I guess over the years of selling real estate you get numbed to the downsides of listings homes, and competition from other agents when taking the listings. But after the home is listed, I don't expect to compete with the other agents from contacting the seller directly and trying to solicit the listing. That is totally wrong, unethical and may be considered a misdemeanor in some states as an inducement to breach of contract since the seller has already entered into a binding listing agreement with another agent. Some of the ways that other agents solicit a listing is by previewing only when the seller is at home, and then soft selling themselves and their abilities...while bashing the listing agents. Another way is direct mailing where the MLS active listings are used as the source of mailings, This is also totally unacceptable, and totally underhanded. They are purposely undermining the integrity of REALTORS. Another way is when an agent shows a home and leaves a business card or brochure with a printed message on the back. You'd be surprised at what the messages say! Nothing left to imagination. Basically it is a message to the seller that tells them... nobody does it better! And then there are the brochures that agents leave in a home, that say if you drop your agent, I can save you a lot of money! LOL! How stupid can you get. A lot of discount listing brokers in our area on the back of their business cards says, "Why pay full commission when you can list with us for $395. We are a full service real estate company!" That is a solicitation!
How do I know all of this? The sellers tell me! Because when I take the listings I advise them this is what is going to happen! I ask them to save all real estate mailings, postcards, brochures, and contact information of the agents that show or come by to preview only when the seller's are home. It is very sad, but a reality in this business. You have to understand that the world does not have to share you ethics or morals. But you can take joy and consolation that most of your clients are very loyal and honest. They support you and have faith in your abilities. They chose you for what you stand for!
It is also important not to let anyone that is soliciting get a way with it. Advise your broker, give him / her the name of the offending agent, any printed materials you may have. Put the agent on notice, and that you will proceed against them with all the means that are available to you. IF a persons is dishonest when they are trying to get the business from another agents, they are rotten through and through! We can not tolerate this behavior in our business.
James Crawford ABR, Broker Associate
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