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You didn’t just say that to my buyers did you?

Photo courtesy of e-masterHave you ever had a strange experience with a listing agent? So strange that when you were done, just had that look on your face that asks, "Are you serious?"

Well, I can say I just recently had one of those experiences and even my buyer's called me afterward and asked if the agent was "Off her rocker". The sad part is, I couldn't disagree with them.

This agent was speaking for the seller and was trying to convince the buyers that they needed to sign a waiver on the home and that it was safe and didn't need permits. She said that she has known the seller for years and they wouldn't have lived there if they thought their family wasn't safe with the remodeling that was done.

What? They didn't need a permit because you have known them for a long time and they wouldn't have done them if they thought they were unsafe? I used to jump from the swings when I was a kid because I didn't think I would get hurt either. You know what? I was wrong despite what I thought before doing it!

There is a reason for the permit process, and it isn't for the people that think that they are going to do it unsafely. It is for everyone and I truly believe this agent was putting her license on the line, had it been a duel agency situation and she had convinced a potential buyer that permits were not needed and something in the future happened.

So, no matter how bad you want a sale, if permits are required, then permits are required! It doesn't matter how long you have known the sellers and how safe you feel the job they did was.


Respect Realty LLC (Expect More)


At Respect Realty, LLC our agents believe in 100% dedication to client satisfaction.  We specialize in property and land acquisition around the Portland Metro and Vancouver, WA area. We delight in working with first time home buyers and sellers to guide them from start to finish. Our doors are always open and we are always happy to assist you with your real estate questions.


Reach out today, we look forward to talking with you!


Todd Clark and Seraina Aguayo (Owners of Respect Realty)

Respect Realty LLC (Expect More)



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Comment balloon 31 commentsRespect Realty LLC • July 28 2008 11:46PM


What a maroon!!!  You honestly would think someone like this would not be operating in this day and age of lawsuit mania!  Good golly!!!  I'm sadly not too surprised though; these maroons are everywhere.

(And yes, I know it's spelled moron, but I like Bugs Bunny's way better.)

Posted by Karen Rice, Northeast PA & Lake Wallenpaupack Home Sales (Davis R. Chant, REALTORS) about 10 years ago

Listing agents should never talk to your buyer when they know you are working with them. That agent just made herself look really bad and probably made your clients even more skeptical of her honesty. Permits are required for a reason and the seller's intention does not matter.

Posted by Raylene Lewis (Century 21 Beal, Inc.) about 10 years ago

Unbelievable! You are so right to counsel your buyers on the importance of permits.

Posted by Vickie Nagy, Vickie Jean the Palm Springs Condo Queen (Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate) about 10 years ago

Yikes!  Sometimes I just don't understand it.  Do agents convince themselves that some things are ok?  Don't they realize that they are really doing everyone, including their seller such a dis-service? 

Posted by Cristal Drake, Realtor - Fullerton Real Estate (Prudential California Realty) about 10 years ago

I am with Raylene...the agent should never have been talking to your clients to begin fact, she shouldn't even have been in the house.  Doesn't she know how inhibiting her presence was?  This sounds like a diarrea of the mouth situation!  To make it worse, she wants a waiver signed? REALLY???? Wow!

Posted by Paula Swayne, Realtor-Land Park, East Sac & Curtis Park -Dunniga (Dunnigan, Realtors, Sacramento (916) 425-9715) about 10 years ago

Two words come to mind.... Home Inspection lol However, Home Inspections should really be done on pretty much any home, even new builds where permits were pulled! Especially in todays market, where home prices are going down butthe cost to build really isn't, some will cut corners to make an extra buck (even in a good market).

Posted by Chris Horton (Horton's Lawn Care L.L.C.) about 10 years ago

Wow. Talking with your clients is ok, but there is a fine line... and that should be limited to providing information. To excuse the neccesity of permits was just stupid and a huge liability on her part.

If she is so confident permits were not required, then why the waiver? If she was that confident she would list her E&O insurance company and policy.  

Posted by Mike Wong, Realtor: Commercial, Residential, Leasing, Invest (Keller Williams Realty Southwest) about 10 years ago

Todd, what an unbelievable experience.  I'm in shock that someone would make such a statement.  Not only that, what happened to "fair dealings" with the public?

Posted by Mark Organek, On a journey to accomplish one huge goal. (And the United States of America) about 10 years ago

I don't like that the other agent talked to your client, but is she looking to be sued?  Seriously, no permits were needed because she has known them for a long time!  Some times all that can be said is WOW!  What was she thinking?  I am amazed that she is still in business!

Posted by Tony & Darcy Cannon, The C Team (Aubrey and Associates Realty) about 10 years ago

Are you kidding me? I have seen many homes that the homeowners thought it was safe to live there. Sounds like she is trying to get the buyers to waive their rights to sue the seller when the local building department catches up to the unpermitted remodel. If I were the buyer I run like hell from that house as it's a giant legal responsibilty as they will be the one facing the fines and the cost of the removel on the unpermited structures or bringing it into compliance. I have worked in the home construction for 10 years and have worked on homes  where there were unpermited changes that caused the new owners a lot of hassle in obtaining  permits for their new addition or their new deck. I once seen an unpermitted addition that the local building inspector required it to be torn down to the framing and be dug around the foundation so he could inspect it before he would issue the building permit for the homeowners new deck. The permit process is there to protect us from those fly by night contractors who will skip, leave out, use inapproporate materials for the project just to save them a few dollars. It don't matter what the changes are, who does the work, a permit will be required in most locals.

Posted by Henry Birchfield (Henry's Drafting and Design Services) about 10 years ago

Todd:  Perhaps the next time it comes up, you could ask that listing agent if she was so sure everything was alright... ask her if she would personally sign a form taking full personal responsibility in case anything went wrong.  That should shut her up pretty quickly.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) about 10 years ago

Good grief. Makes one wonder what on earth they were thinking -- nor not thinking.

Posted by Bob & Carolin Benjamin, East Phoenix Arizona Homes (Benjamin Realty LLC) about 10 years ago

You're right on here......permits are in place for a reason.

Posted by Pam Pugmire, Meridian Idaho Real Estate (Silvercreek Realty Group) about 10 years ago

I have had some seriously dumb things said in front of me and my clients.  I even had one lady attempt to solicit my client's business WHILE I WAS STANDING RIGHT THERE.  My client had the perfect reaction - he put his arm around my shoulder, and said, "I'm really happy with Jason as my agent, but thanks."

Posted by Jason Crouch, Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653) (Austin Texas Homes, LLC) about 10 years ago

I can't believe a licensed individual (oops I almost said professional) would say something that crazy.  I guess she does not want to keep her license long.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) about 10 years ago

Call in a GC for an inspection. My husband has seen alot of sub standard work in homes that were improved by the owners.

Posted by Chip Jefferson (Gibbs Realty and Auction Company) about 10 years ago

That is amazing. Seems that as sales get tighter some agents just want to make the deal happen and forget what is right.

Your Friend in Charlottesville!

Posted by Charles McDonald, REALTOR®, Blogger, Principal Broker®, Owner (Charlottesville Real Estate Solutions) about 10 years ago


Stand your ground and protect your that you are truly protecting yourself.

Posted by Daniel J. Brudnok, REALTOR, SRES, e-PRO,ABR,GREEN,CSP (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox & Roach, REALTORS - Exton - PA License #RS-225179-L / Delaware License #RS-0025038) about 10 years ago

TODD - It makes you wonder how some people even got their license.  I had one experience that was bizarre a few years ago.  I showed up with buyers and the agent met us at the home.  She asked if I wanted to show them around, or if I wanted her to tag along.  I told her that I had it covered, but she proceeded to follow us around anyway.  When we got to the extra kitchen that was somewhat updated, she waxed poetic about why they decided to keep the mustard yellow stove of the 70's.  Seemingly, without ever coming up for air, she said that "it's a a perfectly good stove, right, I mean, why would you get rid of a stove like this if it's working, even though it's mustard yellow."  And on, and on, and on.  Needless to say, the buyers and I discussed her technique after we left.

Posted by Adam Waldman, Realtor - Long Island (Westcott Group Real Estate Company) about 10 years ago

Todd- Wow- It really makes you wonder what some of these agents are thinking or if they are thinking- I am glad they have you representing them.

Posted by Barbara Carter, Serving Your Real Estate Needs in the Hudson Valle (C21 Alliance Realty Group) about 10 years ago

It is amazing how some are really off their rocker... Can you say lawsuit....

Posted by Laura Forty-Garcia, Your Central Florida Connection to Real Estate (RE/MAX CENTRAL REALTY - GRI, CDPE, SFR, CREO) about 10 years ago

Karen - I got to love a bugs bunny fan and I have to say I got the joke immediately!

Raylene - The funny part is she invited us over to talk about the work that was done on the house and her goal was clearly to try to convince my buyers why permits were not needed.

Vickie - The permit has been gotten and we just closed on the transaction and all is good with my buyers.

Posted by Respect Realty LLC, Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate (Respect Realty LLC) about 10 years ago

Cristal - I'm guessing this agent was really close to going bankrupt and this check was her way to salvation.

Paula - It was a case of shut your mouth and let the home owner do the talking. Had she been stupid enough to put even half the stuff she was saying down on paper, her license would have been gone!

Posted by Respect Realty LLC, Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate (Respect Realty LLC) about 10 years ago

This one is definately a new one, its one thing to think something like that to yourself, but to actually say it and to a buyer, WOW

Have A Great Day

Posted by Doris Freeman, Broker/Agent, Realtor, Madison-Gibson-Crockett (RE/MAX REALTY SOURCE) about 10 years ago

Todd:  Good post, I enjoyed reading it and the answers.   These are definitely interesting times in the real estate world -- never quite sure who is going to say what.

Posted by Kathy Torline, Colorado Springs Real Estate Blog 719-287-1049 (ERA Herman Group Real Estate) about 10 years ago

It never fails to surprise me what other agents will say--in the presence of the other agent+client.

I just had a seller's agent tell me (in front of a buyer) that the seller was really frustrated that the house hasn't sold yet and was getting impatient with her. So the buyer opens his mouth and asked right out how low the seller would go and--she answered him! She told him that they had rejected an offer of X but in hindsight they should have taken it, and that the seller probably would jump on that now.

Posted by Erica Ramus, MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate (Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA ) about 10 years ago

Chris - Oh, I don't know how many people I have to tell about home inspections on new homes they are amazed at how much comes back when they do! If it is before the start of construction, I tell them to get a clause that you can get 4 home inspections throughout the process to keep them honest.

Mike - I was amazed that anyone would say that with me standing there and even invite us over to try to convince us of something so stupid.

Mark - Oh, I think she was just trying to save her friends some money, but man putting your license on the line to do it? That is just plain stupid!

Tony or Darcy - The worst part is when the owner is even correcting some of her statements on the spot and she says, oh that isn't a big deal.

Henry - The permits were obtained, the inspectors came through and after that it went off without a hitch, but I can tell you we made them fix everything found on the inspection because of the non-permit issues. They are now very happy and the other agent is still pissed at me. (LOL)

Posted by Respect Realty LLC, Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate (Respect Realty LLC) about 10 years ago

Todd, glad things worked out.

Posted by Henry Birchfield (Henry's Drafting and Design Services) about 10 years ago

What a maroon!!! 

Wow.  That's shocking.  I fully agree with Karen Rice's concise analysis!  :)

Posted by Not Yet Licensed about 10 years ago

Why would this agent risk her license for someone else... Not so smart!

Posted by Debbie Summers (Charles Rutenberg Realty ) about 10 years ago

There are good agents and bad agents can you guess which one she is? Please tell me she is new, even then she should of known better!

Posted by Lisa Long (Heather Roda Broker) about 10 years ago

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