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The “Rogue” Agent…..Our Own Worst Enemy!!!

This is a very good post from Paula.  She does a very good job of pointing out the dangers of using a “rogue” agent.  Spot on, Paula!

Via Paula Hathaway (Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate):

The “Rogue” Agent…..Our Own Worst Enemy!!!  We all know they exist, whether by intent or by desperate measure, these agents are amongst us and they are doing harm to all of us—and they are also doing great damage to the buying/selling public.

“FIRST, DO NO HARM!”…. it should be an oath we all take!

As I was ruminating about a very tough deal  that I am putting together–it struck me that the process of  considering what I should say and do when I am at the very beginning of a working relationship with a buyer or a seller, always looks the same: I am VERY careful in my approach, sensitive to all probable complications; I try to be informative and truthful with each and every one involved and I always make sure that I never promise anything that I CAN NOT accomplish…This is my “mantra” and my silent oath to a new client/customer…I am not saying I never do anything wrong; I AM saying that I try with all my might to make sure I am not going to “damage” my relationships in business under any circumstances and I want to share this observation with my friends and associates. That is why I wrote this post!


In the last 3 weeks I have at least 3 different individuals tell me that they have had such horrible experiences with the agents they were using that I am beginning to think that we all need to “hone”.. our listing and selling tools a little bit better than we have before.We are in such a different market now, with many first time buyers or buyers re-entering the market after a 2-3 year sabatical, and they are much more cautious then ever. Homeowners are running into financial problems and need to sell quickly, therefore they are in a very sensitive frame of mind too.  It does not hurt to carefully examine how we approach the whole process. The vulnerability of buyers and sellers in this market should be at the forefront of our minds as we go forward!

We must ALL be tip-top professionals or we will lose our buyer’s and seller’s much needed confidence and trust in us. There is a lot of room for refining the tools we use in building our businesses.


Promises made and not kept: This one blows my mind; I have heard more than a dozen clients tell me that agents have promised and even written Marketing Strategies, and then they drop the ball–suddenly, no more advertising!…NONE! No more open houses, no more weekly reports with feedback…it’s as if the agent fell off the planet! This common mistake is the easiest to fix: DON”T PROMISE IF YOU CAN”T DO IT.

Misleading information is one thing that I hear about a lot: “An agent I was working with just told me the market was picking up and prices were escalating so that I need to buy now and not wait, other wise I will miss the bottom”. The other “lie” that “Rogue agents” tell their buyers is “the area is changing very quickly and if you buy now you can realize a higher return on your investment”…We all know that the housing market is not going to get back to normalcy until we see job growth.  Not only that, when it does become normal again, there is a very large inventory to go through before prices start to go up again. Telling my buyers the absolute truth has engendered a confidence in me as their agent that they may not have otherwise developed.

Dishonest dealings and lack of crucial information: I have observed wild claims in advertising; things that are never going to be seen on the advertised property.  There is the ad that claims the house is close to town when in truth, it is 2-3 miles away!..a common one is “Water views” with a slice of water at the end of the driveway; or “Hamptons Estate Section” when the house is in the woods North of the highway and at least 5 miles to the real “Estate Section”! Then there is the poor homeowner who bought and paid all cash so the deal closed very fast and the agent did not advise them to get a home inspection. Later, when the owner gets ill from the mold in the house or the roof starts to leak a month after the new owner moves in, it becomes obvious that the quick deal with all cash and an ill-informed agent or a dishonest one was the worst mistake this buyer made.


Stealing buyers: I am just now getting over a deal I lost because another agent literally took my customer from me after meeting him when I brought the buyer to an open house that said agent was hosting. He insisted that I register my customer or he would not show the property to him. (it was a $5mil house)  I have since found out that I never should have introduced my customer or used his correct name when I registered him because this agent has a history of taking customers away from other agents!

Why should we, as professionals be concerned with what other agents are doing to us behind our backs?  Are things so bad in this profession that other agents will literally steal from us to make money? Do we have a professional responsibility to report these abuses to the proper authorities?

I am afraid so—there is no other reason for the behavior that is so prevalent out there in the market place at this time. These are the times of the “Rogue Agent”; DON”T FIND YOURSELF BEING IDENTIFIED THAT WAY!

Do you find that you lose listings more frequently to other agents than in the past? Are you hearing from homeowners that more and more agents are not doing what they told the homeowner they were going to be doing? Time to take stock and evaluate your approach to the business, and to your clients and customers.

Don’t be that “Rogue Agent” out there stirring up trouble for all of us! Maybe there is there a way that we as professionals can commit to being better agents? Maybe a “Hippocratic Oath” for real estate professionals???


Paula I. Hathaway, LBA, Prudential Douglas Elliman

Southamtpon Village Real Estate Expert since 1995

Diamond , Gold and Chairman’s Circle Awards; Top Producer since 2005

Click here to see my Hampton’s website to see all my listings; please email me or call me for all your real estate needs in Southampton, Bridgehampton and Watermill:



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