Article 16 and a Sacramento Agent’s Listing

what is your excuse questionIt’s not often that I have to ask another real estate agent to stop contacting my clients, but generally when I remind an agent that asking sellers pointed questions about selling their home — apart from making sellers uncomfortable — could be considered interference in another agent’s listing and a violation of Article 16 of the Code of Ethics, the offender stops.

Article 16 pertains only to a REALTOR. Not all real estate agents are REALTORs.

The agents might get ticked off at me for calling them on it, and some of them do. Comes with the territory; it’s a risk I take. There are agents who practice ethics and those who don’t. Those who practice ethics respect agents who do, and those who don’t, well, it doesn’t really matter what they think.

Agents sometimes interfere because they haven’t stopped to consider the consequences of their actions, or they feel that what they are doing is innocent (in their minds) and they haven’t looked at the hard, cold facts of how a Sacramento real estate agent or anybody else with a rationale mind might view it. Some agents think they are “helping” and they forget / overlook that they are interfering. I get that.

But if I sit on the fence and say nothing, I am perpetrating this behavior.

It’s a fine line to walk in this business.

Last week I asked an agent to please stop emailing my client with questions about selling her home. This particular seller’s name and personal information is not in MLS. If a buyer’s agent has questions, the agent can ask me, and I’ll be happy to assist. I don’t care if the agent knows the seller from church, through another professional association or spotted the seller at the gas station and struck up a conversation at the gas pump. Buyer’s agents are not supposed to grill, discuss or ask represented sellers questions about selling their home.

Like I said, this seller’s name and contact information is not even listed in MLS. There was no permission given to contact the seller. It’s bad enough when an agent calls a seller to schedule a showing, for example, and asks how many offers the seller has received. Big no-no. But agents have absolutely no right to even call a seller when the showing instructions state otherwise.

The real estate agent responded that the agent was not emailing my client, the agent was texting.

I see. It would seem that this Sacramento real estate agent might need to explain that:

  • sending emails
  • texting messages
  • calling on a walkie-talkie, cell or landline
  • writing letters
  • dipping one’s finger in vanilla to write a secret message on white paper
  • sending up smoke signals or
  • standing out in front of the seller’s house and yelling

are all methods that are unacceptable behavior to contact the seller of a listed home to discuss details about selling the home.

All we are trying to do here is get to the closing table in one piece. We are all in this business together.


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