Showing Off Spencer-Discovering Spencer, the Brookfields, Worcester County, Massachusetts and New England: Code of Ethics Violation-Part II

Code of Ethics Violation-Part II

stopArticle 16 of the Realtor's Code of Ethics state, "Realtors shall not engage in any practice or take any action inconsistent with exclusive representation or exclusive brokerage relationship agreements that other Realtors have with clients."  Article 16 is intended to recognize as unethical two basic types of solicitations.  I am going to focus on 1 of the 2 in this blog. 


"First, telephone or personal solicitations of property owners who have been identified by a real estate sign, multiple listing compilation, or other information service as having exclusively listed theri property with another Realtor."

My Story!  Again this is the same client as in Part I.  She is a beautiful person inside and out, that owns a very unique propert in Worcester County, Massachusetts.  This charming ranch sits on top of a hill set back from the road approximately 300 ft.  It is rare that someone knocks on the door, however one day a couple of weeks ago, my client did indeed get a knock on the door.  When she answered it, it was a young women that looked to be mid thirties, blonde hair, and glasses with a gentleman in the car.  She identified herself as a Realtor, and explained that she noticed the sign was down (casualty of the rough winter), and wanted to know if the house was still for sale. (No violation yet!)  My client told her that in fact her house was still listed and provided my name and company.

This agent went on to tell my client that we all compete for business, and she may want to think about switching agents because they advertise in Boston Mass.  My client told them that her house was being aggressively marketed which includes extensive web marketing that also incorporated the Boston Massachusetts market.  (Code violation?)

My client then asked why she was knocking on her door.  The agent said she does this all the time!  (I hope she ment expireds and not currently listed houses)

The icing on the cake!!! A couple of days after the incident, my client recieved a note from the agent with her business card.


I need your vote:

At what point do you think this agent crossed the line?

What actions do you think I should take?

Do you think this was a violation of the Realtor's Code of Ethics?

 Pam Crawford

Pam Crawford, ABR,e-PRO®,CRS,CDPE,LMC

Owner, REALTOR®, Managing Partner, MBA, BSBA
RE/MAX Professional Associates


phone/fax (508)-784-0503    



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Comment balloon 7 commentsPam Crawford • February 26 2011 06:39AM


If she was going door to door and not targeting your listing, than there is no violation (my opiniion), similar to sending out farming cards to everyone in the neighborhood. If she went because the sign was down, even if she wasn't farming, I don't think it was a violation unless she was trying to get the seller to cancel the listing.


PS: Although I don't believe there is a violation (yet), I think she acted inappropriately.

Posted by Kathy Denworth, Realtor in the Florida Keys, Islamorada, Key Largo (Century 21 Schwartz Realty) over 7 years ago

Hi Pam - In my opinion, hearing only one side, Grievance would send this to Ethics for a hearing.  Once the agent was told that the seller had exclusive representation she should have backed off.  Apparently she didn't.  She crossed the line.  Was there a note on the business card?

Posted by Conrad Allen, Webster, Ma, Realtor (Re/Max Professional Associates) over 7 years ago

I think going to the door wasn't the violation, as you pointed out.  But once your client told the agent she was being represented by another agent, that should have been the end of the conversation or, in my opinion, she's guilty of interfering with another agent's exclusive... that's how my office defines it in NY. 

Posted by Kimberly A Norgard (Devlin McNiff Halstead Real Estate) over 7 years ago


My thoughts were similar to Conrads.  She stopped because the sign was down, however, once the client said that she was still under contract with another agent, and the agent standing in front of her continued on, I think that's where she crossed the line!  When she continued to say we compete against each other all the time, and then proceeded to spew her marketing plan, I againg think she went way too far.  I think once the agent found out the house was still listed she should have gracefully backed out.

Posted by Pam Crawford, Owner-RE/MAX Prof. Assoc.,MBA, CDPE, CRS, ABR (RE/MAX Professional Associates) over 7 years ago


My seller said there was a card, and she is currently looking for it.  Unfortunately, it may have been one of our own.  Very sad to say.  May be in broker bytes this week, or maybe a topic of conversation at the next Tuesday's trainings featuring Conrad Allen!

Posted by Pam Crawford, Owner-RE/MAX Prof. Assoc.,MBA, CDPE, CRS, ABR (RE/MAX Professional Associates) over 7 years ago


I agree with you!  My feeling was when she continued on She crossed the line.

Posted by Pam Crawford, Owner-RE/MAX Prof. Assoc.,MBA, CDPE, CRS, ABR (RE/MAX Professional Associates) over 7 years ago

Hi Pam - I agree that this issue should be brought up at our meetings.  I try to squeeze a Code of Ethics or Arbitration case at each meeting.

Posted by Conrad Allen, Webster, Ma, Realtor (Re/Max Professional Associates) over 7 years ago