith” in their offer.
At the CAR meetings in Sacramento, there was further discussion regarding the ethics of submitting multiple offers and it was suggested that REALTORS® may be in violation of Article 2 of the Code of Ethics which prohibits the “concealment of pertinent facts relating to the transaction” if this information is not disclosed to the sellers involved.Before submitting offers ask yourself:
- Is the offer being submitted true and accurate?
- Are there any issues that are being “concealed” that you would want to know about as a listing agent reviewing offers?
- Are you working with a buyer making more than one offer at the same time without disclosing that fact to the seller?
Always remember, as REALTORS®, we have an obligation to a higher standard of care and that the actions we take on behalf of our clients can never override our obligation to the Code of Ethics.