Let’s start at the beginning as I have a way of starting midway and expecting everyone to know where I’m at. My husband says it’s a skill men don’t have.
We were in the middle of a “Coming Soon” campaign on one of our recent listings. We were out of town for the weekend and I received a call from an agent requesting to see the property even though it was not officially listed yet. She shared with me that she had seen our For Sale sign and also our online advertising, and also that they knew my sellers. She proceeded to tell me she had talked to my seller while he was out working in the garage one day about showing the property and knew we were out of town. The agent said the seller (our client) had directed her to call me directly.
When I spoke with the agent, I asked how she knew my seller and she mentioned that their daughters went to high school together years ago. She then asked me where they had moved. I told her a nearby community, in a nice area. I thought that was odd she would be asking me this considering they were friends. She had very interested buyers who were so excited about the possibility of owning this home and asked if she or her daughter (also an agent) could show the property to her clients. Of course, the purpose of a coming soon campaign is to drum up excitement and line up eager buyers. I provided the access code the lockbox on site and allowed them to preview the home.
The next day, I get a call from the agent letting me know she would be sending an offer.
Unknown to me at the time, was the seller had just called Todd and told him that this agent had approached him while he was cleaning the garage out and proceeded to tell him that he should have listed with her and he wouldn’t have had to do anything to the house to get it ready for market. She told him she could get him the same sales price we did, but without all that pesky work to prepare the property.
The following day, Todd received a call from our sellers again to inform us that the agent had called his wife the previous night and was pressuring her to accept their offer. His wife was upset and angry that this agent would be so pushy. At this point, our sellers let us know that they did not and would not accept ANY offers from this agent.
Todd and I decided we needed to put an end to this “unethical” behavior. She had severely crossed the line and violated the Code of Ethics that we are sworn to uphold. We are not permitted under any circumstances to call a buyer or seller if they are under contract with another agent. Legally, you have to communicate everything through their agent directly. She had now violated this twice and she knew good and well what she was doing.
I placed a call to this agent who was also the broker of her office. I had her on speaker so Todd and I could both address her. I explained to her that our clients had called and they were upset about her calls she had made to them and that it was a violation of the Code of Ethics. She proceeded to explain to us that she didn’t know they were under contract with us when she called our sellers and that there was no sign. So we asked how she knew to call us for a showing? She then said her daughter had taken our information from the sign and was the one who had spoken to our client, which contradicted what she had just said. Todd advised her that the seller said he had talked to her not the daughter and the sign had been up for weeks. She said it wasn’t true, so he asked her point blank if our seller was lying to which she said he was misinformed. MISTAKE#1
I let her know that she had violated the Code of Ethics twice with our clients
We then brought up her second call to our sellers. This time to the wife about her offer and that our seller told us she was pressuring her to accept their offer. The agent got very defensive and said she was talking to her about other things and it came up. Our seller told us she hadn’t talked to this woman in years as their daughters had graduated High School several years ago and they were only acquaintances even then. MISTAKE #2
The broker asked me when we would review offers and I told her not until the following Monday. She then told me I should have told her that. I advised her that I had no obligation to share and discuss our marketing with her or any other agent as the listing had not yet gone live on MLS. I explained to her it was never permissible to call another agent’s client, as she was aware of this as a broker. I let her know that she had violated the Code of Ethics twice with our clients and that from this point on, she was not to communicate with them directly in regards to the property. Any communication would need to come directly to us. We then ended the call.
It’s unfortunate but these types of unethical behaviors occur on a daily basis. This time, however, we had caught this agent red-handed. We have not filed a complaint although we could and may choose to do so. This industry is tough and unfortunately, it forces some to do unethical, dishonest things. Those are the ones who care more about a commission check than taking care of the client. When we first began in the real estate industry, we were not aware that real estate was a negative reputation industry. We have since learned first hand why this is true. It’s only with our daily dealings that we see that this is a profoundly Broken Industry and just exactly what these unethical agents are capable of.
We work hard to be different. To be better than average and provide exceptional client experiences. We are here for our clients and we do what it takes to serve and protect them from the Unethicals.