April 11th, 2016
“The pathway to TREC disciplinary action is sometimes paved with good intentions.” (Standards & Enforcement Services division staff attorney.) “I had good intentions,” however, is not a defense to a violation.
Your Helpful Personality May Not Always Help Many individuals who work in real estate brokerage have friendly personalities and like to “help” people. A sales agent or broker may do something in a transaction that is inappropriate not because they want to do wrong but because they believe a client expects it, has requested it, or will be pleased. The Commission hears about these situations when someone files a complaint against the license holder. For example: A busy client might ask an agent to “please go ahead and sign my name to that amendment.” That should not be done unless the agent has a valid power of attorney from the client. An energetic agent might have extra time before a showing appointment and decide to “tidy up” the residence by doing dishes and making beds before prospective buyers arrive. The occupant of the property may be offended and file a complaint. Yes, this happens. Source: TREC Advisor 20160201
The listing or sale of property for an owner who might not be competent to provide informed consent should be done with extreme caution. For example, the owner might be elderly and suffering from diagnosed dementia. In such a situation, the license holder should perhaps require that the owner’s attorney or someone with a power of attorney from the owner review the documents and provide necessary signatures on behalf of the owner. Responding to a complaint or lawsuit filed by a suspicious relative after the sale can be an unpleasant, expensive, and time-consuming experience. Being well-educated on these issues and using good judgment in your real estate brokerage activities can allow you to continue to be the “helpful” agent or broker that you want to be while still limiting the possibility of disciplinary action. - SOURCE: TREC Advisor 20160201.
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