Should I report this agent to the Board of Realtors or?

129 Replies

I love how many believe that agents don’t deserve their commissions because they are too much. Why do 87% of agents fail? It is because most think that agents just take the commission and do nothing else. There is no overhead, advertising, travel, insurance, or anything like that. For those that don’t know being a successful agent is a business just like any other. Agents need to spend money to make money.

This seems to be the main issue.

If you don’t want to use an agents services that’s great, but I need to be compensated for my experience with many more transactions in a month than most non-agents will have in their life. Even with that agents like @Russell Brazil and @jay Hendricks make me a bit nervous when doing deals since they have more experience and know about angles that I may have never experienced before. I may charge must less for a listing than they would, but they would certainly deserve their commission.

Originally posted by @Cal C. :

Actually, I didn't want to report them.   If I  did I would have reported them already.  But I wanted to get a sense of what others would do about an unethical agent.  How y'all turned this against my agent and my PM is stunning and knowing the people involved it is even more stunning.  I've known both my agent and my PM to give up significant sums because it was the right thing to do.  They certainly don't deserve to be attacked for pointing out that an unethical agent has been unethical.  

WHY do you think the real estate agent was OBLIGATED to sell the property to you and charge LESS commission than he wanted to? I am not asking what you think of such behavior, or what you believe other people should do to earn money or how you value their work. What I am asking is: why you think the selling agent was obligated to comply with your wishes and beliefs? What if I believe you SHOULD give me half of your pay check every month? I can come up with millions of reasons why you should do it. Among them the fact that I might be starving and you might be making more than you need to eat. 

Whether you like it or not, free market means everyone is FREE to offer for a product/service what they want, and everyone is FREE to accept any offer, be it highest or lowest. 

What exactly you think the agent did wrong? How will you make your case before the Board of Realtors? 

Originally posted by @David Des :
Originally posted by @Joe Splitrock:
Originally posted by @Cal C.:

Twenty something responses and only two have actually answered my question.   Please don't waste your time writing that I was wrong not to agree to the agent getting 6% for making a phone call  and writing a contract or for trying to convince me that having his father slightly outbid me after he found out what I was bidding is not unethical.  

The problem isn't that people aren't answering your questions, it is that you don't like the answer. Here is your questions:

Simply report the agent to the Board of Realtors? No, nothing unethical took place. Multiple realtors told you that.

Report the agent and contact the seller to tell her what happened? No, this is petty and unproductive. The seller doesn't care if you buy it or someone else buys it. In fact they may be unhappy that you pulled your original offer. Many people consider verbal offers binding, so your behavior could be considered unethical too.

Just tell the seller what happened? Again, petty and unproductive. 

Text the original agent to tell him I know he sold the property to his father? He already knows he sold the property to his father. I am guessing the seller does too, because most likely they share the same last name. 

Make an offer to buy the property from his father at the same price I originally offered (JOKING). 

Call his mom, who is his broker and tell her I think what her son and husband did was pretty crappy (obviously she knew all about this)? Petty and unproductive. What mother is going to side with a stranger over her own husband and child? Common sense, come on.

Do Nothing and let fate take care of this unethical family? Yes do nothing, although I disagree that they were unethical.

Something else? I can tell by your responses that you are a difficult person to deal with. I challenge you to consider how many problems you may be creating for yourself. For example, you had this deal and lost it due to a distorted view of fairness. You didn't even cut your own agent in the deal, which is kind of crappy too. 

You cannot confirm that there is nothing unethical , we just dont know the full details . And its pretty funny that you qualified it with " multiple realtors told that " . I hope you understood the irony of your statement .

 We all have opinions on this based on the facts he shared. Of course if he didn't share facts, that could change things. 

I don't see the irony? Realtor code of ethics is an actual written standard, so realtors should be a credible source for knowing if something is ethical by the standards they are trained on. But everyone interprets things differently, so obviously in any topic there will be disagreement. 

He can report it to the realtor board for ethics review and see what they say. Keep in mind the same case could be brought to ten different regional realtor boards and they may all rule differently. Life isn't always black and white. It depends on not only the facts, but how it is presented (and how the realtor defends themselves.)

Ultimately I think he is wasting his time, but he seems like a person motivated more by self righteous motives. Those type of people will go to any extent to prove they are right, no matter what they time or expense. Not how I roll. I value my time and beating a dead horse isn't my style. 

Hi @Cal C. ,

Real estate is all about negotiation. While I understand why you would be frustrated in this circumstance, the agent did not do anything "ethically" wrong. There was not a contract signed between ya'll, so this does sound a bit like a disgruntled/ trying to get even approach. 

Find another deal and move forward :) .

Best of luck!

-LK

@Cal C. I’m really curious why you are seemingly stuck on the agent not receiving the 6%? As has been stated, the 6% would have come out of the seller’s pocket, not yours. So why would you care?

Is it just the principal, that you don’t feel he is deserving of this 6%?

More ad hominem attacks from a moderator. 
Originally posted by @Joe Splitrock :
Originally posted by @David Des:
Originally posted by @Joe Splitrock:
Originally posted by @Cal C.:

Twenty something responses and only two have actually answered my question.   Please don't waste your time writing that I was wrong not to agree to the agent getting 6% for making a phone call  and writing a contract or for trying to convince me that having his father slightly outbid me after he found out what I was bidding is not unethical.  

The problem isn't that people aren't answering your questions, it is that you don't like the answer. Here is your questions:

Simply report the agent to the Board of Realtors? No, nothing unethical took place. Multiple realtors told you that.

Report the agent and contact the seller to tell her what happened? No, this is petty and unproductive. The seller doesn't care if you buy it or someone else buys it. In fact they may be unhappy that you pulled your original offer. Many people consider verbal offers binding, so your behavior could be considered unethical too.

Just tell the seller what happened? Again, petty and unproductive. 

Text the original agent to tell him I know he sold the property to his father? He already knows he sold the property to his father. I am guessing the seller does too, because most likely they share the same last name. 

Make an offer to buy the property from his father at the same price I originally offered (JOKING). 

Call his mom, who is his broker and tell her I think what her son and husband did was pretty crappy (obviously she knew all about this)? Petty and unproductive. What mother is going to side with a stranger over her own husband and child? Common sense, come on.

Do Nothing and let fate take care of this unethical family? Yes do nothing, although I disagree that they were unethical.

Something else? I can tell by your responses that you are a difficult person to deal with. I challenge you to consider how many problems you may be creating for yourself. For example, you had this deal and lost it due to a distorted view of fairness. You didn't even cut your own agent in the deal, which is kind of crappy too. 

You cannot confirm that there is nothing unethical , we just dont know the full details . And its pretty funny that you qualified it with " multiple realtors told that " . I hope you understood the irony of your statement .

 We all have opinions on this based on the facts he shared. Of course if he didn't share facts, that could change things. 

I don't see the irony? Realtor code of ethics is an actual written standard, so realtors should be a credible source for knowing if something is ethical by the standards they are trained on. But everyone interprets things differently, so obviously in any topic there will be disagreement. 

He can report it to the realtor board for ethics review and see what they say. Keep in mind the same case could be brought to ten different regional realtor boards and they may all rule differently. Life isn't always black and white. It depends on not only the facts, but how it is presented (and how the realtor defends themselves.)

Ultimately I think he is wasting his time, but he seems like a person motivated more by self righteous motives. Those type of people will go to any extent to prove they are right, no matter what they time or expense. Not how I roll. I value my time and beating a dead horse isn't my style. 

@Cal C. Most real estate boards have a legal hotline that real estate agents can call for free and speak with an attorney and ask legal and ethical questions. Have your agent and or property manager call them up and ask if that would qualify as an ethics violation.

In my opinion it does not. Yes you kind of got screwed but the seller got a better deal and that was the PMs job. So not unethical but sucks for you. Sorry man.

@Marc S.

$200 is okay if you are little to nothing out of pocket but that’s my opinion right? It depends I your goals. Are there other factors? High equity? Low monthly payment? Those may drive the deal outside of the monthly cash flow.

There are a lot of guys that do this strategy well but I feel one packages it on the education side better than anyone. Grant Kemp with creative cash flow. There isn’t a great network of learning on this topic so take a deep dive before you settle on one persons way of doing things.

Next time just go straight to the owner and forget all this. (If not listed)

I used to worry about what people were making.  If it works for me, I'm ok with them making theirs now.

I recently went under contract to buy a place for $47k cash, then gave my buyer a $60k mortgage.  Are you ok with this?  Yes, he said. You found it, negotiated it and funded it. I'm ok with you making a $13k waterfall +  7% in the meantime.  I appreciate the opportunity. 

He had a friend that didn't buy his perfect OO house... because he found out how much the seller was going to make. It was a great deal, great condition, great location, but the seller did too well when he bought. I hope that guy learned a lesson while still searching for a house that good for his family...

I don't think anything unethical happened here.  A 6% fee is not unreasonable.  You could have gone directly to the owner and avoided a fee, but you chose to contact a realtor.  What part do you think is unethical exactly?

Originally posted by @Joe Splitrock :
Originally posted by @David Des:
Originally posted by @Joe Splitrock:
Originally posted by @Cal C.:

Twenty something responses and only two have actually answered my question.   Please don't waste your time writing that I was wrong not to agree to the agent getting 6% for making a phone call  and writing a contract or for trying to convince me that having his father slightly outbid me after he found out what I was bidding is not unethical.  

The problem isn't that people aren't answering your questions, it is that you don't like the answer. Here is your questions:

Simply report the agent to the Board of Realtors? No, nothing unethical took place. Multiple realtors told you that.

Report the agent and contact the seller to tell her what happened? No, this is petty and unproductive. The seller doesn't care if you buy it or someone else buys it. In fact they may be unhappy that you pulled your original offer. Many people consider verbal offers binding, so your behavior could be considered unethical too.

Just tell the seller what happened? Again, petty and unproductive. 

Text the original agent to tell him I know he sold the property to his father? He already knows he sold the property to his father. I am guessing the seller does too, because most likely they share the same last name. 

Make an offer to buy the property from his father at the same price I originally offered (JOKING). 

Call his mom, who is his broker and tell her I think what her son and husband did was pretty crappy (obviously she knew all about this)? Petty and unproductive. What mother is going to side with a stranger over her own husband and child? Common sense, come on.

Do Nothing and let fate take care of this unethical family? Yes do nothing, although I disagree that they were unethical.

Something else? I can tell by your responses that you are a difficult person to deal with. I challenge you to consider how many problems you may be creating for yourself. For example, you had this deal and lost it due to a distorted view of fairness. You didn't even cut your own agent in the deal, which is kind of crappy too. 

You cannot confirm that there is nothing unethical , we just dont know the full details . And its pretty funny that you qualified it with " multiple realtors told that " . I hope you understood the irony of your statement .

 We all have opinions on this based on the facts he shared. Of course if he didn't share facts, that could change things. 

I don't see the irony? Realtor code of ethics is an actual written standard, so realtors should be a credible source for knowing if something is ethical by the standards they are trained on. But everyone interprets things differently, so obviously in any topic there will be disagreement. 

He can report it to the realtor board for ethics review and see what they say. Keep in mind the same case could be brought to ten different regional realtor boards and they may all rule differently. Life isn't always black and white. It depends on not only the facts, but how it is presented (and how the realtor defends themselves.)

Ultimately I think he is wasting his time, but he seems like a person motivated more by self righteous motives. Those type of people will go to any extent to prove they are right, no matter what they time or expense. Not how I roll. I value my time and beating a dead horse isn't my style. 

I agree with you mostly , especially that different realtor boards will treat this differently along with his past history , which is what I stated when one of the members mentioned that he is member of board and he will throw away this case. Opinions are fine . But assumptions are not .

Realtor code of ethics is a written standard , yes , I agree , but I don't agree with your later statement that so realtors are a "credible"source . So I am quoting what you said - "life is not black and white" so we should not assume that , just because something was supposed to be covered and known by realtors , automatically does not that they know it correctly . I have met agents who don't know how to give me a list of sold properties from MLS . This is not a dig against all realtors . Like every field , there are good and bad performers . You can clearly see how some realtors gave a fair and balanced answer in this thread . At the same time there are realtors who declared " nothing is illegal , you are a whiner" .

Also it would have been nice if you didn't come to conclusions about his character. This is an online forum and we don't even know about 0.00001% of his real side. It would be equivalent to me characterizing you as a hypocrite . Because you said "nothing is black and white" but said that " realtors are supposed to know ,so they will know the rules " .Only one of this can be true . By the way I am not concluding anything about you , because I don't know enough about you.

I am also definitely not encouraging the OP to litigate and enter in to disputes , but merely stating that , we need more information to come to a conclusion . 

@Cal C. You should go with the last option you say you have, and Call his Mom. She should know what her family is up to....

Unfortunately you had a deal in hand and let it slip over a few points. Lesson learned, I doubt you’ll let it happen again. Curious how you knew the seller would sell?

you say you cared, even tho you weren't paying the commission? I think that's a case where, you can stand on principle, (which is debatable if you're right or not) and lose the deal. I would take the deal. They do have a right to charge the seller a commission. 

REALTOR is just a designation by NAR. Most state reale state commissions care NOTHING about it. They care about license law violations and protecting the interest of the general public. The state agencies have very limited employees on staff to investigate complaints filed. That is why most states require the complaintent to get the documents certified under oath that they are true and correct. The investigators do not want to waste time with disgruntled buyers and sellers just trying to be vendictive with no real case or valid license law complaint to speak of. Also some buyers and sellers try to use that card as a negotiation tactic with a broker/agent in regards to their commissions.The investigators have very limited budgets and resources so want to work on valid claims that have merit.

Just because someone belongs to NAR and the REALTOR pledge does not mean they do or do not have ethics just like a principal broker/associate broker/agent that is not a REALTOR does not mean they do or do not have ethics.

The NAR ethics pledge the brokers/agents agree to certain possible sanctions if violations are found. The REALTOR stuff is more in the residential realm. Whather residential or commercial I know tons of long time veterans that are not REALTORS and do not want to be.

If you want to be technical about it NAR generally has a system of new agents being sold stuff constantly taking their last penny hucking wares with partnerships of other companies selling services. The new agents brand new or a few years in believe all this crap will make them magically successful so they spend their last dime on it. Just like many business models the money is made off of the herds and the few percentile get how to actually be successful and keep their money versus giving it away.

This was one property. As an investor more properties can be looked at in the future. I lose out on deals sometimes. Sometimes they fall out and come back around and other times they do not. It's part of the business of reale state. We can all speculate on theory and in a perfect ideal world how things should work out but that's not the real world and how deals work in real time.

Carl,

Good on you for going after an off market deal. 

the part i'm not getting is it seems that you and seller agreed on a price and then the agent /pm of the building inserted a 6% commission. So seller pays the commission though so your purchase price is unchanged. it would be different if the agent called back and said , "the seller accepts your price but we need to add 6% on top for my commission," that would of course make it more expensive for you and i would understand your frustration. but it doesn't sound like that is what happened. 

you needed to have a signed contract. all this happened when offer was just floating in the air. 

it sounds like the agent disclosed his family relationship to the seller too

I dont think your agent and pm are being unethical about the matter but the only way i could see you having a case here is if you made the agent and seller sign a non disclosure agreement regarding your offer because then the agent could not tell their relatives how much to offer to out bid you. There are a lot of nuances to this play that i will the lawyers on here dicsuss but that might be your only way to avoid this issue in the future. 

best of luck 

Seller pays commission, he has every right to ask for standard commission for a two side sale, this is how he feeds his kids. If he revealed your offer amount to another buyer there is a ground for reporting, but you would have to be able to prove this. 

Respectfully, 6% is standard and fair, to insinuate otherwise comes off as insulting to the profession.

People seem to be constantly worried about what someone else is making on a deal, whether it's a buyer, seller, wholesaler, flipper, agent, broker.....if the deal works for you, just do it!

I'd advise you to go direct to seller in the future for off market properties. 

To answer your question, I don't see anything unethical. You just stirred the pot unnecessarily and lost the property.  

I feel if the deal was a good price that you could have paid the commission and everyone would have won. If that additional 6% commission hurt your deal I could understand backing out. But either way, 6% should have come from the seller side. So, I don't think he did anything illegal. I just think he saw a good opportunity that you presented but backed out on. 

What he did was most definitely unethical and should have presented it in a different way. So, in a sense, I could see that as being grounds for reporting. If you feel that strongly about it I suggest you make a few phone calls and see if it is a punishable offense. I know I don't have all the details so it's hard to say. 

This post has been removed.

Originally posted by @Shannon Threlkeld :

Seller pays commission, he has every right to ask for standard commission for a two side sale, this is how he feeds his kids. If he revealed your offer amount to another buyer there is a ground for reporting, but you would have to be able to prove this. 

Respectfully, 6% is standard and fair, to insinuate otherwise comes off as insulting to the profession.

 There is absolutely nothing that states you cant reveal another offer. This is a huge misconception.  

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