The other day one of my brokers shared an experience they had with a seller client. The listing had been on the market for a long time because it was a difficult property to sell. The seller had been considering hiring a different broker “just to change things up” once the listing expired. The seller was connected in such a friendly way with my broker that it seemed natural for them to ask for an opinion about which new brokers to consider and my broker was mature enough to offer some guidance there, even though that seems like an unusual request, since my broker was about to be fired.
When the seller explained how two brokers had attempted to woo them away from my broker prior to the expiration of the listing, it raised some red flags concerning the integrity of those brokers. Since any practice or action that interferes with the agency of another is not only illegal, but violates the Realtor® Code of Ethics, it was clear to see that the solicitation attempts by these aggressive brokers were probably out of line. MLS brokers are not privy to the expiration date of any listing until it hits the expired- list (unless a seller contacts them first and offers that information). Otherwise, when a listing broker refuses to acknowledge the expiration date when asked by any broker, the interested broker is free to call the seller directly to discuss terms upon which that broker might take a future listing or one that would become effective upon expiration of any existing listing, without violating agency law or The Code of Ethics.
In this case however, the offending brokers had either violated the Law and Code in ignorance or had nefariously interfered in an agency contract, by soliciting this seller outside the limit of the rules. This story probably serves to make two points; 1) When a broker violates agency law or the ethics they pledge to uphold, is that the type of person you want working for you? 2) The grass is usually not greener on the other side of the fence, its greener where you water it!
This reminds me of a humorous painting depicting a cow who reaches under a fence to get the greener grass, only to look back over the fence at the greener grass on that side. The result is a cow that has her head wrapped around the fence post, eating grass on the same side of the fence they started on.