C Tann-Starr's Outside Blog


Have You Done Your Monthly Compliance Review?

I tend to do this in the middle of the month because it always seems the best time to pause and catch my breath. Instead of wondering what I want to do next, or where I want to be, it's more like I know where I am now and where I need to be going. I figure my self-audit will take about a week because I have to do it in bits and pieces. I never do it all in one sitting because I always find myself remembering something else that needs to be done while trying to fine tune being a Buyer's Broker.

There are three points of order from the Code of Ethics that NYSAR likes to remind us of when doing our self audit so I'll quote them here:

A. Communicate for whom you are acting to cooperating brokers at the time of the first substantive contact with cooperating brokers;

B. Remind you to clarify any modifications in compensation which you are offering;

C. Remind you to communicate fully if you are acting as a principal in the purchase of a listed property or if you are a co-owner of property you are offering for sale.

My business model is 70% Buyer's Brokerage, 15% Listing Agent, 15% Rental Agent. A, B, and C may seem like it is a given, but sometimes it is not. People, especially busy people, may forget those little niceties and you may find yourself in a position where a few days later there is a huge dispute as to who is entitled to what (e.g. the procuring cause or a commission split). I believe I previous mentioned that a lovely couple I have a buyer's brokerage agreement with went to an open house without me, mentioned they wanted the house, made an offer through me and the seller (who was a partner/broker) refused to co-broke the commission. I believe I also previously mentioned that a FSBO was not really a FSBO several days later. Who knows how many ways that commission may or may not split if we do go to contract. We may or may not be able to come to terms on the subject. We shall see...

When there is a dispute, or a misunderstanding, at some point you are going to have to make a decision to either make it work for you and your client, or walk away. I choose to make it work because I want what is best for my clients. They deserve the homes of their choice and nothing beats a happy referral. You may find yourself having to remind yourself every single day do not forget to follow-up on points A, B ad C with every person you come in contact with regarding a transaction. Sometimes, when you are busy, you may discover that you didn't ask the right question to ascertain what it is you really needed to know. People have a way of using omissions like a a "get out of jail free card" and sometime they truly believe they do not have to disclose a matter because you didn't ask them

Gee... I thought we were automatically supposed to identify ourselves and what we represent at all times. OMG- I'm so sorry... what was I thinking? Duh?

Jut a gentle reminder that the Realtor information highway flows in both directions, people. Not cooperating with supplying full disclosure or being reasonable with a request for cooperation on a co-brokerage may result in a Buyer's Broker deciding the aggravation is not worth the possibility of a commission and we will take our buyer somewhere else. In this unsettling market I am sure there will always be another firm who would really love to sell their inventory to a qualified, pre-approved buyer with a down payment who can actually make it to closing...

Play nice in the electronic sand box people, and be more nice in real life. You never know who's an Active Rainer with a crazy blog and a big virtual transparent wordy mouth (LOL). Did I mention I was easily amused? I also have a B-switch. That means I am not perfect and maybe some of us should also acknowledge the fact that they are not perfect as well.

BTW, if you only do a compliance audit annually, you may want to reconsider... It can cost you wasted time and possibly money. That is always a bitter pill to swallow when you realize the deal is going south because of personalities rather than paperwork...


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Comment balloon 5 commentsC Tann-Starr • February 11 2009 06:39AM


Gee... I thought we were automatically supposed to identify ourselves and what we represent at all times.

We are and those that don't are violationg our code and MLS rules. Right off the bat we are to say who and what we do.

Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) almost 12 years ago

Great post sista C.  I for one never what to be on the receiving end of your B-Switch.  Everyone is better forewarned and they should be afraid.

Posted by Paddy (Patricia) Pizappi, Real Estate Associate Broker Hudson Valley NY (Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty) almost 12 years ago

Disclosure, disclosure, disclosure!  (and that is all I have to say about that).

Posted by Melody Botting, You Deserve The Best (Broker Associate PenFed Realty) almost 12 years ago

Missy, sometimes people get around to it and may not have realized what they have or have not done. I have left messages for people thinking that I'm talking with the receptionist and it wound up being the broker in charge passing a desk and answering a phone. Then when I tell people I spoke with the receptionist/assistant/secretary they go "who?" or start laughing and say, "oh, that was the broker." Oh really? Great. They told me they were your assistant and couldn't help me and that I would have to wait for you after collecting all the information regarding why I was calling... A couple of times an associate broker I'm friends with actually took a message for me, then called back the other firm to get more info like they were supervising me, which caused a lot of confusion because they had nothing to do with the negotiations going on. Nosy? Maybe... or is there something else afoot? 

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

LOL @ Paddy.

Hi Melodious. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

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