Dear Urban Diplomat: how do we deal with a sneaky real estate agent?

Dear Urban Diplomat: how do we deal with a sneaky real estate agent?

(Image: Alan Cleaver/Flickr) (Image: Alan Cleaver/Flickr)
 

Dear Urban Diplomat,

We just sold our semi, and our agent pulled a sneaky move. We got two bids, one higher by about $40,000. Then he lied to the leading bidder, saying the two bids were very similar, and asked if they’d go higher. They did, by $6,000, and got the house. Our agent was proud of himself, and I was ecstatic—that’s a vacation for the family—but my wife was horrified. She wants to refund the extra. Should we?
—Over Asking and Then Some, High Park

Money comes and money goes, but guilt lingers. Give back the money so your wife can sleep at night, and do it fast. If the deal hasn’t closed yet, you can tweak the Agreement of Purchase and Sale to knock off that six grand, so you don’t pay extra tax and commission. If your agent kicks up a fuss, remind him that realtors “have an obligation to act with fairness, honesty and integrity,” according to the Real Estate Council of Ontario’s code of ethics, and that you could report his transgression. Since you approved of his trick, you probably shouldn’t snitch, but making him sweat a little might help him rethink his ways. It might also karmically benefit you when it’s your turn to buy.

Send your questions to the Urban Diplomat at urbandiplomat@torontolife.com