Is a Realtor Allowed to Hold Off On Presenting My Offer Until a Specific Date?


I’m in a time crunch and need to buy a property fast. I made an offer with a very short expiry date, but the seller’s representative refuses to present it to the seller, saying the seller wants to consider all offers on a specific date. Is this allowed?

The short answer is yes, it is allowed. The longer answer is I’d need more information to determine if it was appropriate in this situation.

In this case, the seller is driving the bus; the seller gets to decide when and how they want to receive and review offers, and their real estate representative has a responsibility to follow their lawful instructions.

That being said, the seller’s representative should be walking the seller through their options for offer presentations, the pros and cons of each option, and they should be discussing with them the implications of their choices.

If the seller told their real estate representative that they only want to receive and review offers on a certain date, their representative needs to follow that instruction.

What I would be curious to find out, however, is whether the seller knows about the offer you submitted. Did their representative tell them there is an offer? Or, is the seller’s representative simply recalling an earlier conversation with their seller about when to receive and review offers?

The seller can do whatever the seller wants when it comes to reviewing offers, and they should discuss their preferences with their representative. While a seller, at the outset of the listing agreement, may indicate they only want to review offers on a certain date – they may be interested in knowing that an offer has come in before that date. At the very least, their representative should tell them about the existence of your offer.

The seller’s representative should bring it to the seller’s attention that your offer has a short expiry date. The seller’s representative is supposed to look out for the seller’s best interests and put the seller’s needs above everything except the law. It might be time for the seller’s agent to sit down with their seller and talk about why they may want to review your offer before the planned review date

But, in the event the seller is unwilling to review your offer prior to its expiry date, you need to decide whether you want to extend the date or consider other properties.

“Ask Charles” is a question and answer column by Charles Stevenson, Registrar of the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA), RECA is the independent, non-government agency responsible for the regulation of Alberta’s real estate industry. We license, govern, and set the standards of practice for all real estate, mortgage brokerage, and real estate appraisal professionals in Alberta. To submit a question, email [email protected].


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