When a Sacramento Real Estate Agent’s Reputation is All That Remains

ar129493158679991It wasn’t that the buyer’s agent forced me to open Microsoft Word — which takes so much longer than any of my other applications to load, patience, patience, to find the document in which I record decades of unpleasant transaction notes — it was that many real estate professionals may now associate this particular agent’s name with unethical real estate practices. After the day is said and done and the years are over, and all the crazy people have crawled back into their caves, the reputation of a Sacramento real estate agent might be all that lingers.

An agent’s reputation should be fiercely maintained.

Successful agents, for example, are often slid under a microscope to study. Sometimes these agents are unjustly attacked by other real estate agents for stupid reasons, mostly because competitors become jealous. It’s the nasty underbelly of the real estate business and a silent consequence of success. Aspiring agents admire success but it can also be a tug-of-war internally for them. Regardless, we all need to treat each other with respect. As REALTORS, we must adhere to the Code of Ethics.

To be kind, some agents can experience, let’s say, a lapse of better judgment.

For me, I don’t look so much at what other people say when they screw up, I look at what they do. If a buyer’s agent calls me to talk about a client’s offer, spends a long time discussing the buyers’ love affair with the home but fails to mention that the agent has written a second offer for that buyer, well, not only is it considered unethical, but that kind of practice could be against the law. Buyers can’t buy two homes if they can’t afford to buy both. Lawyers can scream this until the cows come home and agents don’t listen.

As what happens in these types of problematic situations is both offers tend to get accepted. At that point, the buyer’s agent had another open window to say, hey, I have something to disclose. But no, the agent’s lips are zipped until the buyer bails on both accepted offers. Ordinarily, a listing agent wouldn’t even know this has happened, but when she discovers it — and the truth often manages to come out — she’s not the only person. Both sets of sellers know, and so do all of their friends. The people at title and escrow know. The other agent whose seller received a cancellation knows. All the people that agent knows know. And so on.

This is how a buyer’s agent’s reputation can turn into mud.

And for what? A pair of buyers who bailed on the buyer’s agent and decided not to even to move to Sacramento after all?

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