Is it unethical to point out false advertising to the public?

By
Real Estate Agent with BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty BR534744000 & BR540649000

Lying Short Sale Listing AgentSome of my recent posts have focused on the Phoenix Short Sale "wannabe" listing agents that blatantly lie about their Phoenix Short Sale track record - presumably in the hopes of getting unsuspecting consumers to list with them.

I can see a Phoenix homeowner facing foreclosure being swayed by claims of "we've closed hundreds of short sales" coupled with the claim "we close 90% or more of our Short Sale listings".

Fact is - not one Phoenix Short Sale Listing Agent (according to the MLS) has closed 200 or more Short Sales - making the claim of hundreds a blatant lie.

And, fact is - not one Phoenix Short Sale Listing Agent who has closed more than the dozens of short sales that we have closed (and there aren't that many of them) can honestly claim a closing ratio of more than 75%.

Our current closing ratio remains at 100% for "regular" Short Sales and just over 89% when including "Hail Mary" Short Sales that involve IRS Tax Liens, Child Support Liens, and other "unusual hurdles".

In discussion with some of my peers about the thought of publishing the real numbers from the MLS:

1. How many closed Short Sales

2. How many cancelled/expired Short Sales

3. The ratio of Closed Short Sales to the total number of Closed/Cancelled/Expired Short Sales

I was met with howls of concern about that being a violation of the REALTOR Code of Ethics.

Really???

Article 15 

 

  • REALTORS® shall not knowingly or recklessly make false or misleading statements about competitors, their businesses, or their business practices. (Amended 1/92) 

  • Standard of Practice 15-1 
      REALTORS® shall not knowingly or recklessly file false or unfounded ethics complaints. (Adopted 1/00) 
  • Standard of Practice 15-2
      The obligation to refrain from making false or misleading statements about competitors’ businesses and competitors’ business practices includes the duty to not knowingly or recklessly repeat, retransmit, or republish false or misleading statements made by others. This duty applies whether false or misleading statements are repeated in person, in writing, by technological means (e.g., the Internet), or by any other means. (Adopted 1/07)
  •  

    So how pray tell is a true and informative statement an ethics violation?

    I can understand the intense dismay these charlatans would have at seeing their blatant lies destroyed, but perhaps they should focus their attention on the following:

  • Article 11 
    The services which REALTORS® provide to their clients and customers shall conform to the standards of practice and competence which are reasonably expected in the specific real estate disciplines in which they engage; specifically, residential real estate brokerage, real property management, commercial and industrial real estate brokerage, real estate appraisal, real estate counseling, real estate syndication, real estate auction, and international real estate. 

    REALTORS® shall not undertake to provide specialized professional services concerning a type of property or service that is outside their field of competence unless they engage the assistance of one who is competent on such types of property or service, or unless the facts are fully disclosed to the client. Any persons engaged to provide such assistance shall be so identified to the client and their contribution to the assignment should be set forth. (Amended 1/95) 

  • Standard of Practice 11-1
    •  
      1. identification of the subject property
      2. date prepared
      3. defined value or price
      4. limiting conditions, including statements of purpose(s) and intended user(s) 
      5. any present or contemplated interest, including the possibility of representing the seller/landlord or buyers/tenants 
      6. basis for the opinion, including applicable market data
      7. if the opinion is not an appraisal, a statement to that effect (Amended 1/01) 

    • When REALTORS® prepare opinions of real property value or price, other than in pursuit of a listing or to assist a potential purchaser in formulating a purchase offer, such opinions shall include the following: 

  • Standard of Practice 11-2
      The obligations of the Code of Ethics in respect of real estate disciplines other than appraisal shall be interpreted and applied in accordance with the standards of competence and practice which clients and the public reasonably require to protect their rights and interests considering the complexity of the transaction, the availability of expert assistance, and, where the REALTOR® is an agent or subagent, the obligations of a fiduciary. (Adopted 1/95) 
  •  

     

    Posted by

    About the Authors - Updated 2018

    If you are considering a Traditional or Short Sale of your home in Phoenix, Scottsdale or any location in Maricopa County Arizona, you owe it to yourself to talk with the BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty to determine whether Tony and Suzanne Marriott are the best real estate Brokers in the Phoenix and Scottsdale metropolitan area to help you with the Successful Sale of your home.

    Tony and Suzanne have personally Listed, Sold and Closed more than a hundred Short Sales with the highest list to close rate in the Phoenix Metro Area!

    Tony Marriott - Chief Operating Officer - BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty

    Suzanne Marriott - Chief Learning Officer - BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty

    Associate Brokers, REALTORS
    BVO Luxury Group
    Keller Williams Arizona Realty
    close

    Re-Blogged 5 times:

    Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
    Topic:
    ActiveRain Community
    Location:
    Arizona
    Groups:
    Arizona Real Estate
    Metro Phoenix Active Rainers
    Short Sale Specialist Network
    Tags:
    phoenix foreclosure
    phoenix short sales
    phoenix short sale
    short sale listing agent
    short sale track record

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    Show All Comments
    Rainmaker
    3,049,871
    Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
    BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
    Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ

    Lyn - Perhaps we should hack their calculators? :-)

    Aug 25, 2010 01:40 AM #120
    Rainmaker
    3,049,871
    Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
    BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
    Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ

    Leolinda - Thanks for the confirmation of how this is an issue in the Phoenix area.  I wonder if the Seller knew - or had been conned into the listing.  Obviously it was important to the Seller - or they would not have mentioned it so "proudly".

    Aug 25, 2010 01:41 AM #121
    Rainmaker
    384,440
    Mark Hall
    Realty One Group Cascadia - Vancouver, WA
    Homes for Sale Vancouver Washington

    Unfortunately, the general public expects most of what Realtors advertise to be a lie. Agents just shrug it off as marketing.

    I bring proof to my appointments and I show the prospective client exactly what my numbers are and how we rank in the county.

    Then I give them a list of questions to ask any other agent who they might be interviewing and I suggest to them that they ask for proof of any claims. If you closed 100 deals this year, Why wouldn't your bring a portfolio of the Listings?

    Works like a charm!

    Aug 25, 2010 11:30 AM #122
    Rainmaker
    603,816
    Kelly Willey
    Coco Plum Real Estate, Kelly Willey, FLORIDA KEYS - Marathon, FL
    Florida Keys Luxury Sales, Marathon, Key Colony

    You would be better suited to expound your virtues than deride the competition. The cream will rise to the TOP!!!

     

    Kelly in the KEYS

    Aug 26, 2010 02:57 AM #123
    Rainmaker
    3,049,871
    Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
    BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
    Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ

    Mark - That's sad if that's what the general public really thinks.  Thanks for the comment.

    Aug 26, 2010 03:13 AM #124
    Rainmaker
    3,049,871
    Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
    BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
    Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ

    Kelly - I hear what you're saying but not sure how that protects the public in this case.  Can you explain?

    Aug 26, 2010 03:14 AM #125
    Rainer
    4,720
    Dean Ouellette
    RE/MAX Diamond - Tempe, AZ

    OK I have not read all these comments as there are to many, but will point out a few things that cannot be factored in.

    What if I get an approval letter and the attorney i use advises the seller at the end this is not a great deal do a foreclosure instead, or get an approval letter but MI company is askign for to much money and will not negotiate these go to foreclosure or canceled but this is really not a failure by the listing agent. I dont see how those numbers can be taken into account. Or how about (a little bitter about this becuase happened today) you get an approval letter the servicer just needs an updated bank statement and the seller dropped 50k in stocks they sold last week in there and has a good solid 60k balance and all of a sudden the approval letter is retracted and they want some money. Now it looks like it is going to foreclosure, but is it the listing agents fault that the seller DID NOT LISTEN TO THEM. /rant

    So while I agree with the sentiment of your article I think there are some things that can go either way.

    Then there is the case too of an agent gets an approval the buyer cannot get financing, put it back on the market and the lender will not extend the foreclosure date.

    I guess the point that I am making is closed vs approved short sales are not always the same thing and someone can say we get approvals on x% of our short sales which is different than close. And they will always be different.

    ALSO for some who seem to lie about the number they have closed you need to remember that when they change brokerages those old ones with the old brokerage do not show up on the mls search by agent name any longer.

    Aug 26, 2010 06:11 PM #126
    Rainmaker
    3,049,871
    Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
    BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
    Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ

    Those things can be expected to apply fairly evenly to all Short Sale listing agents, as can the variance between approvals and closings and can be reasonably be expected to already be factored in to the results in the MLS.

    A full search in the MLS by member DOES show their history - even at other brokerages.

    Aug 27, 2010 03:12 AM #127
    Rainmaker
    3,049,871
    Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
    BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
    Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ

    Enjoyed this post and want to read more - try this one - Peacocks and Pickles for Christmas 2015!  Wishing you a prosperous and Happy New Year!

    Dec 27, 2015 11:58 PM #128
    Rainmaker
    3,049,871
    Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
    BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
    Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ

    Enjoyed this post and want to read more - visit our website  - HavenExpress.com - where all your questions about buying and selling residential real estate in Arizona are addressed!

    Feb 27, 2016 09:50 PM #129
    Rainmaker
    3,049,871
    Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
    BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
    Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ

    Enjoyed this post and want to read more - visit our website  - HavenExpress.com - where all your questions about buying and selling residential real estate in Arizona are addressed!

    Feb 27, 2016 09:50 PM #130
    Rainmaker
    3,049,871
    Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
    BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
    Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ

    Enjoyed this post and want to read more - visit our website  - HavenExpress.com - where all your questions about buying and selling residential real estate in Arizona are addressed!

    Feb 27, 2016 09:51 PM #131
    Rainmaker
    3,049,871
    Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
    BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
    Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ

    Enjoyed this post and want to read more - visit our website  - HavenExpress.com - where all your questions about buying and selling residential real estate in Arizona are addressed!

    Feb 27, 2016 09:51 PM #132
    Rainmaker
    3,049,871
    Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
    BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
    Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ

    Enjoyed this post and want to read more - visit our website  - HavenExpress.com - where all your questions about buying and selling residential real estate in Arizona are addressed!

    Feb 27, 2016 09:51 PM #133
    Rainmaker
    3,049,871
    Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
    BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
    Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ

    Planning to sell your home in Scottsdale, Arizona?  Give us a call for a free, no obligation, consultation!  Haven Express

    Listed, Sold and Closed 100% of listings taken (dozens of them) since June 2011!

    Real Estate.  It's What We Do. Best!

    Jul 02, 2016 01:43 AM #134
    Rainmaker
    3,049,871
    Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
    BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
    Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ

    Planning to sell your home in Scottsdale, Arizona?  Give us a call for a free, no obligation, consultation!  Haven Express

    Listed, Sold and Closed 100% of listings taken (dozens of them) since June 2011!

    Real Estate.  It's What We Do. Best!

    Jul 02, 2016 01:43 AM #135
    Rainmaker
    3,049,871
    Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
    BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
    Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ

    Planning to sell your home in Scottsdale, Arizona?  Give us a call for a free, no obligation, consultation!  Haven Express

    Listed, Sold and Closed 100% of listings taken (dozens of them) since June 2011!

    Real Estate.  It's What We Do. Best!

    Jul 02, 2016 01:43 AM #136
    Rainmaker
    3,049,871
    Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
    BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
    Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ

    Planning to sell your home in Scottsdale, Arizona?  Give us a call for a free, no obligation, consultation!  Haven Express

    Listed, Sold and Closed 100% of listings taken (dozens of them) since June 2011!

    Real Estate.  It's What We Do. Best!

    Jul 02, 2016 01:43 AM #137
    Rainmaker
    3,049,871
    Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
    BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
    Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ

    Planning to sell your home in Scottsdale, Arizona?  Give us a call for a free, no obligation, consultation!  Haven Express

    Listed, Sold and Closed 100% of listings taken (dozens of them) since June 2011!

    Real Estate.  It's What We Do. Best!

    Jul 02, 2016 01:43 AM #138
    Rainmaker
    3,049,871
    Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
    BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
    Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ

    Planning to sell your home in Scottsdale, Arizona?  Give us a call for a free, no obligation, consultation!  Haven Express

    Listed, Sold and Closed 100% of listings taken (dozens of them) since June 2011!

    Real Estate.  It's What We Do. Best!

    Jul 02, 2016 01:43 AM #139
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