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#354203 - 10/11/10 11:26 AM Can I "Dig Up" Seller Details to Assist in Getting the Best Deal for Client?
Rush1169 Offline
Member

Registered: 10/11/10
Posts: 12
Loc: US
Hypothetical question:

Assume I have a written Buyer-Broker agreement. My Buyer has selected a proeperty to purchase and now wants me to help them negotiate the best price.

Generally using the web, I can often generate a "picture" of the seller's motivation for selling. Divorce, falling behind on bills, professional relocation, loan balance, lost job, death of a spouse, and many other tidbits of information available on the web that when taken individually or as a whole can create a possible level of motiviation for the seller. I could put together a "financial picture" of the seller to present to the buyer to help in negotiations.

Is this practice acceptable in the profession?

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#354218 - 10/11/10 01:13 PM Re: Can I "Dig Up" Seller Details to Assist in Getting the Best Deal for Client? [Re: Rush1169]
Devil's Advocate Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: 01/03/05
Posts: 538
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Do your due diligence, but “play your cards close to your vest”, as poker players use to say.

Your“financial picture” may be deemed a representation and in the event of any error, it may then become a “misrepresentation”.

You might then have liability in the event the buyer relied upon your alleged misrepresentation to their detriment and could perhaps sue you on that basis, or in the event the seller becomes aware of your representations, and then decides to sue you for slander and use the buyer as their witness.

You might consider a more general approach by advising your client, that during the course of your representation of them, that you may develop certain negotiating strategies and employ various tactics as the situation may demand, but only upon their express instructions, and affording them the opportunity of seeking independent legal advice, if they so desire. (Have them sign a "Waiver" of Independent Legal Advice, should they decline to seek "ILA")

You should maintain a series of forms (Directions) whereby the client either authorizes or declines various elements of a transaction, home inspection, survey, insert or omit certain clauses, etc.

CYA - Care should be taken to ensure that any information obtained be it heresay or otherwise is both accurate and reliable and is able to be proven in a court of law.

Important Notice: This information is provided as basic educational information by the author and is not a substitute for the advice of an expert and/or the advice of a lawyer. There is NO representation as to legality, accuracy, correctness of the herein information and the reader is strongly urged to consult a lawyer in the relevant jurisdiction to ensure accuracy before acting on this information .

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#354433 - 10/13/10 09:26 AM Re: Can I "Dig Up" Seller Details to Assist in Getting the Best Deal for Client? [Re: Devil's Advocate]
REODayton Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 07/27/06
Posts: 3720
Loc: Dayton Ohio
I do the same thing. I even can form an opinion on most of my buyers who claim to be "Investors". I use that information to advise my client. I don't give out that information or profile to my client (in any written form), just generic comments.

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#355148 - 10/20/10 10:54 AM Re: Can I "Dig Up" Seller Details to Assist in Getting the Best Deal for Client? [Re: REODayton]
Texas_Broker Offline
Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 13
Loc: Texas
I think it is your responsibility to your client. i do it all the time.

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#355790 - 10/27/10 09:00 AM Re: Can I "Dig Up" Seller Details to Assist in Getting the Best Deal for Client? [Re: Texas_Broker]
WorkitSmart Offline
Member

Registered: 10/05/10
Posts: 48
Loc: Texas - I wasn't born here, b...
I kind of like 'Devil's Advocates' answer.

Reminds of Donald Trump saying he never gives advise because if it works out OK, he doesn't get credit, and if it fails, he's blamed.


Edited by WorkitSmart (10/27/10 09:00 AM)

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#359580 - 12/04/10 09:05 PM Re: Can I "Dig Up" Seller Details to Assist in Getting the Best Deal for Client? [Re: Rush1169]
Maine Exclusive Buyer Broker Offline
Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 11
Loc: Coastal Maine
If it's in the public domain it's fair game. Do remember that the dirt you dig up and use can create a substantial amount of bad blood which may come back to bite you. Proceed with caution & prudence.
_________________________
Bob Fenton
Maine's Oceanfront Real Estate Specialist
Exclusive Buyer Broker
bobfenton.com Coastal Maine's Oceanfront & Waterfront Real Estate Specialists

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#361127 - 12/19/10 09:25 AM Re: Can I "Dig Up" Seller Details to Assist in Getting the Best Deal for Client? [Re: Maine Exclusive Buyer Broker]
Perky_REALTOR Offline
Mod Squad
Major Contributor

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 7688
Loc: PA
I would be very wary of doing this.

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#361148 - 12/19/10 04:33 PM Re: Can I "Dig Up" Seller Details to Assist in Getting the Best Deal for Client? [Re: Perky_REALTOR]
Artiste Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 06/12/06
Posts: 2367
Loc: Arizona Bay
Would it be in your clients' best interests for you to do so?
What is your role as a Real Estate Agent in regards to your fiduciary responsibilities and to whom to do you owe them?


Edited by Artiste (12/19/10 04:34 PM)
Edit Reason: kinnot spell
_________________________
Let's take back the real estate between our ears and get green like a sonofa$%^&*

NAFTA is over!!
(if you want it)


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#361150 - 12/19/10 05:16 PM Re: Can I "Dig Up" Seller Details to Assist in Getting the Best Deal for Client? [Re: Artiste]
Devil's Advocate Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: 01/03/05
Posts: 538
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Locally: The role of a real estate agent in a fiduciary relationship, places the agent under the legal obligation and duty to fulfill all their fiduciary obligation to their principal.

One of which is the disclosure to their principal of all “material facts” regardless of who it benefits, the key word being “material facts” that are indisputable and relevant to the principal and/or the transaction in question.

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#362103 - 12/30/10 09:58 PM Re: Can I "Dig Up" Seller Details to Assist in Getting the Best Deal for Client? [Re: Devil's Advocate]
ditty Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: 12/14/05
Posts: 1358
Loc: Winfield, Mo
the only "digging" I do is in my garden...


Edited by ditty (12/30/10 09:58 PM)
_________________________
Beware the barrenness of a busy life...Socrates
Let go...or be dragged...Zen

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#362106 - 12/30/10 11:00 PM Re: Can I "Dig Up" Seller Details to Assist in Getting the Best Deal for Client? [Re: ditty]
Doin' bpose Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 3349
Loc: Old Dominion
Are we private detectives or real estate agents? Sheesh.

So what is next? You dig up some dirt on the seller and black mail the poor s.o.b. to give your client a good deal???

What Ditty said.
_________________________
I can't. I'm going camping.

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