Subscribe to Answers
NO . . . You are not responsible for a seller's actions.
With that said, to protect yourself, anytime you cross that type of behavior, you need to "correct and distance" yourself. If you witness prohibited actions, you are REQUIRED to take corrective action, e.g., telling the seller that such statements are a violation of federal law.
You are also required to distance yourself, e.g., telling the buyer(s) that such statements are not representative of your understanding of fair housing rules. You should tell the buyer(s) that you are NOT responsible for the statements of the owner, and offer to be a witness if needed.
I personally would do so in both verbal, and I would write an email to the buyer(s) and print a copy for the transaction file. This will have the affect of providing written pro should you be subjected to investigation of a complaint.
Finally, if the violation saw egregious enough, I would report the behavior to HUD. At the very least, I would report the agent to your local association's Professional Standards department for an ethics violation of Article 10 of the REALTOR Code of Ethics.
One, Fair Housing rules and regs have to be followed. Two, why is the seller talking to the buyer to begin with? (That's why we have buyer agents and listing agents) Third, I don't see how a listing agent can be liable for something that comes out of another's mouth but I do see where the listing agent should step up and say they can no longer work with that individual. I am not an attorney and this is just my opinion. Please consult a real estate attorney for specifics.
White Plains, NY
Do we have any control over what fsbos say?
Not for FSBO.
Not sure this is true for FSBO.
Mike, not true! Sellers can do what they want to!
Someone might need an attorney. But also, if a seller makes comments like that, the agent is suppose to inform seller that he/she can no longer represent them, cancel the listing agreement, and report it to their broker.
Yes Mike, you must remove, not allow, client entered comments.
You should allow for agent or professional (accountable) comments to be added to enhance or ensure the progression of the transaction.
Be very aware, when such and event takes place, your company will be in the cross hairs also.
However, the agent is not liable for comments your company allows a client to enter that is beyond the control or supervision of the agent. Would it not be nice if we could, by decree, ban STUPID. That is not possible at this time so the space in which STUPID can operate must, by necessity, be reduced or eliminated.
If I was aware your software created such risk I would not use it either. It is hard to put humpty dumpty back together.
I've not heard this. We as agents can't be held liable for what another party says so long as we are not repeating their words.
I think, seller's agent might be liable on seller's racist and sexist insults.
Seems strange to hold one person liable for another's actions - but also why are there comments allowed on the forms? I can understand why you might need to ad things to a contract, but as far as comments it doesn't make much sense.
You can not be held liable for what your client says. If you said it, that is a different matter...
Mike M ~ I am not a lawyer, but I have to believe that's discrimination which is a big no no
It doesn't matter what type of loan it is, or even if no loan is involved, as this is just a violation of the Fair Housing laws. Though, there should be no liability to the sellers' agent as long as the agent advises their client that they are breaking the law and terminates the relationship.
Yikes, when someone asks about being in a particular neighborhood because of the ethnic or lack of ethnic mix, we have chosen not to work with them. I don't want to be associated with that type of thinking in any way shape or form.
We have had sellers ask the nationality of the person making the offer, and we have always responded with and I don't know, and that we do not ask anyone that question...
Agents need to be careful not convey seller statements that violate the equal housing regulations.
The above website says sellers cannot descriminate against buyers for any reason. As far as becoming fined or any legal action, I would recommend researching Equal Housing and Fair Housing rules and regulations to see what could happen to the seller.