I met with an owner recently, and he asked me to appraise his home with the view to possibly selling in the future.
I said sure. I asked when the current listing with the current agent expired, as it had been on the internet for about the last 2 years. The owner looked at me puzzled, and said that the listing ran out 6 months ago.
I was adamant, and said "nope", it is plainly marketed for all to see on that company’s website.
The owner firmly told the other agent to “get it down” as he acknowledged that this was harming the value of his property as there was a perception that is was “A dead duck” or stale. He was right, it was.
Then it occurred to me I had seen this recently with several other agents, meaning that the habit of falsely advertising client listings without valid authorities was becoming common practice.
I saw in an agent window a listing recently where the owner absolutely did not authorize the listing which had expired 6 months earlier, and another time listed a block for auction which the previous agent authority expired 6 months earlier, yet the sign and internet was keep “up” for the agent benefit without a valid written authority to do so. Indeed my owner was amazed and surprised this was so. Our code of conduct is specific that agents shall not advertise properties without a valid written authority to do so.
Now I understand that there is a little known "grey area" where a listing can go on forever on a "non-exclusive" basis after it expires until a seller terminates it in writing. I get that. In all 3 cases above however, the sellers thought their listings had expired and did not know that the agents were continuing to market them. I don't think that is good business practice or ethics, AND we would never do it.
Conclusion: I am so grateful that I have adopted an old fashioned, old school mentality of “only clean business” where that behaviour would never be tolerated in our office. It would be dismissal for a sales agent and not negotiable for the office generally. Why would we need to have ghost or bogus listings on our books that the sellers did not know we had?
Only valid, written agreements for listing, marketing, advertising, showing or representing properties or not at all.
I do not for the life of me understand why any agent, and many of those above are long established, supposedly reputable ones, would do otherwise? It is easy to get an extension if the listing is legitimate.
If it is not in writing, then it doesn’t get marketed at Evolution. When the other becomes the norm, it is time for me to do something else for a living. I am content to remain boring and straight forward. Only clean business it is. Thanks and see you in the market place.