Friday, January 21, 2011

When Agents Don't Disclose

A lot of Realtor Associations are good ol' boy clubs, and I think Sarasota Association of Realtors sometimes falls in this category. 

In this type of atmosphere, the members, in my opinion, seek to go along to get along.  I don't subscribe to this philosophy, especially when less than scrupulous behavior is involved, whether legal or not.

Here's a case in point.  Today, a Broker/Owner, a member of the Trulia online Realtor community, posted a question:  "What is your favorite Sarasota webcam?".  You can see the thread on their website with this link: http://bit.ly/dIovB6.

I won't get into the ins and outs and whims of how Trulia polices their online community. What irked me was that the Broker owns the Sarasota webcam website, and used the forum to seek to increase traffic to the website, where he also has a large banner ad for his real estate website, at his collegues' expense.  So what, you may ask?

In our business, we are told to disclose, disclose, disclose.  While this Broker didn't do anything illegal pertaining to FL real estate law, it does make me wonder, if he won't disclose he owns that website to other Realtors in a bald-faced attempt to fool readers into visiting it, what else does this Broker not disclose? 

I also found it strange that other Realtors cheerfully responded without checking out the information.  If this was a real estate contract, does this illustrate their level of the understanding of due diligence?

Lesson to Trulia members and consumers:  read the content and judge the level of competency displayed there yourself. 

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