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February 6, 2019

Offer Presentations and Cooperating Brokers

Have you ever been asked by a cooperating broker to allow them to come to the offer presentation and not known how to answer or answered: “No, it’s my job, not yours!”

Knowing Your Rights

Did you know that cooperating brokers have the right to be at the presentation of their buyer’s offer?

In fact, if the listing you have is in your local MLS, the cooperating broker has the right to be present when their offer is presented to the seller.  But, beyond that, it’s in your best interest as the listing agent and the seller’s best interest to have the cooperating broker attend the offer presentation.

First, “the law.”  The National Association of REALTORS® Handbook on Multiple Listing Policy has a provision allowing cooperating brokers the right to attend and participate in an offer presentation.  Policy Statement 7.73 says “Cooperating participants or their representatives have the right to participate in the presentation of any offer they secure to purchase or lease to the seller or lessor. They do not have the right to be present at any discussion or evaluation of the offer by the seller or lessor and the listing broker.

However, if a seller or lessor gives written instructions to a listing broker that cooperating brokers may not be present when offers they procure are presented, cooperating brokers have the right to a copy of those instructions. This policy is not intended to affect listing brokers’ right to control the establishment of appointments for presentation of offers.”

Unless the seller gives a written instruction to the listing broker that the cooperating broker may not be present, the listing broker must allow the cooperating broker to attend and participate in the offer presentation.  The Policy Statement is also clear that it does not give the cooperating broker the right to be present when the offer is discussed or evaluated with the seller.  That’s a confidential conversation between you and the seller.

But Why?

Why would it be a good idea to have the cooperating broker present the buyer’s offer even if the MLS rules didn't require it?  There are several things to think about.  First, practically, who knows the buyer best?  The buyer’s agent, right?  So, why not have the person who knows the buyer best come in and tell you and the seller anything they want to about why the buyer’s offer should be accepted?  

Sure, the buyer’s agent will try to “sell” you on their offer and, of course, it might be “too low,” but you already know that and should take that into account.  Besides, this is a great opportunity to have the “source” of information about the buyer right there in front of you.  Any questions you have about the buyer’s offer or the buyer can hopefully be answered right there, saving time, phone calls, misinterpretations, and the like.

Also, having the cooperating broker present the buyer’s offer is a great way to give the buyer and buyer’s agent a sense of fairness and objectivity in the presentation of their offer.  Standard of Practice 1-6 of the Code requires that “REALTORS® shall submit offers and counter-offers objectively and as quickly as possible.”  What better way to prove that their offer way presented “objectively” than to have them actually be the one to present that offer.

Before you try to discourage a cooperating broker from attending an offer presentation, think twice.  It is mutually beneficial to buyer, seller, you and the cooperating broker to have that cooperating broker there.  As the phrase goes, “Try it, you’ll like it!!”

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