Badges? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Badges

This morning, as I fight off either allergies or the edge of a cold (or the after-effects of too many McDonalds meals on the road this week), I’m going to blatantly piggyback on the lovely and talented Kris Berg of San Diego Castles Realty.

It seems the California Association of REALTORS has created a badge agents can put on their website to show that they are Realtors, pay their dues to all-mighty NAR and subscribe to the voluminous Code of Ethics.

What caught my eye was this little tidbit …

You want someone that you can trust. Did you know that a REALTOR® cannot mislead a seller as to the value of the property just to get the listing? REALTORS® cannot accept a rebate or commission without the client’s knowledge and consent. And your REALTOR® will submit all offers and counter-offers as quickly and objectively as possible as mandated by the “Code of Ethics.”

The emphasis there is mine and comes directly from yesterday’s brief post about the listing agent who says Wells Fargo will not accept any offers that come without a Bank of America prequalification letter.

Last night, I received an e-mail informing me it is a lender requirement that a B of A prequal be included. Now here’s the funny part – the prequalification letter I submitted was from Wells Fargo itself.

So … apparently, I am to believe that Wells Fargo, in an effort to make sure  a buyer is properly qualified by a competent lender (wait, this is B of A … make that “by a lender”) does not consider a prequalification from its own loan officers sufficient.

Make sense to anyone else?

I’ve asked for a copy of said written directive to no avail. I’ve also since e-mailed the agent’s broker to see if he might be able to procure said written directive. I don’t expect to hear anything back because, in this market, there will be others more than willing to play these games even when they’re (allegedly) blatant violations of the NAR Code of Ethics.

By all means, NAR … keep working on that public awareness campaign, keep trying to promote the capital R in Realtor even though the majority of your members have to belong if they want MLS access. And in the interim, let’s keep allowing a subset of agents re-write the real estate business in their own miserable image.

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at