One of my agents has a listing, the Sellers are getting divorced. They have refinanced every bit of equity out of the home in the past two years so now it's a potential short sale. My agent is making a dilligent effort to sell the property under an "Exclusive Right to Sell" Listing Contract. She gets a call from a Broker that would like to make an offer on the property. He had contacted the Seller directly, viewed the property and wanted to do a short sale on the property BUT he does not want my agent to speak with the bank-He wants to handle the whole thing himself. O.K.- I already have a problem with that. He then calls me to tell me he will be putting up a "For Sale" sign on the property and entering the listing on the MLS while he is attempting to get the short sale accepted because it is his right to do so-WHAT??? I call the Attorney for The Connecticut Association of REALTORS; and he tells me "Yes- If he has a purchase contract, He has the right to do this, as long as he has the Seller's permission"" I am flabbergasted, he then continues "As long as he's wearing his investor hat, not his Broker hat" All new to me, I didn't know, nor would I ever take off my Broker hat to suit my needs above my clients. I ask the Attorney "What about my fiduciary obligation to the Seller? Isn't having two signs on the property confusing to the public? How about when they call him instead of us and want to make an offer on the home (possibly higher than his) What will he tell them, wouldn't he wait until he owned it to flip it to the new buyer, thereby interfering with my Sellers getting the best possible price?" The Attorney says "You need to explain it to the seller, that it may not be in their best interest" The Seller's can't be in the same room at the same time, at this point they will walk away with nothing- already spent their equity- so they don't care.
The way I see it-all the liability is on me. I never knew a Broker could cross over my contract, put a sign up on my listing and put the listing on the MLS while I have an Exclusive Right to Sell Contract. You learn something new everyday.