How do I report a real estate agent for unethical behavior?

Asked by JM, 95037 Thu Apr 26, 2012

I recently made an offer on a piece of real estate we loved very much. The listing agency did not submit our offer to the seller (found out from the neighbor), electing to submit a lesser offer because that offer was made through the same agent. This of course gave the listing agent full commission. I believe this is very unethical behavior (greed) and they should be reported to what ever authority or authorities that will help. Can anyone please help me find these reporting agencies? Thank you!

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68
Robert White…, Agent, Morgan Hill, CA
Sun Apr 29, 2012
So let me see if I have this right. A consumer comes onto this board indicating that they are concerned about the behavior of a real estate agent and some of you want to criticize those that give this person the information they need to contact the proper agency to deal with this kind of thing?

Well that is just dandy. You know what, you are entitled to your opinion but that is exactly the kind of attitude that A) we don't need in our business and B) why members of our profession are among the least trusted. This idea that somehow we are "throwing another agent under the bus" is the kind of intellectual dishonesty that supports the popular conclusion that realtors are not to be trusted.

Your response implies that we all should have sat quietly as someone tried to work through the process of an agents possible violation of law or ethics. Well that is just grand.

The bottom line is that it is not up to YOU to decide if this persons issue has merit. There is a system in place that makes that determination. By helping this person get access to that process, we encourage a more responsible real estate agent community.

Frankly, I don't care about other trades. Most other trades don't carry a fiduciary responsibility, or handle the single greatest investment of a persons life. What we do is serious business and in cases where a consumer is concerned over behavior we MUST allow that person to work through the process.

Whew... sorry.... rant over.

Robert
33 votes
here is the thing, I have never met a single honest lender, appraiser, broker , or Agent.

To even assert there are some out there that are remotely trustworthy is a lie.

The old saying is expect 10% truth in the industry, the rest is the built in and widely known fact that the rest is bullcrap.


You will get bamboozled, best thing you can do is be prepared to get screwed, and always retain a attorney and never sign anything without going over it with them.
Flag Tue Jun 27, 2017
Robert White, there's no way on God's Green Earth to whitewash your crooked profession. You are well-protected and WE THE PEOPLE get SCREWED! There's nobody to help us when you are done WRONG! You get a pass for stealing our money, being lied to, being lazy, not marketing our property, not getting a security deposit on your rental and they sign the papers that they secured a security deposit. Plus many realtors only have a high school education. Many are dumber than rocks. They've dumbed down the boards or exams to make every realtor pass and BINGO YOU'RE A BADASS REALTOR! You go to school for a few weeks, take the easy test and you're on your way to CHEAT US!!!!
Flag Thu Jun 15, 2017
Crooked unethical realtors are everywhere. I've been cheated by realtors in PA, LA, GA, and TX. They are all crooks. 85% to 90% are crooked as hell. The real estate commission in every state is Corrupt too! They will side time and time again with the realtors and they're well-protected by the largest lobby group in the country. An attorney told me that nifty information. The attorneys do all the hard paper work making sure everything is in proper order and the realtor does FLUFF WORK and figuring out how to CHEAT AND SCAM YOU. I hate realtors with a Passion.
Flag Thu Jun 15, 2017
Yup your the problem. Yes this behavior was unethical and the offer should have been submitted as requested. YOUR profession deserves to have as many of you thrown under the bus as possible.
Flag Sat Feb 11, 2017
great rant :)
Flag Thu Dec 15, 2016
The folks who are "annoyed" that a unethical piece of crap is being held accountable for their actions are EXACTLY the problem not only in this industry but others as well. I'm just guessing but I'd say those folks are as ethical as the agent described in the post...THAT is the problem. Unless they take a look at that behavior and KNOW how wrong it is the industry will never change. The "hurray for me and up yours" mentally can only go away when people are held accountable. If you wouldn't want your actions posted on the front page of the NEWSPAPERS then DON'T DO IT! It's really that simple.
Flag Thu Dec 15, 2016
Many are bastards
Flag Thu Dec 15, 2016
Robert, Thank you. I have been successful in our industry since 1981 and think I have seen it all--practicing in Ohio, Florida and New Hampshire. There are many professional, ethical agents and brokers out there, let's do our best to keep it that way.
Flag Thu Dec 15, 2016
Repent
Flag Thu Aug 25, 2016
I have an unethical realtor, broker and owner of a REMAX right now.
Flag Thu Jul 14, 2016
THANK YOU ROBERT!!! I AM ANTICIPATING TAKING MY REAL ESTATE EXAM SOON BUT FIND THAT A LOT I'M SURE NOT ALL AGENTS IN MA. PRACTICE UNETHICAL BEHAVIOR. IN ASSISTING LOW INCOME SINGLE MOMS SOME RELOCATING DO TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE / SAFTEY ISSUES I FIND THAT THEY WILL LIST A UNIT IN THE "NO FEE" SECTION OF CRAIGSLIST THEN REQUIRE A FEE OR TELL YOU THERE IS NO FEE THEN AFTER SEEING AND LIKING THE UNIT SAY THERE IS ONE. THESE MOTHERS HAVE YOUNG KIDS & REQUIRE A DE-LEAD CERTIFICATE TO RENT THE AGENTS WILL SAY THERE IS ONE THEN AFTER SEEING IT SAY THERE IS NOT & MAKE UP A LAME EXCUSE FOR THE LIE THEY TOLD. MAYBE THEY JUST WANT THE TRAFFIC TO SHOW THE LANDLORD THEY ARE ACTUALLY MARKETING THE UNIT NOT SURE WHAT THE MOTIVE IS BUT THESE BEHAVIORS SEEM TO BE VERY COMMON & UNETHICAL!!! THANK YOU FOR ADVOCATING FOR AN ETHICAL INDUSTRY, AGENTS BEING COMPARED TO USED CAR SALESMEN IS JUST
SAD!!!
Flag Tue Apr 28, 2015
yeah what a rant sounds like a guilty person to me! and you have the nerve to say there is systems in place! just another way around your guilty feelings and just another excuse espescially when the system is as crooked as 50 percent of the real estate brokers out there , yeah you guys take it seriously what a joke
Flag Fri Jan 23, 2015
Too bad you are not near us - would love to have you as my agent!
Flag Tue Sep 30, 2014
Really? What if you truly have an unethical agent and Broker? Are you willing to allow these horrible agents to ruin your reputation and integrity? I've had one that engages in illegal activity. Doesn't the public have a right to know?
Flag Mon Jul 21, 2014
Robert, I wish you were the agent that sold the house I was renting from my ex-husband. You said it perfectly. Thank you for regaining my trust in realtors again!!!!!
Flag Tue Oct 29, 2013
Pat Chadwell, Agent, Campbell, CA
Thu Apr 26, 2012
You can call the local Real Estate board (408-445-8500) and they have a grievance committee and you can file a complaint to the Dept of Real Estate . Here is the link for that http://dre.ca.gov/cons_complaint.html

Good luck. It is sad to hear about these things.

Pat Chadwell, broker
Realty World - Residential Specialists
408-927-6565 x 11
http://www.patchadwell.com

CRS, SRES, CDPE, CIAS, ePro, SFR
Web Reference:  http://www.patchadwell.com
9 votes
great advice .. file complaint with local Board of Realtors
Flag Thu Dec 15, 2016
great advice
Flag Thu Dec 15, 2016
thank you for this information..
Flag Sun Jun 29, 2014
Grace Hanamo…, Agent, Cupertino, CA
Thu Apr 26, 2012
Hi JM:

Before you race out to make claims of unethical behavior, it would help to first confirm that such a situation actually existed. This is one of the reasons that I insist that every offer presented and rejected by the seller be acknowledged in writing to ensure that the buyer knows that their offer was received and reviewed, but not accepted. If you can confirm that the offer was not presented to the seller and the seller never saw it, then THE SELLER (and not you) would have a claim, if the seller wishes to press that claim with the proper authorities.

Truthfully, the listing agent is NOT your agent, and has no relationship with you or your agent. The listing agent, however, does have the fiduciary duty to the seller, so if there are any damages--and if the offer that was accepted was a lot lower, there could be damages--then the seller, and only the seller, can assert those claims. You, as the buyer, actually have no damages. Yes, I know, you did not get the home, but again, you are not out any money and have not been damaged by not getting the property, so you have no claim--you were simply not enriched (by a home) in the manner you wanted, and that's not a claim, but simply disappointment.

You can certainly talk with the seller since you are not in contract with him/her and let them know what you made an offer. After that, however, the decision to make a complaint lies with the seller, and not with you.

Sorry to be so candid, but I do not want you to agonize over or expend lots of energy for an issue that will not resolve your problems, not change the situation, and will not result in punishment of the Realtor in question. Okay?

Good luck!
Grace Morioka
Area Pro Realty-People's Choice
6 votes
Although what you say makes sense and may be technically correct, I would say that this prospective buyer should either tell the seller of the house what happened or file a complaint. Either way the unethical realtor should not be allowed to get away with things!
Flag Fri Dec 23, 2016
Grace, from a legal stand point you might be correct in CA, but anybody can file a complaint against an agent if they feel unethical behavior existed or a law was broken. I am practicing real estate in WA but I would think that would be the case in any state. I think the party was damaged, if this did occur, and so was the seller. It sounds like to me they just want to file a complaint with the Department of Licensing so that this behavior is looked at and dealt with so it does not continue in the future. We 23 years under my belt and over 1,500 transactions closed, I have seen this and many other not so impressive tactics by other agents. I have also worked with many highly professional and ethical agents too. Unfortunately, there can be a lot of money at stake on these transactions and sometimes it makes good people do bad things!!!
Flag Thu Dec 15, 2016
Not true, the damaged party could sue for specific performance.
Flag Thu Dec 15, 2016
If this buyers offer was not presented to the seller, then the agent is in clear violation of the standards of practice. Both the buyer and seller could seek damages in that case. There are also variations to this scenario that can make it a criminal act as well. At least that is what the Legal Hotline for the California Association of Realtors told me when I asked them this question.
Flag Sun Apr 29, 2012
christineg08, , Morgan Hill, CA
Sun Jun 9, 2013
Contact the National Association of Realtors
http://www.realtor.org/‎
4 votes
Had a very bad experiences here in Southern California, Laguna Woods Village. I submitted an offer and the R.E. Agent lied and said she gave it to the seller and had a counter offer, which she didn't really have; only when I asked to see the counter offer in writing did she tell the truth! The lawyers are much better than the Real Estate Agents! It may be legal but it sure isn't ethical.
Flag Thu Jan 14, 2016
Bazizzle, Home Buyer, Chicago, IL
Thu Dec 15, 2016
It's probably just incompetence on the agents part 99.99999999% of realtors are not very intelligent and extremely lazy. Just saying.
2 votes
Debbie, Home Seller, Villa Rica, GA
Wed Feb 5, 2014
ETHICS! We were selling our house in Ga. due to job relocation. We had already moved to Florida when house in Ga. sold. Our real estate agent ask if we would replace the stove? We had already spent $4,000. on paint and $8500.00 on new carpet. I informed him that I am making payments on the carpet and still owe the painter a small amount. He said he would be sure to recover the stove money at closing. Then MY (So called) agent called and said they wanted a $400.00 home warranty. He said if I provided this he would give me $1000.00 out of his commission to cover it. He would be sure they would not get any more out of me. This was it. So I agreed. When it was time for closing we could not afford to travel back up there. We gave him power of attorney to represent us at closing. When closing was over I soon found out that he moved numbers all around to increase his income. He increased the house price and changed my closing cost from $4,000.00 to $7500.00 which I was also paying for. He went to the subdivision office and also took the check for the balance left of the year. I was counting on that money. My bottom line is. We got absolutely nothing. Not 1 cent. When we asked for the money to pay for the stove and warranty he said no. That's illegal. Now I am in debt for around $10,000.00 for a house that I got absolutely nothing on. I would of gave it back to the bank before I would of sold a house and be over $10,000.00 in debt. I am still fighting with him for an original copy of the closing.
So Mr. Robert, My rant has just begun. He will soon find out what a scorned woman can do with a lot of time on her hands. NO!!! I would NEVER hire another real estate agent again. HURT and BROKE.
2 votes
I feel you pain.. My wife and I bought a home here in Orlando, But before that we hired at Realtor to sell our home, As you know you do a contract for 90 days, when the 90 days were we opted to go with a different Realtor or just sell it out self. In Dcember we sold the house to an investor firm. A month later the realtor that try to sell our home took at to court because eh said we broke the the 90 day contract and that the client that we sold the house to was person who had giving us a bod on our home , But this was news to me since he never gave us any information only numbers. and then out our home on the market without our authorization. He thinks he can do anything he wants. Now we are fighting back because he wants his commission because we went behing his back.. people like this should not be realtors..There licenses should be revoke.. They give good real tors a bad name and they represent the big name companies that probably don't even know what is going on...
Flag Mon Feb 23, 2015
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Mon May 27, 2013
@ Kathryn -

I see you've posted looking for help on this older thread.......so here goes..........

You say the "lender is not happy with information given by the insurance company"..........this indicates a problem with the loan - did the buyer have a firm mortgage commitment in place?.............without a firm commitment, you can't have a closing!
Do you now what it is the lender is questioning?

Then you said: "Little did I know I signed allowing the buyer to get out" (for what reasons?).....

Anyway - no one can really help you here as we can't see your contract.....you signed a contract, apparently without reading or understanding what you were signing.
That is unfortunate.

At this point, I suggest you reach out to a real estate attorney to see what legal avenues are available to you.
I'd suggest reaching out to your agent, too, but it appears as though there is a lack of good communication between you.

Best wishes.....sorry for the situation you find yourself in.

This brings out the importance (for others reading what has transpired)......to READ and really understand your contract before signing anything.
Don't be afraid to ask questions!

Best wishes........
2 votes
It's also the obligation of a Realtor to make sure that the seller is given every opportunity to read and understand the contract. We, as consumers, are not trained in the sale of houses, we pay real estate agents to act on our behalf. It simply is not acceptable to blame the seller, ever. What if a person has ADD, or lacks strong reading comprehension, is elderly, or otherwise impaired? We PAY professionals to work on OUR behalf, and those professionals have the obligation to do everything to the highest ethical standard.
Flag Wed Jul 2, 2014
He sent me an email saying the loan would be closed in one more day and to sign the extension and everything would be in place. Instead the buyer got out of contract. I feel tricked! I trusted the agent. Shouldn't I ?
Flag Mon May 27, 2013
Robert White…, Agent, Morgan Hill, CA
Thu Apr 26, 2012
You would have two places to go on this one.

First would be the California Department of Real Estate: http://www.dre.ca.gov/

The second would be the California Association of Realtors: http://www.car.org/

The department of real estate deals with matters of law. All agents must be licensed and they must live up to the requirements of the law governing agent conduct in California.

The association is a trade group with standards of conduct that go above and beyond the simple legal requirements.

Good Luck,
Robert
2 votes
I went to every department of real estate in every state I own properties. I also went to every association of realtors and of course the crooked Real Estate Commission and my problems with unethical realtors were swept under the rug. Every entity associated with Real Estate will side with Crooked Realtors, and they can cheat somebody else the next day because Real Estate is a CROOKED Profession!
Flag Thu Jun 15, 2017
Kimmulakucha…, Home Buyer, New York, NY
Sat Jun 17, 2017
We need to start a site wherever Realtors can be named that are unethical and let the public know who is dishonest that way the Realtors can held accountable it lose business.
1 vote
Tammy Lee, Home Seller, California
Mon Aug 13, 2012
I feel for you. I am a seller in the same situation. It has been difficult to force the end of our contracted agreement (2 years for a shortsale) as my shortsale agent and her broker are stubbornly refusing to release me from the listing agreement, although I have uncovered their unethical behavior and it disgusts me. So far I've found no agency with the authority to end our contract. It seems the laws protect the agent and not the seller. What good is a code of ethics if I cannot fire someone who's violated them? I agree with the person who said all offers should be acknowledged by the seller. Under the current system, shortsale agents can do whatever they wish with near-impunity.
1 vote
Terri Vellios, Agent, Campbell, CA
Thu Apr 26, 2012
If the listing agent is a Realtor (registered name) then any Realtor Agency, such as Santa Clara County office of Realtors, California Association of Realtors, National Association of Realtors. If they are only an agent or a Broker then their licensing board which is the California Department Of Real Estate.

http://www.dre.ca.gov/

All the best to you.
Web Reference:  http://www.terrivellios.com
1 vote
Jeannie Chase, Agent, Morgan Hill, CA
Thu Apr 26, 2012
You bet! I hate this kind of behavior by Real Estate agents. You can contact the Santa Clara County Asso. of Realtors Compliance Department at 408-445-8500 and/or the California Department of Real Estate, you can find them on line. Good luck and let me know how it works out for you.
1 vote
Johnsonfamil…, Home Buyer, Brooklyn, NY
Sat Aug 12, 2017
Trying to find out if a listed house was for broker refusing to answer question
0 votes
Johnsonfamil…, Home Buyer, Brooklyn, NY
Sat Aug 12, 2017
Seller broker want tell me if house is still for sale
0 votes
Kimmulakucha…, Home Buyer, New York, NY
Sat Jun 17, 2017
Unfortunately all Realtors seem to be a network that is very unethical making it very hard for those who are. I had an Agent that brought over the last page of the contract and didn't deliver the rest until later. At that time I discovered she had put in the contract approximately 2,000 dollar reduction on my house. Then she put in other fees a full 6% supposedly of buyers closing costs then still took 6% for her commission. I had repeatedly told her no to request for buyers closing costs. She put in a 450.00 one year home warranty. Also 500 in some kind of fees for house repairs which I repeatedly told her no to. It was strange that the buyers closing cost was the same as her commission fees. It seems as she took 12%. She also refused to give me a copy of the original listing contract. Hence I believe this must have been another Realtor that she worked with. She was purposely very plotting and deceptive. There is a NAR or National Association of Realtors that you can report unethical behavior to. And they also have arbitration. The best way is to petition the Realtors licence is revoked. Also there needs to be a sight just like Angie's list where you can specifically place the names of dishonest and greedy Realtors. Maybe we could start one. Then you can also talk to their broker meet with them, because it's their reputation on the line.
0 votes
Sknotts, Home Buyer, Morgan Hill, CA
Sat Jun 17, 2017
My husband and I bought a house 5years ago from a duel realtor when we first moved in we had a lot of thing wrong so I call the better business bureau and the owner of the company and the people that had owned the house gave 500.00 each toward a water heater but thing just keep going wrong with the house and we put a lot of our money into it and now we are taking out of our 401k to keep up is there anyone that can help us make them stand good for some of this
0 votes
Once you buy the house, all the problems are yours. You do not have the ability to go to the previous seller and force them to pay for repairs. The question is BEFORE you closed escrow, did you have a thorough home inspection which you paid for? A home inspection should have revealed any problems. You had the ability to cancel the transaction, renegotiate the contract price, ask the seller for a credit or have the seller fix all the repairs. Why wasn't this done 5 years ago? If the inspector missed anything, you had the ability to go after the inspector. Why didn't you do that? Your other mistake was using a dual agent. You should have had your own realtor who would have protected your interests.
Flag Sat Jun 17, 2017
Dolson_willi…, Home Buyer, Morgan Hill, CA
Thu Jun 15, 2017
I've been cheated, lied to, scammed and money stolen from me by a realtor. If you contact your Real Estate Commission in your state, don't expect justice. They will always side with the realtor. Plus realtors have the largest lobby group in the nation, and they are well-protected to SCAM YOU AGAIN! Realtors are worse than used car salesmen by far. They are ultra-corrupt! I hate em.
0 votes
Dolson_willi…, Home Buyer, Morgan Hill, CA
Thu Jun 15, 2017
I've had realtors steal money from me, lie to me, are lazy, unethical, and the list goes on..... If you report your dilemma to the Real Estate Commission ib your state, don't expect a thing. They are well protected by the largest lobby group in the country and the Commission will always side with the crooked scamming realtor. Realtors have a license to steal.
0 votes
Agree with you which is why I left the industry.
Flag Sat Jun 17, 2017
Amydungan, Home Buyer, Morgan Hill, CA
Tue May 16, 2017
We are in the process of buying our first home. We found just want we wanted in the price range we needed - and the bonus is that it's on the same block as dear friends of ours. We were shown the house, submitted an offer (expecting a counter or fully willing to pay full price if necessary), only for our realtor to be told by the selling realtor that the house is no longer for sale and going up for auction, so the bid can't be submitted. We were heart broken. We spent all week wondering what to do next. The selling realtor told ours it would be up on the auction website any day now. We watched and it never appeared. Over the weekend the house disappeared from the sale listings and we figured it was over. This morning the house is once again up on all the sale sites as available. We are so upset. We called our realtor, who is equally upset and she called the selling realtor and resubmitted our offer. The selling realtor once again insists she can't submit an offer because the house is already at auction. We feel we are being lied to and this time are not taking her at her word. We also suspect this is a commission issue since she'd have to split with our realtor.
0 votes
Darbeyfane, Home Buyer, Morgan Hill, CA
Mon Apr 24, 2017
I signed a contract to sell my home. The agent did nothing I asked. Signed a termination contract. Is it ethical to put conditions on the termination?
0 votes
Realtors don't listen and they are good BS artists! Fire em and look for an ethical realtor if you can. It's hard.
Flag Thu Jun 15, 2017
Yes you can put conditions on the termination. Since you're the seller, you don't have to be ethical - your agent does. By the way, don't expect your broker to agree to any conditions.
Flag Mon Apr 24, 2017
Rawhide, Home Buyer, Morgan Hill, CA
Fri Feb 24, 2017
In Colorado, that would be a license law violation, and a complaint could be filed with the State Division of Real Estate. I would be surprised if that was not also the case in California. They have the ability to investigate a complaint and discipline the license of the broker.

If the broker was a REALTOR, he would also be in violation of Article 1 of the REALTOR Code of Ethics. Filing at the local REALTOR Association is simple to do. The hard part is proving that your offer was never submitted. Unless you can get the seller to testify for you that he never saw your offer, you may not prevail. The REALTOR Association is not an investigative body.

Such behavior is unconscionable. I am sorry you were treated that way by a member of our industry.
0 votes
Kathy Burgre…, Home Owner, Westchester, NY
Thu Dec 22, 2016
Best method for getting rid of unethical realtors is to write negative reviews on real estate websites. Forget the Board of Realtors or any agency - it's a waste of time with 0 results. Negative reviews on real estate websites is read by everybody and will put agents out of business fast.
0 votes
Henry n Janie, Both Buyer And Seller, Los Alamitos, CA
Thu Dec 15, 2016
Call the real estate board in your area and clear up the industry of unethical behavior.
0 votes
Henry n Janie, Both Buyer And Seller, Los Alamitos, CA
Thu Dec 15, 2016
You can their name and BRE on the internet and call the real estate board in your area.
0 votes
Kimberly Kel…, , Frisco, TX
Thu Dec 15, 2016
Sorry to hear this happen to you.
Google your states Real Estate Board of Realtors or Association.
0 votes
Savyhill, Home Buyer, Lebanon, OR
Thu Dec 15, 2016
Report to the Real estate board or Realtor association.
0 votes
Scotlass2, , Chevy Chase, MD
Thu Dec 15, 2016
Report them to the National Association of Realtors as well as your State's licensing Board usually thorugh your Attorney General's Office.

I had a realtor recently who tried to get buyers to submit a biography of themselves/families so the seller could determine to which buyer to sell the house.

Long story short, this is another unethical tactic to screen buyers in toney neighborhoods so certain people can't get into them.

I didn't submit a bio, but did report them to the AG's Office and the National Association of Realtors. They no longer have a realtor's license in my state.
0 votes
Paula Gilber…, Home Buyer, Union, KY
Thu Dec 15, 2016
Well, I've had that happen to me, too. Contact the Real Estate Commission in the state where the fiduciary breach occurred. The agent will face a board and you might receive financial compensation. The agent should have insurance to cover discrepancies like this, so hopefully, you won't need a lawyer.
0 votes
PIFA, Home Buyer, Upland, CA
Thu Dec 15, 2016
Each state I believe has a licensing board. Goggle it. Board of realtors for your state. You can then contact them.
0 votes
Mauideb, Home Buyer, New York, NY
Thu Dec 15, 2016
As we all know, there are good agents and bad agents.. the bad agents seem to be what we hear about. I put an offer on a house in Sacramento CA 2 years ago, it was selling for $310,000 - the house had a reverse mortgage on it, and the balance owed was $310,000 - the agent, was the listing and selling agent, (he said he had previously worked for HUD, and he knew that HUD would accept less money for the house) he told us to offer less they'll take it, so we did, we offered $300,000 and he didn't present the offer, saying HUD won't sign the offer (?) Then he said offer less than that, He didn't present that offer either. We then went to a different agent who presented an offer to the same listing agent, who again rejected the offer, ($275,000) (all the while the listing agent was decreasing the price of the house in the MLS) very odd.. finally we offered again and our agent said, I don't know what's up with the listing agent but he won't turn the offer in, he's rejecting them, you should report him, we didn't report him, the house then sold to the listing agents "buddy", for $235,000 and both the listing agent and his "buddy" flipped the house... so.. tell me how ethical all agents are? We offered $300,000 on a house that sold for $235,000 ya.. BIZZARO - who lost, who won? To this day - I can not believe the audacity of that agent.. and yes, he's still selling homes in Sacramento to benefit whom?
0 votes
Bill Crumbak…, Agent, Renton, WA
Thu Dec 15, 2016
This points out the problem of dual agency where the listing agent represents both buyer and seller because it is an obvious conflict of interest. In many States it is not permitted, I believe in single party representation and will only represent on party in a transaction. In the State of Washington dual agency is permitted. Buyers you need your own agent never buy from the listing agent you meet at an open house. Sellers do not allow your listing agent to be a dual agent.

I think the best solution to this problem it not permit dual agency. What do you think
0 votes
Nick Gray, Home Owner, Rocklin, CA
Thu Dec 15, 2016
As a former California Real Estate Broker, I completely understand Agent White's concerns and I largely agree with him. However, there actually are unethical people in the world and, unfortunately, some of them are Real Estate Agents. Here is my suggestion:

ANY time you are unhappy with an agent, first get in touch with the broker of his/her office. Bring a copy of your offer to that broker. (Keep your copy; do not give it up). The broker is responsible for the actions of the agents in that office and is obligated to ensure their ethical behavior. In the vast majority of cases the broker will look into the matter and provide you with some satisfaction. In the very unlikely event that the broker does not satisfy you, let the broker know that you will contact the state Department of Real Estate and let them know what happened with both the agent and the broker, then do so. Be sure to let the broker know you intend to do this. In California I would also contact the Department of Corporations about the matter.

It is best to have firm evidence that your offer was not presented to the seller, but the Broker should have records indicating any offers that were presented and the results of those offers.

Best of luck in getting this resolved.
0 votes
Bill Crumbak…, Agent, Renton, WA
Thu Dec 15, 2016
This points out the problems associated with dual agency where a listing agent acts as a dual agent for both the seller and buyer. I many States dual agency is not permitted because ii is a conflict of interest. In the State of Washington it is permitted. I strongly believe in single party representation and will only represent one party in a transaction. Buyers I recommend never buying from the listing agent you meet at an open house you need your own agent to represent your best interests. Sellers never allow your listing agent to be a dual agent it is not in your best interests
0 votes
CC, Home Buyer, 04401
Thu Dec 15, 2016
easy the state real estate commission :) Robert White is great in his answer admonishing people. R/E on average are less trusted I bet then used car salesmen and it is because of the 1% that are bad.
0 votes
Paul Bauer, Agent, Lake Charles, LA
Thu Dec 15, 2016
Contact your local Realtor Board Office....
0 votes
Don, Both Buyer And Seller, Beaufort, SC
Thu Dec 15, 2016
It seems that the consensus opinion is that the burden of proof of any alleged wrong doing is on the buyer or seller. I appreciate that in America, the accused is innocent until proven guilty. While that makes good sense in the case of misdemeanors and felonies or worse, should it be the guiding principle in cases of possible violation of state regulations and/or code of ethics? I suspect that in most cases it would be hard if not impossible to prove beyond any doubt that an agent acted improperly. It is easy to imagine it coming down to who do you believe - the agent or the aggrieved party? I don't have a solution but I think the real estate industry is plagued with unethical behavior because of lax enforcement and oversight by local Board of Realtors and the state's real estate licensing commission. I have been involved in real estate for over 40 years and I can assure you we are living in different times.

A few questions:
Do you believe there should be public records readily available to buyers and sellers to investigate real estate agents?

Do you believe that agents should provide to every buyer or seller a written explanation of the rules and codes they must follow as per their licensing requirement?

What guidelines exist regarding punishment? Are they subjective or spelled out? Using the OP's example, what is a punishment that fits the crime in this case?

Is the local Board of Realtors impartial or are they advocates for its members when questionable behavior is brought to their attention?


The biggest change I've noticed over the years is the attitude of real estate agents. In my experience, Realtors place a far greater value on their commission (and time) than on doing all they can to serve the best interests of their their customers/clients.
0 votes
rtfixes, Home Buyer, Sand Springs, OK
Thu Dec 15, 2016
Good luck !!! You will get nowhere. I made a complaint on tayna meracol of team investments in Arizona ( google it ) they did nothing. Last yr i learned that she is now on prison for tax fraud and what scamms she was pulling made madoff look like a schoolboy.
0 votes
egbokjoe, Home Seller, Fort Worth, TX
Thu Dec 15, 2016
Call the Broker if you feel the agent did not do their job. The agent has to work under/for a Broker. Call the agency you are working with and ask to speak to the Broker.
0 votes
Lou Duclos, Home Buyer, Lakeland, FL
Thu Dec 15, 2016
The place I'm living in is selling for $188,000. I've been living here for 4 years. I found out the neighbors house is on this land. I found out the septic system is mine. The neighbers is hooked up to my septic system. I have an old moble home and the septic system is really small. I went down to the city, and they don't have any paper work for the septic system. The house used to be a barn. They don't have any paper work that it was turned into a house. The moble home that I live in is about 40 years old, it has never been remolded. It's a crappy moble home. I've been told by some experts that this place is worth about $70,000. If the NEW owner buys this place, he will have to remove the house and he will have to remove this trailer and he will have to put in a new septic system. There is excavation work also, the driveway is a mess. I'm a disabled Veteran. I have been evicted in the middle of the winter because he wants to sell this place. I've paid my rent like clock work for 4 years. There is more to this story.
0 votes
Chaddy5, Home Buyer, Boise, ID
Thu Dec 15, 2016
Lol - rad into a shady agent who was the purchasing agent when the owner bought the house we offered on and was the selling agent when we offered on it. He concealed the fact that the $170k home needed $80k in engineering work to repair the foundation (he knew because it was discovered when his client bought the home) we had tons of documentation, reported it in Idaho to the real estate board; they dismissed it - ethics? Pffft - it's every person for themselves out there!
0 votes
Staycielandy, Home Buyer, Morgan Hill, CA
Tue Dec 13, 2016
Can a Realtor be given a license in Florida if the person had an expedited warrant arrest for many years and three years ago was arrested,bailed out and the case then was not seen? That Realtor is always drunk, is a cheater, and left her kids alone to join the world of Realtor
0 votes
Pull1p, Home Buyer, Morgan Hill, CA
Tue Oct 11, 2016
i called a realtor to see a house and the realtor told me that i needed a proof of funds letter i said why i don't know if i want the house yet. He said that the only way i could see it is to have that proof and told him i didn't that was legal that it was a form of steering . is it legal is the question?
0 votes
Look at it from the sellers' point of view. Would you want to go through a showing and get your hopes up when the buyers say your house is everything they are looking for just to be disappointed time and time again because the buyers cannot get the funds? There is nothing wrong with buyers providing proof of funds. If you can get it, there shouldn't be any problem. If you can't get it, don't waste everybody's time, including your own. All buyers should be pre-approved for any property they look at.
Flag Thu Dec 15, 2016
Ronaldf, Home Buyer, Washington, DC
Sat Jul 23, 2016
I recently made an offer for a Condo, however there have been many missteps on the part of the lender and selling agent.

The selling agent has asked to a brief extension on our closing date. I have refused. I simply want out at this point.

Am I entitled to my earnest deposit back if the selling agent cant close by the contract date?
0 votes
Never use a lender suggested by a realtor. They get kickbacks. Just another SCAM by realtors.
Flag Thu Jun 15, 2017
Susan Pierce, Agent, LOS ALAMITOS, CA
Thu Jul 14, 2016
In California, I signed a 6 month listing contract with a realtor at ReMax in Big Bear Lake CA. I said I wanted to cancel because we didn't get along, misspellings in the listing, showed the property twice, never picked up the remote to show the 700 square foot garage, wanted to drop the price $34,000, never had a brokers open. Called the great room, the common area? Since when is there common area in a single family home.

Also, he withdrew my properties from the MLS without my written permission. In fact,
he has never sent me his signature on the listing. I signed through Docusign. Docusign
says everything is time and date stamped and they heard nothing from him. Also, he never filled out a Modification of terms to agree to the exclusion of people I had previously shown the house to. I've written a demand letter. I've had an atty write a demand letter. The agent, broker and owner won't cancel the contract. the broker said if it was him he would cancel, but he's afraid go getting fired. That's why realtors have a bad name. They have taken most of the best selling days away from me. There are just delaying me until the contact, which legally a contract since he didn't send me a signed copy. And, I'm a senior with limited funds. so, how do i get help? there are at least violations of ethics this agent has broken. I've gone to the mms grievance board, and to the grievance committee and CAR. they all say it will take couple months more. the selling season goes flat after
Labor Day.
0 votes
Susan Pierce, Agent, LOS ALAMITOS, CA
Thu Jul 14, 2016
In California, I signed a 6 month listing contract with a realtor at ReMax in Big Bear Lake CA. I said I wanted to cancel because we didn't get along, misspellings in the listing, showed the property twice, never picked up the remote to show the 700 square foot garage, wanted to drop the price $34,000, never had a brokers open. Called the great room, the common area? Since when is there common area in a single family home.

Also, he withdrew my properties from the MLS without my written permission. In fact,
he has never sent me his signature on the listing. I signed through Docusign. Docusign
says everything is time and date stamped and they heard nothing from him. Also, he never filled out a Modification of terms to agree to the exclusion of people I had previously shown the house to. I've written a demand letter. I've had an atty write a demand letter. The agent, broker and owner won't cancel the contract. the broker said if it was him he would cancel, but he's afraid go getting fired. That's why realtors have a bad name. They have taken most of the best selling days away from me. There are just delaying me until the contact, which legally a contract since he didn't send me a signed copy. And, I'm a senior with limited funds. so, how do i get help? there are at least violations of ethics this agent has broken. I've gone to the mms grievance board, and to the grievance committee and CAR. they all say it will take couple months more. the selling season goes flat after
Labor Day.
0 votes
Craig Ewing, Home Buyer, New York, NY
Sun May 31, 2015
How do you report a broker who is ripping people off
0 votes
Margobowie.m…, Home Buyer, Waltham, MA
Wed Jun 11, 2014
The same exact thing just happened to me! I spoke with the seller tonight and they never received my offer I made but forged it to be lower.
I am going to the real estate commission tomorrow to file a complaint.
What happened with yours?
0 votes
wesleyfgibson, , 83712
Fri Mar 7, 2014
I know a real estate agent who after selling a property used a key that was to be returned to new owner to gain access to home on several occasions. On one occasion she let her daughter in and the owners cars was used over the weekend. by the way they are connected via in law relation.

how show one proceed?
0 votes
Mpickup152, Home Buyer, Morgan Hill, CA
Mon Mar 3, 2014
I went to a rental agency to list my house to rent. The agent we were dealing with approached us to rent the house herself, after some convincing on the agents part we rented the house to her. Shortly after she lost her job at that agency, paid rent twice and is now three months behind. Is this unethical behavior on the agents part?
0 votes
This is more of a legal issue now - a renter who stays on without paying rents due has lost their rights to the property. However, it's now up to the property manager or owner to follow legal guidelines to issue a 3-day notice to pay rents due or move out. This is then followed by an Unlawful Detainer action if no rent is paid. If you employed the agency to manage your property this is their duty to take care of this right away. If you, as the landlord, acted as property manager you want to make sure you're following California laws regarding renter relations.

I'm a Realtor & rental property owner and would be happy to help if you have more questions.

Linda Zimmer,
Realty World
408-710-9137
Flag Wed Apr 16, 2014
Sam Shueh, , San Jose, CA
Mon Aug 5, 2013
0 votes
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