David Saks: My Ten Commandments For Avoiding a Predatory Real Estate Agent

David Saks - Real Estate Broker - The Real Estate Mart of Tennessee, Inc. - 4040 North Watkins-Suite #4 - Memphis, Tennessee 38127 - Phone (901) 357-4663

My Ten Commandments For Avoiding a Predatory Real Estate Agent



1. Don't trust any real estate agent that would steer you into using any particular vendor, home inspector, lender, etc.

2. Don't assume that you can't qualify for a loan if you refuse to use any real estate agent's vendor, home inspector, lender or other service provider.

3. Don't let any real estate agent persuade you to make false statements on any required forms such as a disclosure statement or any other form.

4. Don't let any real estate agent persuade you to borrow more money that will exceed your debt to income ratio limits or ability to repay any loan.

5. Don't let any real estate agent trick you into believing that you've obligated yourself to any real estate transaction before you've actually done so, such as signing a disclosure form which doesn't require you to commit to a loan.

6. Don't sign any documents given to you by any real estate agent that have blanks that are not filled in.

7. Don't take a kickback at closing from any vendor that the real estate agent has provided.

8. Don't sign anything that your real estate agent gives you that you haven't read first.

9. Don't sign anything if you don't understand the tongue or language that the real estate agent is using and get an interpreter that doesn't work for the agent to help you review your paperwork.

10. Don't proceed by yourself if you don't understand the technical vocabulary of the law in any document that your real estate agent is giving you to sign and review it with a lawyer.


A violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), which governs any federally related loan, is serious and you and your real estate agent could be sent to prison for disregarding it.

If you believe that your real estate agent is committing fraud, taking a kickback from a vendor or committing a RESPA violation contact the FBI office in your region Http://FBI.Gov , HUD (Housing and Urban Development Http://HUD.Gov) your state real estate commission and your local real estate board immediately.

As a licensed real estate agent, I have an obligation to protect my brokerage, clients, customers and colleagues, respect the laws of my real estate commission and those of this nation that govern our community.

As an industry we have an ethical and moral obligation to protect the integrity of our profession, and are sworn to do so.


For more about RESPA Visit:

RESPA - Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act





David Saks

Time&Temp Memphis

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Comment balloon 10 commentsDavid Saks • October 24 2013 04:43AM


Great advice to provide to both sellers and buyers.  Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Richard Weeks, REALTOR®, Broker over 6 years ago

Thank you, Richard. It's good to watch out for each other.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 6 years ago

1.  I'm aware of a recent transaction where an Agent pushed the Buyer really hard to use a certain Home Inspector.  Halfway through the Inspection, he said that his "Fee" was going to be higher than he had quoted. 

     The Inspector then came up with a long list of "problems" that were largely insignificant.  The Seller balked; the deal fell throuh; the house went back on market.  

    The potential Buyer paid close to $500 for the failed inspection.  I have a sneaking suspicion that a "referral fee" from that Inspector went into the Agent's pocket... which would be a RESPA violation.

Posted by Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate, Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker (Fred Griffin Real Estate) over 6 years ago

Great points to protect yourself from the snake of a predatory real estate agent David. May they get haunted by ghosts or break a mirror

Posted by Noah Seidenberg, Chicagoland and Suburbs (800) 858-7917 (Coldwell Banker) over 6 years ago

That's the devil of an agent red flag, Fred, and a nasty deal killing inspector. Thanks for sharing the story.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 6 years ago

May they break the mirror before they break the lender. Thanks for the note, Noah.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 6 years ago

David, I think we've all seen some real estate agents that try to bully their clients. Very good list. 

Posted by Adrian Willanger, Profit from my two decades of experience (206 909-7536 AdrianWillanger-broker.com) over 6 years ago

I've seen enough crooks in this business to make me puke, Adrian.

Here's a sample for you:

click the red button.
Real Estate Crimes


Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 6 years ago

David Saks , we remain legal all the way, and have sometimes argued with customers who want to compensate under the table, law or no law.  We've had to refuse them and say bye bye.

Posted by Bruce Hicks, Your Lifetime Friend/Helper! (Best Homes Hawaii) over 5 years ago

Thanks, Bruce. I fully appreciate your RESPA-awareness. It's extremely important to understand the rules. Many don't and pay for it in the worst way. Aloha.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 5 years ago

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