Buyers: Beware Unlicensed Agents!

When an agent receives a call requesting to show buyers their listing, the rules are simple:

1)  Get the buyers agent name

2)  Get the buyers agent Brokerage name

3)  Get the buyers agent license number

With this information,  we are able to grant permission for a buyers agent and his/her buyers to enter the property.

Such was the case with my listing last week and as expected,  I released the combination code to the ‘agent’, granting permission for the buyers agent to take his buyers to view the property.

My seller called me about an hour later to say that the key, together with the front of the lockbox was laying on the floor in front of the front door,  and HUGE RED FLAGS went off in my mind!

I immediately called the agent (Joe Chaides) asking if he was WITH the buyers at the time and his answer was “No,  I’m in Bakersfield” – the house is in Long Beach!  When I questioned him,  he just hung up!  A second call obtained the same result.

When I called the Brokerage,  the Broker was unavailable (and the e-mail address I was given, bounced – I was also told that this Broker was away and did not have a cell phone!).  I was told by a man at the Brokerage,  that the agent in question did not work there anymore, so I ran a check on his license and sure enough, his license had lapsed!

What does all this mean?

1)  That there is an unlicensed agent in Bakersfield, posing as a REALTOR(R).

2)  The buyer/s that he represents, have no qualified advisor and therefore no legal recourse.

3)  The Brokerage name that the agent used is ultimately responsible – Castita Realty, Inc 

4)  Good agents who work according to the rules and regulations of the DRE (Department of Real Estate) are likely to be judged according to this unlicensed agents unlawful behavior!

5)  Both the Buyers and the agent are guilty of unlawful entry into a private residence – breaking and entering!

As a result of the above,  I immediately had the sellers home re-keyed and a new lock box applied to the property.

It was abundantly clear to me that the man at the Brokerage had contacted the unlicensed agent because I got a message on my cell phone (a message that will be retained for legal proceedings) that clearly stated “I just received a call from the office…..” .  Had this man not still been working for this Brokerage,  his message would likely have said: ” a call from my previous office” or “a call from Casita Realty, Inc”,  but to call that Brokergae ‘the office’,  indicated posession and therefore,  this unlicensed agent is STILL conducting business as a REALTOR(R) AND under the umbrella of Casita Realty, Inc!

I also still have the unlicensed agents phone message from the day before which states: “My buyers would like to see your listing at [address in Long Beach]” in which he admits that the buyer is HIS client!  This message will also be retained for legal purposes.

During the ensuing conversation with Joe Chiades the following day,  he freely admitted that he did not have a valid real estate license and that he knew that he was doing wrong!  I daresay that he did not inform the unsuspecting buyers of this fact and I wonder how many other home seekers and sellers are falling prey to this type of indiscriminate ripoff?

I have reported this man to the DRE and feel very strongly that this is a person who should NOT be allowed to hold a real estate license, because when one is an agent,  we are placed in a position of trust.  How can anyone (buyer, seller, Broker, REALTOR(R)) trust a man who has so blatantly and knowingly, broken the law?

So,  here’s the crunch:

Joe Chaides,  told me that he felt that it was OK to grant access to his ‘buyers’, because he assumed that the house was vacant.  If he had been a member of his local MLS board (Bakersfield Association of REALTORS(R)) ,  he would have seen that the house is indeed, occupied by the owner,  so now he is also not paying Board fees!  A simple search of this Board, reveals that neither the agent, nor the Broker of note, nor the Brokerage, come up in the search! Why should some agents feel the need to do business honestly, by adhering to the rules and regulations of the Department of Real Estate, by maintaining a valid license and by paying Board fees,  while others do not?  For those who do not,  is it right that they continue to conduct business in real estate?

If his buyers wanted to put in an Offer on this (or any other property),  how was he going to complete the Offer documents,  which REQUIRE the agents name, license number and Brokerage name and number?  Very simple…….  this unlicensed agent would have put the buyer in touch with someone at Casita Realty, Inc, to process the documents,  which means that Casita Realty, Inc is ALSO at fault for circumventing the system.

Brokers are required to ensure that agents working under them are in fact holders of a valid DRE license. Buyers and sellers are strongly advised to perform their own due diligence in checking that the real estate individual that represents them, is in fact licensed,  by going to the DRE website and searching for the name of the licensee or broker.


Althea Garner

Exit Beach Cities Realty
Your House Of Homes Online
(714) 264-3458

Search over 50,000 listings at my web site:


Women’s Council of REALTORS(R):
Treasurer – 2008 (Coastal-West)
Webmaster – 2009 (Long Beach)
Editor – 2009 (Long Beach)
Education Chairperson – 2009 (South County)
Education Committee – 2009 (California State)

Orange County Association of REALTORS(R):
Education Vice Chair – 2009


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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] Follow this link: Buyers: Beware Unlicensed Agents! […]

  2. […] out” your realtor for whatever agreed upon price if you actually sell your home yourself. Buyers: Beware Unlicensed Agents! – 08/16/2009 When an agent receives a call requesting to show […]

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