Home Buying in 85037>Question Details

Grijalvaa, Home Buyer in Albuquerque, NM

What fail-safes are in place to deter realtors from unethical sales practices?

Asked by Grijalvaa, Albuquerque, NM Wed Feb 16, 2011

Upon putting an offer on a home in Phoenix, the realtor replies saying the property is sold, yet I show it still on the market long after my offer. Are realtors taking bribes on these properties?

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If you believe you were a victim of unethical behavior, you can file a complaint at the arizona department or real estate website. There is also a recovery fund for anyone that suffered a loss from a violation of the rules. http://www.re.state.az.us/EnC/RecFund.aspx It is hard to say what happened in your situation though without more of the facts.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 28, 2011
Amazing answers ...

Have you had a second set of eyes look up the property? If not, what's the address ... 99 percent of the time there's a simple answer that doesn't involve anything illegal.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 17, 2011
Every transaction is different and I would need more information than what you provided to know. I doubt they are taking a "bribe", from whom? FYI this is one of the worst markets since the Great Depressions. Are they a Realtor or a Real Estate Agent, Realtors have a higher bar for ethics. No matter what the industry, there will be those that will lower the bar for standards, but not all are that way.

How are you seeing that it is still "available", on here or Zillow because the information is old. What could have happened is it was Active Contingent when you wanted to look and it fell through, if that is the case your agent didn’t do anything wrong. Loans fall through, buyers change their minds, and properties do come back onto the market. If it is still available, put in an offer.
Good luck.
Spirit Messingham
Tierra Antigua Realty
Tucson, AZ
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 17, 2011
What is your source of listing status? If it's not our FLEXMLS system and it's some 3rd party website, those sites can take days, some weeks or month to update.

I'm understand your frustration! Some agents don't change the status right away, even if they have an offer. The are fishing for more leads. This type of action can be brought to the attention of the MLS compliance department as well as the agent's broker.

As for the bribes, it's not a good idea for anyone to be involved in any sort of bribery.

Best of luck!
Web Reference: http://www.jameswehner.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 16, 2011
The direct answer to your question is, REALTORs abide by a code of ethics and therefore must uphold the highest of standards and integrity. Failing to do so is extremely costly and you risk ruining your reputation, your business and your life. Now just like any other profession you can certainly have a few bad apples. That being said and I apologize for the redundancy but two things are necessary to understand your situation better. 1) Where are you seeing the property as still available and 2) are you represented by a buyers agent?

It is not uncommon in this market for properties to also fall out of contract so it's possible that at the time of your inquiry the property was pretty much ready to close and somehow came back on the market. Also, is it a distressed sale. There are so many variables at play here but the simple answer to your original question is yes there are things in place to deter unethical practices. Are they fail-safe, no, which is why bad apples emerge. I really hope that's not the case for you. Good Luck and I'm going to give you access to the real AZ MLS below. When you go to the site and go to "search homes" you'll be able to see homes just like we REALTORs in AZ do. This is real time information. So, if you know the properties MLS # you can look it up. If the status shows AWC, Pending etc. then it's most likely not available. If it shows ACTIVE - it most likely is. The only caveat is, that while the info on here is real time and deemed reliable, it is only as reliable as the person who updated it. So if for any reason they didn't update the status accurately then it may be wrong. By having representation and an agent who's employed to represent you and has a fiduciary duty to you you can avoid some of this guess work. All the best
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 16, 2011
Any realtor is only as good as their information and when the pass on unreliable information it can become problematic.

There may be a legitimate reason for the property to be active on the local MLS. There may have been variety of problems that caused this including: problems with the title, contingencies not being met, the buyer backing out of the deal, major inspection problems, etc.

Any of these issues could result in a delay or cancellation of the contract....it doesn't mean the agent is unethical, crooked, or manipulating a situation. Our recommendation is to stay on the safe side and always get the facts prior to accusing anyone of anything.


0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 16, 2011
Great question but complex answer if we do not have more details about the transaction, in many cases agents submitted offers to active properties to later realize that they are under contract or sold, this could happen for different reasons, one of them and the most common one is the listing agent did not change the status in the MRIS or MLS, this is a violation of the MLS regulations and the listing agent would be penalize with a fine (normally this is the only penalty), in other situations agents are waiting for contigencies in the process the contract could fell through, if you get in the midle of this situation your agent need to get in touch asap with the listing agent.

Carlos Caraballo
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 16, 2011
I would also ask on what venue is it still show
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 16, 2011
Just because a sale isn't yet showing as sold or pending in the MLS does not mean there isn't an offer on it. Contingencies are often shown as Active/Contingent for example. There are many reasons you could be told that a home is sold while it stiil shows as an active listing on the MLS. There is just not enough information here to make any kind of a firm statement about the situation.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 16, 2011
Not sure what sites you are referring to, however, keep in mind that not all online information is accurate nor up to date, and it's only as good as the feeding source--Realtors do have a Code of Ethics and you may wish to Google search; if you feel the agent was/is unethical, contact his/her broker first and express your concerns; he/she can also be reported to the local board of realty.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 16, 2011
The first and biggest 3 things that come to mind are:
1) Fines (potential other legal issues)
2) Loss of professional License
3) Public/Personal humiliation

But I guess not everyone puts the same weight into these as they should......
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 16, 2011
Can you prove it ? if yes then report the Realtor involve. I have heard about bribes with auctions but not actual listing.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 16, 2011
Great question and can only be answered by knowing more about the situation.

Question 1: Do you have a buyers agent representing you? If not you should as a good buyers agent can explain what is really going on.

Doug McVinua

Arizona Homes for Sale by a Guy from Iowa
Web Reference: http://www.McVinua.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 16, 2011
Depending on where you are getting your information there may be some confusion. Listings on Trulia and several other sites are not always up to date. I have to manually change them in my MLS which does not feed Trulia and several other sites, so I then have to make the changes there too. Many agents don't follow through and do this, so it’s possible the agent is correct.
Your best bet is to have a good local agent working specifically for you and updating you through the local Multiple Listing Service. As an agent, if I submit an offer and I don't feel it was handled properly I know the options available to me to get my concerns resolved.
If a Realtor is guilty of unethical practices, they can be fined, suspended or lose their license depending on the State and local rules and the violation.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 16, 2011
While there is no knowing what the exact problem is here it is important that if you feel that the situation has been mishandled you can approach it by two different directions.

#1. Contact the local board where the listing is held and make a complaint. Generally the board will not approve of these practices. They will generally fine the agent or all together no longer allow them to list properties in that particular board (mls).

#2. If you feel that there were any unethical practices completed by the listing agent then you may also approach the Department of Real Estate to file a complaint in your state.

There is no rule that they have to accept your offer but certain practices are frowned upon.

All the best of luck.
Jonathan Katz - Absolute Consultant Group
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 16, 2011
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