Presentation of Offers: Change to Code of Ethics, Standard of Practice 1-7
The C.A.R. Legal Hotline often receives calls from members, especially in busy markets, expressing frustration that they are not sure that their buyers’ offers were ever presented to the seller. For some time, the RPA has had a section for seller to initial rejection of the offer or for the listing agent to initial that they presented the offer to the seller. However, those were a courtesy to the buyer and selling agent and not required to be completed by any law or ethical standard.
That, however, is about to change. The National Association of Realtors®, in response to the break down in the spirit of cooperation, has amended N.A.R. Code of Ethics, Standard of Practice 1-7. Effective January 1, 2019, a listing broker or agent is required to respond in writing that an offer was submitted to the seller if the cooperating broker who submitted the offer so requests. The listing broker or agent must respond in the affirmative unless the seller has provided written notification waiving the obligation to have the offer presented.
C.A.R. is looking into ways for members to comply with the new Standard of Practice. Ideas under consideration include one or more of the following: New language being inserted into the RPA; Modifications to the existing Sample Letter titled, “Demand That Offer Be Presented to Seller;” A new form or letter specifically requesting a reply to the request that an offer be presented; Or a new form for the listing broker to respond to a selling broker’s request. At this time, it is too early to tell whether these or other ideas will be adopted. C.A.R. will keep its members informed well in advance of the compliance starting date.