Are you kidding me?

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Cornerstone Business Group Inc 0225086119
http://actvra.in/JjM

I'm seeing a strange phenomenon in the local market that makes me ask, "Are you kidding me?.  I've had two people try to bribe me or give me Sneaky mankickbacks recently.  The first one was an investor who wanted me to give him early access to an REO I was about to list.  He offered me an additional $10,000 outside of closing for first dibs on the property.

The second one was a contractor I had sent to a project on a property I sold.  He's a really good contractor who is very skillful.  He called me and asked how much I wanted him to pad his bill for my portion.  I said, "None."  He was shocked.  He said, "You don't want anything from this job?"  I told him, "No, just give my clients a good deal." 

This made me wonder, "How much of this goes on day to day?"  How many agents violate the COE to get a few more bucks at the end of the week?"  These guys were so casual, it made me wonder if they were accustomed to this pattern. 

Friends, as a Realtor, you cannot receive any additional income on a deal from any source beyond your broker.  If you take a kickback for giving a contractor a project, you are in jeopardy of losing your license.  It's never worth it, and please do your clients a favor and keep it above board all the way through the deal.

Are you kidding me?

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  1. Bob Crane 09/28/2012 03:42 AM
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Rainmaker
1,248,322
Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

Well said, Tiffany.

Amen, Anna.  I just want my clients to get the best deal they can. 

Good for you, Lisa.  When you move to Winchester, look me up.  8-)

Karen, they were so casual about it that I'm would imagine they are comfortable making those offers to other agents.  Oy!

Sep 27, 2012 11:45 AM #9
Rainmaker
3,072,591
Dorie Dillard
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Hi Mike,

Wow..my license is way too important to me to risk over under the table fees! I have excellent vendors and I will refer them all day long if they do a good job and give my clients great service at the best price - This is my pay back!! Their excellent work reflects on me because I referred them! Suggested!

Sep 27, 2012 12:29 PM #10
Rainmaker
648,345
Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS® - Silver Spring, MD
M.A.; REALTOR® Silver Spring, MD and beyond

Hi Mike, are you kidding me? Really? I always had a problem with the few dollars the warranty companies paid to Realtors - it just didn't feel right to me. I'm glad they've changed the system.. I now opt to upgrade my clients' home warranty.

"These guys were so casual, it made me wonder if they were accustomed to this pattern." That is scary!

Sep 27, 2012 01:04 PM #11
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Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News
I sat with someone today who was telling me how much an agent wanted to charge her to do credit repair after her short sale. Another way some agents are making money in a field that is outside the bounds of real estate.
Sep 27, 2012 01:07 PM #12
Rainmaker
1,248,322
Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

Dorie, I feel the same way.  This contractor is someone I've never recommended before, but his work it excellent, so I felt comfortable recommending him.  We may need to have a chat.  8=)

It really is, Andrea.  They were so comfortable with their offers, it makes me think this is a normal routine for them.

Sep 27, 2012 01:09 PM #13
Rainmaker
1,248,322
Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

Yeow, Cindy.  When does it finally hit some of these agents that we have a COE?  Oy!

Sep 27, 2012 01:10 PM #14
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Doug Rogers
Bayou Properties - Alexandria, LA
Your Alexandria Louisiana Agent

Desperate folks take desperate actions. Best to steer clear of such behavior.

Sep 27, 2012 01:56 PM #15
Rainmaker
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Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

You bet, Doug.

Sep 27, 2012 02:02 PM #16
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Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams fox cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

It is too bad that this is going on in your area, when one agent does something like this it gives everyone a bad reputation.  You should call these folks up and get the names of the agents who are taking these kickbacks.

Sep 27, 2012 03:27 PM #17
Rainmaker
2,125,157
James Dray
Fathom Realty AR LLC - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning Mike it is a sad time when those people even offer to pay you something for the job.  My question is are you going to use them in the future?

Sep 27, 2012 07:26 PM #18
Rainmaker
1,248,322
Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

It does make me wonder, Bob. 

James, the investor obviously was very comfortable with his offer.  So, I definitely won't use him for anything.  I have  a feeling the flooring guy doesn't realize a Realtor cannot profit from his work.  I'll have a talk with him. 

Sep 27, 2012 08:41 PM #19
Rainer
1,756,848
Conrad Allen
Re/Max Professional Associates - Webster, MA
Webster, Ma, Realtor

Hi Mike.  In four decades I have never had this happen to me.

Sep 27, 2012 08:48 PM #20
Rainmaker
1,178,361
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA
LandlordWhisperer

I had a rental prospect put a $100 bill in my hand when they knew I was not going to select them as tenants...YEOW!   

Sep 27, 2012 08:51 PM #21
Rainer
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Kathryn Maguire
GreatNorfolkHomes.com (757) 560-0881 - Chesapeake, VA
Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach

That is just astounding.  I had the same thought as I was reading your post.... that this must be a more than isolated incident.  Padding bills from contractors is just outright stealing.  COE or no COE, it is theft.

Sep 27, 2012 08:52 PM #22
Rainmaker
1,248,322
Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

It's crazy, Conrad.  Twice in a month. Oy!

It's really getting weird out here, Wallace.

Kathryn, I was more amazed at the casual way they did it.  They were very comfortable. 

Sep 27, 2012 08:56 PM #23
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Tammy Emineth
Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing - Marysville, WA
Content Marketer, SEO Teacher, Website Fixer

ooooo great post Mike. I bet it happens more than we want to realize. 10K? That's a tough one to resist especially for starving agents out there.. but not enough to risk finding a new line of work.

Sep 28, 2012 12:28 AM #24
Rainmaker
1,149,945
Amanda S. Davidson
Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group - Alexandria, VA
Your Alexandria Virginia Real Estate Agent

Mike- I haven't come across this (fortunately) but, I think it goes on frequently. Nothing is worth risking losing your license for, some agents have the mentality they will never get caught or some how justify it. My reputation is priceless. Yours clearly is too!

Sep 28, 2012 01:19 AM #25
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Tammie White
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
www.FranklinHomesRealty.com or (615) 495-0752

Mike, that's why your clients hire you because you are a man of integrity but not all agents are. I suspect this is more common than we think.

Sep 28, 2012 03:23 AM #26
Rainer
91,417
Tanja Cisliek
Future Home Realty - Seminole, FL

Mike, you are so right about this! It is also very scary, I am suspecting that some Realtors PAY a kick-back for referrals. That's another side of this same topic, crazy.

Sep 28, 2012 06:20 AM #27
Rainmaker
1,248,322
Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

You got it, Tammy.  No thanks.

You betcha, Amanda.  It takes too long to build a great reputation, but it only takes a minute to tear it down.  Yeow!

I think you're probably right, Tammie.

I bet you're right, Tanja. 

Sep 28, 2012 10:15 AM #28
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Mike Cooper

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