Assumed Consent for Direct Contact

Article 16, Part 5

The Complaint

REALTOR® A, who held an exclusive listing of Client B’s property, invited REALTOR® C to cooperate with him. When REALTOR® C, shortly thereafter, received an offer to purchase the property and took it to REALTOR® A, the latter took REALTOR® C with him to present the offer to Client B, and negotiations for the sale were started. The next day, REALTOR® C called on Client B alone, recommended that he accept the offer which was at less than the listed price, and Client B agreed. The contract was signed and the sale was made.
These facts were detailed in a complaint by REALTOR® A to the Board of REALTORS® charging REALTOR® C with unethical conduct in violation of Article 16, having made his second contact with the client without his, REALTOR® A’s, consent.


The Hearing

At the subsequent hearing, REALTOR® C defended his actions on the basis that since he had been invited to cooperate with REALTOR® A, and particularly since REALTOR® A had invited him to be present when his offer was presented to the seller, REALTOR® C had assumed that he had REALTOR® A’s consent for subsequent direct contacts with Client B. He stated further that he had a good reason for going alone because in his first visit to the client, REALTOR® A had undertaken to present his, REALTOR® C’s, offer without fully understanding it and had made an inept presentation. Questioning by members of the Hearing Panel revealed that there had been some important considerations that REALTOR® A had not understood or explained to the client.


The Conclusion

The conclusion of the panel was that the consent of the listing broker required by Article 16, as interpreted by Standard of Practice 16-13, cannot be assumed, but must be expressed; and that REALTOR® C had violated Article 16 by negotiating directly with REALTOR® A’s client without REALTOR® A’s consent.