As a somewhat newly licensed Realtor, I probably should be against drawing attention to those of my kind who give us a bad name, but I have to say, this article just about knocked me over with shame for my profession and left me with an equally strong urge to remind people that we are definitely not all like this.
I am horrified that a professional real estate agent would have the audacity to order ‘adult movies’ while sitting an open house for a client or the client of a colleague. I am just as horrified by the story of the agent who brought beer to an open house to offer to visitors. There is just nothing sane about either of these instances.
When a client or a colleague entrusts me with the safety of a home during an open house, I take the responsibility very seriously. If it is obvious that children are living in the house, I don’t even allow visitors to walk around unescorted (I had an unsettling experience once when I was sitting an open house and I allowed people to walk around upstairs alone while I was talking to other visitors, only to find after everyone was gone, that someone had opened one of the little girls’ clothing drawers). I would never think of helping myself to food or drinks at the house, nor would I even ever turn on the TV. I usually bring my laptop and finish up work if I have downtime, or I bring a book. I just can’t imagine taking advantage of the people who live in the house. It would be such a violation of trust.
There are dishonest and unethical people in just about every business. Unfortunately, it sometimes seems like they really make themselves known in real estate. We hear about them all the time. If I have to point a finger as to why this seems to be such a problem, I would have to do it at brokers. You might think that being hired by a broker is a lengthy and difficult process like any other job interview. In fact, the truth is that most brokerages play the numbers game. More agents, more chances at profit. Many brokers are just looking for warm bodies. This makes it easy for people to slip through the cracks. This is not the norm for all brokerages, but from what I’ve seen, it is very common. I regularly receive mail and phone solicitations to join other brokerages, based (from what I can tell) on nothing but my name in the database at the Southeast Valley Regional Association of Realtors.
This is just another reason to really get to know your Realtor as well as possible before you give them the power to sell your home. You are the employer and it’s your job to conduct a thorough job interview. This is someone with whom you will have quite a bit of interaction before all is said and done. You want them to not only do their job well, but also to treat you and your possessions with respect.