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

Reblogger Chris Webster
Services for Real Estate Pros with Island Palms Realty

Original content by Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers 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.


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) 



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

    Listed, Sold and Closed Dozens of Short Sales with a 100% success rate!

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    Tony and Suzanne Marriott
    Associate Broker, REALTOR
    Show Appeal Realty

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    Elite Home Sales Team
    Elite Home Sales Team OC - Corona del Mar, CA
    A Tenacious and Skilled Real Estate Team

    In CA it is called false and misleading advertising the citation is in the Business and Professions Code.

    Aug 22, 2010 06:40 PM #1
    Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
    BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
    Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ

    Chris - Thanks for re-blogging this post.  It turned into a lengthy and useful discussion!

    Aug 23, 2010 01:49 AM #2
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