Another Agent Called MY Seller!

Real Estate Agent with Prudential Preferred Real Estate

I awoke this morning to an email from one of my sellers. It was a forwarded message between him and another agent who, in my opinion, violated Standard of Practice 16-2 in the Realtor® Code of Ethics.

First, she called him last night and, as he put it, she asked him if he would be willing to make a trade with her clients for my listing. He informed her that she needed to contact me instead of him directly. She replied that, if he would consider the trade, that she, of course, would go thru me. But she figured that since she knew him, she would just call him directly.

Now let me back up a little bit. This particular listing was HERS last year. It expired, and I got the listing, fair 'n square. I'm sure she's maybe a little upset that she wasn't able to sell this listing and lost it, but that's no excuse.

My seller knew that what she was doing was wrong and promptly notified me. He forwarded the email correspondence between to two of them and called me to tell me about the phone call as well.

Furthermore, she is a BROKER. Should've know better.

From the Code of Ethics:

Standard of Practice 16-2

    Article 16 does not preclude REALTORS® from making general announcements to prospects describing their services and the terms of their availability even though some recipients may have entered into agency agreements or other exclusive relationships with another REALTOR®. A general telephone canvass, general mailing or distribution addressed to all prospects in a given geographical area or in a given profession, business, club, or organization, or other classification or group is deemed "general" for purposes of this standard. (Amended 1/04)
    Article 16 is intended to recognize as unethical two basic types of solicitations:

    First, telephone or personal solicitations of property owners who have been identified by a real estate sign, multiple listing compilation, or other information service as having exclusively listed their property with another REALTOR®; and

    Second, mail or other forms of written solicitations of prospects whose properties are exclusively listed with another REALTOR® when such solicitations are not part of a general mailing but are directed specifically to property owners identified through compilations of current listings, "for sale" or "for rent" signs, or other sources of information required by Article 3 and Multiple Listing Service rules to be made available to other REALTORS® under offers of subagency or cooperation. (Amended 1/04)
    I'll update this blog as more progresses. My broker is handling it for me as we speak.

Comments (8)

Lynn Kenton
Troop Real Estate Ventura - Ventura, CA
Ventura Real Estate

Hi Jay!

That was a blatant violation of rules. It wouldn't matter if it was her mother. Don't let it get by- people like that shouldn't be in business and need to be held accountable for their actions! Good luck and keep us posted!

Jan 26, 2009 03:31 AM
Mott Marvin Kornicki
Waterway Realtors® • Notary Public & Apostille - Sunny Isles, FL
Miami Notary & Apostille 786-229-7999


I've read and re-read the REALTOR'S CODE OF ETHICS many times.

Indeed it is a violation to contact the seller/owner directly when a property is listed. Proving that a violation occurred is hard to do.

She did know him from a previous relationship, perhaps he or she considers each other "friends" [obviously not]. or acquaintances. There is really NO excuse. The good thing is that the owner did contact you and keep you informed of what happened. How often does a seller, buyer, landlord or tenant go around us- and we never find out?

I just this morning had a call from overseas from a prospective tenant that is working through a co-operating agent... I was a bit surprised to get the call. It seemed that she wanted to let me know that she has in fact transferred funds to our account to secure and pre-pay for her upcoming tenancy.

In some instances, I can see why or how a person does not follow the typical and usual channels.


Real Estate In Miami // Mott Kornicki // Associate | Broker

Aventura-The Waterways // Bal Harbour // Sunny Isles Beach • Florida

Jan 26, 2009 03:42 AM
Jay Knorr
Prudential Preferred Real Estate - Auburn, AL
Auburn Al Properties

Lynn and Mott: Thanks for the comments.

UPDATE: My broker calmed me down and asked me to wait. "What mama? She hit me. I can't hit her back?" Reason being is that her buyers may possibly come back to the table if they sell their house. So we're going to wait until we've sold this listing to reprimand the offending broker. And believe me, that hurts worse than the violation!

Jan 26, 2009 03:50 AM
Mike Klijanowicz
Cummings & Co. Realtors - Perry Hall, MD
Associate Broker @ Cummings & Co. Realtors

Unless she is blind and deaf she should have realized that she was not allowed to do what she did.  And to do it in writing via email, certainly sealed her own fate (in my opinion).  Since she is a broker and doesn't have a manager, you may want to file a complaint to your local board and go from there to make sure she doesn't continue to do this sorta thing to other agents like you....

Jan 26, 2009 04:01 AM
Dan and Amy Schuman
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Solon, OH
Luxury Home Specialists

I would call the agent directly and tell her that you have a serious problem with the way she went about handling this situation. I suppose you could file an ethics complaint against her as well but a direct conversation may be sufficient. Good luck.

Jan 26, 2009 04:25 AM
Goodbye Active Rain
Out of Real Estate

After reading posts and comments all over AR, I start to question if there really is a Code of Ethics for Realtors.

Jan 26, 2009 05:35 AM
Jay Knorr
Prudential Preferred Real Estate - Auburn, AL
Auburn Al Properties

Michael - I am mist CERTAINLY going to file a complaint. But! I want to make sure that her clients aren't going to buy thi house. My seller is getting desperate.

Dan & Amy - I plan on having that conversation with her as soon as the house closes.

Tony - Well put, my friend.

Jan 27, 2009 12:19 AM
Susie Blackmon
Ocala, FL
Ocala, Horses, Western Wear, Horse Farms, Marketing

Ethics and real estate?? Sad to say, they don't tend to go together; however, the present 'colon cleansing' nationwide could shrink the number of unethical realtors.

Jan 27, 2009 01:21 AM