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Mike Kelly A…, Real Estate Pro in Santa Rosa, CA

Accidental Agency? Are we creating Agency Relationships by our Answers?

Asked by Mike Kelly Allison Norman, Santa Rosa, CA Fri Jul 18, 2008

I saw this in a recent post where an agent responded to a question by including this line at the end of his reply: "This advice does not imply or create an agency relationship." Have we come to this? Is this something Trulia should have as a "agree to these terms" when folks enter a question for the Agents? Is their case law driving this?Paranoia? Your thoughts? (and your answer will NOT constitute any agency between myself and YOU!--at least I think!?)

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Answers

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My question about property value, Sylvia, may not apply in CA. But in places where the buyer is your customer, answering that would be a client level service.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 20, 2008
Oh, and the other thing is I agree with you, I never (o.k. almost never, I don't promise) answer a question about property value or anything that's very location specific. It will be a disservice if I do so.

I let the local experts to do that.

Sylvia
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 20, 2008
Sylvia Barry,…, Real Estate Pro in Marin, CA
MVP'08
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Hi Elvis - no worries - I was not pointing out anything from your answer, just give a complete (at least I hope) answer to J.R.'s quesiton. I am more worried about people using Trulia to bypass Realtors to represent them, which I suspect, from my recent encounters, there are quite a few. We need to be smart about answering questions.

Sylvia
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 20, 2008
Sylvia Barry,…, Real Estate Pro in Marin, CA
MVP'08
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because some local agents will answer and could be accurate.
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Sylvia, I did say that the original poster might stumble upon a local agent who DOES have an idea what the property is worth... but since the original poster doesn't know if they've found someone with local knowledge, or not... they can't really count on the answer, and therefore a pointless question.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 20, 2008
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
MVP'08
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I think it's fine to answer how much MLS #??? is worth because we would have answer that if somebody comes in and I don' believe it's not ethical to do so either - not for what Elvis mentioned, because some local agents will answer and could be accurate.

I think it's foolish if we answer those kind of questions. I suspect that there are some people on Trulia doing FSBO or buying a property by themselves or with the listing agent (just want a break in fees but do not trust the listing agent) or with discount brokerage. They'd try to find out how much a property is real worth by coming on Trulia.

If we continue to answer those questions, it may or may not be ethical (which I think it is) but it's just plain old foolish if we continue to answer those questions.

They need to ask their own agents those very detail type of questions.

Sylvia
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 20, 2008
Sylvia Barry,…, Real Estate Pro in Marin, CA
MVP'08
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Michael, I don't believe that any agency relationship is formed, here on Trulia, by answering questions that are posted by buyers or sellers. It's no more of an agency relationship than answering questions posed at a cocktail party.

And JR... I don't think we're forming an agency relationship by answering "what do you think 1234 Sherman Avenue is worth", and I'm not sure that we're breaking an ethical barrier... but I think it's a foolish question to ask and a foolish question to answer.

Random agents, wandering the internet, without having done a proper analysis of the property, have very little idea what 1234 Sherman is worth. You might stumble on an agent who works in the area, who might have some decent knowledge about what the property is truly worth... maybe they even managed to show the property, so they have a good idea of what it's worth.

But as the person who posted the question, you have no idea who the agent is, or whether they really know the value, and therefore the answer is worthless, making the question pointless.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 20, 2008
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
MVP'08
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Sylvia do you think it is ethical to answer questions such as "tell me what you think MLS # XXXXX is worth?"
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 20, 2008
That's not a rodent, that's a cute puppy, right? J.R?

I don't consider I am building an agency relationship with anybody here online. If they want to, they can check my profile and contact me. Otherwise, I am not their agent.

I do think it's really poor for some agent on Trulia to answer a question posted by a buyer/seller who has an agent working for them and tell them to contact him/her so they can get the business.

I think if the poster like the answers they get and really have problems with their agent, they should come to the conclusion by themselves instead of being prompted.

Not how we run things here!

Sylvia
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 19, 2008
Sylvia Barry,…, Real Estate Pro in Marin, CA
MVP'08
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Rick, you should be concerned that you get your account pulled.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 19, 2008
What concerns me more are agents who seem to be interfering with an agency relationship.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 19, 2008
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