Can Sellers Ignore Real Estate Offers?

can sellers ignore real estate offers

Can New Orleans home sellers ignore real estate offers?

We’ve been experiencing an unsettling trend in New Orleans lately, where home sellers ignore real estate offers made on their properties.

Say, what? Yep. Ignore them.

We are left shaking our heads and trying to placate buyers who wonder if their offer was even presented to the seller.

The Louisiana real estate purchase agreement, that all licensees are required to use, has a space for the seller’s response to any offer. There are only 3 choices: Accepted, Rejected, or Countered.

I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around why a seller would refuse to sign an offer they don’t intend to accept or counter. With the use of electronic signatures, it literally takes a few seconds – they can even sign from their phone.

I’m having an even harder time wrapping my head around why a licensed real estate professional wouldn’t follow the rules and regulations of the LREC (Louisiana Real Estate Commission) that require them to respond, in writing, to any offer received on their listing.

In case you were wondering what the rule is, here it is:

§3901. Timely Presentation of Offers and Counter Offers

A. All written offers and counter offers for the purchase of real estate shall be presented to all buyers and/or sellers for their consideration and decision immediately, without delay.

B. The licensee who prepares an offer or counter offer in a real estate transaction shall ensure that the time of day and date the offer or counter offer was signed by the offering party are included in the document.

C. The licensee who presents an offer or counter offer in a real estate transaction shall ensure that the time of day and date the offer or counter offer was accepted, rejected or countered are included in the document.

The Code of Ethics

REALTORS are bound by the code of ethics of the National Association of REALTORS. We are held to a higher standard than an agent who is not a REALTOR. It also means that there is a code of ethics in place, that allows anyone (public or agent) to file a complaint when they feel that an agent has violated the code.

Now, I’m no professional standards pro, but Article 9 of the code says, in part:

REALTORS®, for the protection of all parties, shall assure whenever possible that all agreements related to real estate transactions including, but not limited to, listing and representation agreements, purchase contracts, and leases are in writing in clear and understandable language expressing the specific terms, conditions, obligations and commitments of the parties. A copy of each agreement shall be furnished to each party to such agreements upon their signing or initialing.

Seems to me that we, as agents, have an obligation to respond to all offers, whether a seller wants to or not.

That leads us right back around to the original question – can sellers ignore real estate offers? The answer is yes. They can.

But their agent cannot.

The posturing, the passive aggressive “I’m not signing that…”, it’s all for naught. So, what’s the point?

Keep the door open for negotiations

If you get an offer on your home and your first inclination is to ignore it, talk to your agent. A well crafted counter offer is the best way to get to that meeting of the minds. A meeting of the minds means your home gets sold. Isn’t that what you want?

 

Need advice on selling your New Orleans home? Call us at 504-327-5303 today