Originally Posted by I33
I do plan to contact the owners and appraise them of the situation. This guy's actions could spike a potential sale, and I don't think the owners would appreciate that.
Gil, based on what the broker said, I don't see any factual basis for accusing him of being unethical. (He might be unethical, but you can't prove
it.) If you talk to the seller, you should definitely not make a defamatory statement about the broker that you can't prove conclusively.
I doubt that anything good would be accomplished by discussing it with the owner, but there's a real risk of adverse consequences. For example, suppose the seller gets angry and fires the broker, and tells him he's firing him because you
said he was unethical (even though you might not have actually said
that). By paraphrasing
what you said, the seller could very easily cause you to get sued by the broker for defamation. You can't control the way the seller reacts to the information that you provide him. You might ultimately prevail in the lawsuit (or not), but even if you win, you'll still have to spend thousands of dollars for attorney's fees and related court costs to defend yourself. The brokerage, on the other hand, might very well have an attorney on retainer, and the cost to the broker might be nominal. You might get some satisfaction out of blowing the whistle on the broker, and you might do the seller a favor in doing so, but is that worth the considerable risk to you in stirring up a hornet's nest?
I have a long standing policy to never deal with a skunk. If I have serious reservations about the trustworthiness of anyone involved in a deal, I'll walk away from the deal. Business transactions are risky enough without having to worry about whether someone is trying to hide something from you, or stab you in the back. If you're hearing a little voice that is telling you to be very careful in dealing with this broker, it's probably best to listen to your little voice.