How do I file a complaint against a Realtor in Worcester County?

Asked by Tom C., 22043 Sat Nov 29, 2008

I have a signed contract on my house and the home inspection has taken place. The buyer's Realtor allowed a contractor into my house without informing my Realtor. This was for the buyer to get an estimate for something found during their home inspection. Since my Realtor was not informed until after the fact, is this considered trespassing?

I would like to file a complaint against the buyer's Realtor for allowing a contractor to enter my house without first informing my Realtor or myself. The Worcester Association of Realtors' webpage does not have any form to fill out or phone number to call for complaints.

I have a lockbox on the home so the entry into the home should be recorded with the lockbox records.

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Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Sat Nov 29, 2008
BEST ANSWER
This is the prime reason why an agent should not do unassisted showings ina n occupied home. If your realtor was not at the first showing and just sent the other realtor with the lock box code, some agents do think or use common sense and think they can go back again without checking. I have had this happen to my occupied listings and had to change my pokicy because of it. You really need tio see what their intentions were. Their only crime may be tresspassing but if you file one, you can kiss that buyer good buy, you would be better off to let your agent know that it is not acceptable that anyone comes into your house unassisted and then write a letter to the buyer agent and cc his managing broker that it is not acceptable they come into your home without yoru realtor present.
Web Reference:  http://www.ScottSellsNH.com
0 votes
Jeanne Feeni…, Agent, Basking Ridge, NJ
Mon Jun 21, 2010
Hi Tom, agree to start with the agent's broker/manager to voice your concern. While property visits should be cleared with the listing agent, I'd keep things in perspective. You've got an accepted contract in play and as Bill points out, pushing too hard with this could unseat the deal you have. It is not unexpected that a buyer would want to have inspection issues evaluated with repair estimates provided - the mistake that has been made is accessing the house without permission.

One poster referred to "the pitfalls of a lockbox" and I do feel compelled to comment on that point - if you have an electronic box on your home, the "ease of access" advantages far outstrip the disadvantages. The fact is this, if a home is difficult to show, it ioften will fall off the list. Sellers are wise to make access as simple as possible, and electronic lockboxes allow that while assuring the security that comes from the recording of every entry.

Now if you've got a combo box on your home, that is a different matter - I am so opposed to these. They are less expensive for brokers to use, but you have no record of who has been in your home. My favorite ridiculous combo box story was one I encountered in Somerville, NJ - as I worked the combo, I was distracted by a post it note taped to the back of the key box. When I took a look, you guessed it, there was the combo. Imagine!

Keep your eye on the prize - try to successfully negotiate your way through your inspection contingency en route to a successful close.



Good luck,
Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service
Web Reference:  http://www.feenick.com
0 votes
Darryl Brass…, Agent, Prairieville, LA
Sun Jun 20, 2010
An appointment should have been made. But if the contractor was brought in during the inspection period, there is nothing wrong with that. Say the inspector found something wrong with the home it is perfectly ok to bring in any expert the buyer wants to as long as it is within the inspection period. Its not ok to go without an appointment.
0 votes
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Tue Dec 2, 2008
Tom,

It is most unfortunate that you have to experience this type of situation. Our recommendation is to begin with a concersation with the agent's broker, making him/her aware of your dissatisfaction. As Scott mentioned, you should consider how aggressive you want to be with this because it could be the end of your selling opportunity with this customer.

We wouldn't get too excited about the contractor's role until you see how it's all going to play out. It may be difficult but......wait to see the hand you are dealt before you decide to fold.

Good luck,
The "Eckler Team"
0 votes
Territory.c…, Agent, MA,
Tue Dec 2, 2008
The pitfall of the lock box ... Perhaps your agent should reconsider un-attended showings.

Sorry you experienced this .. I can imaging it is violating. Wondering if they tried to use the estimate to renegotiate the deal or get you to pay for something? Anyway, hope you get to the bottom of the situation ... Like everyone mentions below there is a process, and usually lock box appointment are easy to set up and recorded.

Good luck!
0 votes
Frances Flynn…, , State College, PA
Sun Nov 30, 2008
You may file an ethics complaint with the Worcester Association of REALTORS. Somebody from the association office should be able to help you complete the paperwork necessary to present this matter to the Grievance Committe. The next step is a Professional Standards hearing where you will be asked to state your case and present the evidence. There may be additional rules published by the Multiple Listing Service with additional sanctions and penalties.

https://wrar.org/Default.aspx

If there is an electronic lockbox on the property your listing agent should be able to provide you with documentation showing who used the lockbox to enter the property. Compare these with a list of persons who called for bona fide appointments.

If your property is still under contract I would suggest that you wait until the transaction has closed before pursuing a formal complaint. For goodness sake, do NOT kill the deal!
0 votes
Colleen Lawl…, Agent, Chesterfield, MO
Sun Nov 30, 2008
Although most agents take great care to respect sellers and never enter a home without an appointment, it's very aggravating to experience something like this!
If the agent failed to make an appointment, however that is done -either through your listing office or your listing agent or a third party scheduling company, they may be subject to a fine for accessing a lockobx without an appointment. In St Louis, those fines were just substantially increased, and an agent might have to pay $500 and lose the use of their lockbox "key". That might get your point across more so that taking the "filing a complaint" route. That being said, is it worth jeapardizing the transaction if there is not any damage or loss involved? Sending a strongly worded letter voicing your displeasure to the agent & the agent's broker is another alternative. Consider keeping a low profile and taking action on this matter after your sale is closed.
0 votes
David Barnas, , Weymouth, MA
Sun Nov 30, 2008
Good morning Tom

I agree with Scott's assessment; your agent should have been informed prior to the contractor's entry, but filing a complaint at this stage will most likely kill the sale. I would also ask your agent to change the lockbox code (or remove it once the P&S is signed) to assure this does not take place again.
Web Reference:  http://DavidBarnas.com
0 votes
Matt Grohe, Agent, Urbandale, IA
Sat Nov 29, 2008
Tom,

Complaints about real estate agents must be in writing and must be filed with the state real estate commission. Since the contractor likely though he had permissions there's no tresspass there, which is a mis-demeanor in any event.

Can you be 100% sure your agent was not informed? Perhaps the buyer agent had informed a staff member to call and had no idea there was no notice. Was there damage?

The real estate commission follows up on real issues. This is not a real issue unless you suffered some damage or the contractor was unescorted. You're better off to call the buyer's broker and complain directly. The information about the buyer's broker should be found on the purchase agreement you signed.
0 votes
Vicky Chrisn…, Agent, Purcellvile, VA
Sat Nov 29, 2008
Your agent can give you the information, and may be able to assist you with the process
0 votes
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