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Code of Ethics Case Studies

Case 3-4: Cooperation Not Mandatory

Client A called on REALTOR® B to list a small commercial property. In stipulating the price at which he wished to list the property, Client A explained that he was aware that it was a relatively low price, but he wanted a quick sale and, he added, a higher price could benefit very little at that time because of certain tax considerations. He told REALTOR® B that a number of prospective buyers had spoken to him about the property within the past year. He gave their names to REALTOR® B and said he felt sure that among them there would be a ready buyer at the price. He told REALTOR® B that he wanted the property submitted to them first.

The next day, REALTOR® C, who had unsuccessfully solicited the listing and learned that the property was listed exclusively with REALTOR® B, called REALTOR® B to ask that he be accepted as a cooperating broker. REALTOR® B told REALTOR® C that because of the circumstances the best service to his client did not require cooperation; that a prospective buyer was at that time seriously considering the property; and that under the circumstances he preferred not to invite cooperation.

REALTOR® C complained to the Board of REALTORS® charging REALTOR® B with a violation of Article 3 by refusing to cooperate. Pursuant to the complaint a hearing was scheduled before a Hearing Panel of the Board's Professional Standards Committee.

During the hearing, REALTOR® B outlined fully the circumstances under which the property had been listed by him, and maintained that the interest of Client A would not be advanced by acceptance of cooperation by REALTOR® C.

What do you think the hearing panel concluded? Show Answer