How it went down
A while back, I was looking for listings for a client of ours. He and I go way back, working together on the PD, and I consider him a friend as well as a client.
We found a home that was located in the Santa Clarita Valley, which seemed to fit his criteria, so I called the listing agent.
The listing agent informed me that this home was a short sale (I already knew that), she also said that the owner is not wanting to show the property at the present time. So I did the natural thing and asked her, "When is the seller wanting to show the property?" She said that she was not sure and would let me know.(I've heard that before...)
I sent her an email to remind her of our conversation.
(some short sales are used as a means to delay the foreclosure process - with a short sale, while the bank is closing in on the short sale seller, who is no longer making payments, a short sale can hold off the Auction Action)
The Short Sale enters escrow
I wish I could tell you that I was surprised. I was not. This happens way too often. I noticed that the agent had put this listing into "Back-Up position" within the Multiple Listing Service. So much for being able to view the property :-)
Another natural reaction, I called the listing agent again. I said that I was never notified of the property being able to be viewed while it was showing active(I know that is not the other agent's job, but she did tell me she would...). I also reminded her that I had called three times in the 7 day period that the property was active to when it showed as being in escrow(back-up status).
A liars response
She said, "I had gotten your messages, but the property was never able to be shown, but an agent wrote an offer subject to interior inspection and that is the one that I submitted to the bank..."
Seriously? Some short sales are not shown because they are tenant occupied. That I get, due to the tenants having a multitude of rights within the eyes of the LAW. But a Owner occupied Short Sale? Sounds Fishy...
I explained to my client what had transpired between myself and the listing agent - he "got it"...
Trust only gets a Real Estate agent and their client so far. I totally get that most people in the world have a hard time relating to this story. Most people are not dealing with other real estate agents on a daily basis. However, we do and this is extremely typical.
Client calls the Listing Agent
My client calls me and reminds me a few weeks later about this particular listing that is for sale. I told him that I remembered and he said that he called the listing agent. He said he did not use his real name :-) (a clever tactic that I shared with him during our Real Estate crash course)...
The listing agent told him that the home is in "Back Up" position and that the seller was accepting back up offers. He then told her that he was working a real estate agent and she said to have his agent call her to discuss the offering options and how it could be shown.
The agent should have been a tackle in the NFL
I called the listing agent. I asked the agent if she remembered me and the previous phone calls about the residence and me wanting to take a client inside. She confirmed that she remembered. I then asked her what the status of the home was. Per the Multiple Listing Service, it was showing in back up, therefore - I wanted to get my client inside so we can put together and submit a back up offer if he likes it.
She said that the seller does not want show the property any longer. I reminded her of me wanting to show it when it was just listed - she them retracted and said that the property had never been shown and the offer had been submitted sight unseen.
The "Pile-Driver" Move
I then said, "my client had just called you and you told him that the seller was accepting back up offers." She said, "I never told your client that I was accepting back up offers, I said my seller had wanted me keep an "interest list", just in case it falls out of escrow." (not a typical seller request :-) )
"The same interest list that I was added to when the listing was new on the market...", I retorted...
She Hung Up....
There are two versions and one truth
My Story, Your Story and the truth. :-)
It is not up to question the motivations of my real estate clientele and whether or not they are telling me the truth. It is extremely rare that someone interested in making the biggest investment of their lives would lie to their chosen real estate representative.
It is, however, up to me forming an opinion about the real estate my clients are interested in and to shield them from harm and to protect their interests.
It's Sad - but this scenario is all too common in the current real estate market.
How you can never be "taken" by a real estate agent
Have your agent present you with a Buyer Broker Agreement - That way, you will never be able to "taken" by another Real Estate agent.