"Are You Currently Working With A Realtor?" Oopsie I Forgot to Ask?

Services for Real Estate Pros with Talk 2 Midori, LLC BK645709

This morning I sat through a mock arbitration and mediation.  Its amazing to me what you can learn from your local Board of Realtors Nancy Dance did a great job but I have to say, it was ruled that David Wyant was awarded the $33,000 commission. 

Keep in mind this was a mock mediation and arbitration.


While there I learned something new that made me realize I do believe many Realtors are Violating the Code of Ethics

"The National Association of Realtors, Code of Ethics."

One of the responsibilities of a Realtor is to protect the public from harm. 

 Failing to ask that important question, Are you currently working with a Realtor can be harmful especially if you show property to a potential customer that already has an established relationship with another agent.

I have read the Code of Ethics many times, however, I miss that one.  For me to ask that vital question was always courtesy and respect to fellow Realtors.  It just made sense...I didn't realize it was my obligation as a Realtor to ask.

We make so many mistakes in assuming the general public knows and understand how Realtors work. 

Its our responsibility to know what is right, not their's. 

Why not explain how we get paid?  How we work and what we do. 

According to the National Association of Realtors, Our Code of Ethics Reads....

Stand of Practice 16-13

Before providing substantive services (such as writing a purchase offer or presenting a CMA) to prospects.  Realtors shall ask prospects whether they are a party to any exclusive representation agreement.  Realtors shall not knowingly provide substantive services concerning a prospective transaction to prospects who are parties to exclusive representation agreements, except with the consent of the prospects exclusive representatives or at the direction of the prospects.   

So the next time you jump for that Potential buyer remember to ask that vital question....

"Are You Currently Working With A Realtor?"


This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
code of ethics
midori miller
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Judi Glamb
Coldwell Banker Hearthside - Hellertown, PA
Associate Broker, ABR

Midori - I do totally agree with you regarding the verbal.  IMHO, even when working with offers.  However, that viewpoint isn't totally accepted around here. 

Sep 24, 2007 06:38 AM #90
Michael Eisenberg
eXp Realty - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham Real Estate Guy

I once hd a friend email me that his wife was going to be coming to Bellingham where I live to look for a home and he old her that I was an agent and to expect to hear from her. When she walked into my office one day, and asked me to show here some homes, I was expecting her and didn't ask if she was working with another agent. After showing her a few homes she found one she liked and wanted to put an offer on, When we got back to my office she told me that she had been lookong at homes with another gent and renting a condo from her and felt obligated to her. I told her it was up to her and I would be glad to give the  other agent a referal fee or have her write it up and give me one. To add a bit of interest when doing a search for her I went a bit above her price range which is where we found the house she liked.  The other agent didn't like that I did that. 

She called me back that night and told me the other agent had yelled at her and made her feel awful and said that I was unethical.

She went with her and bought a different house. She told me she would be referring her sister to me, never heard from her again.


Sep 24, 2007 06:43 AM #91
Luis Rivera
Daytona Beach, FL

Midori - I agree with you, To many people are sincere but not Honest...  Great post, Midori.

Sep 24, 2007 06:47 AM #92
Suburban Chicago Illinois Real Estate
Suburban Village Realty - Barrington, IL


Another great example of why a Buyer Brokerage agreement in writing should be a mandatory practice. We would not list a home without a contract, why should we work with buyers without a signed and dated contract?

If everybody had to do it -- then there would be no fear from agents to ask for it - resulting in less complaints and disputes in our local associations.

Sep 24, 2007 06:54 AM #93
Connie Cagle
Inactive - Hampton, GA
Great post! Absorbing all of the information given. Active Rain is a great place to learn more about this business!
Sep 24, 2007 07:11 AM #94
Midori Miller
Talk 2 Midori, LLC - Daytona Beach, FL
Digital Marketing Director

Rebecca-I think most wont have a problem with the customer. But just as anything else in life.  we sometimes get suprises.  Thanks for commenting.

Konnie-yes it is kinda weird, but sometimes people are afraid...in some instances they may not know what you are really asking.  thanks for commenting

Judi-It may not be totally accepted there but I would hate for you to be the one!  anything is possible....remember there is no clear cut way in mediation....there is no clear cut way to determine who is right or wrong..... I am saying if there is no buyer broker agreement and two agents are duking it out....there will still be a determination......

Sep 24, 2007 07:53 AM #95
Midori Miller
Talk 2 Midori, LLC - Daytona Beach, FL
Digital Marketing Director

Michael - you win some you loose some!  My sister called another realtor to sell her house.  We lived in the same area.  It happens.. I know now doesn't matter who you are.....use an agreement buyer broker or listing.  I learned an expensive lesson.

 Luis - :)

Paul -  Interesting....I wonder how people would feel as an industry to do this?  That is definitely something to think about and hard!  Thanks for commenting.


Sep 24, 2007 10:18 AM #96
Allen C. Wright
RealtyU - Aliso Viejo, CA
substantive services is the key phrase ... Regardless, it is always ggod practice ... thanks for the refresher
Sep 24, 2007 11:17 AM #97
Midori Miller
Talk 2 Midori, LLC - Daytona Beach, FL
Digital Marketing Director

Connie-There is tons of great information here on the rain....keep soaking it up...I guaratee it will keep falling....

Allen-I agree with you.....substantive services-procurring cause.... 

Sep 24, 2007 11:41 AM #98
Dan Forbes
Bradenton, FL

I see this is still attracting well deserved comments.  Good post.

Thanks for commenting on my post today: Law of Attraction: Your bank balance reveals your thoughts

Sep 24, 2007 12:05 PM #99
Jodie Miller, Realtor, KW, Pasadena
Keller Williams Realty - Pasadena, CA
I will never forget to ask again.  Thank you for the post!
Sep 25, 2007 09:44 AM #100
Dan Coates
American Homes Real Estate - Simi Valley, CA
I myself have been to arbitration because of this. Another Realtor had taken my client. I did get a 20% referral fee out of it and that was it. Great Post.
Sep 27, 2007 04:38 AM #101
Midori Miller
Talk 2 Midori, LLC - Daytona Beach, FL
Digital Marketing Director

Dan-Thank you....

Jodie-Good, that is why I wrote it!  Thanks so much for your compliment and I will see you on your post

Dan-Thanks and so sorry but I will say 20% is better than nothing.  Did you opt for mediation?

Sep 27, 2007 05:12 AM #102
Membership Cancelled
Pullman, WA
Some agents have to learn the hard way, but it doesn't benefit anyone. We need our rules to keep some honest.
Sep 27, 2007 07:15 PM #103
Susan Trombley
Trombley Real Estate - Wake Forest, NC
Broker/Realtor, Raleigh, Cary, Wake Forest, Youngs

I cannot imagine you need another comment, But this blog is outstanding and I just wanted you to know it so you will continue writing blogs like this to keep all of us in top order with the laws.

I am not a seasoned agent but I cannot tell anybody how many times I run across people who do not go over the realtor informaiton and find out if they are or are not working with another realtor and do not step on their toes. would you like it done to you, of course not.

Sep 30, 2007 05:30 AM #104
David Stewart
On Top of the World Communities, Inc. - Ocala, FL
I'm with Lenn Harley. The question is not "Are you working with an agent/REALTOR?" It's "Who is your agent?" 
Why? Because it's harder to come up with a false response when it has to be a name rather than "Yes." You put them on the spot to name the agent, not to just blow you off by saying "yes."
Sep 30, 2007 01:49 PM #105
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth
Great reminder Midori about checking on representation by a client already by an agent. We can make many assumptions in real estate which are completely false. It never hurts to keep checking. Even some FSBO signs that do not mention listing agents are in the MLS.
Oct 16, 2007 02:25 PM #106
Robert L. Brown
www.mrbrownsellsgr.com - Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Rapids Real Estate Bellabay Realty, West Mic
Well let me throw my 2 sense in. I thought i was working with a client(who i've known for many years) but i was informed a few days ago from a lender that she was referred to her by another realtor. I thought ,because we were "friends" i didn't have to worry about that. So yes that was MY fault. Not theirs. It's my responsibility. it's my business. And i'm responsible for it.
Oct 17, 2007 01:32 AM #107
Heather the Realtor Orlando, Lake Mary
LemonTree Realty - Orlando, FL
First Time Home Buyers, Bank Owned Homes
Well I will say I was just recently screwed by another realtor that I know. She couldnt have asked the question or else she would have found out the way the buyer knows about the house is because I was suppose to show it to her in a few days but for whatever reason she was impatient and jumped right in. And I hope karma comes back I saved a realtor this weekend. A potential buyer called on an ad I had placed on new construction homes. We started talking and I asked oh by the way are you working with a realtor. She stated yes, I said well tell your realtor too look up communities by this builder in this area and they will be able to help you. She stated back well I would like to see these now can you take me? I explained are you happy with your realtor, has he/she been working with you? If so then no I cannot help you see as realtors we only get paid when you purchase a home through us, so it would be unethical for me to show you this property and possibly write a contract, please call your realtor and they will help you. I did say however if your realtor is unwilling to help or you are unsatisfied with their service then please contact me. 
Oct 28, 2007 11:16 AM #108
Deb Carney
Fort Devens, MA

It does take some work, but if you put some safety nets in place, you can save yourself some aggravation.

At Open Houses, I have an individual sheet for each person signing in.  It has a line asking if the person is in contract with a Buyer Agent.  And I ask that they write the agent's name.  There's a short paragraph stating that if I am not told of buyer representation they have, their agent will not be compensated. That helps to get them to fill out the form completely.

I email agents in my area to inform them of the open house, and ask that they call or email me ahead of time to give me their clients' name if the agent is sending the buyer unaccompanied.  I do get an occasional response and that is helpful.

If the buyer says they are not working with someone, I still probe around - "Have you seen many homes in town?"  "How did you hear of the Open House?"  This flushes more out. 

Sometimes it feels like our job is intrusive to potential buyers, and they get sick of being asked questions. If I get the feeling that the buyer is withholding information in fear that I'm a hard-sell agent, I back off, but insert disguised probing questions as the showing goes on. 

Nov 07, 2007 03:59 AM #109
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