Off With Their Heads!

Real Estate Agent with Prestige Properties

One of my clients called me and asked to have a meeting.  They are truly dream clients and so of course I made myself available at their request.  Their listing was coming up for renewal so I mentioned this and they told me to bring the paperwork with me and of course they wanted to relist.

Turns out the meeting was about just that, relisitng.  They wanted to assure me they thought I was doing a wonderful job and were happy with the numerous showings they have had thus far.  They have a very difficult property to sell and they are very realistic about this fact and are not under a false assumption that it will sell quickly.

They called me because they received a solicitation from another agent and they wanted me to see it.  This was not just a random solicitation that just happened to end up in their mailbox.  It was a letter addressed to them and it went on to state how many days their home had been on the market and that this particular agent could do a better job and if they had used him it would have already been sold.  They were furious.  They were more insulted than I was.  I explained that while this was not a very ethical thing to do on the part of the their agent it was not the first time I have seen it and it wouldn't be the last.

I thanked them for showing it to me and then proceeded to direct their attention to their property and our next course of action.  I was quick to get the conversation away from the other agent and act like it was nothing.  Of course as an agent, you know the truth.  I was boiling inside.  How dare this agent behave this way and basically insult me to my own clients!!

My next course of action was to contact that agents BIC, which is a company that I used to work for and I know the BIC on a personal level.  The BIC explained it was probably just a mass mailing and there was no harm meant.  I corrected him pointing out the fact that he had listed their address and the exact number of days their home had been on the market.  This was not a mass mailing, this was a very deliberate effort to solicit my listing!  I ended the conversation by thanking the BIC for taking my call and then explained I was very disappointed that his firm had resorted to such low level tactics in a down market.  I lost all respect for the company.

I write this today to get a message out.  If we ever want to gain the respect of our communities we must ALL act with integrity.  This other agent angered my clients and gave his company a bad name.  I also realizer however my clients now thingk that real estate agents are cut throat and will do anything to get a sale.  In the end this reflects poorly on me as well.



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Pat Champion
Coldwell Banker Camelot Realty - Mount Dora, FL
Call the "CHAMPION" for all your real estate needs

I can't believe this has happened-we all need to act ethically in this and any market.

May 03, 2009 04:54 AM #1
Michele Connors
The Overton Group, LLC Pitt & Carteret County - Greenville, NC
Your Eastern North Carolina Realtor

Maybe have the sellers mail that agent the COE ~!  Seriously this is a problem that is not isolated to your town...unfortunately..

May 03, 2009 04:54 AM #2
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

We had the same thing happen this week with a buyer.

The buyer's former agent sent him a letter listing various programs to help buyers with grants, credits, down payment, closing, etc.

Most of what she listed is not available. 

FHA has NOT cancelled the down payment requirement.

We have this buyer under contract with a foreclosure with no down payment and all closing paid.  He doesn't need a dime.

Yet, he is now wonderfing if perhaps he could have gotten MORE.


May 03, 2009 05:09 AM #3
Chip Jefferson
Gibbs Realty and Auction Company - Columbia, SC

Snake in the grass. Period. There is one in every patch. I know most of them and Im sure I will meet another one soon.

May 03, 2009 05:17 AM #4
Kathleen Ann Pacheco-Corbett
(FIRST Exclusive Buyer's Office Providence-RI) - Providence, RI
Realtor, RI-MA, CEBA, Master, e-Pro, ABR, ABRM, GR

TODD: We all know that there are good and bad in every profession, however that agent's behavior was most definely uncalled for and very unprofessional and unethical  and affects our industry's image. I am so glad that you have loyal clients that brought this to your attention and relisted. 

I know this hurts but I would contact that agent and say "I hear you can sell my listing quickly, do you have a buyer? Your clients will be delighted for the quick sale and my Dad always said "a half a loaf is better than none"


May 03, 2009 05:20 AM #5
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

There are some agents who are unethical and solicit listings while the home is listed. I have had some of my clients show me similar letters.

May 03, 2009 05:30 AM #6
Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities
Charlemagne International Properties - Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A.

What's that saying,  One bad apple...Sounds like you had the pleasure of meeting a bad apple and you're right, it reflects poorly on the entire community of real estate agents.

May 03, 2009 06:12 AM #7
Irene Tron
Valparaiso, IN

People sometimes don't seem to think very clearly when they are desperate.  The fact that your clients were insulted and stuck with you, is proof that you are doing an excellent job.  Congratulations!

May 03, 2009 06:17 AM #8
Brian Burke
Kenna Real Estate - Lone Tree, CO
Broker & Advising Expert-Denver Luxury Real Estate

I hear you, that just makes me boil inside. What happened to the sign crossing rule??? At least around here you could file a complaint. All our mailings are to say that if the home is listed this is not a solicitation of that listing. The one you saw, obviously was only that. To get your listing. ~Rita

May 03, 2009 06:19 AM #9
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Hi Todd,  Are you going to pursue this  with your local board ?  If not, you become part of the problem.

May 03, 2009 06:20 AM #10
Liz Moras Migic
Chilliwack, BC
Chilliwack, British Columbia - Realtor

hmm i just had that happen with a realtor in our office - and we did decide to take it to the Board - and they DO take it very seriously........1 warning and then a substantial fine and mandatory education course.....

May 03, 2009 06:29 AM #11
Chanda Barrick
Keller Williams Indy Metro Northeast - Indianapolis, IN
in referral

Sounds like you made the right decision by leaving the company.  I do hope that one bad apple didn't alter your client's opinion of all agents as we all know we can't take an experience from one idiot and categorize them with anyone else in that group!  As for the agent that did it, sounds like they directly violated ethics and code, maybe they should be reported.  I'm sure it's not the first time they've done it...

~Chanda (no 'r')

May 03, 2009 01:54 PM #12
Ilyce Glink
Think Glink Media - Chicago, IL
Best-selling author, award-winning TV/radio host.

Todd: Wow that is one intense "marketing tactic". Times are tough and agents definitely have to step up their efforts, but ethics certainly trump everything else. Thanks for the great reminder.

May 03, 2009 02:38 PM #13
Todd Pierceall
Prestige Properties - Gastonia, NC

Thank you to everyone for your encouragement.  Bill you are definately correct in if I as the offende3d agent allow it to happen I become part of the problem.  I really wish the Realtors Association would let us publish a blog with the names of agents and companies that so this sort of thing.  FO course we get to see it in our state publications but the public never gets to see.  I think full disclosure, even if it is negative, is the only way to operate.

May 03, 2009 02:43 PM #14
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