Honesty, ethics and fraud in Real Estate

Historically speaking fraud has been rampant in Real Estate, thus the statute of frauds in 1677 and the deliberately inefficient system of property recordation that arose over the centuries. It will never go away, there is fraud wherever there is money. As to honesty, that is a matter of character. Most agents I deal with are more honest than the run of the mill, some are not. And word gets around. As to ethics, the NAR has a wonderful code of ethics that is not enforced, again it is a matter of individual character and there is a spectrum that ranges from extremely ethical behaviour to truely sociopathic behaviour. I had a conversation with an agent from a different brokerage the other day and we agreed there were no really bad apples in Sebastopol, it’s too small a town to hide who you are. He mentioned that he could name a few names, I brought one up and he laughed. Why don’t I mention the names of agents or brokerages with a bad reputation? Because the rule against bad mouthing another agent or brokerage IS enforced, drastically. If I had incontrovertible proof of really bad behaviour I am supposed to bring it before the local ethics committee, if I made public charges I would be disciplined no matter whether the charges were accurate or not. If an agent says ” I am not entirely comfortable dealing with so and so”, pay attention. Agents do share their experiences with each other when trust is established, and word does get around. A good reputation takes years to establish and can be destroyed in one day.

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Tom Stone

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Real Estate Agent

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Creative Property Services

Sebastapol, CA

DRE #:01479497

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About Tom Stone

I am a Broker Associate with Creative Property services (CPS) in Sebastopol Ca. My father was an Appraiser and expert witness based in Oakland Ca for many years and I grew up having the basics drilled into me. I enjoy what I do and I am good at it. I managed income property in Oakland for a number of years and was licensed to run a collection agency for more than a decade. I have also worked as a credit manager and as the senior collector at the test center of a Bank . I have been commenting for years at "Calculated Risk" and on other Real estate Blogs including the defunct "Sonoma Housing Bubble" Blog. The best job title I ever had was "Chief Garbler". My Email Address is "StoneForHomes@Gmail.com" and my cell # is (707) 364-2477, please don't call before 7 AM or after 8 PM unless we have a deal in progress.

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One thought on “Honesty, ethics and fraud in Real Estate

  1. mikewilliamsenmikewilliamsen

    Rats will go where there is easy cheese. A good cat is a good rat regulator. The real estate cat, the gov’t, is supposed to regulate. NAR, CAR, DRE really do nothing except publish out-dated news for bird cage liners. State and Feds are too busy cooking up their own fraud profit scams.

    If we are going to clean up real estate, get gov’t to do their jobs, we are going to have to make them.


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