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Realtor took my buyer to a listing she lost and they bought that house instead!

my realtor is aware that I must sell my home quickly due to financial constraints.  I recently had a buyer who loved my home and was putting together an offer.  Next thing I learned was that my realtor took that buyer and used them to relist a home she had lost 6 weeks earlier.  Our homes are almost identical - the couple bought the other house for 25k less than mine.  Realtor kept sale private and "removed" listing from internet websites.  I assume, based solely on the realtors behavior, that this is not only unethical, but illegal as well?  I live in MA.  Can anyone advise?
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September 07 2012 - US
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It could very well be an ethics violation--that would depend on the local board of Realtors, and what your contract with the Realtor was.  If it was an exclusive listing, the agent should have been acting in your best interests--there is a fiduciary responsibility there.
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September 07 2012
Thanks for posting your question & clarification post below on Zillow.com!

There is nothing wrong here.  The other house was listed so that buyer may have seen it come and go.  Properties linger on a TON of websites after being pulled of the market for whatever reason.

Maybe they were not ready to make the move, maybe their Realtor decided to reach out to your agent or the buyer suggested it.  There are so many factors that are unknown but that does not make it unethical.  Keep in mind your agent cannot sell a buyer on a property they do not want so maybe it was the price, who knows...

Bottom line, everything happens for the right reason.  Maybe that deal is going to be a nightmare & you will find a buyer come in at full price.

Onward and upward.

Good luck.
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September 07 2012
I am sorry you lost out on the sale of your home.  Unfortunately, you most likely were not privy to all the information about the buyer.  They, too, may have been under financial constraints.  I would personally look into a house that could save me thousands. 

One time showings are not illegal were I live.  We just have to do the paperwork.  It doesn't require a full blown ad campaign. 

Sorry!   
   
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September 07 2012
Sorry but I don't see this as anything but a Realtor doing her job of showing homes and selling the buyers what they want. If said buyer liked your house so much they were working up an offer, I seriously doubt the buyer was talked out of making an offer. We don't usually have that sort of power over a buyer, they do what they want and sometimes they change their minds on their own. If your house was identical to the other and they got the other $25k less what does that say about your pricing? Too high which scared the buyer off? Just because a house listing expired does not mean buyers don't know anything about it, some listing live on here on these internet sites for months after they expire and that Realtor might have been contacted by the seller of the home and asked to relist it.

You are seeing things only as you wish to view them. A buyer does not belong to you and so can not blame anyone for showing them other property. I wish I had a dollar for every time a buyer said they were thinking of making an offer and did not.
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September 07 2012
Profile picture for 15583Z
Thank you all for your responses. Given that my realtor continues to claim to me that these potential buyers still haven't made up their mind, I guess one has to wonder why she would lie. I did expect that when I gave the Listing to her exclusively that she had some obligation to not steer a buyer away. I have to say I disagree that She had no financial gain by doing this......she still has time under my contract to find a buyer for me, and was also able to get a commission on a listing she would not have had if my buyer hadn't come along........I agree it's time to contact the State. Thanks again.
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September 07 2012
This is the way I look at it: If the buyer wanted to write up an offer as you said then they probably would have considering the buyer was represented by a different realtor. Your listing realtor has no financial gain by persuading them to do something different. People think that we have huge pull on determining buyers behavior, but in all honesty if my buyer loves a house they will write an offer. I give more market value expertise.

Your assumption on her behavior on the other house may be wrong. It sounds like an expired listing by your comments, and what seems more likely to me is the buyer decided not to write an offer on your home, and thus your realtor suggested she look at a home off market. 

Regardless there is no way for us to fully understand what happened here except there was massive miscommunication. Maybe you should just look at it as the buyer got another house for 25k less than what you want for your own home. I hardly think this is the buyer you want in that case right?

And if that is the case maybe your realtor actually did you a service. I say this to every one of these types of questions that find there way online: There are bad realtors out there I know this to be true, but I also know the number 1 skill in real estate (and life) that is so badly used the most is COMMUNICATION. 

The best way to resolve this is to speak with your realtor directly, and if you still don't feel good about it call up the local realtor association.

God Bless and good luck!

~Chris
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September 07 2012
I think it is time to involve the broker and get some answers, at the very least. 
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September 07 2012
Profile picture for 15583Z
Sorry - to be clear:  My realtor was not working with the buyer.  The buyer had their own agent.  Also, the house that I am referring to was not on the market, so it was not possible for the buyer to ask to see the house.  If both houses were on the market with active listings, I understand that the buyer has a choice.  However, I queston this situation wherein the buyer wanted to put an offer in on my house, until my realtor (who Has my listing exclusively) used the buyer to sell a house whose listing she had lost 6 weeks earlier.
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September 07 2012
I don't know anything about the laws in your state, but I think you are making some assumptions. The problem here is that you are only seeing your side of the issue. If the Realtor was working with the buyer as her agent also, and the buyer asked to see that house or even any houses that might be on the market, she had a duty to take the buyer to see that house also. 

What if this buyer found out her real estate agent knew of a house that was similar that could be purchased for 25K less than yours and didn't take her to see it...How unethical would that be? Also, how does selling a cheaper home benefit the agent? It seems as if it would have been more (or at least just as) beneficial to sell the buyer your home.

Buyers make their own choices, and this one decided to get a similar home for less money. 
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September 07 2012
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It can be frustrating.   Illegal?  No, a buyer can decide to buy any house they want.  An agent can show a home that isn't officially on the market if the owner agrees.    There is nothing illegal about showing other houses or having a buyer make a decision for another house.

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September 07 2012
 
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