Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate, Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker (Fred Griffin Real Estate)

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Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

Yes you do.
If you've made every reasonable effort to contact the listing broker, and the listing brokerage is not returning your calls or responding to your emails or texts and their office is closed? You're working in your client's best interest and the property is offered, so contact the seller. You're not trying to cut out the listing agent.

May 09, 2016 05:48 AM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

yes, you DO contact the seller.... ditto to Candice's comment....

May 09, 2016 06:15 AM
Eve Alexander
Buyers Broker of Florida - Orlando, FL
Exclusively Representing ONLY Orlando Home Buyers

In the 1990's Buyer agents were considered taboo and listing agents REFUSED to submit our offers.

I would either call the seller on the phone or leave a voice mail that told them them to contact their agent to review our offer OR I would deliver the offer directly to the seller and ask them to call their agent.

While it is my job to make sure that my clients offer is presented, the listing agent should have the opportunity to be there...if possible.

You better believe that this pissed off a lot of listing agents but they never filed a complaint....because they had no grounds to.  They were the one guilty of violating the code of ethics, restraint of trade and interfering in my agency relationship (my ability to represent my client).


May 09, 2016 08:47 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

I think if you have tried every avenue and carefully document, and checked with your broker (and perhaps legal) I would go ahead and contact the seller.

May 09, 2016 08:53 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

In addition to the suggestions already given, I would notify the local association office and explain the situation (and notify them of the necessary action to contact the seller direct) so you cannot be accused of unethical behavior.  

May 09, 2016 06:18 AM
Jennifer Mackay
Counts Real Estate Group, Inc. - Panama City, FL
Your Bay County Florida Realtor 850.774.6582

Yes, if possible - has happened to me actaully several years ago - what a cluster clump!

May 09, 2016 07:40 PM
Harry Norman, REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Associate Broker

Never call the seller directly, email the offer to the listing agent and wait till morning to talk to the listing agent. 

May 09, 2016 11:51 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

ditto to Candice A. Donofrio and the advice your attorney gave you.  A

May 09, 2016 09:09 AM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

Document all repeated attempts through all available resources.

Then I would have the seller contacted with the following message:

Would you call your broker for me. If you can not reach your broker directly call me back by ###.

I would not attempt to bypass listing broker but would secure my spot at the front of the line. 

May 09, 2016 06:09 AM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

In my board, and I believe in all of Cali too, we are allowed to present offers directly to the seller, bypassing the agent.  It is considered VERY bad form, but it is allowed.  They even go over it in new agent orientation.  I think I've seen one or two agents try it in 30 years.  I don't think the seller allowed it in either case.

May 10, 2016 03:38 AM
Eric Kodner
Madeline Island Realty - La Pointe, WI
CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -

Document your efforts to reach the listing broker carefully. Also, choose your written words carefully in emails or other written forms of communication, in order to ensure that you are not "cutting out" the listing broker, but rather are looking after the Parties' best interests by communicating the Offer.

May 09, 2016 09:10 PM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Legally we are allowed to if we document our attempts to reach agent/broker.  But I've never not been able to reach an office in my market during business hours.

May 09, 2016 03:33 PM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Fred Griffin I did contact seller once - when I was not getting the response. And immediately after that, the listing agent was 'perfect' in communication with me!

May 09, 2016 02:44 PM
Noah Seidenberg
Coldwell Banker - Evanston, IL
Chicagoland and Suburbs (800) 858-7917

As a last ditch effort I would contact the seller.

May 09, 2016 01:46 PM
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Make every reasonable effort and document!!!  Then contact the seller directly and ask how they would like to proceed.  Always through it into the sellers court.

May 09, 2016 11:59 AM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC


May 09, 2016 11:51 AM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

I would call the seller to explain the situation and ask them to help me get the message to their agent.  But I probably wouldn't try to present an offer until we got hold of the listing agent, at least not before talking it over with my broker, who is really smart about this stuff.

May 09, 2016 10:59 AM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker


      I emailed this question to the Attorneys at Florida Realtors' Legal Hotline. 

    They will call me tomorrow , hopefully with an answer on whether or not it is permissible (in this situation) to contact the Seller directly.

May 09, 2016 08:09 AM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

More and more agent do not answer their phones, but if there is also nothing confirming a receipt of offer~ you are in trouble. In my mls, we just click ''report'' if the agent does not show any signs of life and they quickly locate that agent. 

May 09, 2016 06:52 AM
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate

I say no - contact listing broker. If it's one in the same then you're really in trouble & have no other choice but to leave a note for the seller. I would include the contact times for the other agent.

May 09, 2016 06:39 AM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate


May 22, 2017 05:57 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

I still would  call the seller.

May 13, 2016 03:51 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

This situation was brought up in classes years ago, and luckily have never had this happen.

May 10, 2016 11:05 PM
Tony Lewis
Summit Real Estate Group - Valencia, CA
Summit Real Estate Santa Clarita & Aliso Viejo

Fred Griffin how long after writing the offer are you talking about?  Call, text and email to reach the listing agent.  Give them until the next day.  Consult your broker.  Get their advice first.

May 10, 2016 09:59 AM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

The listing agreement is a contract.   Most listing agreements are Exclusive Right to Sell, meaning the listing agent is entitled to their agreed to commission, no matter WHO sells the property, such as the buyer's agent. The listing agreement DOES establish "representation" so I have no idea what the lawyer is talking about.  You have a fiduciary duty to your client, the buyer.  If they want their offer presented to the seller, and the listing agent is AWOL, you follow the instructions of your client, the buyer, and present the offer to the seller.  You do not negotiate the offer with the seller.  You present it. You have a fiduciary duty to your client of obedience, and if they instruct you to take their offer to the seller, you do just that.  And SHAME on the listing agent for not having a back-up agent in place to represent their client, the seller, should an offer manifest in their AWOL'ness. 

May 10, 2016 03:52 AM
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker

Contact your state real estate commission and ask them.

May 10, 2016 01:20 AM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Move on to another property. I would not contact the seller if the listing is still in effect.

May 09, 2016 10:56 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Interesting question... it may not be technically legal to contact another agent's client. I'd check with my broker-in-charge first to see if he couldn't get hold of the other brokerage's BIC to work something out.

May 09, 2016 10:40 PM
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

I would drive to the listing agents office. If say 2 days go by, i may drop off teh offer with the seller if i still could not reach anyone documenting each attempt for when that listing agent explodes you dropped it off with the seller direct. 

May 09, 2016 10:13 PM
Grace Hanamoto
Intero Real Estate - Sunnyvale, CA
Quality, Knowledge, Professionalism, Experience

There will be a myriad of different answers based on the state in which you practice.  Keep in mind, however, that the three states with the most stringent consumer laws are New York, California, and Florida--so greater care should be exercised in these states.

In California, agency law would dictate that once you have been made aware of an agency relationship and, further, you know who represents the seller, you are not allowed to breach the "wall" and approach the seller.  So while it may be acceptable in other states to contact a seller directly, my sense is that--at least here in Cali--such actions would not be allowed.

But a bigger question to ask is, if the seller is still being represented by his/her agent broker, would getting an offer to the seller now (rather than upon the agent's return) necessarily give you or your buyers any "advantage" over any other offer.  My feeling is it would not, and moreover, it might greatly disadvantage your clients. Truth is, the seller will not "move"on a decision without the advice or review of their agent, and talking directly to the seller...yeah, I'm sure you would not appreciate it at all if the shoe were on the other foot.

I realize you already contacted the owners, so you are now taking the proper steps to resolve this matter with Board and legal help, so I wish you good luck  in this one.  Fingers crossed, it all works out!

May 09, 2016 04:52 PM
Melissa Jackson
Century 21 Alliance Properties - Azle, TX
Helping You Make The Right Move

I would have done just as you did.

May 09, 2016 01:03 PM
Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®
Carmel by the Sea, CA
Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea

Reminds me of the time I tried to make an offer and for some reason the broker had not renewed his license therefore the listing agent did not have an active license. I called the seller, whom I know, to tell her about it as I could not make the offer except to her! It all got worked out, but...

May 09, 2016 11:39 AM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

I would never contact the seller directly. That will not bode well at all. I would just keep trying to reach the agent or broker.

May 09, 2016 10:55 AM
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

I think legal advice is the way to go. 

May 09, 2016 10:40 AM
Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, CRB, Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ

Yes if after 24 hours you still haven't gotten ahold of agent or broker contact seller.

May 09, 2016 10:21 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

Oh Hell YES!  Document. Document. Document. 

May 09, 2016 10:05 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Absolutely you contact the seller when all else fails!

May 09, 2016 09:56 AM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

It has not happened to me.

May 09, 2016 09:14 AM
Kevin J. May
Florida Supreme Realty - Hobe Sound, FL
Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida

Because we write offers which could expire in hours if not minutes I will confer with my Broker before taking it to that level. It's not the recommended option for anyone but sometimes it must be done.

May 09, 2016 09:04 AM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Absolutely do what it takes but be prepared to explain yourself well when you agent that isn't contactable is not acting out an accident

May 09, 2016 08:35 AM
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Fred- I had to read all of the responses because I was curious as to what the responses would be.  And, while I'm not an agent, I totally agree with contacting the sellers directly if all means to contact the listing agent have been exhausted. 

May 09, 2016 08:22 AM
Allie Angeloni
Long Realty - Oro Valley, AZ

So glad to read that the deal closed and everyone was happy - everyone had excellent answers Fred Griffin.  What a difficult situation, as you want that   Seller to know that you have a Buyer with an Offer! 

May 09, 2016 07:40 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, EXP - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Closed? as in out of business?

Seems that they are not really represented.

May 09, 2016 07:30 AM
Shawn and Angela Miller
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Amabassador Real Estate - Lincoln, NE
Lincoln and Omaha, NE REALTORS®

I would contact the agents broker or main office (usually someone is on phone duty after hours).  If that didn't work, I would contact my broker.  Could be that the agent is out of town and someone else is handling it.  I would exhaust all my options and talking to the seller directly could cross some lines that could get you in trouble.

May 09, 2016 07:04 AM
Jack Lewitz
Exit Strategy Realty - Evanston, IL

I would call the Broker Manager and follow up with an email to this person and ask for response to your offer and email. Finally I would call the board to make a complaint.

May 09, 2016 07:03 AM
Susan Laxson CRS
Premier Sotheby's International Realty - Naples, FL
The Michelle Thomas Team

Already some good answers, but I have always thought that you can't contact the seller directly under any circumstances. I would probably have my broker sit in with me when I did it or perhaps call his/her broker to intervene.

May 09, 2016 06:58 AM
Raymond E. Camp
Ontario, NY
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester

Here we would have to also fax the document's to the office as they could say they did not get the email. Yes present the offer.

May 09, 2016 06:29 AM