Another Mess to Clean Up for the Profession

J Philip Faranda December 8, 2009

I’m not the first to lament what stupid things some agents do to tarnish our profession. Incompetence, malfeasance, shoddy standards and putting their own needs ahead of the client’s have been well documented. It isn’t much fun being the first licensee the person speaks with after a bad experience with their last agent. 

Earlier this evening I met with a home owner who had just ended a 6 month listing contract with another broker. His experiences made me sad, to say the least. The curious thing was how a well priced, beautiful home like his could have expired unsold. The answer was that it WAS sold, but the deal died after he’d been in contract for 2 months. The instances of poor brokering and bad advice just kept piling up as he explained. 

  • After he accepted an offer on the home, someone knocked on his door with a $30,000 check. They had been trying to reach his agent but couldn’t get a call back. They wanted to buy the home. His broker never returned their call. So, in desperation the buyer knocked on his door. It was too late, as contracts had been signed not long before. 
  • The buyer’s downpayment with the signed contract was half what they agreed. His agent told him that they shouldn’t worry over such a detail, as it would close in 45 days anyway. 
  • The buyer applied for an FHA loan, but the contract forbade that sort of financing, because it was a condo in a complex without FHA approval. 
  • The buyer pumped the contract price up $20,000 to finance a seller concession without disclosing their need for a concession in the beginning. His agent told him not to sweat this, and that it would close quickly. 
  • The house under appraised. When the seller’s attorney demanded proof, it was found to have appraised out just fine, 
  • The buyer was turned down for a loan after the house had been off the market and under contract for the previous 2 months. 
  • Given the bad faith displayed by the buyer, the seller decided not to release their downpayment. His agent screamed that he could not do so. The seller wondered aloud who the listing broker worked for. I don’t blame him, nor does his attorney. 
  • When the discussion of extending the expired listing came up, the seller wanted to renegotiate the commission. The broker told him to take it or leave it. 
A half decent agent would have vetted this buyer and kicked them to the curb, and then sold the place to the guy with the $30,000 check. They also would have returned the other buyer’s call. His agent did neither except for mindless encouragement to just do the doomed deal, sealing his fate and making the rest of us having to work that much harder to restore our profession’s dignity. 

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