Unethical Actions by Realtor

18 Replies

Hello, the NAR referred me to legal counsel: my realtor, during my temporary occupancy agreement period, gave my buyer, not only the keys and the alarm code, but the instructions on how to disarm the alarm. I walked in to my home during the rental period, with no notification from my Realtor or buyer, to find the buyer with her painter in my home. I am not certain what items are missing. I was told that this is the most egregious breaches of a Realtors' Oaths and of course, breach of trust and that, at a minimum, I should receive the commission back.

Please let me know what you did if this happened to you and / or, what I should do?  I have reached out to the Realtor three (3) times and she has not responded at all.  Thank you for your input.

Report them.

@Dee Sams Definitely report that agent.  That's unacceptable behavior.  I'm sorry that happened to you :(

Okay, what exactly is the “temporary occupancy period”? Did you agree for the buyers to have occupancy prior to closing?

If there was nothing missing and no harm done report the realtor and move on.

Originally posted by @Wayne Brooks :

Okay, what exactly is the “temporary occupancy period”? Did you agree for the buyers to have occupancy prior to closing?

 Like Wayne said, we need to know exactly what “temporary occupancy period” means.  Did you already sell the property and you were temporarily occupying post settlement? If so then those buyers are now the owners of the property and are entitled to the information and have the ability to enter the property.

Originally posted by @Wayne Brooks :

Okay, what exactly is the “temporary occupancy period”? Did you agree for the buyers to have occupancy prior to closing?

 I was the seller, and negotiated with my buyer that I could stay in the home, after closing, for X days for $Y rent.  This agreement was facilitated by my realtor.  It was during this time period, I walked in on the buyer, who confirmed the alarm code she used. It was the alarm code I setup for the realtors.  

Originally posted by @Russell Brazil :
Originally posted by @Wayne Brooks:

Okay, what exactly is the “temporary occupancy period”? Did you agree for the buyers to have occupancy prior to closing?

 Like Wayne said, we need to know exactly what “temporary occupancy period” means.  Did you already sell the property and you were temporarily occupying post settlement? If so then those buyers are now the owners of the property and are entitled to the information and have the ability to enter the property.

 With notice to me, the tenant. 

Originally posted by @Dee Sams :
Originally posted by @Russell Brazil:
Originally posted by @Wayne Brooks:

Okay, what exactly is the “temporary occupancy period”? Did you agree for the buyers to have occupancy prior to closing?

 Like Wayne said, we need to know exactly what “temporary occupancy period” means.  Did you already sell the property and you were temporarily occupying post settlement? If so then those buyers are now the owners of the property and are entitled to the information and have the ability to enter the property.

 With notice to me, the tenant. 

 Then your problem is with your landlord, not your Realtor.  

Originally posted by @Thomas S. :

If there was nothing missing and no harm done report the realtor and move on.

 I don’t know what all is missing.  Right now, I cannot locate my passport and a ring.

Originally posted by @Russell Brazil :
Originally posted by @Dee Sams:
Originally posted by @Russell Brazil:
Originally posted by @Wayne Brooks:

Okay, what exactly is the “temporary occupancy period”? Did you agree for the buyers to have occupancy prior to closing?

 Like Wayne said, we need to know exactly what “temporary occupancy period” means.  Did you already sell the property and you were temporarily occupying post settlement? If so then those buyers are now the owners of the property and are entitled to the information and have the ability to enter the property.

 With notice to me, the tenant. 

 Then your problem is with your landlord, not your Realtor.  

 The realtor, too.  She gave the alarm code AND the key pad instructions to a person who had no right to them, breaching her agreement with me and her oaths.  The realtor should have referred the landlord to me.

Originally posted by @Dee Sams :
Originally posted by @Russell Brazil:
Originally posted by @Dee Sams:
Originally posted by @Russell Brazil:
Originally posted by @Wayne Brooks:

Okay, what exactly is the “temporary occupancy period”? Did you agree for the buyers to have occupancy prior to closing?

 Like Wayne said, we need to know exactly what “temporary occupancy period” means.  Did you already sell the property and you were temporarily occupying post settlement? If so then those buyers are now the owners of the property and are entitled to the information and have the ability to enter the property.

 With notice to me, the tenant. 

 Then your problem is with your landlord, not your Realtor.  

 The realtor, too.  She gave the alarm code AND the key pad instructions to a person who had no right to them, breaching her agreement with me and her oaths.  The realtor should have referred the landlord to me.

As soon as you close, that Realtor is supposed to turn over the keys and alarm codes to the new owner.  

Originally posted by @Russell Brazil :
Originally posted by @Dee Sams:
Originally posted by @Russell Brazil:
Originally posted by @Dee Sams:
Originally posted by @Russell Brazil:
Originally posted by @Wayne Brooks:

Okay, what exactly is the “temporary occupancy period”? Did you agree for the buyers to have occupancy prior to closing?

 Like Wayne said, we need to know exactly what “temporary occupancy period” means.  Did you already sell the property and you were temporarily occupying post settlement? If so then those buyers are now the owners of the property and are entitled to the information and have the ability to enter the property.

 With notice to me, the tenant. 

 Then your problem is with your landlord, not your Realtor.  

 The realtor, too.  She gave the alarm code AND the key pad instructions to a person who had no right to them, breaching her agreement with me and her oaths.  The realtor should have referred the landlord to me.

As soon as you close, that Realtor is supposed to turn over the keys and alarm codes to the new owner.  

 Under a normal sale in which the buyer takes occupancy right then.  There is a different protocol with a rental agreement.  The alarm code is not given out, to protect to resident. The keys are delivered at closing and the attorney affirms the temporary occupancy agreement and the date that expires.  

What this realtor did violated the oaths.  My question is not to establish the error, rather what course of action?  I have been told it is considered so bad, return of commission is on the table.

By law you should be notified before entry regardless if you were the seller. You have legal occupancy and as such, you are entitled to prior notice before entry. That is the big problem.  However if the keys and code were given out before closing I would consider that a major problem for the agent. I do wonder though if you are just trying to find a reason to try to get back your commission?

I would skip the formality by going to State Real Estate Board compliance filing. A lawyer sending the same to broker. So he gets fired he can go to another brokerage.

As an outsider w/o knowing the written agreement you need to have all the documentation and agreement in front of the panel. 

@Dee Sams at this point, this is not for you to decide whether you "should receive the commission back".  There's no single line in the Code of Ethics for a REALTOR that they are required to pay you their compensation for brokering a sale if they breach one of the articles.  If you truly feel the situation has not been handled correctly and the agent was negligent in their duties, take it up with your state's real estate commission and let them be the final judge and jury.  I would not recommend trying to nail them down and get them to admit to violating an article in the Code of Ethics.  

From my view, it sounds like vital information was provided to the landlord of the premises.  If there was a gas leak in your unit and the landlord, for health and safety reasons needed immediate access to your unit, they should have a means of entry.  Unless your contract specifically states that the new owner was not to receive key code access or keys to the property, your quarrel is with your new landlord and NOT with your Realtor.  Your landlord did not properly provide you notice for entering your unit.  

The entrance without notice should not have happened....that is agreed.  But, this IS a landlord-tenant issue, not a realtor issue.  Any issues/recourse you have is with the new owner.  I'm pretty sure there is no "set protocol" dictating such details.....maybe someone's opinion, but we know what that's worth. Thinking you deserve the commission back is a bit laughable.

Interesting to read that this is happening in real life. Currently studying real estate pre sales, so here is my take on it. The keys and alarms are considered a fixture. These are to be turn over to the buyer on the date of closing. In your contract with the buyer as there should be something indicting the right of entrances. Such as a 24 hour notice. If there isn't, then it is implied the owner of the property can come in.

You won't get your commission back, and I also don't see anything wrong with what the realtor did, unless stated in the contract.

This is an issue between you and your new landlord.

Good luck.

You are the tenant. The buyer is now the landlord. This has nothing to do with the realtor.

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