Ethics Case

Photo courtesy of: Colorado Counselor Training
Photo courtesy of: Colorado Counselor Training

Is there a time frame wherein we should respect a property listing given by a network who may or may not have an exclusive authority? An exclusive Authority to Sell or Lease is still an issue that most property owners still have to understand and accept in the Philippines.

The thought that if a property is handled by so many Real Estate Brokers, licensed or not, the property will sell faster. This is a misnomer as most property owners don't understand how Licensed Real Estate Brokers work in the Philippine scenario. One has to understand that most everyone ( Seller, Buyer, Real Estate Broker ) is just within a fourth degree affinity to someone you actually know.

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The Real Estate Broker's world is actually small inspite of newly licensed brokers due to the RESA Law. Most of our transactions are done with network Brokers whom we know specialize within a certain spectrum. So when a property is given to a Broker, more often than not, he or she will rely on his or her network to help push a property. We have a saying that when a property owner talks to so many Real Estate Brokers, licensed or not, it's known as "Listing ng Bayan" ( Everyone's Listing ). It then loses privacy, confidentiality, and thus affects the perception it has on the market.  Sad part is, when so many Brokers are working on that property, the enthusiasm to work on it diminishes considerably ( of course, this also depends on the kind of property it is ). On the few cases wherein an Exclusive Authority to Sell or Lease is given, the term ranges anywhere from 90 days to a year. 

Another issue is how should you treat a client brought by a broker to a property listing you have when that same client calls you from an on line / social media advertisement or print ads such as Manila Bulletin? Take note that Licensed Broker practitioners in the Philippines ( the ones with good relationship with their particular networks are actually very respectable and accommodating regardless of the time frame and exclusivity of the listing ). However, that applies to a very small percentile of practitioners.  This is really a grey area so one solution is to have a client acknowledge a Licensed Real Estate Broker for a particular property offered, that way there won't be any issues should a transaction be done. 

In the United States, Canada and other countries, their Real Estate Code of Ethics is strictly followed to the tee ( doesn't necessarily mean UNETHICAL issues don't exist, these kind of individuals do exist in most parts of the world ) and believe me, foreign Real Estate practitioners aren't as nice as We are ( this is highly dependent on your select network ), a lot of it has to do with our Culture, we are just naturally friendly and family oriented. I've personally encountered a friend's situation ( he is a successful Real Estate Broker ) in New York and the term, "Dog eats Dog" is so true ! He shares his experiences that there are Brokers who simply don't want to do business with others and wait for their exclusivity to expire then that's when they make their move on a property. Over here, unless we could implement our Code of Ethics ( which is still non-existent after 11 years ??? ) , nothing can be done under the law unless YOU belong to a Real Estate Association, where proper legal action can be done to the erring party !

The RESA Law enacted into Law in 2009 mandates issues not connected with the Code of Ethics.

In my 31 years of practice, I've seen so many opportunities and Deals gone bad due to dealing with unlicensed individuals and unethical Real Estate Brokers who are not familiar with current laws and practices. This is the primary reason that we Licensed Real Estate Brokers still don't get enough respect due Us.  There's a saying that bad news travels fast, good news hardly get noticed.  In these day, we now have to deal with a lot of FAKE NEWS ! Take note that the Philippines have a different process on a sale of a property, we don't have Titling Companies, Escrow Companies, Inspection, etc ... We basically do All the Due Diligence unless a Real Estate Lawyer is used by either parties.  This is the reason why our advocacy is for not only the RESA Law to be implemented but for our Code of Ethics to be passed too. 

My two cents worth.

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