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How to deal with unscrupulous realtors who try to steal your MLS listing.

I have heard stories about agents who will approach sellers who have listed their property with another agent. They will tell the seller they have a serious buyer and the seller should cancel the MLS listing and save some money as the agent will possibly give them a break on the commission. Not only is this prohibited under the real settee rules it is also illegal under common law.

If you know of anyone who is trying to steal MLS listings you should report them to the Real Estate Council who will look into the matter and possibly start discipline proceedings. As well the Vancouver Real Estate Board should be notified as they can institute discipline proceedings as well.

At common law such action by a realtor is the tort of intentional interference with an existing contract. The guilty realtor can be sued by the harmed realtor in court. The legal action would involve the harmed realtor asking for an injunction to make the guilty party stop their approaches to the customers, and asking that full legal costs be awarded against the guilty party. If the guilty party has already stolen the MLS listing, the harmed realtor could sue for its lost commission, punitive damages, and full legal costs for the court action. The courts tend to come down hard on parties who have committed this tort.

If you find that someone is trying to steal your MLS listing you should be pro-active, just telling them to stop won’t scare them off. You should advise your managing broker who can speak to the guilty party’s managing broker, you can file a complaint with the Real Estate Council, and you should have a lawyer send a “cease and desist” letter to the guilty party to put him on notice that he will be liable for damages for his actions if he persists.

David Simon