You are here:

Buying or Selling a Home/Agent pursued listing to ensure NOT sold.


How and who is responsible for an agent pursuing a listing with the ulterior motive of assuring it didn't sell?
My ex took everything in our divorce and set me up to lose the business he forced me to take. I managed to survive the past 4 years while trying to sell. A realtor we both know approached me 2 years ago, gave me a song and dance on how he would devote all his time to selling it and would make an elaborate package to market it. He rarely brought anyone to see it and several months into the listing I found the nice loopnet ad a friend in real estate had on for me had been changed to an unappealing ad that had little info and seemed written by a child. I contacted him, he changed it but it still wasn't up to what it was. When the listing expired he hounded me to resign but I avoided it, marketing myself and got a lot of inquiries and now have 3 potential qualified buyers. He finally came to my home to try and talk me into it and got me to agree excluding anyone I found or any realtor that came from where I was marketing it(though he "forgot" to put the agent part in the exclusion and I had to give it back to be added)I recently heard that this man had been put in place by my ex and his attorney to assure I didn't sell therefore my ex, on the mortgage could get it back in foreclosure. I checked loopnet which had the wrong info and was posted off the market. My secretary called his agency posing as a buyer interested in my property but it wasn't on in the MILS and they knew nothing of it but said they would look into it.  I don't know how they tracked him down but they called back saying they talked to the agent who said it was off market. She asked about putting a back up contract and told there was a domestic dispute involving it and she would be better off finding a different property. For almost 2 years I've struggled, listening to him say no one was buying, wondering when I listed it so far below value no one was interested. I am now in foreclosure but hoping 1 of my 3 buyers comes through in time. Fact is I most likely would have sold long ago and not lost so much money if not for this.  He doesn't know I am aware yet as I am trying to decide what to do with this info. Do I have recourse against him and his broker?

Hi Wendy - First, you will want to contact the agents supervisor. This person is called the Designated Broker, Responsible Individual or Owner. This person has a statutory duty to supervise the 'real estate activity' of their licensees. Remember, a real estate agent must be licensed and therefore is burdened with a certain level of expertise within their field and also possesses a statutory burden to perform at a standard of care commensurate with one who holds a real estate license. Do not be intimidated or mislead into speaking with anyone else. If you find no success, I recommend escalating the issue to a statutory complaint that you would file with the Florida Real Estate Commission stating a description of the licensees failure to perform with no dramatics or emotion... 'just the facts, ma'am"- Peter Faulk is what they will look for. You may desire to pay an attorney a small fee to assist you in writing the complaint if you aren't familiar with reviewing the laws in your state. Clear and concise is the best way to get your point across. This may take some time for processing, which you may not have available. But I would do this to ensure this persons actions don't hurt another member of the public. Another much more efficient remedy may be to contact the editor of the local television station who handles investigative reporting (Turn To TV10, TV3 on Your Side, etc). This is the type of reporting you see on TV that lures people to hang on till the end of the broadcast but I find this exceptionally powerful. No company wants their firm on the news where a client is complaining about the company's performance, or lack thereof. There is typically enough persuasion that 'if what the client was saying is true' the firm will solve the dilemma. Commercial agents are not usually members of the National Association of REALTORS (NAR). There is a REALTOR Commercial Alliance Program where Membership in this prestigious organization has further obligations of expertise, performance and service to our 'clients and customers' which are described in the NAR Code of Ethics. You can find this COE by visiting and search in the upper right hand corner for "2013 Code of Ethics". Articles 1-10 describe an REALTORS duties to their clients and customers. Although most commercial practitioners aren't members you may want to see if this agent is. to see if he is a member you can visit (.com for the public site) and select search/find an agent. If they are a member there name will be listed. This provides you two (2) avenues.. first, he must perform according to the code of ethics, therefore if the agents performance is in violation of the code you can demand that he performs to this standard of care. The second, is if they are a member, there is a professional standards compliance venue that can assist you once you file a complaint. This is done through the local real estate association. Once they receive notice the complaint has been filed they either immediately correct their performance, or they reply with an opposing viewpoint. If they reply, once again this will take some time to have a local hearing where they will be viewed in front of their peers, which is very undesirable for the REALTOR. This venue also has a statute of limitations where you must file the complain within 180 days of the time you found out, or should have known, about the issue. To RECAP this step 1 is to call the company he works for and ask for the owner or designated broker/branch manager; step 2 would be to talk to the television networks editor handling investigative reporting; step 3 would be to hire a real estate attorney that can place equal pressure on your husband's attorney and use the Law to emphasize and protect your position; step 4 is to contact the states licensing commission and file a complaint, although the process may take a while, and if there is a statutory violation, you will have protected yourself and others from the same tactics; and finally if he is an NAR member you can utilize the Code of Ethics to control his performance as well as file a complaint if it is within the 180 day limitation. No company desires bad publicity so these steps should be the appropriate and effective procedures to resolve your dispute. Please reply if you have additional questions. Please remember I am not a real estate attorney so this is not to be considered legal advice, rather this is professional real estate information that any experienced REALTOR should be able to provide. Thank you - Todd

Buying or Selling a Home

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




National Association of Realtors Code of Ethics and Professional Standards * Contract Questions: Arizona Real Estate Purchase Contract, Exclusive Buyer Broker Contracts, Listing Contracts and associated contract documentation (addenda) as it relates to boilerplate, covenants, contingencies, procedures and procedures. * ARMLS Arizona Regional Multiple Listing questions * Real Estate Professional Standards and Practices, Ethics, Obligations, Duties * Agency relationships in Arizona, Procurring Cause * Questions typicaly arising during the listing period * Questions typically arising during the escrow period * Questions about working with a real estate agent/REALTOR * Questions Related to New Home Builders


National Association of REALTORS Board of Director (2011, 2012) Arizona Real Estate Salesperson License (1991-1995), Arizona Real Estate Brokers License (1995-Present), Arizona Association of REALTORS Board of Directors (2008-2013), Arizona Association of REALTORS Professional Standards Committee (2008-2012), AAR Certified NAR Code of Ethics and Professional Standards Instructor, Southeast Valley Regional Association of REALTORS President (2012) Southeast Valley Regional Association of REALTORS Board of Directors (2008-2013), Southeast Valley Regional Association of REALTORS Grievance Committee Chairperson (1998-2007), Southeast Valley Regional Association of REALTORS Bylaws Committee (2008-2010), Southeast Valley Regional Association of REALTORS Education Committee (2007-09), Arizona Association of REALTORS Forms Committee - Residential Purchase Contract (2005), Arizona Association of REALTORS Forms Committee - Residential Rental Agreement (2008), Arizona Association of REALTORS Forms Committee - Buyer Broker Agreement (2009), Arizona Association of REALTORS Presidents Advisory Group, Road to Professionalism (2009), Arizona Association of REALTORS GRI Curriculum Review Committee (2009), Arizona Department of Real Estate, Commissioner's Education Advisory Group Sub-Panel B (2010) Arizona Department of Real Estate, Commissioner's Statute and License Review Committee (2007)

National Association of REALTORS, Arizona Association of REALTORS, Arizona Real Estate Educators Association (AZREEA), Arizona Regional Multiple Listing System (ARMLS), American Notary Association, Southeast Valley Regional Association of REALTORS (SEVRAR), Southeast Valley Regional Association of REALTORS Women's Council of REALTORS (2010-Present), Phoenix Association of REALTORS (1994-2000, 2005-2009), Scottsdale Association of REALTORS (1994-2000, 2005-2009), Maricopa/Glendale Association of REALTORS (1994-2000, 2005-2009),

"Real Estate in 2008"- Lifebushido Publishing (Contributory Author), Southeast Valley Regional Association of REALTORS "SEVRAR Magazine", Internet Crusade, RealTown ListServe,, Active Rain

- Certified NAR Code of Ethics and Professional Standards Instructor, Graduate REALTOR Institute (1993), Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE), Over 100 Hours of annual real estate continuing education, Annual Ethics and Professional Standards Development Workshops as required by the National Association of REALTORS, Approx. 36 hours of NAR Code of Ethics training annually, Numerous IDW, Seminars and Train the Trainer programs, Business Management Degree - 1981

Awards and Honors
2009 REALTOR of the Year Award, Southeast Valley Regional Association of REALTORS (10,000+ Members), Double Platinum Production Award ($45,000,000 Sales Volume)- Keller Williams Realty Int'l (2001), Top 15 Sales Production Keller Williams Realty International (2001), Top 5 Sales Producation Keller Williams Realty Southwest Region (2001), Top Recruiter Award - Keller Williams Realty Int'l, SW Region (2002), Who's Who in U.S. Executive (1983), Who's Who in U.S. Real Estate Professionals (2007)

©2016 All rights reserved.