Dear Monty: Can the seller’s broker real estate agent bid higher than your offer without being considered a conflict of interest in New Jersey?
Monty’s Answer: Due to the limited information in your question, we cannot advise you on your situation. Much more should be known about the situation. Gathering the information you need to know can be difficult. We have data in our possession, such as purchase offers, emails and possibly texts or notes written by you. You may not have paperwork from the agent stating that you have overpriced. Brokers are responsible for the actions of their agents. Have you contacted the agent’s broker?
The following are portions of New Jersey’s administrative code.
SECTION 11:5-6.4 LICENSEE’S PUBLIC AND MUTUAL OBLIGATIONS
(a) All Licensees shall be subject to and strictly abide by the laws of agency and the principles governing fiduciary relationships. By accepting employment as an agent, Licensee pledges to protect and promote the interests of the client or principal he undertakes to represent, as well as his own. While this duty of absolute loyalty to the interests of a client or principal is primary, it does not relieve Licensee of its obligation to deal fairly with all parties to the transaction.
investment of time and energy
Instead of advice, here are some options to consider.
No. 1: Think of it as a learning experience. Pursuing a problem requires considerable time, money, and energy. Letting go is an option many people in similar situations take. There are also a lot of people who have the time and the inclination to put in the time and effort to make sure their agents don’t take advantage of others.
No.2: Contact your agent’s broker. Contacting the broker may be a good option if the broker is ethical. Brokers, on the other hand, could have been waiting for an excuse to get rid of agents. It didn’t take me long to find it.
Third: Try to buy a house directly from an agency. The real estate industry is usually afraid of regulators. If the agent breaks the law and you resist it, will the agent trade your silence for home? This tactic is one that should be instructed by consulting an attorney before using it.
Step 4: Seek a legal opinion. Your attorney may have other options that know New Jersey law beyond my own limited knowledge of New Jersey law.
No. 5: File a complaint with the New Jersey Real Estate Commission. Regulators collect information not included in the investigation when they want to take this step to protect other customers from the same fate. Enforce rules to protect the public from unauthorized licensees.
Finally, over a year ago, I wrote about the raging New Jersey market. Sometimes it helps to know that you are not alone.
Richard Montgomery is the author of “Home Money: Insider Secrets That Will Save You Thousands Of Money When Buying Or Selling A Home.” He advocates for industry reform and provides his readers with unbiased real estate advice. Follow him on Twitter @dearmonty or DearMonty.com.
Photo credit: paulbr75 at Pixabay