ETHICS – Professional Fees Refund



Here’s another issue that was brought up to me by another practitioner formerly working for a leading real estate developer and now into real estate brokerage with another firm.  Take note there are certain advantages working for a developer such as getting discipline, installing productive work habits, professional affiliation, etc .. but as they say, there are always two sides to think about.  After sometime, there are those that notice that the grass seems greener on the other side, however, some also realize that Brokerage is not for all.

Anyway, this issue was regarding a transaction wherein a property located in a fault line ( earthquake zone ) was not disclosed by the Owner / Selling Broker.  Being in the industry for sometime now, I believe that it’s the Buyer / Buying Broker’s obligation to do “DUE DILIGENCE” on the property, ALWAYS, regardless of any disclosure.  That is one of the difference with today’s practice in Real Estate, one has to be knowledgeable in almost all aspects of the industry.

Now this is where Ethics come in, take note Real Estate Practitioners, Brokers, and Salesperson as this is one touchy issue as it involves MONEY !

Due to the fact that the property was in a fault line and was what the Buyer was avoiding, both Seller and Buyer agreed to void the sale and return all payments received.

The Buying Broker reasoned out that it wasn’t his fault that the fault line wasn’t divulged by both the Seller and Selling Broker and that he shouldn’t refund his Professional Fees !

Correct me if I am wrong, but I’ve always believed that the most important people in any transaction are the Seller and Buyer, the Brokers, Salesperson, Administrator ( if licensed ) are there to mediate and consummate the sale and should “always respect” and follow what Seller and Buyer agree upon.  It’s never about US ( of course, there will always be exemptions to the rule, but that’s rare ).

Fortunately, the Licensed Broker returned his professional fees, bravo !  ( i believe he asked advise from other networks of his, thank God )

In this industry we have, it’s always better to look at the long term effect of your actions rather than the short term.

Good news doesn’t travel much but Bad news does !  Good news translates to referrals, bad news results into Character Assassination without you even realizing it.  Sad to say, we have quite a number of this personalities so be careful who you deal with.

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Thank you.

Robert G. Sarmiento Properties
Professional Affiliation :
Philippine Association of Real Estate Brokers
Member, City of Taguig Real Estate Board 2016
Real Estate Broker’s Association of the Philippines
President, Greenhills Chapter 2008, 2009
Philippine Association of Real Estate Brokers
San Juan Mandaluyong Chapter 1998, 1999
PRC # 6569
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