What started as an all-too-common slimy maneuver on the part of a brokerage firm is morphing into a PR nightmare that will haunt its Google search results for years to come: Yesterday, after finding a listing for a house at 180 Adelphi Street on the website of Awaye Realty, we wrote it up as a house of the day. Certainly a factor in what was a far-from-glowing analysis on our part was the poor presentation on the part of the broker, including low-res interior shots and the omission of any exterior photos. Things didn't get interesting, though, until later in the day when the owner of the house chimed in saying he was surprised to learn that a broker was marketing his FSBO listing without his permission.
I own this house, and I have never heard of Awaye Realty. Awaye Realty is fraudulently holding itself out as representing us without any authorization whatsoever. I have no idea why my house is listed on its website. It appears that this realtor copied information and photos from an (admittedly amateurish) website that I made--www.180Adelphi.com--in order to create the listing.
Less than an hour later, the owner posted another comment:
An update concerning Awaye Realty: I just called Awaye Realty's main number, and asked to speak to the realtor listed on the website as the broker for 180 Adelphi. The agent answering the phone said that she was out of the office. I explained the situation and asked that the brokerage de-list my property. The agent said that nobody who could help me was in the office. I asked the agent's name, and she literally said, "I don't have a name," and then hung up.
First of all, we'd encourage everyone to check out the FSBO site at 180adelphi.com, which certainly puts a better foot forward than the Awaye rip-off listing; secondly, we're curious to know how common this practice is (quite common, is our impression); third, we'd like to know if this practice is illegal in addition to being unethical.
House of the Day: 180 Adelphi Street [Brownstoner]