Defamation case

Has anyone experienced wholesale blackballing by a real estate firm?
If so any recommendations on how to handle this?
We have a firm telling buyers agents that they will not allow us to do inspections on their client’s listing. We have had two cancellations in the past week from the same office as they refuse us access.
The reasoning they give is we “find too much”
Or no other inspectors find “these kinds of problems”

All past issues they complain of are real. Broken sewer lines, mold etc.

Any thoughts would be great.

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What a great advertisement on your website for clients to read.

P.S. Welcome back to our forum, Ron.

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Sounds like conspiracy in restraint of trade under the Sherman antitrust act. Aside from hiring a lawyer, I’m not sure what you can actually do about it other than file an ethics complaint with the board of realtors.

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Agreed! It’s a great testament to my inspectors but it’s becoming too aggressive and out in the open to allow it to continue.

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Thanks, I am trying to figure out if it actually an ethics violation.

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Let the board decide, just send them the information and copy in the President, Broker etc. of the firm.

How can they stop access to the home? Who is your client? Who is canceling?

The buyer and seller makes the decision. How can the realtor stand in the way?

You have a case regardless of “ethics”. I would be calling the board right now.

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As a follow up, call a couple of lawyers and see how much they would charge for a “Cease and desist” letter. You are already out a considerable amount of revenue, damages have incurred.

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To answer your questions it’s the seller’s agents of said firm refusing to allow us to schedule the inspection and telling the buyer’s agent that the buyer must select a new inspector. Bigger firm and larger name brokers bullying agents who are fighting to get deals in the competitive market.

I am meeting with the managing broker of the firm and the managing broker of the office (one of the offenders).

I know this feels wrong but looking for specific violations that I can hang my hat on.
I may go the defamation route.

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Okay, I would like to give you some advice. You do not need to hang your hat on anything. Go in as a fact finding mission.

Ask the broker where in the purchase and sale agreement does the listing agent attain this authority to block your company?

If it is not in the purchase and sale agreement, ask where is the next level of authority?

Listen to his answer and leave. Make notes.

DO NOT get into a pissing match. The broker will want to make this all about “relationships” and “feels”. He might even say things like “lighten your reports and we will allow it”. Of course, you will not agree to this.

Finally, on the way out, you can say you have incurred some damages based on your “policy” and you look forward to visiting that topic another day. :smile:

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Very good thoughts, thank you

So hey agents- either SHUT your mouths or I will be forced to
take this matter in another direction… … …

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So spending my younger years in the USMC my first approach to an ambush is turn and full frontal assault! But trying in my older years to try a bit more diplomatic process while still having a plan to kill everyone in the room!

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What did your clients have to say about these two cancellations when you talked to them?

Surely they had to sign off on getting a different inspector. You would think both of these clients would be suspicious of things being hidden if they are told the original inspector isn’t allowed to do the inspection because “he finds too much.”

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As others have already indicated, take this to an authority or attorney that can help you.

Keep us updated please.

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As someone who has bought and sold several homes I’m wondering is there anything illegal about not wanting to use a certain inspector? The last home I sold had several offers. If my realtor said don’t take offer “A” because they’re using this inspector who will be nothing but problems and you should consider taking offer “B” instead. By doing so aren’t they advising the seller as they should?

Since the OP indicated that this was being done by multiple agents at the firm, it could be seen as an attempt to restrain trade. In my area at least, the sellers and their agents have no idea who the inspector is until the inspection is scheduled. By this point, the agents advice would be useless. I guess the seller and buyer could agree that a certain inspector would not be used, but I don’t see many buyers going along with that.

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Great point and appreciate the differing view.
I agree with you here if it happened during negotiations.
Unfortunately in both cases, the offers were accepted with no knowledge of who would be doing the inspection.
The refusal came after the contract, from the realtors and not the clients.
Both seller’s agents have openly admitted to the situation and feel that it is within their rights to refuse our inspections to protect their clients.
One clearly said “Ron you find problems no other inspector does”
We are tired of it and don’t want to expose our sellers to this kind of inspection.
The other said “you found mold in the last house and it cost my friend a lot of money, I don’t think that’s fair and because of it you are no longer allowed to do inspections on my listings”.
He is the managing broker of a large office to boot.
I should have recorded these calls!

I will definitely keep this thread going as to how this transpires

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I’m still curious as hell about how the clients felt about this.

If I was the client, I would have sever pause over following through with the deal. Easier said than done in today’s market though when buyers are overpaying by the tens of thousands and are frantic to get the house.

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Well, at least they are not dumb and waiving inspections. That said, I think the buyer should have the right to choose who they want as an inspector without any influence from an agent, either side. But most buyer agents “recommend” inspectors when it should be on a vendors’ list basis, and let the buyers do their due diligence. List agents should have no say so in who the buyer hires.

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I agree.

But what is unusual here is that the inspections were already booked and then cancelled. So the clients knew who the inspector was going to be and then were suddenly told that a new inspector would be doing it. So, that begs the question, were the clients informed of the real reason for this? If not, you can be damn sure I would be on the horn with those clients to make sure they knew the real reason.

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