We have received numerous complaints about a practice that is happening more frequently. With less inventory on the market, some licensees have been violating the law by withholding information on listings, misrepresenting availability, or not presenting other licensee's offers when in a multi offer situation.
Is it wrong? Yes. It violates numerous Alaska Statutes, Regulations and Realtor Code of Ethics. While at the same time damaging consumers and exposing the licensee to license suspension and lawsuits. It also damages the reputation of all real estate professionals.
I spent several hours extracting the violations at all levels and I am interrupting my series on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and it's application to the real estate industry, to give you a long email documenting all the various violations, rather than putting the violations in a multi-part series.
Here you go:
Relevant Statutes Regarding Offer Submissions;
Sec. 08.88.615. Duties Owed By Licensee In All Licensee Relationships.
(a) Unless additional duties are agreed to in a written document signed by the person, and regardless of the type of licensee relationship in which the real estate licensee is acting, a real estate licensee owes the following duties to each person to whom the licensee provides specific assistance:
(1) the exercise of reasonable skill and care;
(2) honest and good faith dealing;
(3) the presentation of all written offers, written notices, and other written communications to and from the person in a timely manner regardless of whether the real estate is subject to an existing contract for sale or lease or the person is already a party to an existing contract to buy or lease real estate;
Sec. 08.88.620. Duties Owed By Licensee Representing A Person.
Unless additional duties are agreed to in a written document signed by the person represented by the licensee, a real estate licensee who represents the person owes the person the following duties in addition to the other duties imposed by AS 08.88.615:
(1) not taking action that the licensee knows is adverse or detrimental to the interest of the represented person in a real estate transaction;
(2) disclosure of a conflict of interest to the represented person in a timely manner;
(3) advising the represented person to obtain expert advice on a matter that relates to the real estate transaction that is beyond the licensee's expertise;
(4) not disclosing confidential information from or about the represented person without written consent, except under a subpoena or another court order, even after termination of the licensee's relationship with the represented person;
(5) if the represented person is a seller or a lessor, unless otherwise agreed to in writing, making a good faith and continuous effort to find a buyer or lessee for the real estate of the seller or lessor, except that a licensee is not required to seek additional offers to buy or lease the real estate while the real estate is subject to an existing contract for sale or lease; and
(6) if the represented party is a buyer or a lessee, unless otherwise agreed to in writing, making a good faith and continuous effort to find real estate for the buyer or lessee, except that a licensee is not obligated to
(A) seek additional real estate to buy or lease for the buyer or lessee while the buyer or lessee is a party to an existing contract to buy or lease real estate; or
(B) show to the buyer or lessee real estate for which there is not a written agreement to pay compensation to the licensee.
Sec. 08.88.071. Duties of the Commission.
(a) The commission shall
(3) after hearing, have the authority to suspend or revoke the license of a licensee or impose other disciplinary sanctions authorized under AS 08.01.075 on a licensee who
(A) with respect to a real estate transaction
(i) made a substantial misrepresentation;
(ii) made a false promise likely to influence, persuade, or induce;
(iii) in the case of a real estate broker, pursued a flagrant course of misrepresentation or made a false promise through another real estate licensee;
(iv) has engaged in conduct that is fraudulent or dishonest;
(v) violates AS 08.88.391 ;
(B) procures a license by deceiving the commission, or aids another to do so;
(C) has engaged in conduct of which the commission had no knowledge at the time the licensee was licensed demonstrating the licensee's unfitness to engage in the business for which the licensee is licensed;
(D) knowingly authorizes, directs, connives at or aids in publishing, distributing, or circulating a material false statement or misrepresentation concerning the licensee's business or concerning real estate offered for sale, rent, or lease, or managed in the course of the licensee's business in this or any other state or concerning the management of an association in the course of a licensee's business in this or another state;
Article 04 Prohibited Conduct
12 AAC 64.130 Grounds for Revocation or Suspension.
The following acts, in addition to those specified elsewhere in this chapter, are grounds for revocation or suspension of a license:
(13) failing to submit to the seller or the seller’s licensee all written bona fide offers received before the seller accepts another offer in writing and the broker has knowledge of the acceptance;
REALTOR Code of Ethics
In recognition and appreciation of their obligations to clients, customers, the public, and each other, REALTORS® continuously strive to become and remain informed on issues affecting real estate and, as knowledgeable professionals, they willingly share the fruit of their experience and study with others. They identify and take steps, through enforcement of this Code of Ethics and by assisting appropriate regulatory bodies, to eliminate practices which may damage the public or which might discredit or bring dishonor to the real estate profession.
Realizing that cooperation with other real estate professionals promotes the best interests of those who utilize their services, REALTORS® urge exclusive representation of clients; do not attempt to gain any unfair advantage over their competitors;
When representing a buyer, seller, landlord, tenant, or other client as an agent, REALTORS® pledge themselves to protect and promote the interests of their client. This obligation to the client is primary, but it does not relieve REALTORS® of their obligation to treat all parties honestly. When serving a buyer, seller, landlord, tenant or other party in a non-agency capacity, REALTORS® remain obligated to treat all parties honestly.
Standard of Practice 1-6
REALTORS® shall submit offers and counter-offers objectively and as quickly as possible. (Adopted 1/93, Amended 1/95)
Standard of Practice 1-7
When acting as listing brokers, REALTORS® shall continue to submit to the seller/landlord all offers and counter-offers until closing or execution of a lease unless the seller/landlord has waived this obligation in writing. Upon the written request of a cooperating broker who submits an offer to the listing broker, the listing broker shall provide, as soon as practical, a written affirmation to the cooperating broker stating that the offer has been submitted to the seller/landlord, or a written notification that the seller/landlord has waived the obligation to have the offer presented. REALTORS® shall not be obligated to continue to market the property after an offer has been accepted by the seller/landlord. REALTORS® shall recommend that sellers/landlords obtain the advice of legal counsel prior to acceptance of a subsequent offer except where the acceptance is contingent on the termination of the pre-existing purchase contract or lease. (Amended 1/20)
Standard of Practice 1-12
When entering into listing contracts, REALTORS® must advise sellers/landlords of:
1) the REALTOR®’s company policies regarding cooperation and the amount(s) of any compensation that will be offered to subagents, buyer/tenant agents, and/or brokers acting in legally recognized non-agency capacities;
Standard of Practice 1-15
REALTORS®, in response to inquiries from buyers or cooperating brokers shall, with the sellers’ approval, disclose the existence of offers on the property. Where disclosure is authorized, REALTORS® shall also disclose, if asked, whether offers were obtained by the listing licensee, another licensee in the listing firm, or by a cooperating broker. (Adopted 1/03, Amended 1/09)
REALTORS® shall cooperate with other brokers except when cooperation is not in the client’s best interest. The obligation to cooperate does not include the obligation to share commissions, fees, or to otherwise compensate another broker. (Amended 1/95)
Standard of Practice 3-1
REALTORS®, acting as exclusive agents or brokers of sellers/ landlords, establish the terms and conditions of offers to cooperate. Unless expressly indicated in offers to cooperate, cooperating brokers may not assume that the offer of cooperation includes an offer of compensation. Terms of compensation, if any, shall be ascertained by cooperating brokers before beginning efforts to accept the offer of cooperation. (Amended 1/99)
Standard of Practice 3-4
REALTORS®, acting as listing brokers, have an affirmative obligation to disclose the existence of dual or variable rate commission arrangements (i.e., listings where one amount of commission is payable if the listing broker’s firm is the procuring cause of sale/lease and a different amount of commission is payable if the sale/lease results through the efforts of the seller/landlord or a cooperating broker). The listing broker shall, as soon as practical, disclose the existence of such arrangements to potential cooperating brokers and shall, in response to inquiries from cooperating brokers, disclose the differential that would result in a cooperative transaction or in a sale/lease that results through the efforts of the seller/landlord. If the cooperating broker is a buyer/tenant representative, the buyer/tenant representative must disclose such information to their client before the client makes an offer to purchase or lease. (Amended 1/02)
Standard of Practice 3-6
REALTORS® shall disclose the existence of accepted offers, including offers with unresolved contingencies, to any broker seeking cooperation. (Adopted 5/86, Amended 1/04)
Standard of Practice 3-8
REALTORS® shall not misrepresent the availability of access to show or inspect a listed property. (Amended 11/87)
Standard of Practice 3-10
The duty to cooperate established in Article 3 relates to the obligation to share information on listed property, and to make property available to other brokers for showing to prospective purchasers/tenants when it is in the best interests of sellers/landlords. (Adopted 1/11)
Hope this helps,
Jerry Royse, at the helm of Royse and Associates, stands out in real estate education with over 35 years of experience teaching across 46 states and 5 countries. A seasoned educator, Jerry has trained thousands in Sales Pre-Licensing and Continuing Education, also applying his expertise as an expert witness in over 30 legal cases and successfully closing over 1100 homes as a Buyer Broker. His extensive knowledge marks him as a preeminent expert in the field.