My question - Do you "have" a listing if you don't have a SIGNED listing agreement?
Several weeks ago a friend approached me to say that her daughter and son-in-law were putting their townhouse on the market and if I had any buyers to please let her know.
I contacted a couple I've been working with and over the weekend they called to say that yes, they would like to see it on Sunday. I called my friend to make arrangements to get the key (her daughter and son-in-law are now living in Annapolis) and she noted that because the house had not done very well as a For Sale by Owner, they were going with a well known and very successful listing agent in our area.
Fine. I know this agent and, out of professional courtesy, called to say that I was showing the house that afternoon. She called back immediately to say that she preferred that I NOT show the house until Wednesday or Thursday because it wasn't 'ready'.
Fine. I called my friend back, noted the agent's request and said I would not be showing the house. At that point my friend (a savvy business woman) practically jumped into the phone and said - she does NOT have a signed listing and will NOT have one until Wednesday or Thursday.
Now it's not so fine. Technically and legally the house was still For Sale By Owner. My friend gave me the keys and off I went. Later that night I emailed the son-in-law to say that we had done a one time showing and my clients were willing to offer XXXX dollars.
The next day the soon-to-be listing agent called and raised holy hell because I had 1) gone in after she requested that I wait and 2) spoken directly to "her" client and not to her. My response was that she did NOT have a (signed) listing agreement and that I was looking out for MY clients.
On one hand I understand why she asked me to wait. The listing has to go into the MLS within 24 hrs of being signed and if she had an offer immediately afterward it would make her DOM statistics look great and would add to her already glossy resume . At the same time she misrepresented the situation and her relationship with the owner. By asking me not to show the house she was denying the owner an opportunity to sell his house on his terms.
So, my questions - do you "have" a listing if you don't have a SIGNED listing agreement?
Was I out of order? What would you done? As a listing agent? As a buyers agent?
P.S. - The follow up to this is that the owner turned down our offer because the listing agent had assured him of a higher price, perhaps even a bidding war following her Open House. The house is still on the market.