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Subject: Realtor
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Author Messages
LouH1
(Michigan)

Posts:177


03/30/2021 6:46 PM  
We have a person in our neighborhood who is elderly but still working as a realtor locally. She was on the board for 20+ years. Retired last year, but is thinking of running again. There are people in the neighborhood who think it is a conflict of interest and this person has not been truthful to a few buyers with giving them untrue information about our bylaws. How can I discourage her from running? We do have a code of ethics and my understanding is no Director should benefit monetarily from their position as director or use that position to gain clients in selling or buying houses. Is this correct? Thank you.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10126


03/30/2021 7:29 PM  
I do not get the relationship of being a Realtor, being a HOA member, and being voted onto the board. Why is this a conflict exactly? Maybe bad business practice on her part but not a conflict of any sort.

Former HOA President
BenA2
(Texas)

Posts:872


03/30/2021 8:23 PM  
I don't see an inherent conflict of interest. If a vote ever comes up that might benefit her business specifically, then she should recuse herself. I don't see how she would benefit monetarily by being on the board otherwise.

Obviously, if she lies to buyers I would not want her on the board but I doubt you can ban dishonest people from serving unless they've been convicted of a crime. You would have to check your CC&Rs and state law for that.
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:4170


03/31/2021 3:54 AM  
I have struggled with a realtor on my Board for over a decade.

Issues:

- Resistant to doing anything that will increase fees. Votes to spend money on things that are relatively inexpensive and will enhance curb appeal. Votes against spending money for long term improvements, especially those things that won't be immediately obvious to a prospective buyer.

- Board learns through the grapevine when houses are coming on the market. Realtor uses this inside information to solicit the listing. Some owners are intimidated into signing with Realtor because of his position on the Board. We have other Realtors in the community who don't get this early information.

- Some Buyers are angry with Realtor because he worked for "the opposition." Can take years for negative feelings to diminish.

- Realtor has conflicting loyalties on pre-sale inspections. Board members want to make sure that all deficiencies are included in resale certificate. Realtor would prefer a short list instead if he has the listing.

- Board members are fiduciaries - Best interest of of the community. Realtors are fiduciaries - Best interest of buyer or seller depending on who he works for. Which of those fiduciary responsibilities will take precedence when thousands of dollars are at stake?

- Some people, potential buyers or potential sellers, approach the Board looking to do transactions without realtor fees. Uncomfortable conversations, partly because Realtor constantly badmouths those type of deals and the new discount brokerage dealers that have cropped up recently.

- Selection of management company. At one time, 2 of 5 Board members were realtors. Couldn't prove it, but had strong impression that they had cut a side deal with potential candidate to feed leads to them from ours and another managed property. Other 2 candidates were far superior. Didn't make sense.

- We've had several insurance brokers on our Board. Never had an issue of conflicting loyalties. We've had several Realtors on our Board. They all seemed to think that they had dibs on our turf. I don't know why.

- Recusal. Maybe somewhere else, but not in my back yard.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
LouH1
(Michigan)

Posts:177


03/31/2021 9:59 AM  
You don't know how much your reply has helped me. I love this forum. Thank you sooooooo much. You and AgustusD are the BEST!!!
LouH1
(Michigan)

Posts:177


03/31/2021 10:03 AM  
Read below, NpS reply. This is what we would be dealing with. He was on the board for over 20 years, and is well known in the community....BUT.....many within the community have not had good experiences with her as their realtor and it is definitely (if the realtor sells and lists homes within the community). I think you are not being realistic to the possible problems that can occur. Sure, we all hope that won't happen, but why take the risk?
BillH10
(Texas)

Posts:671


03/31/2021 10:40 AM  
Lou

Your challenge will be this: if there is nothing in the Bylaws or Declaration of the Association which stipulates a realtor or real estate agent may not serve on the Board, you will be hard pressed to not allow the person to put their name forward as a candidate. You also mentioned the person is elderly, which you should not have.

It does not matter what others think about a possible conflict of interest, let them vote against the person if that is a concern. The key words are "others think" and "possible'. Apparently there is no proof at this time.

Discrimination is discrimination regardless of how justifiable or righteous or logical it may seem. If this person should not serve on the Board for the reasons another poster described, mount a campaign to secure majority votes for other candidates.

You are very close to crossing a line, I suggest you back away from it quickly.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:10944


03/31/2021 10:42 AM  
Posted By BillH10 on 03/31/2021 10:40 AM
Lou

Your challenge will be this: if there is nothing in the Bylaws or Declaration of the Association which stipulates a realtor or real estate agent may not serve on the Board, you will be hard pressed to not allow the person to put their name forward as a candidate. You also mentioned the person is elderly, which you should not have.

It does not matter what others think about a possible conflict of interest, let them vote against the person if that is a concern. The key words are "others think" and "possible'. Apparently there is no proof at this time.

Discrimination is discrimination regardless of how justifiable or righteous or logical it may seem. If this person should not serve on the Board for the reasons another poster described, mount a campaign to secure majority votes for other candidates.

You are very close to crossing a line, I suggest you back away from it quickly.



I agree.
LouH1
(Michigan)

Posts:177


03/31/2021 11:48 AM  
And so do I, thank you and JohnC46 for the needed reminder. We are mostly all older adults in this community, (I am old too) so I say this rather loosely and am happy you guys have reminded me of sounding discriminatory. Thank you again.

While I agree with you both and feel that he is a worthy opponent, as the campaign rolls around, there will be other candidates whom, I hope will qualify in other ways. I have read far too many horror stories on having realtors on BODs. He has lived here for many, many years. Friends with many,many people. However, there are people here who bought from him (us included, who described the by-laws inaccurately, much to the chagrin to the buyers. There will be an honest campaign where people will be able to choose whom they prefer to be making decisions for the community. Thank you again.
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:4170


03/31/2021 11:48 AM  
Posted By LouH1 on 03/31/2021 10:03 AM
Read below, NpS reply. This is what we would be dealing with. He was on the board for over 20 years, and is well known in the community....BUT.....many within the community have not had good experiences with her as their realtor and it is definitely (if the realtor sells and lists homes within the community). I think you are not being realistic to the possible problems that can occur. Sure, we all hope that won't happen, but why take the risk?



We had many discussions about restricting Board members from soliciting business from owners. HOA Attorneys advised us to stay clear.

Our Realtor is on the Board because we never have 2 candidates for 1 seat.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
LouH1
(Michigan)

Posts:177


03/31/2021 11:51 AM  
Why would they advise you to stay clear if there might be a definite conflict of interest and the community would not benefit from this behavior?
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:4170


03/31/2021 1:54 PM  
Posted By LouH1 on 03/31/2021 11:51 AM
Why would they advise you to stay clear if there might be a definite conflict of interest and the community would not benefit from this behavior?



"might be" is not enough.

And you have only heard my point of view. My Realtor Board member would most certainly explain things differently. Our lawyers know this, and advised us accordingly.


Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:10944


03/31/2021 1:58 PM  
I just do not see that much conflict of interest as the realtor is also an owner and would want what is best for the HOA. Not like their an outsider and do not care.

I have been on several BOD's and I just do not see people on the BOD learning someone is thinking about selling any sooner then others learn.

Our President is a realtor and resident/owner. In 3 years on the BOD with him, I have seen no conflict as a matter of fact he is quite the stickler for keeping our neighborhood looking good and financially sound in the present and the future. All good selling points for us all.
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:4170


03/31/2021 2:13 PM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 03/31/2021 1:58 PM
I just do not see that much conflict of interest as the realtor is also an owner and would want what is best for the HOA. Not like their an outsider and do not care.

I have been on several BOD's and I just do not see people on the BOD learning someone is thinking about selling any sooner then others learn.

Our President is a realtor and resident/owner. In 3 years on the BOD with him, I have seen no conflict as a matter of fact he is quite the stickler for keeping our neighborhood looking good and financially sound in the present and the future. All good selling points for us all.



That's the kind of Realtor that I would love to have on my Board.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:790


03/31/2021 2:46 PM  
Lou,
I also like NpS list and I would add a few.

* The board members have access to all of the owners names and HOA balances and they know when someone is desperate to move and can use that as either the Buyer or the Sellers agent.

* They also have information that only the board knows such as violation history of the adjoining neighbors and that gives them another inside advantage.

* I have had issues with 2 Realtor board members over the last 11 years and they are almost all the same at the end of the day. They can be very cutting when they don't get their way on votes.

* They are very rarely Team players

All this being said your community will decide and the board will get who gets the most votes. I personally would never lobby for another Realtor on my board. To many other options out there to have as a Team mate.
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