QUESTION: I have a property listed in the local MLS. A buyer's agent arranged a showing last week. She just called to tell me that her clients have signed an offer to purchase the property. The buyer's agent wants to be present when that offer is presented to my seller-client. When I told her to just send me the offer, and that I would present it to my client, she told me that she had the right to participate in the presentation. Is she right about that?
ANSWER: Since the property in question was listed in the MLS, the answer is yes. The right of a cooperating agent to participate in the presentation of any offer he or she secures is governed by Section 2.3 of the Model MLS Rules and Regulations.
Keep in mind that MLSs owned or controlled by a REALTOR® association must conform their governing documents to mandatory MLS policies established by NAR's Board of Directors. NAR publishes a handbook to guide member associations in that process. The handbook includes model rules and regulations some of which are considered mandatory. Rule 2.3 is one such mandatory rule. It states: "The cooperating broker (subagent or buyer agent) or his representative has the right to participate in the presentation to the seller or lessor of any offer he secures to purchase or lease. He does not have the right to be present at any discussion or evaluation of that offer by the seller or lessor and the listing broker."
There is an exception in the model rule. Your seller can give you written instructions that the cooperating broker not be present when the offer secured by that agent is presented. If that happens, you can and should abide by those instructions. However, the cooperating broker has the right to a copy of the seller's written instructions.
A corollary to Rule 2.3 is another mandatory rule, Rule 2.4. It gives listing brokers the right to participate in the presentation of any counter-offer made by a seller or lessor. The listing agent does not have the right to be present for any discussion or evaluation of that counter-offer by the purchaser or lessee, except when the cooperating broker is a subagent.
NCAR provides articles on legal topics as a member service. They are general statements of applicable legal and ethical principles for member education only. They do not constitute legal advice. The services of a private attorney should be sought for legal advice.
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