Real Estate Ethics 101-Another Day In The Life Of A Phoenix Short Sale Agent

I have a Phoenix short sale listing on a beautiful home, priced at $399,900.  This past weekend, we received 3 offers on the home.  Our first choice ended up being an all-cash offer at $379,000.  Our 2nd choice was a financed offer at $380,000, and the 3rd came in at $350,000.

To give a little background, the home has polybutylene pipes throughout, and this was disclosed in the Realtor Remarks section of the MLS.  To cover our butts, before accepting any of the offers, I called all three buyer's agents, and asked them if they were aware of the poly-plumbing issue.  As expected, the agents on our 1st and 3rd choice offers never bothered to read it.  The agent on our 2nd choice did read it, had her clients research it before writing the offer, and ultimately signed an addendum, stating they were aware of the poly-pipes.

The agent on the all-cash offer called me back, and said his client "needed a few days" to research it.  He asked if we could give him the time to do his research.  Obviously, the group that did their homework wanted a response by 5 pm the next day.  So, I told him he had until 5 pm Sunday to get back with me.  He told me that this deal "wasn't meant to be", and told me to go ahead and move forward on the other offer.


Fast forward to yesterday.  I get a call from my seller, giddy with excitement.  The all-cash buyer's agent decided to stop by the house unannounced (MLS requires a minimum 1 hour notice), and decided to have a chit-chat with my sellers.

Now for the best part...The buyer begged and pleaded with my seller (in front of his agent) to "switch buyers", as he really wanted the house.  My buyer tried to stave him off, telling him repeatedly that he needed to call me with any questions (he was coached well).  The buyer, again, with his agent standing right there, persisted.  At the end of the day, he offered him cash "under the table" if he could make the other buyers go away.

As you can imagine, my jaw dropped as I listened.  Biting my tongue, I explained to my seller that we were under contract with the other buyer, and the contract specifically states that we will not be submitting any other offers to the bank, unless told to do so by the lender, in writing.

Today, I received the following email from the buyer's agent...

Hey Bob—

My client and I stopped by and met the homeowner of XXXXX. We all hit it off really well—had a lot in common. Anyway, when he realized that we were the ones to submit the cash offer, but were concerned about the Poly piping, he told us he was going to call you to see if we can switch Buyers. My Buyer is comfortable moving ahead after seeing the home, even with the Poly piping. The Seller wants to move back to my Buyer, and my Buyer wants to buy this house. Can we make this happen somehow?


To which I responded....


Hello XXXX,

My client did call me after you guys left the house yesterday.  Obviously, he was interested in the fact that your client offered him money "under the table" in order to switch buyers.  To make a long story short, I told him that we are already under contract with the other buyer, and the short sale addendum specifically says that we will not submit subsequent offers.  So, to answer your question, we cannot switch buyers.
If you remember, your client said that he needed until Tuesday or Wednesday to consult someone in regards to the poly-plumbing.  The buyers we currently have under contract knew about the poly-piping issue before writing the offer, did their research, and signed an addendum to that effect.  Because we had a deadline to respond to their offer, we had no other choice but to accept it and move forward.
While I'm happy to hear that all of you "hit it off" with the buyer, I'm extremely disappointed that you, as an agent, even allowed these conversations to take place.  The Code of Ethics specifically covers this issue in detail.  You and your clients should have NEVER had these types of conversations with a buyer that is clearly represented by another agent (me).  From now on, when confronted with this type of situation, I highly recommend you cease all conversations and call the listing agent.
As I've stated before, your contract is in a back-up position.  Should anything happen with the first offer, I will contact you.
Can you believe the nerve of this guy?  What happened to Real Estate Ethics 101?  What would you do?  File a complaint with the Board of Realtors?  Call his broker?  Would love to hear your thoughts on this.
Oh well, just another day in the life of a Phoenix short sale agent...

Looking For A Dedicated Phoenix Realtor? Let me GOOGLE one for you!


Subscribe To This Blog Via Email

Facebook Link Twitter Link LinkedIn Link rss button

Bob Hertzog

Summit Home Consultants

Search Phoenix Homes For Sale

Copyright © By Bob Hertzog 2011 *Real Estate Ethics 101-Another Day In The Life Of A Phoenix Short Sale Agent*