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Old 10-22-2008, 08:28 PM
1,305 posts, read 1,956,311 times
Reputation: 238


As some of you know, I made an offer on a short sale property through my real estate agent. The bank was not able to respond in time and the property was likely foreclosed last Friday. I say likely because the listing agent said the owners filed for bankruptcy, delaying the sale for eight weeks.

I then decided to pull out of the transaction and submitted a letter withdrawing my offer to my real estate agent and in turn she sent it to the listing agent.

Here's my question: Today I received an e-mail from the listing agent saying she can help me make on offer on this property and submit directly to the agent who will list it for the bank. I've heard a lot about the ethics of agents stealing clients from other agents, and I'm wondering if this is a case of "client stealing"?

If so, what would the best thing to do about it? Obviously I let the agent who represented me as a buyer know about the e-mail. (I've since decided to work with a different firm for my next offer, but we left on good terms.) Will the Board of Real Estate in Washington State be concerned about this? I'm not thinking there is a law that prohibits client stealing, so I'm not sure they would be concerned about this.

Thanks! I appreciate all the advice you guys have given me so far.
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Old 10-22-2008, 08:31 PM
Location: Austin
6,906 posts, read 16,143,330 times
Reputation: 8983
YES, this is VERY unethical! The agent is just upset because she didn't get paid before the foreclosure so she's trying to make back some of the expenses she had, but it's very unethical.

And if you go back to that same house with the new agent, be careful about "procurring cause" as the first agent might have a case if they wanted to pursue it.
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Old 10-22-2008, 09:00 PM
Location: Barrington
39,253 posts, read 29,785,783 times
Reputation: 13293
You should not hesitate to file a complaint with the local board, assuming the listing agent is a member of that board. Your now former agent probably should do the same.

When consumers do not pursue this kind of stuff, it persists.
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Old 10-22-2008, 09:09 PM
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
2,124 posts, read 7,619,446 times
Reputation: 804
that is gross. Makes you wonder if your offer was presented properly (I remember your posts about the whole ordeal) and handled properly. I would complain to her broker and the local board, and the licensing authority (here it is DPOR)... I don't know about your area.

I hate to be an agent basher (and go back and read my posts and you will see that I don't do that) but in this case, well, I think you should report it.

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Old 10-23-2008, 01:38 PM
Status: "If the phone doesn't ring, it's me" (set 27 days ago)
Location: Mokelumne Hill, CA & El Pescadero, BCS MX.
6,953 posts, read 17,983,312 times
Reputation: 6324
Well it's sixteen ways to slimy and I think you've chosen the correct path to take. Because I can be nasty from time to time, I'd call the agent back up and say "Thanks for the offer of assistance and if I ever find myself needing a slimy real estate agent, I'll call you back" Click.

My wife hates it when I do stuff like that
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Old 10-23-2008, 01:38 PM
192 posts, read 525,003 times
Reputation: 66
Please ask questions of the broker involved. YOU HAVE RIGHTS. If it seems wrong - check it out. Too many consumers just "let it go" and let it happen again to another person. Too many of us truly care and work very, very hard for our customers and clients. If there is a question - for goodness sake - ask it now. Best of luck!!
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Old 10-23-2008, 02:09 PM
Location: Salem, OR
13,529 posts, read 30,417,524 times
Reputation: 11483
It is not client stealing if the agent that sent you the email is aware that you terminated your relationship with the other agent and that termination occured BEFORE she sent you the email. Agents solicit expired and terminated contracts all of the time.

If the agent is NOT aware that you terminated the relationship then it is totally slimy. I would pick a completely different agent and firm to work with since the agent has no ethics.
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Old 10-23-2008, 02:14 PM
1,305 posts, read 1,956,311 times
Reputation: 238
Thanks guys.

I forwarded the e-mail to my (former) real estate agent and decided to let her take care of it. I looked and it's not against any state laws against it here in Washington, so so I'll let my R.E. agent handle it as she feels fit.
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Old 10-31-2008, 02:07 PM
1,305 posts, read 1,956,311 times
Reputation: 238
Here's the latest: The listing agent tells me that she knows the who will be the listing the property for the bank and she has other real estate agents interested in looking at that property. She will provide that information (who will sell it for the bank) to other real estate agents who want to look at the property.

However - when I asked if she would provide the same information to an agent that I am working with - she said "no, your agent will have to find out on their own." (I have this in an e-mail).

I'm assuming that withholding information from my agent so I will stop working with them is unethical, correct?

I have a phone call out to the broker in charge and have sent the e-mails, we will see what happens.
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Old 10-31-2008, 04:22 PM
Location: Palm Coast, Fl
2,249 posts, read 7,740,851 times
Reputation: 994
Well isn't she a little pip that one. She probably knows who the listing is going to because the listing agent called her. Or she gleaned the information because she was initially involved. If it's the latter, she is in ethical violation. Those are not state laws, it's NAR ethics. So, first off she would have to be a Realtor® not just a licensed person. It would be difficult to prove how she got the information. And trust me, this happens all the time, where agents will "share" with certain other agents and not others.
She may not even know and is just saying she knows, by the way.
There are a couple of things that can be done. Your agent or you can call the bank to see if they will tell them..it's an REO so the bank can disclose anything to anyone they want. Sometimes they will even have it listed on the bank website. Or, you can wait for it to be listed by an agent and go buy the house.
Like I said, she's a little pip. I think contacting her broker is a good way to handle it but don't be surprised if you don't get too far.
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