Hard Times Lead Some Agents To Unethical Behavior
Many home sellers have been forced to become landlords, as they are unable to sell their properties in this down market. Many of these sellers turn to real estate agents to find them tenants and manage their properties.
While many agents are hardworking, honest people who are sincerely interested in serving their clients’ best interests… that isn’t the case for all of them.
Yesterday, I was talking with a broker who had just shown a rental property in Smyrna. She said that she could not believe the number of rental listings that were offering a ridiculous co-broke commission. This is a phenomenon I wrote about a year ago on the Bloodhound Blog.
As a landlord, your objective is to not only lease your property to a good tenant – it is to lease it as quickly as possible. When you enlist the services of a real estate agent, you expect that agent to use their affiliation in the Multiple Listing Service to help find a co-op agent who is working with a tenant – and that affiliation requires the offer of compensation. Unfortunately, it doesn’t require the offer of compensation to be reasonable.
A reasonable level of compensation, in my opinion, starts at 25% of the total brokerage fee – and that is with the listing agent doing all of the paperwork.
If you are engaging the services of a real estate agent to help you lease your property, pay close attention to the item 1B in the Leasing Listing Agreement – particularly the portion I have highlighted for your review.
Sadly enough, simply having an agreement that specifies the co-op commission still does not guarantee that the agent will actually offer that level of compensation. To truly ensure it, you might consider having the co-op agents call you before they show the property… and when they call – simply ask them what the level of compensation is being offered in the MLS.
I believe that agents who offer ridiculously low co-brokes should not be in this business. They can’t be trusted. If you find your agent undermining you by offering a low co-broke – I recommend that you fire them…. and if you catch them violating their listing agreement with you by offering a lower co-broke than specified in the listing agreement – I recommend that you file a complaint with the Georgia Real Estate Commission.