Should Agent Wrongs Be Brought To A Public Forum?

Asked by Graham M. Lombardo, Franklin, TN Thu Nov 8, 2007

I'm sure we have all seen the monthly/quaterly bulletins/emails our local boards put out updating Agents on R.E. news and such. Included usually is a list of Agent infractions, both minimal and more weighty, and the associated fines attached. Also, whether an Agents license has been revoked or suspended for any length of time. Is this info appropriate to be disclosed in a public way i.e. (newspaper etc.), say from the local board. Should the public be encouraged to ask this question during any conversations that they might have with their agent? Just curious to see what this forum has to say about it.

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Deborah Madey, Agent, Brick, NJ
Thu Nov 8, 2007
I would not, as a Realtor, go around and talk about an infraction of another licensee. I also would not engage in the printing of such data. Either activity, I believe, would say more about my character (or lack thereof), vs. the person who was subject to discipline.

Consumers should be made aware that they have the right to access pubic record information about a real estate licensee, as they can any licensed trade or profession.
2 votes
Sylvia Barry,…, Agent, Marin, CA
Thu Nov 8, 2007
I have never had to deal with this and hopefully never have to in the future.

I do very 'vaguely' remember seeing some Association of Realtors (CAR?) magazine where there was a list of Realtors whose licenses were either suspended or they were somehow disciplined. I am sorry to say I can't remember which magazine nor how often it comes out.

On CAR public license information site, there is a comment field, and apparently it tells you whether an agent was ever disciplined. Since my record says No Disciplinary Action; I cant' tell you how it'd be worded if there was one; and I should never have that coded :-)

Sure, the public should ask, and if a realtor was displined, he had better be able to explain why. However, if it's just speculation or rumor and not proven yet; I would not mention that.

1 vote
Michael West, , Corona, CA
Thu Nov 8, 2007

In any other type of business the consumer is able to check with entities such as the BBB and various other consumer "watch-dog" groups. Why should real-estate be any different? I think this would force us real estate professionals to be ethical and as educated as possible. I've come across agents who don't even understand the RPA (residential purchase agreement) that they use in every transaction. A public forum would help keep standards high, as no Realtor would like to be on this list and it could also be used as a great marketing tool. What client wouldn't want to work with a Realtor who doesn't have a bad history? Now as long the forum was kept concise and neutral, with no bashing, I think it would be great for the public. Why should we as Realtors, agents, and professionals hide information from the public we serve? They're skeptical enough as it already is.
1 vote
Kevin, Agent, Austin, TX
Thu Nov 8, 2007
The best advice I can think of without know the situation, would be to contact your local Board of Realtors(R). Depending on the local Board of Realtor(s), it is usually possible to file a greivance against the real estate agent provided they are a Realtor(R). Realtors(R) subcribe to abide by the Professional Standards and Code of Ethics as a member of the National Association of Realtors(R). Note: not all real estate agents are Realtors(R).
1 vote
Ruthless, , 60558
Thu Nov 8, 2007
I kept my inactive license for $35 per year for almost 10 years just so I could get the newsletter to see if any of the people I worked with were caught. I looked up my Realtors before I hire them. Yes, I think the public has the right to know.
1 vote
David Rivera…, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Thu Nov 8, 2007
Hi Graham,
I enjoy reading those notices from the board, and since it is a matter of public record, I think it is fair to print. I believe the public has a right to know, also, and would encourage anyone to look up an agents record on the DRE website.
1 vote
Erin Stumpf…, Agent, Sacramento, CA
Thu Nov 8, 2007
Hmm...I feel that if anything is going to be 'advertised' it should be the place or website where the public can go to look-up infractions. There are two sides to every story, and while I do not endorse illegal or unethical activity, I do not feel an agent smear campaign is appropriate. How would one draw the line on what types of major/minor infractions to publish?
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