I am pre-approved/qualified for a loan and made an offer on a home. The seller's agent and my agent work in the same office. The seller accepted my offer but countered, at the agents insistence that I use a certain bank and can only deal with a certain loan officer at the bank, does this sound legit?
Betting they didn't put that in writing as it is in no way permitted. Borrowers have the ability to choose any bank, and loan officer, they want, and agents who overtly steer borrowers to a certain LO risk legal consequences. I would ask the agent's broker to explain, in writing or email, how you can be required to use ONLY a bank and LO of his agent's choosing, then forward to the state realty board for their comment. Sounds like there is a very cozy relationship between that brokerage and the lender, may even be a joint venture where the brokerage makes money off loans that are done by that particular LO. At any rate, NO, does not sound legit.
No, a seller or their agent cannot require you to use a certain bank. (Why would they require this unless they are getting something in return? - Which is illegal.) They can, however, recommend a certain lender or loan officer but if you decide not to use them, they cannot cancel the purchase agreement.
Plus, you are pre-approved which means that you should be ready to close on this loan. If you start the pre-approval process all over again you are going to be looking at more delays, possible interest rate increases and even the possibility that you could be denied the loan in the end.
If this does not go away, I would highly recommend speaking to the company's broker (i.e. the one in charge) and see what he or she has to say in your behalf. You may be surprised on the support you receive.