Dealings Initiated by Another Broker’s Client

Article 16, Part 3

The Complaint

REALTOR® A, a residential broker, had recently listed a home.  REALTOR® A’s marketing campaign included “open houses” on several consecutive weekends.
One Sunday afternoon Buyer B came to the open house.  REALTOR® A introduced herself to Buyer B and asked whether Buyer B was working with another broker. Buyer B responded that he was, in fact, exclusively represented but went on to add that he was quite familiar with the property as it had been previously owned by a close personal friend. REALTOR® A told Buyer B that she would be happy to show Buyer B through the home but reminded Buyer B that she represented the seller and not Buyer B.
After viewing the home, Buyer B indicated that he had pressing business travel plans, was seriously interested in the property, and requested REALTOR® A’s assistance in preparing a purchase offer. REALTOR® A assisted Buyer B in filling out a standard form purchase contract and later that day presented the offer to the seller who accepted it.
REALTOR® A was subsequently charged with violating Article 16 for dealing and negotiating with a party who had an exclusive relationship with another REALTOR®.


The Hearing

At the hearing, REALTOR® A defended her actions noting that she had told Buyer B that she was the seller’s exclusive agent and, as such, would not and could not represent Buyer B’s interests. She pointed out that it was only after Buyer B had insisted on writing a purchase offer without the assistance of his exclusive representative that REALTOR® A had agreed to do so. She concluded her defense noting that Standard of Practice 16-13 authorizes dealings with the client of another broker in cases where those dealings are initiated by the client.


The Conclusion

The Hearing Panel agreed with REALTOR® A that she was the seller’s exclusive representative and had not represented the buyer and concluded that her conduct had not violated Article 16, as interpreted by Standard of Practice 16-13.