my realtor held multiple open houses without my knowledge or consent - is this legal? I live in Blaine, MN

Asked by Trishalea, 54301 Sat May 14, 2011

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Susan Hoffla…, Agent, Shoreview, MN
Sun May 15, 2011
Hi, Trishalea!
I'm confused. How did this happen? Did you wake up one day and your agent was sitting there holding the house open? :D

I guess I'm a little surprised your agent didn't tell you they were scheduling open houses. Usually, the agent would WANT to tell you they were doing open houses as that's a GOOD thing, unless you specifically said you didn't want any open houses. And, did you not know because you don't live in the house or you were out of town when they were being held or what?

Hopefully, your agent has sufficiently apologized. I hope the agent's motivation was just to get your property sold, and the open house was a means to that end.

Let us know how this works out!!
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Kent Meister, Agent, Coon Rapids, MN
Sat May 14, 2011
I agree with Cameron as for the ‘legal’ side of this question. I suggest going to an attorney or ask someone on the legal team at the MN Association of Realtors.

I think the real question is why were you not aware, and did you specifically give them approval in the listing agreement and were not fully aware of it? I am with Keller Williams Classic Realty and we have a document all sellers sign at listing agreement time that clearly describes this, and the sellers either agree to open houses or not. I have policy to always make all clients aware of any open houses planned, and follow up with any details from the open immediately after unless I have been instructed otherwise by the seller of the property.

Kent Meister GRI,CNS
Keller Williams Classic Realty
Cell: 612.840.1657
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Michael Emery, , Minneapolis, MN
Sat May 14, 2011
There is no language in the Minnesota listing agreement that spells out this situation. The only language that comes close is that the seller has to make the property available for showings. However an agent should always check with the seller before scheduling an open house.

If you were aware that your agent wanted to do an open house, would you have consented? And are we talking about an 'open house' or scheduled showings of the property?
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Joseph Domino, Agent, Scottsdale, AZ
Sat May 14, 2011
Look at the agreement you signed with the agent. Did you give them permission?

Why would you sign a Listing Agreement without knowing what, where, when and how your agent is going to market your home? The agent works for you, tell them what you want.
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Marie Souza…, Agent, Centerville, MA
Sat May 14, 2011
Do you live in the house? Does your agent have to request permission to show the house every time? Our listing agreements state that we have the right to advertise the property. We are upfront & communicate with our clients when we are going to the property. Are you upset that your agent has done all these Open Houses? Or just that they didn't communicate with you? It would seem to me that, yes it would be nice for them to communicate to you what the activity level is & when they are doing showings/open houses, so you know what's going on.
The Marie Souza Team - Top Selling on Cape Cod
Cape Cod Real Estate Services
Phone: 508-790-2000
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Cameron Piper, Agent, Forest Lake, MN
Sat May 14, 2011

The legality of this question will likely need to be answered by an attorney. My broker requires me to have a form signed if I wish to hold open houses but it is possible that form is simply a CYA for the broker should someone become upset about open houses.

Find a good real estate attorney and see if they can't give you any guidance. I can't think of a specific statute that would forbid open houses unless otherwise authorized, but there are many nuances to the law. Not knowing for certain, our answer is to simply get the owners consent.

Cameron Piper
Coldwell Banker Burnet
licensed in MN
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