David Saks: Conflicts of Interest : Oh My Gosh !

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

Conflicts of Interest : Oh My Gosh !


I know your sick of hearing about it.

But it doesn't hurt to keep the old armour polished.

We all know that there are many different types of situations that could lead to a conflict of interest and possibly a RESPA violation, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, and we don't want that to happen, by golly.

The most common conflicts of interest I can think of are those that involve accepting gifts from our suppliers or vendors, or having some ownership in one of those 'other companies' involving those suppliers and vendors.

I suppose the bottom line is that we just have to avoid showing any preferences, or receiving any for that matter, which means receiving things that create some kind of personal benefit for either you, your friends or your family.

How do you deal with this beast and what are some of the temptations that are out there lurking behind the hallowed doors of great brokerages throughout our land?

Many thanks to all of my friends for your time and your good thoughts.

David Saks

Time&Temp Memphis

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Comment balloon 12 commentsDavid Saks • April 23 2008 04:40AM


You must be aware of any conflicts at all times. As a builder I can accept gifts and monetary compensation...but you cant give it. Darn!
Posted by Chip Jefferson (Advanced Building LLC) about 12 years ago
That is a tough one and a problem we are all faced with everyday.  I have many hanydman companies and lawn services offering me free service in hopes to get my business.  I still reccomend the one that I think is best not the one who does mine free.
Posted by Gary McAdams (GMAC Schwartz Property Sales) about 12 years ago
David:  I work in a small real estate office with no affiliations, but, one of my agent's fiance performs mortgage services.  I have had her sign a form stating that she will disclose the relationship in writing for the file.  I am so paranoid, that I don't use him!  I always refer three different vendors for any given request.
Posted by Donna Marie Godfrey (Godfrey Properties) about 12 years ago
I went to a meeting where the Director of RESPA, his assistant and an attorney were guest speakers. The Director made it quite simple, "If it benefits the client you can do it. If it benefits the agent you cannot."
Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA about 12 years ago


Conflicts are at the core. Referrals are a sore spot with RESPA. Thanks for commenting.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) about 12 years ago
Good thoughts, Gary. Integrity and experience are paramount. Your recommendations build quality business relationships.
Posted by David Saks ((retired)) about 12 years ago
Sensitive stuff, Donna. I applaud your sense of business acumen. The GFE might need that disclosure later.
Posted by David Saks ((retired)) about 12 years ago
The inspector makes it clear, Michael, although recent planned legislation, which addresses the application of yield spread premiums at closing, assisting the buyer, HR-3915, the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act, eliminates the YSP. The YSP is a bone of contention with Congress. There are some real angry mortgage brokers out there because of this and they believe it's one of the central reasons why financing is tougher. The MBA fought it. Thanks.
Posted by David Saks ((retired)) about 12 years ago
David, "C of I" is a fine line that keeps business interesting.
Posted by * Rate A Home (Rate A Home) about 12 years ago

I agree, Duane.  I also believe that compliance with RESPA insures integrity. RESPA is grounded in ethics. Many thanks for your thoughts.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) about 12 years ago

I generally deal with it by not going there.  My advice is always tailored for each respective clients best interests... nothing more, nothing less.  I work in an office that has an in house mortgage broker... sometimes they are the best options and sometimes not but it's always a decision made with all the cards on the table.

It's about time for the BBQ cooking to begin... what I wouldn't give for an afternoon in Tom Lee Park in a few weeks.

Posted by Jesse & Kathy Clifton, Retired (Jesse Clifton & Associates, REALTORS®) about 12 years ago

Thanks, Jesse. Good advice !

Man, those oinkers make me go boinkers ! I'll be down there anyway, though, slurping bbq sauce and fit right in, undetected, with the rest of those uncultured hooligans. :-) Let it all hang out ! Have a great weekend.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) about 12 years ago

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