Presentation of Counter-Offers

Question:
What duty does an agent have regarding rejected offers/counteroffers?
Recommendation:
One thing that I ran into on a regular basis as a defense attorney is a lack of file documentation by agents regarding what some agents deemed “not important documents.” If the agent did not think a document was “important” the agent discarded the document. This led many agents to discard rejected offers/counteroffers.
Louisiana law and the Louisiana Real Estate Commission Rules and Regulations

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do not distinguish between “important” and “not important documents.” Rather, if a document in any way pertains to a real estate transaction, that document is “important” and should be maintained by the agent.

The requirement to maintain documents, includes the maintenance of rejected offers/counteroffers.

Additionally, the agent also has a duty to obtain signatures on the rejected offer/counteroffer and provide a copy of the signed rejected offer/counteroffer to his/her client and the other party.

According to the Louisiana Real Estate Commission’s Rules and Regulations, Chapter 39, Section 3907:

1. All written offers and counter offers presented to a seller and/or buyer and not accepted shall be clearly marked as rejected and signed by the seller and/or buyer.

2. If a seller and/or buyer refuses to sign a rejected offer or counter offer, the agent making the presentation of the offer or counter offer shall annotate this fact indicating the time of day and date of the rejection of the offer or counter offer.

3. A copy of the rejected offer or counter offer signed by the seller and/or buyer, or a copy of the rejected offer or counter offer bearing the annotation of the agent, shall be provided to the person rejecting the offer or counteroffer. Additionally, a copy of the rejected offer or counter offer or the annotated offer/counteroffer shall be returned to the other side within five (5) days.

In accordance with the law cited above, it is recommended that the agents present all offers/counteroffers to their clients. If their client rejects the offer/counteroffer, the agent should have the “Rejection” box checked and have their client sign the rejection. If the client refuses to sign the rejection, annotate this fact on the rejection.

Provide one (1) copy of the signed rejected offer/counteroffer to the client and another copy to the other party.

Additionally, the agent should keep a copy of the rejected offer/counteroffer in his/her file.