What is agent boycott?

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Education & Training

Today, I  received an email from one of our areas top agents and one of my best clients.  She's hard working, ethical and just an overall great person.  I would say, her clients are lucky to have her on their side.  I'll call her "Yvonne". 

"Yvonne" needs me to destage one of her listings.  Of course, I have to ask if the home sold? No, not sold and the home seller is planning on either listing with another agent or renting.

Listing with another agent?  Why would he do that?  Doesn't he realize that he's already listed with one of the best and that it's not her fault that the house has not sold?! 

As a matter of fact, this particular home seller has been doing some research.  He's been talking to other agents who have homes listed in his community.  Guess what they told him?

                                                  

His home was being BOYCOTTED!  What?!?!  Boycotted?  Isn't that something we do to show our civil commitment or patriotism?

Here's "Yvonne's" exact words: "He's been told by a couple people that maybe his house is not being shown, because I'm not from the east valley."

I am absolutely shocked and mortified! Surely this is not a common practice in the real estate industry?  With the real estate market in the slump that it's in, I can't imagine not showing a house to a perspective buyer just because the agent lives in a different zip code. 

Perhaps I've lived too long in my own-sweet world, that I am naive to the business dealings of the "real world", but I would hope that selling one of the 50,000+ houses listed on Arizona's MLS is more important than such an insignificant detail as where the agent is from?

Have you ever heard of such a practice? Is this common? Shouldn't it be wrong?

 

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Rainer
93,046
Andrew Trevino
ADT Real Estate - Wilkes Barre, PA
Wilkes-Barre Homes For Sale
I've known agents who had issues with other agents and have not shown their listings because of their own personal issues, but never something like this. Either way, how could it be right? I'd ask for signed statements and head to my board.
Jul 27, 2007 02:54 PM #1
Rainmaker
338,114
Paul Slaybaugh
Realty Executives - Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale, AZ Real Estate

Calie,

Sounds a little fishy to me.  I have heard of agents skipping a particular listing agent's properties because of previous run ins, but not any kind of wholesale boycott over where an agent offices out of.  The seller is simply panicky about the home not selling and mistaking rumor for fact.  Fact is there are so many agents anymore, that homes everywhere would be boycotted if agents were concerned about where the listing agent lives.  With all of the inventory out there, and most agents dying to get rid of listings, I don't see anyone begrudging another agent another nonselling listing.  What agent would take the time to look into the listing agent's personal info, anyway?  Like I said, too many of us in the indu8stry to try to segregate the "okay to show" listings from the "don't show" listings.

Jul 27, 2007 02:57 PM #2
Rainmaker
902,076
Kay Van Kampen
RE/MAX Broker, RE/MAX - Springfield, MO
Realtor®, Springfield Mo Real Estate
Sounds like the sellers want an excuse to get out of the listing to me.  Even a good agent gets boycotted once in a while.  Hope it works out for her.
Jul 27, 2007 03:00 PM #3
Rainer
56,396
Calie Waterhouse
Chandler, AZ
Community Builder
Thank you, Andrew and Paul for your insight.  I would hate to think that this could possibly be common practice.  Whether here or in Arizona, there's just way too much for agents to do ... as Paul said, like "get rid of listings".
Jul 27, 2007 03:01 PM #4
Rainer
56,396
Calie Waterhouse
Chandler, AZ
Community Builder
Thanks, Kay.  I sincerely hope that it's all it really is.  I know it definitely through "Yvonne" for a loop.
Jul 27, 2007 03:03 PM #5
Rainmaker
551,512
Lynda Eisenmann
Preferred Home Brokers - Brea, CA
Broker-Owner,CRS,CDPE,GRI,SRES, Brea,CA, Orange Co

Calie,

A few questions. This came from the seller, correct? If so, where did the seller hear it? I would suggest the agent follow up with her broker to discuss it further. If they are Realtors, it's absolutely UNETHICIAL, if that's the true situation. However, sorry to say it could be an excuse from the seller.

 

Jul 27, 2007 03:40 PM #6
Rainer
136,569
Terry Lynch
LAR Notary and Closing Services - Saint Clair Shores, MI
Maybe she should have traded the names of the agents the seller spoke to for the release.
Jul 27, 2007 05:02 PM #7
Rainmaker
443,634
Melissa Marro
Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team - Orange Park, FL
Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging

I used to be a manager at a real estate office prior to becoming a stager and we had one of our own agents turn their personal listing over to another company in a semi-exclusive neighborhood because they advised her that they had a buyer but they wouldn't show the property unless she moved the listing with them.  She was quitting RE anyway, so she moved the listing.  Sure enough, within a week they had a contract using this same brokerage. 

As a stager, I had another client (with their personal listing) in this same neighborhood turn it over to that same agency to get it sold.  Within a couple of months it was under contract.  Is it co-incidence or an in-house policy to only show that company's listings?  I guess there's probably no way to prove it, but it surely seems clear to me...

Jul 28, 2007 01:12 AM #8
Rainer
56,396
Calie Waterhouse
Chandler, AZ
Community Builder

Hmmm ... Terry - good idea.  I sent "Yvonne" a link to this blog in hopes that she would see that while this is not a common or typical practice, sounds like it does happen.  I think in every industry, there's a "white cow" - just seems like the real estate industry has a whole herd.  Thanks for sharing.

Thanks for sharing your experience, Melissa.  I wonder if anything like this will/has happened to stagers?

 

Jul 28, 2007 02:23 AM #9
Rainer
13,833
Rochelle Kosanovich
J. Roberts & Co. Real Estate Services - Paradise Valley, AZ
Hmmm, I read all the comments, but I'm still annoyed. If this is true, this agent has gotten on my nerves today! LOL! I mean seriously, (again, if this truely is the case) what is wrong with people. I just so don't think like that, that when I hear something like this it is so foreign to me and I want to tell the agent to wake up and live happy. What an irritating waste of time boycotting listings and how unfair to a buyer! Who's interests is this agent representing anyway?? Whew! Don't mess with me today! HA!
Jul 28, 2007 08:18 AM #10
Rainer
56,396
Calie Waterhouse
Chandler, AZ
Community Builder

Go get 'em Rochelle!  But honestly, I am kind of relieved to hear that I'm not the only one completely and totally annoyed by this lack of professionalism and ethics.  Isn't there anything in the Realtors code of ethics about playing nice or respect for other agents and their listings?  Surely there is something there about serving the best interest of buyers?!

Thanks for commenting, Rochelle.  Come back again - soon!

Jul 28, 2007 08:43 AM #11
Rainmaker
443,634
Melissa Marro
Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team - Orange Park, FL
Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging
Always remember the agent is employeed by the agency.  The listings are 'owned' by the agency as well... not the agent.  The agent will do what is in the best interest of the company they work for most of the time.  Agents can pick and choose which listings to show the client based on a number of different options including listing agent/company, amount of commission paid out, selling bonuses paid to agent etc.  As long as the buyers agent doesn't badmouth an agent/agency they are not in ethics violation most of the time.  Let's face it, agents cannot show EVERY home that meets the buyers criteria.  It is up to the agent to help determine criteria. We should hope that they aren't doing it based on their best interest, but sometimes they do.  A lot of agents use this info when negotiating fees.  Sellers will usually agree to pay higher listing fees when they realize that more agents will show a home that pays a 3% buyer agent fee than 2.5%.  I'm not advocating these things, just letting you know it is standard industry practices in many markets.
Jul 28, 2007 08:57 AM #12
Rainer
56,396
Calie Waterhouse
Chandler, AZ
Community Builder
Thanks, Melissa, yours is the voice of wisdom.  I appreciate you sharing your knowledge.  You bring up a very good point about agents not being able to show thier client every listing that meets their criteria - I would think that in today's market it would be an impossibility.  Which leads me to my next question - how do agents decide which "qualified" houses to show and which ones not to? 
Jul 28, 2007 09:18 AM #13
Rainer
77,324
Yvonne Root
rooms b.y. root - Prescott, AZ
Home Stager - Northern Arizona

Wow Calie! You have opened up a whole can of worms it seems. My question is this -- if indeed it turns out this is true -- a house was boycotted, then what can be done about it? How would one ever begin to prove this as truth, especially in face of the 50,000 plus homes you mention being on the market in Arizona. If true - then it is especially sad for the poor homeowner who only wanted to choose wisely when seeking a professional.

I would love to hear the answer to your "'qualified' houses question" too.

Jul 29, 2007 04:41 AM #14
Rainer
56,396
Calie Waterhouse
Chandler, AZ
Community Builder
Oh, Yvonne, it is nothing but the truth I seek. ...  It seems we have uncovered an entire underground world in the real estate industry.  Makes me wonder what else is out there. :)
Jul 29, 2007 04:43 AM #15
Rainer
77,324
Yvonne Root
rooms b.y. root - Prescott, AZ
Home Stager - Northern Arizona
Yes, the truth matters. The interesting part is that truth exposed tends to change things. I agree, lets find out what is out there.
Jul 29, 2007 07:37 AM #16
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Calie Waterhouse

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