Home Buying in 92869>Question Details

Garcia Kinca…, Real Estate Pro in Orange, CA

A lead from Trulia recently contacted me regarding a listing agent asking for cash (up front and under the table) to guarantee she would get the home.

Asked by Garcia Kincaid Group, Orange, CA Sat Dec 8, 2012

She declined to do this and wondered if this was the norm. I was so taken back by this. The amount requested was $15,000.00. I have been fortunate to not encounter anything like this in the past. The home has been on and off hold for a month. When I called and asked agent what was going on with the home, he said it was none of my business, it is on hold. I think I can report this, but the buyer does not want her name mentioned and does not want to be involved with anything. I also do not know what kind of consequences reporting this would bring. I am sad to see such unethical behavior. Any input is appreciated.

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Garcia Kincaid Group’s answer
Good Morning,
I just want to offer a sincere Thank You to each of you who took the time to offer you input. I have decided not to report it as the truth remains that I do not have concrete information. I will however take Thom Colby's advice and pass the information along to someone can research and perhaps bring this agent to justice if he is indeed guilty of committing this fraud. I am so thankful for this forum to ask questions. If anyone hasn't caught on yet,while I have had my license since 2007, I only recently started my career in Real Estate this past year. I was working full time for the County and was laid off while I was pregnant with my twin babies. I am so thankful for this wonderful career that is flexible and allows me to use my education and energy to help others. It is very refreshing to gain insight from all of the agents on this site and I sincerely appreciate it. Please do not hesitate to contact me if there is any way I can be of help as well. I am bi-lingual (Spanish), and would be glad to translate (free of charge) for any of the agents who have answered questions I have posted. Thank you again!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 9, 2012
The "On Hold" status is strictly an MLS related term, the full description of "on Hold" is "On Hold Do Not show" & this could be for a variety of reasons, including personal to the seller.

I think it's a little harsh for the listing agent to just say "none of your beeswax", but maybe they don't want to go into detail about why the seller needs it to be on hold. Maybe they're going through BK & it's an emotional time for them, maybe their kids are living there & they're in the process of moving out, maybe it's an unruly tenant, who knows.

You could probably report it, but there are plenty of reasons why a home might be on hold & the listing agent doesn't really need or want to explain why. Really I don't see how you could "report violation anonymously" either, it's on hold, it's on hold. There's no violation for having a listing on hold.

That aside, the listing agent asking for $15k under the table to ensure a buyer get a property.....You better have proof or a recording. And if the buyer doesn't want to be a part of it, it sounds like reporting it isn't going to do any good, in court it would be 'hearsay' evidence.

In my experience a property "on Hold" is a property already under contract & if the listing agent doesn't want to discuss anything with you, they've got their buyer & if that buyer backs out, they probably already have another one lined up.

Maybe you can be this buyer's hero & find them another property that will work for them & one that they're happy with.

Emily S. Knell
562-430-3053 c
Realtor Since 1996
Realty ONE Group
Short Sale Specialist - 100% success rate
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 8, 2012
that is very unethical. I would be reporting this to their broker and the ethics branch of the local realtors board.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 10, 2013
OK, this is wrong on so many levels!!!!!

Agents like this do a grave disservice to our profession and need to be reported to the DRE ASAP!!!!!

Kawain Payne, Realtor
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 9, 2013
That's a great offer, Heather.

I urge you to reconsider about taking action on this, however. I still don't think you have any "information." For all you know, this "lead" could be his crazy seller, and that would explain his emotional charge when discussing this listing.

You are a truly good person, but turn it around - how would you feel if you were "reported" because a stranger contacted an agent on Trulia and said bad things about you?

All the best,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 9, 2012
Thanks Mack,
I appreciate your analysis. I am just not satisfied to do absolutely nothing. I am following not only the majority of advice from this post, but also my gut instinct. I am going to pass this on to a professional who is in the business of getting to the bottom of crime, whether this agent is innocent or guilty, I believe that is is worth the effort to find out the truth. I am not "reporting" him. I am passing on the accusation made by my "trulia buyer lead" to this attorney. I will follow up on this as it unfolds if there is anything that comes out of it. Thank again very much for this insight.
Flag Sun Dec 9, 2012
When you log on to the MLS you can do an anonymous report under the listing at the very bottom. You do not need to mention your name or your clients' name. I agree with Erin in that you are doing an injustice by not doing anything. This issue needs to be looked into further, ethics are just the very beginning...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 9, 2012
Melissa, thank you and to be clear, I am contacting Rony Rackauckas tomorrow who is an attorney who I hope can look into this and catch this agent. I want this to be further looked into and I will provide follow up as I gain more information. Thank you.
Flag Sun Dec 9, 2012
They will lose their license. I would report it to the DRE and to their broker! Agents like this give all of us a bad name. Letting this slide, does no justice to the rest of us who value our career, morals, ethics and take our job seriously. We are hired to put OUR CLIENTS best interest first, not our own wallet.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 8, 2012
Hi, I'm with you in terms of being disgusted with underhanded or unethical tactics. But unfortunately since the buyer does not want to get involved there will be little to go on to make a case. First though, is the buyer telling the truth, and is it possible that he or she misunderstood what the listing agent was proposing?

If you're confident that the event happened in the way the lead described it, then the first place you should go is to your broker and get some advice. If I were the broker, then I would put in a call to the listing agent's broker just to make him or her aware that this complaint had taken place in case there are other things happening with the listing agent that might be of concern.

You could also recommend to the lead that he or she could complain to the agent's broker, but without corroboration there isn't a whole lot more than you can do. And if you don't have the complete facts in front of you it wouldn't be fair to the agent to simply lodge a complaint when in fact it might not be true. But usually when someone is that blatant they eventually get caught and the penalties aren't light when they do. I hope this helps, good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 8, 2012
"On hold" status in our MLS is supposed to be no longer than 2 serie for construction, repairs, etc. If it needs to be off market longer then it Should be placer in "withdrawn" status. Usually when a listing moves back and dirty beteeen Active and hope every 2 serie, something is not right.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 8, 2012
What's a "serie"?
Flag Sat Dec 8, 2012
Whether this story is true or not, after recently having to take the ethics exam to maintain my license I realize what a crock the notion that realtors adhere to this lofty standard of ethics. Over the last year alone I have had four different listing clients be solicited to change agencies WHILE THE PROPERTY WAS LISTED ON THE MLS with us, and had at least 10 buyer clients tell me that agents tried to convince them to change after being informed they already had a broker .

It's a shame because there are a lot of agents/brokers out there who honor client relationships and look out for their clients, but it's a slimy pool we swim in...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 8, 2012
At least let us know the name of tha unethical agent, to call her and ask, if she keeps doing it, we can report her.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 8, 2012
Why do you believe this person?

I applaud you for wanting to do the right thing and bring bad agents to justice, but you have a pretty much anonymous caller telling you something that you can't verify about an obviously rude agent and you want to fight this battle?

If you ask me, I believe that the agent said that the home was "on hold," whatever that means, and I believe that they told you it was none of your business. However, that's not the same thing as proof that they had asked the buyer to front $15,000 in cash in order to get the home.

As the buyer doesn't want to pursue this, I would advise you not to, either.

All the best,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 8, 2012
Call your local association. You can be anonymous. Also, If n OC, call Tony Rokakas (sp?) The AG, he's looking for bad apples.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 8, 2012
I heard of an agent offering money on the side to a listing agent to help ensure that the buyer got the property. The listing agent reported it to the manager. Turned out it wasn't against the rules for a bribe to be offered - surprisingly - but that it would have been against the rules for the listing agent to take the money. Truthfully I myself don't know what the meaning of "against the rules" is - is it illegal? Not sure of the consequences either.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 8, 2012
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