Ring! Ring! You're a ding-dong.

Real Estate Agent with Jameson Sotheby's International Realty

It recently came to my attention ... a local agent was on his cell phone with his buyer... giving him the one-day-code for the Electronic Lockbox on a listing.  That's right.  The agent wasn't present... the buyer (and his family) was in front of the property, and the agent read him the one-day-code on speaker-phone.

How do we know this?  It was all caught on video by the seller's Ring Doorbell.   The agent tried to deny it, and claimed he was with them... until the Ring video surfaced.

So the buyers went into the home unaccompanied, which is not what the seller hired us for.  The seller is incensed, the buyer's agent is apologetic, but only minimally so... "after all, nothing happened... I wasn't available.  Did you not want to show/sell your property?"

I am aghast.  It reflects so poorly on all of us.  Such a serious lack of brain cells.

Posted by

 ALAN MAY, Realtor®   
Specializing in Evanston Real Estate and North Shore Real Estate

Jameson Sotheby's International Realty, 2934 Central Street, Evanston, IL 60201
Office: 847.869.7300      Cell: 847.924.3313      Email: Almay@aol.com

Evanston Real Estate & North Shore Real Estate
Licensed in Illinois


Comments (18)

Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, CRB, Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ

Totally not ok.  I would report him immediately to MLS and his broker. Who is that stupid.....

Sep 10, 2020 03:46 PM
Alan May

oh... that has been initiated... but it has to come from the listing agent... whose property was "violated". It'll have the most impact that way.

Sep 10, 2020 04:22 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Definitely in the wrong. Pretty lame excuse. I agree with Anna - report him.

Sep 10, 2020 04:17 PM
Alan May

and reported he shall be.

Sep 10, 2020 04:22 PM
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Alan- I would be livid if I were the seller. I have never been a fan of faux excuses...after all, nothing happened.

Sep 10, 2020 04:44 PM
Alan May

The seller IS livid.

Sep 10, 2020 06:02 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good grief Alan May ,

This agent is definitely in the wrong and needs to be reprimanded. Glad you have started the process. Where is his ethics?

Sep 10, 2020 05:30 PM
Alan May

apparently non-existent.

Sep 10, 2020 06:03 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Idiots like that are helping the Zillows and Redfins of this world, just sayin, Endre

Sep 10, 2020 09:00 PM
Alan May

they sure ain't helpin'

Sep 11, 2020 06:09 AM
Bob Ratliff
Robert Ratliff Realty - San Antonio, TX
"Sold with Bob"

Like all professions a person can set a bad example. Nothing worse to explain to a seller it's totally out of you the listing agents control. Code of Ethics seems to have been lost and not taken seriously for many.

Sep 11, 2020 01:00 AM
Alan May

many don't even know what's contained in the Realtor Code of Ethics.

Sep 11, 2020 06:10 AM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

the worst part of that story is that the agent will get nothing more than a slap on the wrist....  

someday, the consequence will reflect the action.... the debris will be eliminated from the profession....

Sep 11, 2020 03:03 AM
Alan May

so... what would the right consequence be?

Sep 11, 2020 06:10 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Hello Alan... such a major violation of our MLS rules. I recently reported an appraiser who got access to one of my listings under false pretenses. You better believe I reported her and she was fined.

Sep 11, 2020 05:09 AM
Alan May

it's a major violation of our MLS rules, as well... and the code of ethics.

Sep 11, 2020 06:11 AM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Geeze, Alan!  We can't get by with anything anymore!  And that's a good thing.  Right?

Sep 11, 2020 11:42 AM
Alan May

well... if THIS is the thing you're trying to get away with... then, YES, it's a good thing.

Sep 12, 2020 09:29 AM
Dan Hopper
Dan Hopper - Gold Way RE - Westminster, CO
Denver Broker / Author / Advocate/Short Sale

Yikes,  .... this is absolutely unacceptable!  Wow, the liability that agent may have created for themselves and brokerage firm.  I get so annoyed that agents/brokers believe they are so busy that the must violate their ethics and law to keep business.  Just refer folks out to other agents/brokers in their office or even another firm.

Sep 12, 2020 09:25 AM
Alan May

or have the gonads to tell your buyer "I'm not available at 3:00... but I could meet you at 4:30"

Sep 12, 2020 09:30 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

These days, unless you're in your own home (without an Alexa) assume you are being watched and/or listened to at all times. 

Sep 17, 2020 06:48 AM
Alan May

I tell my buyers that too... just assume there's an alexa, a video camera, a nanny-cam... any private conversation we need to have we should wait 'till we're outside (and away from the house... ring cameras work at some distance.).

Sep 17, 2020 09:23 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

If I were the seller, I'd be angry also. Strangers were just wandering around my home, unaccompanied? Some sellers might even decide not to accept an offer from that buyer agent's clients, just out of principle. Home selling is already an emotional process.

Sep 19, 2020 04:41 AM
Alan May

... and some sellers might choose to tar their listing agent with the same brush.

Sep 19, 2020 05:30 AM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

That is appaling.  I don't think our Sentrilocks will allow that - you have to be within range of the lockbox. 

Sep 19, 2020 05:22 AM
Alan May

Our Sentrilocks allow for a one-day-code to be provided to agents who don't have a sentrilock key.  It's that code that was illegally 'given' to the buyer.

Sep 19, 2020 05:31 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning Alan May - that is unexcusable and the agent lied.  That is grounds for termination.

Sep 19, 2020 05:57 AM
Alan May

I feel that way, too... but that would be highly unusual.

Sep 19, 2020 07:29 AM
John Henry, Florida Architect
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design

Yes, not a great decision.  Homeowners should be protected.  

Sep 19, 2020 06:44 AM
Alan May

One of the most important duties we have it to protect the home.

Sep 19, 2020 07:30 AM
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Why doesn't this suprise me?  There are far too many agents out there in the field trying to avoid their responsibility.  I'm with Grant ( and you ), this agent needs to find another line of work. In my opinion, what he did is a very serious violation - and puts the sellers at great risk. 

Sep 19, 2020 07:59 AM
Alan May

I serve on our local grievance committee.  And we send these kind of complaints up the ladder whenever we see them.  But termination is rarely on the menu unless it's a repeat violation.

Sep 19, 2020 08:59 AM
Kris Collis, Associate Broker
Smart Way America Realty - East Stroudsburg, PA
Professional Results you Expect 570-801-5525

Seller's security cams are the best.  When show agent called in anger and hostility twice in a row claiming he could not access the property via show instructions, seller's text of agent and buyers inside house proved agent a liar, and yessiree, I did report it.

Sep 19, 2020 08:02 AM
Alan May

why would they say they couldn't access the property, when they actually did?  (unless, of course, someone did some damage).

Sep 19, 2020 09:00 AM
Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®
Carmel by the Sea, CA
Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea

We have to provide the COVID-19 visitor form to the listing agent prior to showing which shows who is going in.  And our CA rules state how the viewing has to go down ie. the agent is the one to open the door, closets, turn on lights, make sure the he/she and buyers are wearing protective gear, etc. If this was also violated, I would go all out with that buyers agent and go to his/her broker.

Sep 19, 2020 10:07 AM
Alan May

We don't have all of that... some listing agents have disclosure requirements... but in those cases, those are typically the agents who also accompany all showings.

Sep 19, 2020 10:52 AM

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