When I first became licensed as a Texas Real Estate Broker in 1966, things were much different than they are now.
Here are some examples:
- Yard signs had only the name of the brokerage company, address and phone number. The listing agent was not shown.
- Everyone did dual agency, and the courts ruled that caveat emptor (Let the buyer beware) protected sellers, brokers and their agents from most lawsuits arising from buyer and seller disenchantment
- An agent and brokerage couldn’t claim two sales when they had a dual agency sale.
- And finally, co-op sales did not allow the selling agent/selling agency to claim they had sold the property. The sale belonged to the listing agency. The selling agency was acting as the listing broker’s agent.
There have been a lot of changes throughout those years, and in most cases, they’ve done nothing more than confuse the public.
Recently, as a one-person brokerage company, I had a listing on a home. Some prospects called and asked to see the home. I asked them if they were represented by an agent. The answer was that they weren’t.
A few days later, an agent with another firm called to ask about the property, and I asked if her clients were Mr. and Mrs. X. She said that they were.
After a rather long negotiating period, a contract price and terms were agreed to, and the sale closed. I took my sign down within an hour of the closing.
The following day, my client called and said, “Why does the buyer's agent have a sign in the yard that says, “Another One Sold by X?” My client’s reasoning was that the listing was mine and that I had done a great deal of work to cause the transaction to work.
She wanted to know why the co-op agent was inferring that they had done it all by themselves.
In the old days, that company would have had an ethics violation as well as a license violation for doing that. Now, it’s perfectly legitimate.
My client wasn’t happy with the explanation.
I wonder if these signs don’t actually backfire?
BILL CHERRY, REALTOR