A simple question leads to an interesting conversation

One of my favorite snippets from the conversation is this –

I would – but there is a very clear and important difference (between Realtors and attorneys) – they clearly disclose the entirely adversarial nature of their relationship.

On top of all that, any comparison of the ‘rules’ put down by the legal Bar – in VA certainly, and in most states – versus the state Realtor’s Associations, is huge. The difference alone in the barriers to access from a career standpoint – beginning with three years of real academic training – go a long, long way to ensuring a much higher set of professional standards.

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  1. the bubble blog July 3, 2008 at 16:18

    Thanks for being a vital part of that conversation, Jim!

  2. Dave Phillips July 6, 2008 at 20:28

    I actually did not like this comment if you put is in the context of the discussion. Taken as a solo comment I do not have a problem with it. The conversation was about what was ethical and what was aggressive behavior on behalf of your client. I was asking the author of this comment if lawyers using sneaky tactics to represent their client (reference the OJ trial and the glove not fitting trick) were “ethical” in his opinion.

    In context, I did not feel the comment answered my question. Does more education mean it is okay to be tricky? Does that mean the author – who throws around the term “unethical Realtor” like chocolate sauce at an ice cream parlor – thinks that a more educated Realtor will be more ethical?

    Also, I do not know when or how lawyers “clearly disclose” their adversarial relationship? Now, I’ve been involved in a few legal battles and the opposing lawyer has never made ANY disclosure to me. Maybe I missed it. I think we all just know the other guys lawyer is out to get us. In real estate, that was not clear to anyone until the mid 90’s when buyer agency became popular, so maybe we need to make sure everyone knows for sure who the agent is working for in the transaction.

  3. michael guthrie July 7, 2008 at 15:21

    I do find it interesting that most agents still do not disclose their agency relationship until they are getting the disclosure signed when writing the contract. The law is clear that everyone should know who the agent is working for and that is to happen at the “1st substinate discussion”. Many can argue when the discussion goes from just giving info to substanitive but there is no doubt in my mind that if you actually are walking in the door of a property with a prospective purchaser, it has gotten substinative and the agent should have disclosed to the prospect that they have a right to be represented and where that agent fits into that equation.

  4. Jim Duncan July 7, 2008 at 16:31

    Dave –

    I agree with you about the context of the original comment, and that is why I deliberately pulled it out of context. I didn’t want to speak to the “ethical Realtors” opinion.

    With regards to your comment about attorneys not specifically disclosing their positions – with attorneys I’d speculate that their positions are pretty clear from the outset.

    Realtors – notsomuch. When a buyer walks into an open house, I’d be curious as to how many times that agent says “I’m here representing the seller, anything you say can and (should necessarily) will be used against you should you proceed to make an unrepresented (Dual Agency) offer on this house.

    Two posts I’ve written in the past speak to this –
    All the Agents Wanted my Business and Default Position.

    Michael –

    Thank you so much for the comment, and I agree 100%. Agents not disclosing their potential relationships to customers/prospective clients do a significant disservice to themselves and their fellow Realtors, IMHO.


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