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No, we did not. In our 500 plus commercial real estate community, we took care of things ourselves. Once an agent did something that was unethical towards another, the word spread and that agent was toast...One agent called my client and tried to talk him out of a deal in progress that we had. Our client called us, and we were able to take care of all parties. That agent had to move elsewhere. Between the client telling everyone he knew about this nincompoop, and us telling the other agent, it was over. So people did not mess around. The consequences were obvious. A
Debbie Reynolds, C21 P...
No, but I should have. A listing agent followed our buyer clients to their car, sneaked one of her business cards in their hand and said "call me". I was furious and immediately called her Broker!
Huntington Beach, CA
I have been tempted a few times, but in every case I could see how the other agent would wangle out of the issue.
I had to report an agent and the broker after we had repeated problems with them. They refused to acknowledge their violations and it was only getting worse. I finally reported them to the commission. They professed their innocence but the agent turned in her license just weeks before the hearing to avoid facing the music. We are in a small community but I still try my best to avoid dealing with them on any level because of their unethical behavior.
Huntington Beach, CA
No but I have wanted to... once the deal is completed- I lose interest...
I filed suit against a listing broker who scratched me off a contract and refused to pay me $9,000 commission. The Board took us to arbitration.
The listing was a newly built condo. We sold the buyer's house, and represented her on a Buyer Agency agreement to buy the condo. The buyer copped a resentment toward us because she had to lay out a big chunk of money to repair home inspection items in the house we listed and sold for her.
The listing agent let our buyer into the condo each weekend during construction. Buyer and listing agent becaume chummy. Together, they hatched a plan to edge us out of the contract as procuring cause.
When we went before the arbitration committee, we had a 1/2 inch thick print-out from Top Producer with every phone call, email, and appointment, plus a signed Buyer Agency agreement. The listing agent showed up with a few notes in her DayTimer and a cell phone bill.
When the board asked about an event, we said, "According to our records, on (day and month) at (time) we had a conversation/email/appointment with the buyer, during which the following was said...." Every question asked by the board was answered with, "According to our written records..."
The board deliberated five minutes, then ruled that the listing agent's company must pay our commission to us within 24 hours.
Document, document, document.
Debbie, I've read many comments here on ActiveRain where readers jump to the conclusion that an ethics violation should be reported when in fact it is not a violation of the NAR COE. I believe we are responsible for policing our industry, but before jumping to conclusions, we should do our homework and have our facts together.
I never have, but served a two year term on the board committee that deals with violation complaints. Wow, that was an eye-opening experience!
I've never had to. Those that I've had issues with, I've either settled it with them personally or had the matter settled with their broker. Never did have to go to a formal ethics complaint.
I haven't reported any agents for ethics violations. I put those who are ethically deficient on my personal, unpublished, stored in my head list of agents to avoid, if possible.
If avoidance is not possible, these agents have given me the gift of knowing what to expect of them so I may manage my clients' expectations and proceed accordingly.
No, but I have called police on agents, and had police waiting at a property to arrest them if they showed up.
Beth and Richard Witt
Center Moriches, NY
Wouldn't a call to the broker be a good first step? If there is no help there and the ethics issue is not resolved, take it to the next step.
If you really want to be 'one of those' people. ride that 'ethics' horse till it drops dead.
I've had such violations filed against me. All dismissed. These are the acts of small people.
What would a 'not small' person do?
Has those options been exhausted?
Did the culprit respond in denial, arrogance or was unaware of the violation?
I would reason with the culprit and advise the culprit that the environment are full of agents waiting to throw other agents under the bus. These small people need to assert themselves somehow and that how is to make you miserable, just for the fun of it. After all, small people need the promise of anonymity to do what they do.
What would a 'not small' person do?
No, people make mistakes, I am not their judge.
I've called their broker and discussed the issues. Haven't filed an official complaint because the issues were always resolved.
A lot of good comments here. I have been on the Ethics Committee and heard several complaints. I think in a lot of cases these could have been worked out face to face. But then maybe not. You are never going to "make" someone ethical that is not, you either are or you aren't. In a small community, you learn who to be cautious with.
I believe in the spirit of cooperation. If I have a problem with you, I'd prefer to deliver the mail to your mailbox. Meaning, we are all human and make mistakes. I rather build a friendship through a respectful teachable moment. We can elect to educate, rather than punish. Now, if the individual gives me a hard time, I will let them know I had the option to file a complaint with the Association before speaking with them about the problem, which usually gets their attention, and the reconsideration of hearing what I have to say.
Working through issues with the agent or broker is best If we are successful it is a win-win for all involved in the conflict.
Debbie Reynolds: I have been fortunate in my dealings so far but wonder what I would do if an agent breached the COE? Thanks for the thought-provoking post.
Yes we have do so many times in the past 30 years... We have never regretted doing so and in most cases the agent learned a valuable lesson...
I have never reported an agent myself, but have served on the Texas Assocation of REALTORS Professional Standards Committee where we review and determine if the complaint filed is a violation. If it is, then we send it forward for a hearing.
Ethics come as a personal trait of people. The NAR can not compel anyone to act ethically. I know a BUNCH of unethical NAR members and usually try to avoid doing business with them.
I used to be the Chair of our board's ethics committee - a lot of petty complaints that should have been worked out over a drink - or two! Folks have the tendency to define the code of ethics as it fits them best.
If it is a real problem and the other agent/agency refuses to make it right, file a complaint.
Remembering that the BOR is just a group of people that agree to work together. Any one of us can drop out at any time and be free of jurisdiction.
Every agent should follow the code of ethics set by the NAR. If an agent is doing something that they shouldn't be doing on the job, then I believe that they should be reprimanded for their bad behavior or illegal acts in the real estate industry.
No, I've usually taken the route of notifying their QB. I thinking is the QB probably doesn't know what's going on and they should have the opportunity to handle it. Once, on an REO listing I got no help from the QB. I had the listing but was notified by the client that the account had been transferred to another company and they were losing all properties at the end of that month. A couple days later, with two weeks left before the transfer, I got a call from an agent saying the key in the lock box didn't work. The agent for the new company had already changed locks and pulled my signs. The agent and QB wouldn't return calls and wouldn't talk to me when I went by their office. Rather than file a complaint I called the new company handling the account. Not only did they keep the listing with me but I got several more from them. By the way, the other agent got a one year license suspension shortly after that on an unrelated complaint.
No, but glad system is in place if needed. I hope to never have to file an ethics complaint.
Yes I did. I felt it was worthwhile to do so but the other agent just got a slap on the wrist which was very disheartening. Can't make the industry better if you let this stuff slip by.
An agent in our market wrote the following, among other things, in the remarks section of a listing: "Short walk to the newly built Jewish Community Center".
She was taken before the board on an ethics violation, paid a thousand dollar fine, and had her license suspended for 90 days.
There's an agent that I gave a couple chances, reported him to the broker on the second infraction. Third time is a charm, and I will most definitely take it to the board if the behavior persists.
No I have not, but if something was very egregious, then I might call their broker, or notify my broker.
Never have ~~ but if after careful consideration thought it required certainly would.
Interesting comments here, and timely post. I am working with a buyer now who made an offer on 1/23 and was told on 1/26 it was accepted. The property was never marked pending in the mls. The buyer's "agent" shared a lot of personal information about the buyer with the listing agent and has fought for the seller for the last two week, demanding the buyer give the seller information that was not part of the agreement. All the while, no one has seen the fully executed contract. A really amazing situation.
Contacting the agent's broker is a good suggestion I think. However, in dire situation particularly I think they should be reported to the board. In this case these agents need to be reported because neither is being ethical.
I know agents who have reported other agents; the board gets them straight on that one deal, but it is often back to the old habits following that.
I have before and no, I'm not a "small person"as stated above. Each situation is different. This particular agent was known in the community for being "above the rules" and numerous agents had issues with them. They basically took the approach of "what are you going to do about it?" Yes, they got reported and fined after numerous attempts to correct the violation. Sometimes discussing a situation is not enough. Some agents need to know there are repercussions when you violate the code and cause damage to consumers and your fellow agents.
The "small people" comment above seems like it comes from past exeperience of being called out by someone prior. Care to elaborate? Seems like someone has an axe to grind! Do tell!
Debbie Reynolds at times I feel like doing that - however, just stopped a bit short! We are the fish of the same pond...so sometimes, you just let it go!
Jeff Pearl -- YIKES! Now, that sounds like there is a post that could be written based on your comment.
No, I haven't. I am going to bookmark and subscribe to answers.
I think if I was faced with this type of scenario, I would discuss it with my broker/manager and see how we could work out any differences before proceeding.
No I have not, but from what I hear, it doesn't usually go very far without tons of evidence that you have to supply. There have been several that have been in violation for years, but nothing has ever happened to correct them.
My Broker had to report another Broker for selling one of my listings out from under me. My listing was NOT expired, the other Broker listed it and sold it and I was paid zero! My Broker did not take Ny further action. I was not happy!!!!
I think try to resolve first with them then the Broker. It would have to be serious for me to turn in. So far I'm lucky, most agents are just trying to do their job.