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Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


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

Feb 10, 2015 05:58 AM
Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Condo and Home Specialists

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!

Feb 09, 2015 11:01 PM
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

I have been tempted a few times, but in every case I could see how the other agent would wangle out of the issue.  

Feb 11, 2015 02:37 AM
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty and Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

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.

Feb 11, 2015 01:19 AM
Shanna Hall
Real Estate Solutions - Kirkwood, MO
I love selling houses!!!St. Louis, MO 314-703-1311

No but I have wanted to...  once the deal is completed- I lose interest... 

Feb 10, 2015 11:53 PM
Erick Blackwelder
Cell: 703-677-1120 - Woodbridge, VA
Text or call Erick now at 703-677-1120.

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.


Feb 10, 2015 11:46 PM
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

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.

Feb 10, 2015 10:50 PM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

We only had one complaint filed in our board last year. Of course common sense says there were many more violations than that. Are agents just moving on or don't think it will matter in the long run?

Feb 10, 2015 10:19 AM
Jeanne Gregory
RE/MAX Southwest - Sugar Land, TX
The most important home I sell is YOURS!

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!


Feb 10, 2015 04:54 AM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

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.

Feb 10, 2015 01:52 AM
Jill Murty, Realtor - Orange County, CA
Sunset Properties, Powered by Movoto - Laguna Niguel, CA

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.

Feb 10, 2015 01:16 AM
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

No, but I have called police on agents, and had police waiting at a property to arrest them if they showed up.

Feb 09, 2015 11:57 PM
Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®
Carmel by the Sea, CA
Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea

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.

Feb 09, 2015 11:42 PM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

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?

Feb 09, 2015 11:09 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, EXP - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

No, people make mistakes, I am not their judge.

Oct 10, 2019 11:41 PM
Kathleen Luiten
Resort and Second-Home Specialist - Princeville, HI
Kauai Luxury Ocean Home Sales

I've called their broker and discussed the issues. Haven't filed an official complaint because the issues were always resolved.

Feb 14, 2015 09:59 AM
Jeanne Kozak
RE/MAX In Action - Martinsburg, WV
REALTOR and Broker/Owner in WV and VA

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. 

Feb 13, 2015 10:20 PM
Dale Taylor
Re/Max 10 New Lenox Illinois - Frankfort, IL
Realtor = Chicago Illinois Homes Townhomes Condos

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.

Feb 13, 2015 03:29 PM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

There are defintely two distinct opinions on this subject. I have served on panels for abuses in my board and we we very careful to not be vindictive or hurtful. Our goal was to improve.

Feb 12, 2015 12:53 PM
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

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.

Feb 11, 2015 03:33 PM
Marilyn O'Donoghue
Long & Foster Avalon - Avalon, NJ

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.

Feb 11, 2015 08:12 AM
Beth and Richard Witt
Long Island Cash Home Buyer - Center Moriches, NY
Long Island Cash Home Buyer 516-330-6940

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...

Feb 11, 2015 05:22 AM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

With a complaint system in place isn't it something we should use? I don't mean for the trivial stuff but for the offenders that have total disregard for our code of ethics?

Feb 11, 2015 04:07 AM
Carolyn Shipp
Source 1 Real Estate - Mineral Wells, TX
Mineral Wells Texas Real Estate

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.

Feb 11, 2015 03:18 AM
John Dotson
Preferred Properties of Highlands, Inc. - Highlands, NC - Highlands, NC
The experience to get you to the other side!

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.

Feb 11, 2015 03:06 AM
House Hunt - Huntington Beach, CA

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.

Feb 11, 2015 02:25 AM
Patrick Willard
Rio Rancho, NM

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.

Feb 11, 2015 02:05 AM
Jimmy Williams (352) 874-2354
Keller Williams Elite Partners IV - Mount Dora, FL
Lake and Western Orange County Real Estate Expert!

No, but glad system is in place if needed.  I hope to never have to file an ethics complaint.  

Feb 11, 2015 12:40 AM
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate

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.

Feb 11, 2015 12:03 AM
Erick Blackwelder
Cell: 703-677-1120 - Woodbridge, VA
Text or call Erick now at 703-677-1120.

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.


Feb 10, 2015 11:49 PM
Kate McQueen
Realty Associates Texas - Cypress, TX
Tailored service for your real estate needs!

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.

Feb 10, 2015 11:36 PM
Sharon Paxson
Compass - Newport Beach, CA
Newport Beach Real Estate

No I have not, but if something was very egregious, then I might call their broker, or notify my broker.

Feb 10, 2015 11:15 PM
John Rakoci
Eagle Realty - North Myrtle Beach, SC
North Myrtle Beach Coastal Carolinas

Never have ~~ but if after careful consideration thought it required certainly would.

Feb 10, 2015 10:52 PM
Dora Griffin
D A Griffin Financial.LLC - Fort Thomas, KY
NMLS 6380

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.

Feb 10, 2015 10:37 PM
David Dorman
CENTURY 21 Professional Group, Inc. - Orlando, FL
It's All About You!

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!

Feb 10, 2015 10:27 PM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Debbie Reynolds at times I feel like doing that - however, just stopped a bit short! We are the fish of the same sometimes, you just let it go!

Feb 10, 2015 12:39 PM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Jeff Pearl  -- YIKES!  Now, that sounds like there is a post that could be written based on your comment.   

Feb 10, 2015 11:24 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

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.   

Feb 10, 2015 11:21 AM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

Very interesting responses. Talking with the agent first, then the broker can solve a lot of the problem. But I am glad there is a system in place to take it to if neither of these things work. Thanks for all the input.

Feb 10, 2015 08:01 AM
Larry Johnston
Broker, Friends & Neighbors Real Estate and Elkhart County Subdivisions, LLC - Elkhart, IN
Broker,Friends & Neighbors Real Estate, Elkhart,IN

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.

Feb 10, 2015 07:00 AM
Debra Peters
Referral Realty - Manorville, NY
NY Real Estate Salesperson

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!!!!

Feb 10, 2015 04:36 AM
Shannon Thomas
Selling Indy Metro, LLC - Avon, IN
Managing Broker, E-Pro, ABR,SRS, SFR

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.  

Feb 10, 2015 02:47 AM