Default position

I had occasion to show a new construction development this afternoon. I arrived early, before my clients, and talked to the on-site agent for a few minutes. They have a stock form for the public that states “Buyer Brokerage is available.” I asked her how they handled Buyer Brokerage, what would happen if a buyer wanted representation. She said, “I would do both.” Folks, until Dual Agency is the exception and not the agents’ (and company’s) default position, some agents will continue to have shady reputations and, by default, so will my entire profession. Dammit.

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  1. Ray Hyde September 10, 2006 at 21:50

    I hope you told him it was unethical.

  2. Jim Duncan September 11, 2006 at 07:25

    I chose not to address it at that time, as my clients were just outside. What was equally, if not more telling, was that she did not know any home inspectors to recommend because “no one gets home inspections on new construction.”

    Anybody who tells you that home inspections are not necessary has an ulterior motive, in my opinion. I feel I am better prepared to represent my clients after that conversation. Knowing the adversary is an important factor. Shame I think of them as the adversary, though. It shouldn’t be that way.

  3. Anthony Floriani September 11, 2006 at 14:20

    This story is ridiculous! Not because I don’t believe it would happen (quite the opposite, in fact) but simply that people still accept this kind of behavior. I wonder how many buyers actually accepted her “representation.” Aren’t there laws about conflicting interests or something that would apply here? Or is that just a utopian fantasy of mine, that a government might protect the consumer?

  4. Jim Duncan September 11, 2006 at 14:26

    Anthony –

    I think that they (is “prey” too strong a word?) on the ignorance of buyers. There are laws against undisclosed dual agency, but dual agency is legal. My question is whether the disclosure on the sales inquiry form is all the disclosure they provide.

    Right now, I will focus on my clients’ needs and address what I perceive to be a disservice to the public and industry later. My client had the same questions I did, and for that I am happy.

    One client at a time …

  5. TrvlnMn September 12, 2006 at 11:13

    I’d like to know the name of the Real Estate company that thinks this sort of unethical behavior is okay. However I know Jim has to maintain good relationships with the people in his industry, so I won’t ask.

    I will however speculate that this company is “Real Estate 3” based simply on the fact that they tend to get exclusive representation in the selling of most new developments. So shame on them.

    If I’m wrong so be it. I’ve been wrong before and I’ll be wrong again. But I don’t think I am.

  6. Jim Duncan September 12, 2006 at 22:32

    For the record, I try never to mention other companies’ names unless in a positive light.

    Lots of firms represent new construction developments, not just REIII, although they do seem to have cornered the market.

    And yes, good relationships are a vital part of what I do, but I want to maintain good relationships only with quality, ethical professionals who work for a living.

  7. TrvlnMn September 12, 2006 at 22:55

    For the record, I try never to mention other companies’ names unless in a positive light.

    And that’s why I didn’t ask.

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