Does the Listing Agent Have to Disclose Multiple Offers?

Whether or not the listing agent has to disclose to the buyer’s agent that fact that they are competing with other offers on the same property is a topic of hot debate in the real estate community.  

As a 25 year veteran in the real estate business and knowing in a sellers market I may be competing with other offers, I ALWAYS ask two specific questions.  I ask if there are any other offers on the table.  If the answer is no I ask that if another offer comes in I be notified so that my buyer can present their highest and best offer.  If the answer is yes, then I can inform the buyer that they may not be receiving a counteroffer and to make their best offer.

When I was in Professional Standards committee training for my local Realtor Association a couple years ago the question arose: “If you notify one agent that there are multiple offers, are you bound to notify everyone involved in the transaction?”  According to the Legal Team of the Florida Realtors Association the answer was no, not necessarily.  This is a very good reason why using an experienced and well trained licensee works in a buyer’s benefit.  Cooperating agents should always know to ask the listing agent if other offers exist before presenting the buyer’s offer.

The March/April edition of Realtor Magazine addresses the issue of Ethics and disclosing multiple offers.  According to the Code of Ethics article two conditions must be met before a listing agent has to disclose multiple offers: the seller is required to give permission and the buyers or cooperating agent is required to ask the agent to disclose whether there are other offers.  The same two conditions apply if the cooperating agent wants the listing agent to reveal whether the offers were from the listing broker or other cooperating brokers.  

Realtors are required to abide by the National Association of Realtor Code of Ethics and the Code sited in this instance was Article 1, Standard of Practice 1-15 and 1-13(5)

·   Standard of Practice 1-15

Realtors®, in response to inquiries from buyers or cooperating brokers shall, with the sellers’ approval, disclose the existence of offers on the property. Where disclosure is authorized, Realtors®shall also disclose, if asked, whether offers were obtained by the listing licensee, another licensee in the listing firm, or by a cooperating broker. (Adopted 1/03, Amended 1/09)

·   Standard of Practice 1-13
When entering into buyer/tenant agreements, Realtors® must advise potential clients of:
5)    the possibility that sellers or sellers’ representatives may not treat the existence, terms, or conditions of offers as confidential unless confidentiality is required by law, regulation, or by any confidentiality agreement between the parties. (Adopted 1/93, Renumbered 1/98, Amended 1/06)

For information on obtaining a real estate license or are considering a career in Real Estate and live in the Tampa Bay area, Contact Nature Coast Real Estate School’s website for our schedule of classes.

Nature Coast Real Estate School offers LIVE CLASSROOM and ONLINE INSTRUCTION for Pre and Post Licensing Classes for Sales Associates and Brokers, as well as Weekend Exam Prep Courses.  We have FOUR convenient locations to serve the Real Estate Licensing needs of Pasco and Hernando Counties:
78 Commerical Way, Spring Hill  
2715 Forest Rd, Spring Hill 
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2144 Seven Springs Blvd, Trinity 
For more information on the location and class preparation, call Jeanne Gavish at 352-650-1029 or email me at [email protected]  

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