Some of the observations below are DISTURBING, GRAPHIC, and not appropriate for the faint of heart.
Proceed with CAUTION!
The GOOD NEWS is that they describe a VERY SMALL percentage of the Real Estate Sales Professionals.
Let’s just call these heathens “The Toxic Few 2%” who (in alignment with the Pareto Principle – Twisted on its ear) differentiate themselves from “The Vital Many” . . . the 98% who practice Real Estate Sales with integrity and fair play.
As the housing inventory decreases, the “MEANIE Factor” increases.
Yep . . . When there are plenty of houses on the market, most Real Estate Sales people are pretty easy-going and generous.
They’ll share details about “Coming Soon” and “Pocket” listings . . .
Agents will actually show their listings to other agent’s Buyers without any quibbling.
Shrink the inventory, and suddenly some of these aforementioned “Sweethearts” transform into MEANIES (Bless their Hearts).
Suddenly, they start holding their cards close to their chest – No more sharing!
Some listing agents will start playing games to market their listings to the general Public before other agents find out about them . . . to try to get both sides of the commission (Commission Breath).
Some Builders might advertise “Phantom Listings” (Houses that don’t exist) in an effort ensnare “Custom Build Customers”
Some will use “Bully tactics” to convince owners of Expired and Withdrawn listings to switch agents . . . or will manufacture fake “Buyer Prospects” just to get in the door.
Flippers and In-fill developers might even use trickery to coax unsuspecting home-owners to sell their houses at below-market prices.
Some will boast about sales they didn’t really transact. Contrived “Evidence of Success”
Others might conjure up “multiple offer scenarios” when there really aren’t multiple offers.
There are myriad other unscrupulous tactics that we see when the market gets tight, and I suspect I’ve only scratched the surface with the antics of these “Toxic Few.”
The good news is that these “MEANIES” represent a small percentage of the agents . . . MOST agents (The Vital MANY) do the right thing when dealing with the general public and treat each other fairly.
What to do about these scoundrels?
I believe they are doing harm to the general public and to the the reputation and validity of the Real Estate Industry.
When you see these egregious actions, DO NOT put on blinders on with justification in your own mind that “Karma will get them.”
Do this, and I believe you become an accomplice.
Of course, we cannot send Guido over to their houses to break their knee-caps . . . but there ARE remedies.
- Run the scenario past your Principal Broker as a “Check in.” Sometimes, issues that we think are unethical and/or not legal aren’t . . . They might simply be acceptable, aggressive business practices. We don’t want to clog the Legal System with complaints that aren’t founded. Your Broker will advise you how to take action and/or participate in moving the ball forward. Your Broker might give the “alleged offender’s” Principal Broker a call to see if it can be dealt with internally.
- If it’s an ethical issue, file an official GRIEVANCE with your REALTOR Association. In doing so, you must be able to SPECIFY an article in the REALTOR Code of Ethics that you believe has been violated by ‘The Respondent.” Your Board’s Grievance Committee will review your complaint and refer it to the Board’s Professional Standards Committee for a hearing. This is essentially a “REALTOR Court” in front of a panel of peers . . . As the complainant, your presence will be required.
- If it’s a LEGAL or RULE issue, call your State Real Estate Commission. In writing, file a written complaint with any/all “evidence and supporting documents” . . . They will give the “Respondent” an opportunity to respond and then let you comment on their response . . .Then they’ll consider it and either take action or schedule a hearing.
I write this post primarily because I hear grumblings on facebook or casual conversations about issues REALTORS are facing “in the field” and it seems that most folks aren’t aware of their options.
All of the mechanisms are in place to enforce the Ethical and Legal behavior of Real Estate Sales Professionals, but there are very few (if any) “Police” within the Association or State Commission to catch offenders. We practitioners must keep each other “Honest” and police ourselves when we smell a rat.
We owe this to ourselves and the Trusting Public.
Let’s keep it clean!