real estate agents

Loyalty in Real Estate Goes Both Ways

It’s probably happened to just about any real estate agent out there whether the agent realizes it or not. Cold hearted, white lyin’, running off into the sunset with another real estate agent kind of cheating.

The short sale phenomenon in the market has fanned the flames of real estate infidelity. With months of impatient waiting for a “maybe” purchase with so much time to kill, eyes start wandering and before you know it the pre-approved short sale or foreclosure home dreams are made of pops up on the internet.

If the buyers haven’t signed a buyer broker agreement they really have no legal reason to remain loyal to the agent they’ve been working with. The moral basis to be loyal is debatable. Sometimes the buyers move on and ever so quietly begin working on a transaction or two, elsewhere.

It’s a delicate balance placing offers on more than one home and not getting on the hook for all of them. If that happens it’s nobody’s fault but the buyer’s, of course, since the agents involved generally didn’t know anything about each others relationship with the buyer.

Why a buyer wouldn’t contact their original agent and just say, “We were nosing around the internet, found a home that looks interesting, will you help us take a run at it?” I’ll never understand.

It seems that it would make sense to keep the entire home buying process under control of one agent who knows exactly what’s going on with all of the transactions and even offer professional advise or opinion by comparison of all of the properties.

The buyers, now and then, bail out the transaction with a phone call but most often by flimsy excuse in an email. Getting dumped by email is now the “Dear John” letter of the 21st century for both romantic relationships and real estate transactions.

Here’s the thing about those out of the blue “we have to cancel the contract because my wife lost her job” emails. Unexpectedly laid-off buyers with mortgage contingencies still need to provide documentation from their lender stating that they no longer qualify for the mortgage.

The seller’s aren’t going to take their word for it. Which is probably smart, since their word … is worth what it’s worth.

Cheating and fibbing is a messy sport. If you’re going to play, you also risk getting caught and possibly being held legally responsible for your decisions and risking the escrow deposit.

Discovery by accident or just by poking around a little isn’t that hard. Just about anyone can log onto Facebook and see the “Wee! We found an even better house!” post put up for the world to see.

There are also a few wild cards out there that nobody counts on muddying the waters. Those escrow deposit verification forms and inspection reports get faxed or emailed to the agents involved. The wrong file attachment is karma’s funny little way of leveling the playing field and flushing out the truth.

Happenstance sometimes brings the right street, wrong house number file to an inbox and the realization that there is also an escrow deposit with the same buyers on a house four doors down.

That kind of blows that whole “my wife lost her job and now we can’t get a mortgage” fabrication out of the water.


Real Life in Bonita Springs is a project by Chris Griffith dedicated to writing useful blog posts for consumers about the Bonita Springs, Florida area.  Find out what it is really like to live in Bonita Springs, Florida by reading about our fair city. You’ll get the latest in local real estate information, Bonita Springs real estate market reports and a little bit of humor.  If you have topic ideas, feel free to request a story about the idea, after all, this site is just for you.

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