Red Flags: Unethical Realtor Behavior to Avoid

unethical real estate agent

Buying a new property or looking for a new business location can go more smoothly if you work with a real estate agent. However, if you end up with an unscrupulous agent, you could find the process becomes a nightmare. Though there is always the possibility of filing a lawsuit against an agent and hoping that their real estate insurance will pay it out, there should be no need for that hassle and struggle. Hiring the right real estate requires looking for any signs of shady behavior.

Signs To Look At

You won’t find a sign hanging on the door of the office that says “unethical behaviors taking place here,” but with careful attention, you will notice signs of a bad real estate agent once you start working together. Here a few red flags of unethical realtor behaviors.

1. Violations of Licensing Codes

The National Association of Realtors has specific standards in place to safeguard client interests, but there are some realtors who violate this code of conduct. Any realtor who is acting as a listing broker is required to send every single offer and counteroffer to the landlord or seller right up until closing. Having a realtor withhold offers or personally determine viability is unethical.

2. Illegal Activities

Realtors are bound by government law as well as the NAR. Agents are required to disclose any known issues with a home or property to a client prior to signing papers. These issues could be structural, deal with flooding, concern mineral rights or have a property associated with crime. Offering legal advice is also against the law, as the agents experience deals with real estate transactions.

3. Actions of Discrimination

Realtors are not allowed to engage in any behaviors or activities that can be deemed discrimination against women, minorities or any other protected group. Civil rights issues are taken very seriously by the NAR, consumer advocates and the law. All agents must treat all their clients the same, regardless of their status or identity with any of the classes protected by anti-discrimination laws.

4. Hidden Costs

Your broker should lay out the fees and costs of their services long before any closing takes place. Fees need to be laid out and agreed to in advance, and any flip-flopping or changes that take place mid-services should be a red flag.

5. Limited Services

Though many find it a common occurrence, working with an agent who only shows properties they represent or can guarantee a significant commission from is unethical. These acts only benefit the financial interests of the agent and don’t take into account their responsibility to their clients. Working for their own interest over that of the client violates the ethics standards set forth by the NAR.

If you see these red flags, it is time to find yourself a new real estate agent. Carefully reading reviews and looking for recommendations before selecting an agent could help reduce this possibility as well.

About The Hilb Group 

Deciding what coverage you need and what limits and deductibles make the most sense can be tricky. Founded in 2009, the Hilb Group has been helping clients to make sense of their options and make the smartest choices for their circumstances. Whether you need Warehouse Insurance or any other type of business or personal coverage, we encourage you to contact our friendly, experienced, and capable team today. Call us at (800) 776-3078 for a consultation.