Home Selling in 22305>Question Details

Blackgoldp, Home Seller in 22305

broker revealed personal information to potential buyer

Asked by Blackgoldp, 22305 Fri Oct 14, 2011

Sellers agent provided sellers cell phone number to buyers agent without sellers permission. Seller received multiple phone calls from buyers agent wanting to know what he could do to get his client the house. Did the seller break the confidential information clause in the listing agreement?

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Something seems a little amuck with this situation. Are you SURE your listing agent gave the Buyer agent your cell phone number or did the buyer agent just say that? Or did you just assume that? Wasi it in the public listing to call for appointments? Even so, the issue isn't that the seller agent may have given out your number. The issue is that the BUYER AGENT went "behind the sign" and contacted you directly. It is never okay for a buyer agent to speak to a seller directly about selling the house or to discuss "what he can do to get the client the house". That discuss should have gone through the listing agent. It is the buyer agent that has breached his code of ethics by attempting to do business with you directly. I hope that you reported this immediately to your listing and agent and also told the caller to "please call your listing agent to discuss the sale of the house."
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 20, 2012
I would recommend contacting the local Realtor Association and asking them.
Flag Tue Feb 24, 2015
Thanks for your reply. Unfortunately the sellers agent did provide the number, they admitted to doing it because she (the sellers agent) really liked the buyer and felt the seller would sell if she spoke directly to the agent/buyer. After reporting this agent to her manager, she had to apologize and the seller walked away from that deal (for a variety of reasons). The house sold a month later for more money.
Flag Mon Oct 22, 2012
Hi Blackgoldp,
Maybe just keep the house, that'll fix em. no sale = no commission. Good Luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 21, 2011
When signing the listing agreement with a brokerage i.e. the listing agent, Seller and listing agent should agree on what information is shared within the listing brokerage and or for the purpose of making appointments...

There should not be any direct contact between Buyers Agent and Seller (other than through the Seller's listing agent!!!!!!) The buyers agent should have know better!

Once a contract has agreed upon by both sides, signed and all changes initialed by the buyers and then the
contract signed also by the Sellers, then often each party has a copy of the executed contract with contact
info and current addresses on the last page of the contract with each sides respective Realtors and Attorneys, for the purpose of receiving needed information either through their attorneys or.....

But no matter what there should not be any negotiations directly conducted in any form between Buyers Agent and Seller ----- Not sure what compelled the Seller's agent to provide the buyers agent with the
sellers' cell phone number at that stage...

Hope this helps..... Agreeing and discussing all possibilities and what you the seller do not want your
Realtor to do, early on at the time of the listing agreement..... next time :)

Good luck to you
Edith YourRealtor4Life! And YourChicago&NorthernIllinois Expert
Working always in the very BEST interest of her clients... :)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 15, 2011
From what your last post indicated, your agent doesn't appear to now be working in your best interests - she may *think* she is, but you clearly do not agree. Giving out your phone number was wrong, of course, but the bigger issue is this relationship has clearly gone off the rails, which is not going to help get your house sold.

I agree with the advice to either contact the Broker and work out another arrangement, OR sever the relationship with the brokerage completely.

Out of curiosity, did the Buyer's Agent tell you your agent had given out your number or did you assume that to be the case? If it was in the MLS listing or in the phone book, then it's harder to make a case against the agent unless the other agent specifically told you so.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 14, 2011
I agree with Don, I can't imagine any scenario in which I would give my clients information to the buyers agent. In general, I use a showing company so that the seller is not even the point of contact for showings for the buyers agent. I personally believe the less contact between the sellers and the buyers agent, the better.

From your accounts of the story I would certainly contact the listing agents broker and file a complaint with NVAR as Don suggested. If you were the point of contact for the showing of the home, and the agent could have received your phone number from the listing (per your instructions) then you might loose the case for the buyer agent having your number, but I still think there is a wrong doing. AND, if the buyers agent is contacting you directly without going through the listing agent, there might be some wrong doing on their part as well. Agents should always be speaking to the representation of the alternate party and never directly to a client of another agent.

Start with the listing broker and go from there. It also sounds like the listing agent was being unprofessional by sending you an email that was less than nice.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 14, 2011
Dear Seller,

Did the listing agent gave the cell phone number of the seller to be contacted for an appointment to see an occupied property? If this was the scenario then seller & listing agent should complaint to the buyer agent broker..... Your realtor was just trying to do his/her job and the problem would be the other agent.
With that said, is ALWAYS your right to cancel the listing, for whatever reason! If you need a new Realtor, a VERY ethical one, I'm just a call away.


Maridol Garcia-Joy, Realtor, ABR, CAS, ASP
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc.
Alexandria /Kingstowne Center
5911 Kingstowne Village Pkwy Ste 100
Alexandria VA 22315
Cell 703-655-0777
Fax 703-922-8835
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 14, 2011
Legally and professionally speaking, real estate agent should NEVER disclose client's - seller's or buyer's - any personal or financial information without clien't approval - in writing.

As for accepting the offer, LEGALLY no agent can force the seller to accept an offer unless the seller choses to accept it because the seller believes it is an acceptable offer.

HOWEVER - there is always however - LEGALLY, the listing broker can sue the seller for compensation IF the listing broker can prove that they delivered what the seller hired them to do: to produce a good market value offer - or according to the terms the Seller and the Listing Broker agreed to in the Listing Agreement - and the seller refused to accept the offer.

In summary: Seller is NOT obligated to accept any offers or sell against the will, but the seller MUST perform according to the Listing Agreement signed with the Listing Broker. What was your agreement with the Listing Agent?

Check your Listing Agreement and speak with your broker - there is no problem that cannot be worked out. IF you still believe the Listing Broker does not represent your best interests, you can always file a complaint with your local Association of REALTORS - assuming that your agent is a REALTOR, as Associations do NOT have control over real estate agents who are not REALTORS. For this reason you should ALWAYS hire a REALTOR.
If not a REALTOR, you can file a complaint with DPOR: http://www.dpor.virginia.gov/dporweb/complaintform.pdf

Good Luck,

Vivianne Rutkowski
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 14, 2011
My colleagues have given some fine answers below..however..my 20 + years experience may lead me to take a little harsher action. In my opinion..get an unconditional release PERIOD. Do not let the broker assign you to another agent in the firm..this rewards the broker for having nitwits working at his firm. I abhor the lack of professionalism.

After you obtain your unconditional release...get a new agent. Make sure the agent is qualified and professional. Then allow them to massage this deal to a win win. My guess is that it can be done and I have done it on a number of occasions.

Best of luck to you and if I can assist..please contact me.

Kind Regards,

Erik J. Weisskopf, ABR,CDPE,CRS,GRI
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 14, 2011
That clears up a lot. Get rid of that agent - PERIOD. The broker of the office can assign another agent in the office if they won't release you from the listing agreement -- which is between you and the real estate company, not the agent that you are working with. Many sellers do not understand this fact. No one should tell you what deal to accept of not, save that email and show it to the broker.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 14, 2011
Based on your question and your follow-up comment, assuming you're the seller, contact the listing agent's broker immediately. Like now. Fill him/her in on everything that's been going on. If your account is accurate, the seller's agent has been acting unethically. If that doesn't work, contact the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors (NVAR). Here's the link on how to file a complaint: http://nvar.com/arbitration-and-grievance/filing-a-complaint

Technically, I don't know where the provision of the phone number stands. However, in general, an agent should be representing his/her client. And that means that such information isn't to be provided unless approved of by the seller. Also, professionally, it's a really bad idea for the buyer's agent to contact the seller directly when the seller has an agent. The communication should go from the buyer's agent to the seller's agent.

Finally, the buyer's agent already knew the best way to help his client get the house: Make a full-price offer. Now, there are still sometimes reasons for rejecting full-price offers--usually revolving around contingencies. And you note that you had some concerns about financing. So perhaps even a full-price offer might not be sufficient. But that certainly would have been the next step the potential buyers should have taken.

Anyhow, call the agent's broker and let him/her know what's been going on.

Hope that helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 14, 2011
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA
Oh wow. Assuming you are the seller and based on your last post, please get in touch with the listing agent's broker asap.

This behavior is beyond unacceptable.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 14, 2011
The seller rejected multiple offers from this buyer due to low offers and concerns about their financing. Following last rejection, sellers agent wrote a nasty email to seller blasting her for not taking the deal. She then provided the phone number to the buyers agent to "help the sale". Agent didn't ask permission to give phone number, just gave it out.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 14, 2011
The sellers job is to sell your house and I think it is sloppy for the sellers agent to bypass his job by letting the buyers agent negotiate with the seller directly. With that said, I think the motive was good in that the sellers agent is working towards an agreement that both parties can accept, I disagree with the way they did it. I often turn to verbal offers when the countering becomes continuous to avoid writing up dozens of offers. It sounds like your agent got tired of the counter offers going back and forth. Like I said, I disagree with the way they acted.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 14, 2011
Were you not answering calls from your agent? I work closely with Realtors and hear this often. If that is the reason the agent provided your number then he/she did the same thing I would do. If that is not the case and you have a full service listing agreement I would question why he/she did not set up the showing appointment personally. If it was out of laziness or if the agent was working at another job other than real estate it may be time to interview for a new Realtor.

Beyond that, how bad do you want to sell your home? I would welcome the selling agent’s calls if I were motivated. Hope this helps,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 14, 2011
If sellers signed the privacy form which described not do reveal the phone number,then listing agent not suppose to reveal the phone number.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 14, 2011
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