Is this unethical, or just bad manners? I was at a closing with my buyers. The sellers had signed and left before we arrived. When we arrived, the?

Asked by Margaret Hassani, Tampa, FL Fri Nov 23, 2012

seller's agent was still there. We had to wait over 2 hours for some revisions so I stepped into the lobby to change an afternoon appointment. When I returned, I heard the seller's agent telling my buyers he owed them a Key Lime pie which he would deliver to them next week. Then as he left, he passed them his business card and told them to call him if they needed anything! Is this unethical, or just bad manners?

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Alan May, Agent, Evanston, IL
Sat Nov 24, 2012
Oddly enough, Margaret, the Realtor Code of Ethics tells us that as soon as you've "closed", the buyer (or seller) is no longer your "protected client" and they can be approached by any Realtor.

Tacky? yes?
Bad Manners? maybe?

But statistics have shown us that many agents don't stay in contact with their buyers and sellers, and this guy is playing the odds that you won't stay in touch, and they'll remember HIS name instead of yours.

Prove him wrong.
2 votes
Tina Lam, Agent, San Jose, CA
Fri Nov 23, 2012
As a business pitch, I think it's just silly. Since your buyers are just closing on a house, they're not going to be on the market for years.

More realistically, the seller's agent has just opened up himself to resolving the usual nit-picky issues that can come up during the first few weeks of ownership. Since the sellers have no obligation, he put himself on the spot. In that case, I'd be helping my clients take good advantage of his generosity.
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1 vote
Kevin Clouti…, Agent, Cape Coral, FL
Sun Nov 25, 2012
Actually, I think as soon as the transaction closes, your relationship terminates with your client.

It is probably a violation of the Realtor code of Ethics in respecting your relationship.

Kevin Cloutier
0 votes
Margaret Has…, Agent, Tampa, FL
Sat Nov 24, 2012
Thanks everyone for all the great answers. Alan - it was a grey area as to weather the buyer had actually closed. The seller had signed and left, but the buyer didn't have the revised HUD1 yet when promised the pie. The buyer had just begun to sign the paperwork when the agent left, passing them his card. But as Annette pointed out - I left my buyers in the room with a predator for a few minutes. Apparently that was what he was waiting for. But passing my buyers his card right in front of me was shameless! Live and learn. Thanks everyone!
0 votes
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Fri Nov 23, 2012
You left the room leaving a predator with your clients. You allowed the environment to development and allowed the agent unsupervised time with your folks. You dropped the ball in a lot of places. Soliciting opinions from the internet will not be helpful. Managing your business would be more productive.

Failing to reward such behavior by making the agent infamous is a missed opportunity. The rest of us would like to know who can and can not be trusted.

It is important to note, most folks are VERY uncomfortable with silence. Your clients may have initiated the conversation regarding Key Lime. Those who I encounter who are desperately territorial have reason to be so. If your clients do not engage in ridiculing the subject agent you really need to have your broker do an post evaluation with your clients to determine if your services or business structure are vulnerable.

Best of success to youi.

Folks lingering about with no purpose should raise red flags.
0 votes
Megan Paul, Agent, Vancouver, WA
Fri Nov 23, 2012
I agree with Ron. The selling agent had no business being there--his job was done once his clients had signed. I am surprised you didn't find a discreet way to thank him and let him know you appreciated his work, now goodbye. I was born in Ft. Lauderdale, and everyone knows the only place to get Key Lime Pie is Cap's Place on the Island off Lighthouse Point, so he was also being foolish. Email him a note, Tampa is a big place but in RE we have a way of running into the same people. I would let the agent and his Managing Broker that he was loitering at a closing.
0 votes
Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Fri Nov 23, 2012
I would write note and send a copy to the Broker, expressing my displeasure.
You can't un-ring the bell, but you can stop it from happening again.
0 votes
Danielle Sha…, Agent, Cape Coral, FL
Fri Nov 23, 2012
Not unethical. Tacky? Certainly.
0 votes
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