Those of us who work in any commissioned sales position understand that we will occasionally face scrutiny about our motives. I get this. I was at a car dealership this past week, and the moment a salesperson approached me I could feel my internal defenses readying themselves. I had questions about a particular vehicle that I couldn’t get answered online, and I needed to talk to someone. As it turned out, the car would not work for us. But because of her knowledge and willingness to be honest and respectful of my position, I volunteered my contact information giving her permission to reach out to me if anything that met my criteria came in.
In the real estate industry, this is the way it is supposed to work, and from my observation of other realtors, it is primarily the way it does work. Most of us understand that it is always our best interest to serve our client’s best interest. But there are those exceptions.
Rebecca & I have a client who is an outstanding young professional man positioned and ready to buy his first home. Although he is smart enough to understand the current market nuances, we still did our best to prep him for some of the abnormalities that he might expect. However, we couldn’t prepare him for the experience that he had with a recent offer. Nor should he have had to.
The property checked all of his boxes and his offer was very competitive. However, there were some red flags with the listing agent’s conduct from the initial showing, throughout the offer process. Enough, in fact, that we felt the need to repeatedly assure our client that if we could get his offer accepted, there are legal protections in place for him once escrow was opened.
Not surprising at all, his offer was rejected. Without going into detail, we are confident about two things. First, our client got “jacked” around mercilessly for two weeks and only stayed in the game because of his desire to buy the property. And second, the listing agent’s top priorities were to take care of himself first, rather than his sellers, and he did so by using current market conditions for his personal gain.
This experience was incredibly difficult for our client and frustrating for us because he shouldn’t have been subjected to this unprofessional and unethical conduct. This brings me to the point of this article.
As Realtors, we operate under a code of ethics that binds us to a certain level of competent, ethical, and legal behavior as we conduct our business. Again, Rebecca & I know many agents and brokers who are honest people of high integrity. The majority of us work within our code of ethics parameters, not because we have to, but because it is who we are. And when we encounter someone in our profession whose conduct threatens our clients or our profession’s public perception, we take issue.
Buying or selling real estate is a huge deal. For many, it is one of the most significant financial decisions they will make in their lifetime. Most will need the help of a competent and ethical agent to navigate the complicated legal process of a real estate transaction, and they should be able to enter into that relationship with confidence. Those of us in this profession who operate with the kind of integrity you should expect, know what those expectations of us should be. In fact, for buyers, last September, I posted an article on our Website about “Demands you should put on your realtor.” We also have a page on our Website dedicated to the National Association of Realtor’s Code of Ethics and Standard of Practice. It is a bit of a long read but very informative, and we encourage you to take some time to go through it.
Though our client’s offer process turned out to be unnecessarily stressful due to the listing agent’s conduct, we always made sure that he knew what and where his legal protections were. We encourage anyone who is considering entering the real estate market to take the time to inform themselves on what they should expect in their relationship with the realtor. You might also want to keep an eye on our Facebook page and our Website as Rebecca is preparing a series of short videos highlighting some of the more common and vital points in our Code of Ethics.
As always, keep us in mind if you, or anyone you know, is thinking about buying or selling their home.