Is it ethical?

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Submitted by moneymaker on March 8, 2010 - 10:44pm

My wife and I are in disagreement. She says that if a salesperson tells person A(seller) that they will sell their property for X dollars(no guarantee) and then finds person B(buyer) who will buy it for X+Y dollars it is ok for that salesperson to pocket Y dollars. I know it sounds like flipping but since the salesperson does not actually take possession of said property and they give no guarantee their risk is zero and they can make a lot of money. I am of the opinion that all cards should be on the table and when the buyer and seller are both kept in the dark (not part of the negotiations) it just seems wrong to me.

Submitted by ybitz on March 8, 2010 - 11:41pm.

does seem rather unethical to me.

The house buying process can be so frustrating. Wouldn't it be easier if all offers were visible to both parties? As a buyer, you can see what other buyers are willing to pay and how much down payment they are bringing, and see if you're willing to pay more. I think the seller would benefit from this Ebay-like transparency because it would encourage bidding war and getting the highest price. Buyer's benefit from having an opportunity to submit additional bids to get their dream house.

Submitted by CA renter on March 9, 2010 - 1:46am.

ybitz wrote:
does seem rather unethical to me.

The house buying process can be so frustrating. Wouldn't it be easier if all offers were visible to both parties? As a buyer, you can see what other buyers are willing to pay and how much down payment they are bringing, and see if you're willing to pay more. I think the seller would benefit from this Ebay-like transparency because it would encourage bidding war and getting the highest price. Buyer's benefit from having an opportunity to submit additional bids to get their dream house.

Totally agree with this. I don't like the current model where the buyer and seller don't interact. Personally, I like to deal with the buyers/sellers directly, even if we have agents involved.

The situation above is 100% unethical, IMHO. I would NEVER do business with this person and would discourage anyone else from doing so as well.

Submitted by Effective Demand on March 9, 2010 - 2:09am.

It is called "secret profit" and it is extremely unethical. On the other hand, if the agent discloses everything to all parties in the transaction (I negotiated for X+Y and my contract with the principal says I can keep Y, for example), it isn't unethical.

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