Hoboken Condo Sale Hypothetical
An owner wants to sell a Hoboken condo property. Owner lists the condo for sale with a listing agent. Although this agent is commonly called the “listing agent”, he or she is an agent of the seller and owes the seller a fidiciary duty. Let’s call this agent Mr. List. The property in question is listed on the MLS by Mr. List on Monday. On Tuesday, an agent from another company, let’s call her Ms. Look, brings a buyer to see the condo. Mr. List knows of the showing as it is made through Mr. List’s office on a system that tracks showings and automatically emails a notice of the showing to Mr. List. The same system solicits feedback on the showing from Ms. Look and emails that to Mr. List.
On Wednesday, Mr. List enters the property as “under contract” or “Dabo’d” on the MLS. Mr. List never called or contacted Ms. Look to see if her buyer was interested in the property, to inform her that he was expecting or had received an offer, or to see if Ms. Look’s buyer might want to make an offer. Mr. List sold the property to his own buyer and will receive both sides of the commission.
Did Mr. List do the seller a disservice? Might Mr. List have gotten a higher price for the seller had there been another buyer making an offer? Did the fact that Mr. List will sell the unit to his own buyer possibly influence his failure to notify Ms. Look of the offer or to inquire as to Ms. Look’s buyers interest? I know what I think but I’d be interested to know – what do you think?