OK you're going to like this one. Several years ago I wrote a deal. It was one of those rare occasions where I was on both sides of the transaction. Now remember in Florida we do not have dual agency so in this case I was acting as a Transaction Broker. No fiduciary was involved all though there is limited confidentiality.
This Buyer had called me on one of my listings so I met him over there and showed him the house.
Let's call the Buyer, Sneaky Sam. Sneaky Sam was a nice young man. Well dressed and he drove a nice new car. We spoke for a while and he seemed very knowledgeable and said he was a traveling salesman. He sold a line of widgets to the big box stores. I had no reason to doubt him.
Sneaky Sam made an offer at about 97% of the list price and the Seller accepted it based on a pre-approval letter the Buyer had given me.
Anyway, all was going well. Within a week, the appraisal was done and the inspections were done. We were just waiting on "clear to close".
On day eight, I get a call from Sneaky Sam asking me to come over to his house to talk with him about an important issue. So, like the good little Broker that I am, I ask if we can do this over the phone. Nope. Won't work. So I hop in my car and drive over to Sneaky Sam's house.
When I walked in Sneaky Sam looked disturbed and placed a letter in my hand. I sat down and started reading. It turns out that Sneaky Sam was not who he said he was. Sneaky Sam is really the brother of Helpful Harold. Helpful Harold, helpful brother that he is, had given Sneaky Sam permission to use him as a co-signer to buy a house!!! Well OK then.
But Sneaky Sam decided, on his own, it would be so much easier to just assume Helpful Harold's identity to get it done.
The letter Sneaky Sam had given me was his confession!!! He spilled the beans. All of them. All over me and my Transaction Brokerage!! He had bad credit. His current home was in foreclosure and an investment property, he owned, was in foreclosure. He didn't sell widgets to box stores he WORKED at a box store!! Sneaky Sam was desperate and had taken a desperate action. He screwed up……big time!!
I was placed in a very awkward position. Prior to giving me the letter, Sneaky Sam had requested confidentiality, which I granted. When working as a Transaction Broker either customer can ask for confidentiality on certain items. Since I owe neither party "full disclosure" I am not obligated by law to disclose these things. BUT……this was an entirely different issue. Sneaky Sam had attempted to commit fraud!!!
By the time I finished reading his confession, Sneaky Sam was sitting in front of me crying. He was a broken man full of remorse. I didn't know what to do. I had never been placed in this position before. I had to leave and go home and think about this. So I did.
My question is……what would you have done?
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Tutas Towne Realty, Inc
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker
***The content of this blog is solely my opinion***