You Stole My Buyer!

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP 0524642

Oscar is working with a buyer who is currently under contract to buy 1379 Overthere Blvd. Another Realtor (Betty Bookmark) just listed a home (down the street) that is similar to what Oscars' buyer is under contract for. How do you feel about Betty contacting Oscar to inform him that the home she's about to list is similar to what Oscar's clients is buying, only it's for far less? 

Do you think Betty is being doing the seller wrong on 1379 Overthere Blvd? Is this fair? Is it ethical? Do you believe Betty is working in the best interest of her seller?


Last week an agent called to inform me that he was about to list a home and that I should consider showing it to my buyer who I had under contract to buy another home. In Texas we have Option Periods and this period allows the buyer to back out of the contract "for any reason" they see fit. The buyer would get back all of their earnest money, but lose their option fee, typically $100-$250; a small price to pay to save thousands on a similar home to your liking.

What are your thoughts, and why? 

Posted by


Greg Nino
, Houston area Realtor®.
Helping residential buyers, sellers and tenants 7 days a week.
Available @ 832-298-8555 

RE/MAX Compass (Formerly RE/MAX WHP)




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Liz Wallace
Century 21 Sherlock Homes - Rockville Centre, NY
Broker C21 Sherlock Homes, Rockville Centre, LI, N

I think that if you can save your client a lot of money on a similar house than that's what you should do.  It's always about the client, whomever that might be.

Mar 31, 2015 05:30 AM #1
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

My question would be... if a similar house is selling for more, why is the second house being listed for so much less? Is the seller desperate or is there some hidden defect? Or did the agent snowball the seller in order to list for a faster sale? 

I agree with Liz Wallace that you need to act in the best interests of your own client, but perhaps some research is in order. 

Mar 31, 2015 05:36 AM #2
Christopher Pagli
William Raveis Legends Realty Group - Tarrytown, NY
"I Stay Open Until You Close"

I don't see anything wrong with it.  Oscar may know another buying that is looking for that type of home or missed out on the one he is under contract with.  

Mar 31, 2015 06:47 AM #3
John Meussner
Mason-McDuffie Mortgage, Conventional Loans, Jumbo Loans, FHA, 203(k), USDA, VA, - Walnut Creek, CA
#MortgageMadeEasy Walnut Creek, CA 484-680-4852

If it helps your client, go for it.  The seller/listing agent isn't going to be the one sending you referrals down the road.  I'd be curious why there's such a large price difference as well if the home is so similar.

Mar 31, 2015 06:49 AM #4
David Shamansky
US Mortgages - David Shamansky - Highlands Ranch, CO
Creative, Aggressive & 560 FICO - OK, Colorado Mtg

Without question thats highly stanky and unethical. I am sure he would not be happy representing the seller and getting that msg from the buyer that they found a better home for less and bye bye.

Its like trigger leads in our industry the absolute scum of the scum who deals in that

Mar 31, 2015 02:57 PM #5
Raymond Denton
Homesmart / Evergreen Realty - Irvine, CA
Shady Canyon Specialist

I don't see anything unethical about it ... sounds like good business to me.

Apr 01, 2015 03:17 AM #6
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

You better tell you client about the other property.  If they're in their option and you didn't give THEM the chance to make up their mind and they found out you knew about another property . . . hmmmmmm . . . I do think it's pretty tacky on the part of the listing agent of the lesser priced property.  But there might be a reason they're pricing it less.  Have your client evaluate the property and let them come to a decision.  The listing agent in calling you was probably thinking they were doing you a favor.  Try to get in their mindset.  If you are in the option period (which we don't have in our local market) and it's a better deal, you better tell your client about it. 

Apr 01, 2015 04:16 AM #7
Steve Baklaich
RE/MAX Results St Cloud Mn real estate - Saint Cloud, MN
Treating Buyers & Sellers to Full Service Always.


If Betty works for a Broker (or is a Broker) other than the Listing Broker of the property at 1379 Overthere Blvd., then she has every right to propose to Oscar that he tell the Buyer about her listing. Even without the option process you describe, if the new listing is that good a deal, the Buyer may want to "buy" their way out of the existing contract. If I were the Listing Agent on Overthere, I would be upset, however, and may view this as a violation.

Apr 01, 2015 05:17 AM #8
Doug Rogers
Bayou Properties - Alexandria, LA
Your Alexandria Louisiana Agent

Unless the agent F*cks with the contract, in Louisiana buyers can back out during the inspection period without showing cause. Yep, for FOURTEEN DAYS the buyer can pull the plug AND get their deposit back. Fun times...

Apr 01, 2015 07:15 AM #9
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

In your shoes I would tell my clients about the listing.  I wouldn't, however, do what the other agent did.  Frankly, how does she know who has the buyers on the other listing in the neighborhood unless it is also her listing?

Apr 02, 2015 01:40 PM #10
Suzanne Strickler
Realty Mark Associates - Havertown, PA
School is never out for the Succesful.

Not all deals are solely about the money.  Maybe Betty just listed it below market to move it quickly to accomodate her sellers shaky financial position. Oscar should look into it.

Betty is ethically looking out for her clients by contacting Oscar, the buyers' agent and not the buyers directly. (not ethical) Betty isn't obligated to the sellers of 1379 Overthere Blvd. Isn't it an agent's fiduciary duty to represent their client's best interest? I think yes.

Apr 03, 2015 06:22 AM #11
Lorrie Semler, REALTOR® in the Dallas area. Call/text 972-416-3417
United Real Estate - Addison, TX
Real Service. Real Results. Real Estate

How would Betty know that Oscar has a buyer in option on another house? When I get new listings, I often reach out to agents who reguarly sell in those areas. I have no way of knowing what those agents have going on with their buyers. Betty is absolutely working in the best interest of her sellers.

Apr 04, 2015 12:42 AM #12
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Once you start playing that game, buyers can feel there is always something better just waiting in the wings.  The buyer likes they home they got, let it be.

Apr 07, 2015 01:12 PM #13
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Greg Nino

Houston, Texas
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