Do Listing Agents Have to Present Offers to their Sellers that Will Upset their Sellers?

Question

I represent Sellers of a home.  I received an offer on the home from a Buyer’s Agent, but the offer is very low and I know my Sellers will reject it.  I don’t want to upset my Sellers.  Can I discard the offer without presenting it to my Sellers?

Answer

The Answer is: you are legally obligated to present the offer to your Sellers, even if it will upset them.

According to the Louisiana Real Estate Commission Rules and Regulations, Chapter 39 “Presentation of Offers and Counter Offers,” Section 3901 entitled “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.

“Shall” and “immediately” are very specific terms that leave no doubt how the Louisiana Real Estate Commission feels about agents not presenting all offers or counter-offers to their clients.    

Based on the words “shall” and “immediately,” you are legally obligated to present the offer to your Sellers.  If the offer will upset your Sellers, lead the conversation with:

“I know this offer is very low and you’ll be upset with it, but as your real estate agent I have a legal duty to present all offers to you.  Louisiana law mandates that I give you the offer, even if I know you will reject it.”