Robert Vegas Bob Swetz

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Clay R. Seay
Florida Homes Realty & Mortgage - Saint Augustine, FL

Article One of the Code of Ethics is clear., "REALTORS remain obligated to treat all parties honestly."

Misrepresenting your identity was the first violation. Based on the story here, not disclosing payment details before the work was started or completed could be violation. Finally, adding those expenses to the closing statement without proper authorization from the seller could also be unethical. Without the seller's knowledge and permission, this agent has crossed several lines and your friend should call this agent's Broker to stop this type of behavior from re-reoccurring.

Sep 29, 2018 02:06 PM
Robert Vegas Bob Swetz
Las Vegas, NV

I totally find this as being a violation ...

I did mention to my friend to contact HOME ADVISER and tell them what's going on with Realtors posing as home owners.

And when he bids a job to straight ask the person if they are the home owner and collect 50% up front for materials before starting the project.

Sep 29, 2018 08:53 AM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

Such action is fraudulent REGARDLESS of the title of the perpetrator.

I don't believe the story told and do believe some very important details have been left out. 

One such detail is the TOS of Home Adviser and the 'compenstation/collection' responsibilities of the user. This sound like a disgruntled user of a referral service who did not read the rules and chose to believe the sugar plum lies. 

A contractor should know the laws of the land and NEVER do work on ANY house without a conversation with and permission from the OWNER in writing.

The contractor could place a mechanics lien on the house and that will teach those fraudulent folks a REAL lesson taught to them at the closing table.  No contractor will work on a contingent fee compensation structure. Agents are not competent enough to assure the outcome.

Sep 29, 2018 09:02 AM
Valeria Mola
SIB Realty - Miami, Sunny Isles Beach - Sunny Isles Beach, FL
305-607-0709 SIB Realty Condos for Sale and Rent


Good I am not involved in any repairs. 

Sep 29, 2018 03:11 PM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Happily Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

that's a terrible story... your friend should always take a deposit...always... trusting to be paid is not a good habit.... your friend needs to know who the attorney is and be at closing to get a check cut from the proceeds.... 

put a mechanics lien on the property....he'll get paid!!!

Sep 29, 2018 01:47 PM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Broker Retired

No COE violations as far as I know. But, this guy should have payment upon completion who cares who he does the work for. Agent/homeowner/whoever could have told him the money is not available now too.

I really don't even know what home advisor is.

Sep 29, 2018 10:50 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Seems more than sneaky.

Sep 29, 2018 09:33 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Not how I would do it, but then we have a part of our business that does the contracting, and all is disclosed to all involved both the owners and the sub contractors.

Sep 29, 2018 08:54 AM
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker

Doesn't sound like treating people honestly.

Sep 29, 2018 08:52 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


I think you have many answers, nothing to add.

Sep 29, 2018 06:14 PM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

Fraud, extortion. 

Maybe a visit to the local District Attorney's office is in order.

And be sure to file a Mechanic's Lien, per the answer from Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041 

Sep 29, 2018 10:01 AM
Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Evolution - 447 Boston Street Topsfield, MA - Georgetown, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

Anything that is not done above board is an ethical violation in my mind. 

Sep 29, 2018 09:20 AM
Susie Kay
Ultra Real Estate Dallas Fort Worth - Plano, TX
North Dallas Specialist

I see problems from both sides.  Realtors should not be pretending to be the owners and not pay someone for a job done.  The contractors, on the other hand, should always have an agreement or contract and warranty in place that is signed by both before beginning the work.

Sep 29, 2018 08:13 PM
Evelina Tsigelnitskaya
SIB Realty - Sunny Isles Beach, FL

Interesting subject. 

I always try do not get in the middle. 

Don't want to fix? 


Sell as is and get less money...


Sep 29, 2018 03:17 PM
Kasey & John Boles
Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - - Boise, ID
Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties

Yes. Violation. Lying. 

Sep 29, 2018 02:23 PM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

Unless payment at COE is agreed upon ahead of time, that's a contract violation.

Sep 29, 2018 02:13 PM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
CEO of Vision Drive Realty - Coastal San Diego

Unethical and fraudulent. I'd call their Brokers or the Board. The payment should be established before the work was started though, that's on your friend if not.

Sep 29, 2018 01:59 PM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Payment for services sould be discussed upfront! If the contrsctor will wait who guarantees payment if the transaction does not close?

Sep 29, 2018 01:37 PM
Lynnea Miller
Bend Premier Real Estate - Bend, OR
Premier Real Estate Service in Central Oregon

We are to act with honesty and truthfulness in all situations.  Yes, I agree that the event you describe appears to be contrary to that standard.

Sep 29, 2018 12:02 PM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

This shouldn't be happening.  The contractor should be able to verify ownership as well as a downpayment.  He can also put a mechanic's lean on the home that will prevent any closing.

Sep 29, 2018 11:32 AM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

If the bill is paid ...fine. If not, off with their heads!

Sep 29, 2018 11:21 AM
Greg Cremia
Shore Realty of the Outer Banks - Nags Head, NC

Your friend might not get anything at closing seeing as the owner did not authorise the work.

Sep 29, 2018 09:42 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

Yes, they are in violation, Bob. We are always to identify ourselves as Realtors® - regardless of 'who' we're representing for outside work.

Sep 29, 2018 08:35 PM
Brian L. Sirota, Esq.
Bristar Realty (Realtor/Attorney) - Orange, CA
For Solutions: (714) 501-7660

To my view, a professional who seeks to answer a question regarding a COE violation, should state and understand the relevant rule.   To simply describe the conduct as dishonest is obvious and fails to identify the violation.

It might be a good idea to self-check the COE:

1)  Does this conduct violate my duty of loyalty?

2)  Does this conduct violate my duty of competence?

3) Does this conduct violate my duty of accounting?

4) Does the duty of honesty to 3rd parties apply to vendors?  etc. etc.

The consequences depend on whether the conduct implicates statutory law, contract law, COE rules, commission regulations, municipal code....  

Also, consider the impact of the law of agency:

1)  Does the Realtor have express, apparent or ostensible authority to bind the homeowner?

2)  If so, and if the Realtor wrongly binds the homeowner, does it then violate the COE?

Or is Bob's real question, how should this vendor go about getting paid?...which is no longer about a Realtor's COE.   If so, I wouldn't be so cavalier about recommending a mechanic's lien, at least not without consulting counsel and understanding the potential headaches for the vendor who encumbers title for payment of what may be a relatively small fee.

Sep 29, 2018 07:44 PM
J.R. Schloemer, CRS
Kentucky Select Properties - Louisville, KY

Not how I want to be known and not how I operate. 

I will disclose I am helping my client out meeting the contractor there. 

It doesn't really matter what I think about others doing this, becuase there is little to no enforcement of the rules, so who is there to report to that will take it seriously.

Sep 29, 2018 07:35 PM
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Robert Vegas Bob Swetz it is an ethical violation.

Sep 29, 2018 07:31 PM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

That doesn't seem right. It might be worth asking your real estate commission to investigate.

Sep 29, 2018 05:43 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Seems like an ethical violation to me. And the homeowner could possibly refuse to pay since he/she did not authorize the actual repairs. Vendor could file a lien, too.

Sep 29, 2018 05:42 PM
Don Baker
Lane Realty - Eatonton, GA
Lake Sinclair Specialist

I don't use a website to find, hire or communicate with vendors.  It's not that it's not a service I provide, but it's all up front who I am, how they will be paid and I don't "pose" as anyone.

Sep 29, 2018 09:23 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate Services

Dishonest? Yes.

Deceitful? Yes.

SlimeBall Move on the part of the those prostituting the system? Yes. 

What did the contract say?  Who signed the contract with the contractor(s)? What payment arrangements were made? 

We all need to be smarter in how we engage with people and in business. That said, those on the take will always be on the take and likely find a way to deceive. 

Sep 30, 2018 09:49 AM
Anthony Acosta -
Harry Norman, REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Associate Broker

Interesting question and many great answers.  WOW.......

Sep 30, 2018 09:45 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

I like the answer by Clay R. Seay

Sep 29, 2018 05:33 PM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel


Sep 29, 2018 05:02 PM
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

Sure sounds that way.

Sep 29, 2018 01:22 PM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

This does sound like a violation!

Oct 05, 2018 05:00 AM
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

 would never do that.  why risk it

Oct 01, 2018 07:08 PM
Damon Botticelli
Silver State Realty & Investments - Las Vegas, NV
Realtor - Las Vegas Real Estate

If the agent claimed to be the homeowner and was not, I agree that would be a violation. However, if your friend just assumed the agent was the homeowner because the agent filled out the request for service online, I wouldn't expect that to be a violation.

Did your friend have a written proposal and payment agreement? These things should be discussed in advance followed by a mechanics lien if they aren't paid as agreed.

Oct 01, 2018 12:33 AM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

if they are pretending to buyers how does he know they are realtors?

Sep 30, 2018 09:17 PM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

As ye sew , so shall ye reap !

Sep 30, 2018 11:45 AM
Richard Bazinet /MBA, CRS, ABR
West USA Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Phoenix Scottsdale. Sellers, Buyers & Relocations

Sounds like fraud to me.

Sep 30, 2018 08:01 AM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate (435) 632-9374 - St. George, UT
St. George Utah Area Residential Sales Agent

Posing as a homeowner on a property that is owned by another is a form of deceit, clear and simple. Not a place I choose to go for sure Bob, for any reason!

Sep 30, 2018 07:56 AM
Sandy Padula & Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West & Florida Realty Investments - , CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Sounds like shady dealings. The contractor should place a mechanic's lien on the property

Sep 30, 2018 06:17 AM
Kevin J. May
Florida Supreme Realty - Hobe Sound, FL
Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida

Without honesty our attempts at professionalim are lost. This is one of many examples VB.

Sep 30, 2018 06:04 AM
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

As a contractor, that is what a contract is for before completing any work. That payment is due when work is completed and if a deposit is required. It is unethical and why a realtor would do that is beyond me. 

Sep 30, 2018 06:03 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

I find this totally crazy and not sometthing that enhances our professional reputation. So many ways this can go wrong.

Sep 29, 2018 11:04 PM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

Home inspection is very subjective. There is no such thing as perfect home. Inspectors just point out things and let buyer/seller to decide. As for NAR code of ethetics I am sure it needs to meet all 19 articles.

Sep 29, 2018 10:11 PM