My agent gave my lockbox number to buyers so they could come into my house without representation.

Asked by Susan Harrison, 02474 Sat Sep 6, 2008

I would think this would be grounds for immediate termination. Isn't it understood that an agent has a responsibility to preserve and protect my property and my family.

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Territory.c…, Agent, MA,
Sat Sep 6, 2008
BEST ANSWER
You are right, that is grounds for immediate termination ... It is one thing for your agent to put the property on lock box and never show up to "sell" the property to the potential buyer and their agent, but another to be so lazy that they can't even show up to the property and give a direct potential consumer the run down of your property. Not mention - like all the other the other agents below are saying - the liability of allowing someone to enter your home unaccompanied and without your consent in inexcusable.

No question you should find another agent immediately and alert their broker and local real estate board.
0 votes
Keith Sorem, Agent, Glendale, CA
Sat Sep 6, 2008
There is another side to this post. Your Realtor probably violated the Realtor Code of Ethics. You need to check with the local Association of Realtors and look into filing a grievance. If you do not, then this may just continue. This action puts the entire lock box concept at risk.

There are some associations that will fine a Realtor $2,000 for a first time offense like this.
2 votes
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Sat Sep 6, 2008
Susan,

We suggest that you contact the agents broker to make him/her aware. If you are not satisfied with this, report the incident to the local real estate board. Their information should be on your MLS printout.

You are correct with your concern and at this point may want to consider having your doors rekeyed......possibly at the agents expense. But this is a matter for the broker or real estate board.

Good luck,
The "Eckler Team"
2 votes
Sylvia Barry,…, Agent, Marin, CA
Sun Sep 7, 2008
Susan:

Thank you for the update. I am sorry that you had to go through this but I do know that you will find a wonderful Realtor soon. If you need a referral, I am sure most of us can get you referrals.

As Realtors representing buyers and sellers with one of their biggest financial transactions and one of the most emotional deals in their life, we watch our conducts and guard our reputation closely. There are many that come in for a fast buck and we cringe when we hear things like this. So, yes, hopefully your firing him and filing a complaint will bring positive result to this.

Good luck and let us know if we can help you in the future. .

Sylvia
1 vote
Michael Lefe…, Agent, Westborough, MA
Sun Sep 7, 2008
Susan,
Good for you. Have you spoken with this guy's broker? Or is he the broker in charge at the office? Also call the MAR (Massachusetts Association of Realtors) at 1-800-725-6272. See if this guy is a member and find out about filing a complaint. It's so unfortunate you have to hire a lawyer to deal with this guy.

Especially since the most important thing is you need to sell our house and not deal with this stuff!

But as you can tell from all the responses, both local and national, this behavior is absolutely intolerable and reflects poorly on the entire industry. I think I can speak on behalf of a lot of real estate professionals actually doing our jobs right and taking pride in our profession, by saying "thank you" for taking the time, effort and aggravation to report this guy. Otherwise, he would simply do it to the next person.

Good luck finding your new agent! I look forward to your post telling us you found the perfect agent and the house is under agreement, set to close soon!

Mike
1 vote
Susan Harris…, Both Buyer And Seller, 02474
Sun Sep 7, 2008
Thank you all for your answers. I fired him on Friday, after he tried another fast one on me. I am sending in a complaint to the Mass. Division of Licensing. He keeps telling me that we have a contract, but the contract is incomplete, and in the hands of my attorney. At this point I almost wish I could throw in the towel, but I have to sell this house.
1 vote
The Hagley G…, Agent, Pleasanton, CA
Sun Sep 7, 2008
If I were the home owner, I would terminate the relationship with the agent notify their broker, and file a compaint with the Department of Real Estate.
Web Reference:  http://www.cindihagley.com
1 vote
J R, , New York, NY
Sat Sep 6, 2008
Susan, I think if you polled every realtor on this site you would get the same answer. Giving out the lockbox number to a non agent is inexcusable. If you have proof that your agent did that I would go go the broker immediately and report this Realtor to the Realtor association in your area, the department of state, and whomever else you can think of. Perhaps your attorney?
1 vote
Sylvia Barry,…, Agent, Marin, CA
Sat Sep 6, 2008
Hi Susan:

That is totally unexcuseable. We, as Realtors, have a fiduciary duty to represent and protect our clients interest. Giving lock box number to unlicensed Realtor puts your home and yourself security in jeopardy.

I don't know if it's available in your area, but in most towns around the country, we use electronic lock box which will only be accessible to agents who are part of the local association and/or MLS - part of the expenses we have as Realtors.

The Realtor who belongs to the system need to sync their electronic key with the server on a daily basis, so anybody who is not currently on the system or who was, but is not, a registered user, will not be able to access the box. The real estate brokerage, associations and MLS boards are very diligent about who belongs to the association / brokerage or not. They are off the system right away.

For outside Realtors who do not belong to the same system and do not have electronic keys, we will go and meet them so they can show the homes.

Yes, we have the responsibility to protect you and your property.

Best,
Sylvia Barry
Marin Realtor
1 vote
;, , Riverhead, NY
Sat Sep 6, 2008
Did I really just read this, Susan?
Drop the lockbox and the sign off, and get another agent- opinion.
Web Reference:  http://optionsrealty.com
1 vote
Alan May, Agent, Evanston, IL
Sat Sep 6, 2008
Susan, you are correct, in my opinion, this is grounds for immediate dismissal, and you should notify the agent's managing broker, and if you want, ask for immediate cancellation & release of your contract with the agency.

Allowing a buyer through your property without an agent present is indefensible (It doesn't matter if he was on the way to the hospital with his screaming child to have an appendectomy), and inexcusable.

Your agent not only allowed a buyer to walk through your home unaccompanied, but he also gave the the combination to the lock box, which means that if they wanted to (let's assume the worst for a moment) come back and steal all of your belongings, they have complete access. Change the lock box code, re-key
your locks (at the expense of the agency), and change agent & agency.

Inexcusable.
1 vote
Ute Ferdig, Agent, Auburn, CA
Sat Sep 6, 2008
Hello Susan. Sharing lockbox combinations with unlicensed individuals does not only compromise your safety and your agent's duties to you, but is most likely also a violation of the MLS rules. I agree that this is unacceptable and you should definitely complain to the agent's broker/office manager. Ask for a written unconditional release from the listing agreement if you can't get a satisfactory solution of this situation. You have to remember that your listing agreement is not with the agent personally, but with the agent's brokerage. Assigning a new agent or the broker handling the listing him/herself might remedy the situation. It I were the broker, I would definitely do everything I can to make this right with you and if releasing you from the contract is what you want, I'd make that happen. Good luck to you.
1 vote
., , Brick, NJ
Sat Sep 6, 2008
Realtors are supposed to conduct business by a strict code of ethics, Make sure you contact the Broker of this agent this is not acceptable and it is cause for you to get out of your listing agreement with this company. If you are please with the company's representation overall your realtor’s brokers should assign another realtor within the company to service your needs. It is unfortunate that realtors like this are able to continue to make a bad name for other professionals who would never conduct business in this manner. If you are looking for a home at the Beautiful Jersey Shore Contact Dawn Marie White Real Estate Professional 732-528-6800 x 204
Web Reference:  http://www.njwaterfront.com
1 vote
John Savigna…, Agent, Hopkinton, MA
Sat Sep 6, 2008
The very 1st step should be to contact the agents manager or office owner. The manager or owner is actually the responsible party fdor the agents actions. You should contact him or her and give them a chance to respond.
Sorry for the unpleasant experience.
1 vote
Michael Lefe…, Agent, Westborough, MA
Sat Sep 6, 2008
Ouch! Unrepresented buyers should be shown the house by YOUR agent only. No excuses. I have to agree 110% that this is totally unacceptable. Sounds like a lazy agent with no regard for you and your family's safety. Definite grounds for immediate termination. Sorry you had to deal with that.
1 vote
Katherine Wa…, Agent, Winchester, MA
Wed May 18, 2011
This is unprofessional and I would contact the agent's broker/owner and report him/her. Not cool.
0 votes
Tim Cahill, , Arlington, MA
Sat May 30, 2009
I'm dying to know how this ended up playing out! Any ideas anyone? I hope the guy loses his license for good!
0 votes
Michael Lefe…, Agent, Westborough, MA
Tue Sep 23, 2008
Susan-
You've got to be kidding! Call MLS today and see if they can help you get your listing taken off (508-845-1011). If you can get it off MLS, it will stop the feeds to other websites as well. Is this agent the owner or broker of the company you are dealing with? Is there anyone above him you can speak with?

I didn't think this guy could have crossed the line anymore than he already has, but he has certainly proved me wrong with this move.

Please keep us informed of your progress. And you're right - this guy should not be practicing (and I mean that literally) real estate.

-Mike
0 votes
Susan Harris…, Both Buyer And Seller, 02474
Tue Sep 23, 2008
I have now reported him to the licensing division, my attorney has called him. I cannot show my house, I cannot list my house, and he will not quit. The house is still showing on the MLS and other websites showing him/them as the listing agent. I am at wits end. This guy should be in jail.
0 votes
J R, , New York, NY
Sun Sep 7, 2008
Susan, don't you know if your attorney is working on a contract?
0 votes
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