Agent ethics & conflict of interest ?

Can my agent contact the buyers inspector, prior to the inspection & inform him that we (clients) are concerned that the roof needs replaced (even though we are not) ? She did this yesterday. She wants her husbands roofing company to replace the roof. Does this violate the ethics code & do we have ground to terminate our contract with her ?

Asked on July 2, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

There are exactly two things stopping me from saying that this is both an ethics violation and grounds for termination:  (1)  I'm not a Texas lawyer, and (2) I don't have a copy of the ethics rules for real estate agents in Texas.

Based on this outline of the facts, it certainly looks to me like a gross conflict of interest and breach of duty on the agent's part.  By saying the roof needs to be replaced, when it isn't, she's driving down the value of the house to the buyers, potentially endangering the sale. And this is clearly being done for her own family's financial advantage.

Understand that you will be attacking the agent's livelihood, even if all you do is terminate her (and, I think, you must).  If your description of what she did is accurate, she has it coming.  But you can expect her to hire a lawyer, and you need to do the same, so you can do this the right way the first time:  mistakes in something like this can get very expensive.  One place to look for a qualified attorney is our website, http://attorneypages.com

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

There are exactly two things stopping me from saying that this is both an ethics violation and grounds for termination:  (1)  I'm not a Texas lawyer, and (2) I don't have a copy of the ethics rules for real estate agents in Texas.

Based on this outline of the facts, it certainly looks to me like a gross conflict of interest and breach of duty on the agent's part.  By saying the roof needs to be replaced, when it isn't, she's driving down the value of the house to the buyers, potentially endangering the sale. And this is clearly being done for her own family's financial advantage.

Understand that you will be attacking the agent's livelihood, even if all you do is terminate her (and, I think, you must).  If your description of what she did is accurate, she has it coming.  But you can expect her to hire a lawyer, and you need to do the same, so you can do this the right way the first time:  mistakes in something like this can get very expensive.  One place to look for a qualified attorney is our website, http://attorneypages.com


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