There are many agents who focused on self-interest, developed systems and bad habits which can hurt both sellers and buyers. Lack of real estate ethics in the industry is regarded as one of the greatest national scandals.
The issue of ethics versus ethical behavior is a subtle one. As realtors are bound by a strict Code of Ethics, there is an expectation that the agent will act ethically. In fact, there are guidelines in place that ensure that, with penalties, fines and license suspension in place to punish an offender. However, clients have no written code that they must adhere to.
Sellers sign listing agreements that provide written evidence of the relationship between the client and the realtor in which during the term of agreement, the seller cannot reach out to another agent. On the other hand, the actions of the buyers are not so clearly defined unless a realtor compels a new client to sign an Exclusive Buyer’s Agreement. There are also clients that are not fully aware of Multiple Listing Service (MLS) which is the primary data system that most real estate agents use to market and sell property.
In some point, a client can choose any agent they want to work with especially in regards on what amenities they offer and how they deliver their services. There are also instances wherein a client can have two agents working for him at the same time but only one of the agents is on the contract and is due the commission and the other is shut out and receives nothing for the work done to that point. To note, it is important for potential buyers to choose a realtor that they are comfortable with and can trust.