Cut & Paste Anomaly

In this generation when I am writing this book, I would say that Buy and Sell Free Ads Magazine is the most powerful Classified Ads in the Philippines. It is only 28 Pesos and I feel that my life is not complete in any given month I have no copy.

Associated with this Buy & Sell magazine is an anomaly in real estate service that I call Buy & Sell Cut & Paste Anomaly. At first, I thought this is a non-so-common anomaly, but recently, when I began to review listings of other agents and cross matched it with Buy & Sell, I realized that the anomaly is very much widely practiced.

There are some Real Estate Brokers and Agents who cut and paste these line ads and share it with their associates in a group multiple listing, of course they do a little edit so that it will not be detected. Let us call them “Cut-Paste” Agents. These Cut-Paste Agents normally offer it at 50/50 sharing scheme.

It will not be until they get a lead of a potential buyer, from another Agent, that they call the original advertiser in the Buy and Sell Magazine. When the Cut-Paste Agent calls the original advertiser in Buy and Sell Magazine, he will most likely end up talking to another Agent. In my experience calling the advertisers of Buy and Sell, very few of them are actually Property Owners.

The result of the transaction is a multi-layer Agents who will demand share of the commission. Forget the 50/50, it will most likely end up to 20/20/20/20/20.

I had one Broker who called me up for an opinion about a situation above. And below is the given of her problem (the order is from Seller to Buyer).

  • Seller – Advertised his property in Manila Bulletin. Seller did not issue authority to sell to anyone.

  • Agent A – formerly licensed broker, have gone colorum since 1995. Found the Ad in Manila Bulletin and told (lied to) Agent B that she has a nice property for sale.

  • Agent B – my friend. Licensed Broker. Thought that Agent A is still a licensed broker, and assumed Agent A has authority to sell from the owner.

  • Agent C – unlicensed real estate agent. Friend of Agent D and Agent B. This guy is the conjoining point between the Buyer and Seller.

  • Agent D – BIR employee, unlicensed real estate agent. Friend of Agent E and C. Told Agent C about potential buyer Agent E.

  • Agent E – Secretary cum mistress of Buyer. Pretended she is the Buyer in meeting with Agent D.

  • Buyer – Rich man. Talked to Agent E, wants secret rebate of the commission. Buyer did not issue any broker engagement contract with anyone.
The property is P80M. My friend is looking at a 3% commission to a tune of P2.4M. He asked me what to do everyone in the multiple layer agents are already squabbling about the commission. Here is my step-by-step advice to him.

  1. Gather all information and find out who the Seller and who the Buyer is.

  2. Go directly to the Seller and get a written Authority to Sell.

  3. Go directly to the Buyer and offer the property and get a written Intent to Buy.

  4. Arrange a conference in Max Fried Chicken with the Buyer and Seller. Do not allow any other agents during the negotiation.

  5. Close the sale and “promise” the Buyer and Seller that you are aware of the multi-layer Agents and you “promise” them that you take care of it and will “do what is appropriate”.

  6. Assist in the documentation and registration from start to finish. After collecting the P2.4M commission, call agents A, C, D, E for a conference in Max Fried Chicken.

  7. Give everyone a “Gratuity Gift” inside a closed envelope and thank them for the information that was passed from one another until it converged at your point. The amount is up to you. Tell them that you are a licensed broker and they are all colorum. Tell them the legal basis of your action, that they are not entitled to a “share of commission” because they are not licensed brokers and neither salespersons under you. Tell them the potential penalty of unlicensed practice. Tell them the potential penalty on you if you do malpractice. Tell them that instead of giving them “share of the commission”, you are giving them “Gratuity Gift” for giving you valuable information.

  8. Invite them all to register and enlist as Salespersons under your license.
My suggestion did not actually came into reality as planned. My friend was not able to get information from Agent D about who the buyer is. When my friend visited the seller, he was told point blank by the Seller that he does not want a Broker to serve him. My friend spent so much time and money meeting up the unlicensed agents.

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