Tim Ball (Post Real Estate Group)

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Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Is your description uniquely "yours"?   Plagiarism lawsuits in real estate. I wonder.  Fair or right?  Likely not. Lawsuits?  Hmm...this could be a true "Honey, stop the car" moment if we want to keep the advertising reference that was made previously.  Interesting question. 

Jul 23, 2019 05:10 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Well, I wouldn't do it. I know our MLS does not allow using another agent's photos. As for copy, I'm not sure... it just doesn't feel right. I'd check with your MLS what the rules are.

Jul 23, 2019 04:45 AM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

Is this right?

Well, life is not fair. Zdevil, franchises and local associations have made that crystal clear.

The problem with condos is they all share many of the same features. What you can do is call the agent and ask for the definition of the select words you used in your description.

Otherwise, although disappointing, your text is fair game. In a sea of common thought and diminishing creativity, stealing the creation of others is common practice among real estate professionals.

Congrats!  You created something worthy of stealing!

Jul 23, 2019 04:44 AM
Richard Bazinet /MBA, CRS, ABR
West USA Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Phoenix Scottsdale. Sellers, Buyers & Relocations

Yep, it happens all the time. Move on, go sell a house.

Send a note to the agent that you are flattered with the use of your prose.

Jul 23, 2019 06:55 AM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Happily Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

why would anyone want to do that.... it's NOT right.... but it would also depend on what your MLS rules are... I doubt if that's acceptable anywhere.

Jul 23, 2019 06:23 AM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Lazy and unoriginal. Or flattering that no one can improve on your prose and narrative  Tim Ball . If it was hogwash it would not be duplicated in the copy and paste.

Jul 23, 2019 06:03 AM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Broker Retired

No, not really but you can't really call copyright on listing words. Photos are a totally different story. I know what you mean though about some agents not being able to complete a sentence about their own listing.

Jul 23, 2019 05:14 AM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

This is a great question! I don't know if you can claim ownership to words in this context. I have seen this over and over again.

I find people who cannot come up with their own words, thoughts, personalities, to be quite pathetic.

But this is good news for people who are original. Because they're always going to be a step ahead.

It's a signal to remember to change it up. Keep it fresh. Let the wannabes try to catch up. As if.

Jul 23, 2019 07:16 AM
Wayne Zuhl
Remax First Realty II - Cranford, NJ
The Last Name You'll Ever Need in Real Estate

I'm not a lawyer, but it strikes me as unethical but probably not illegal. Certainly lazy.

Jul 23, 2019 06:21 AM
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

I don't think there's a law against it; don't believe plagiarism applies, but it's not right. Guess they just love what you write.

Jul 23, 2019 06:13 AM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co Notary Services retired RE Broker

Yes. It's not verbatim and you are not writing a novel. Take it as flattery Tim Ball , you are obviously good at it and inspiring to this other agent.

Jul 23, 2019 05:24 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Prop. Mgr, Wenatchee, WA

It's sad when agents are so uncreative that they can't come up with their own description.  There are so many ways to describe the same thing.  I never see a need to copy.    Agents that do this are lazy and uncreative, which is also a sign of their overall marketing skills.

Jul 23, 2019 07:47 AM
Dan & Laurie Pittsenbarger Team
Keller Williams Western Realty - Bellingham, WA
Lakeside & Coastal Single Family Homes

Typically at least a few words are changed. To answer the question, I would say yes as it happens all the time and it has been accepted as common practice.

Jul 23, 2019 07:30 AM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

Hard to win a lawsuit. However, I have agents copy my photos and post on MLS. Same broker just got escorted out handing out business cards at my open house. SHe probably has been that way for 20 years.

Jul 23, 2019 05:57 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041 has this one nailed.

Jul 23, 2019 05:19 AM
Greg Cremia
Shore Realty of the Outer Banks - Nags Head, NC

Is it worth it to let yourself get worked up over this? are there not more productive uses for your time, effort and energy? If you prioritize your activities this one should be at the bottom of the list.

Jul 23, 2019 04:57 AM
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker

Send them an email and copy their broker.  Totally not acceptable.

Jul 23, 2019 04:51 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

I agree with Nina Hollander .  A

Jul 23, 2019 07:58 AM
Rose Mary Justice
Synergy Realty Pros - Dandridge, TN
Synergy Realty Pros

No I would not do it.  Surely they could come up with their own description. 


Jul 23, 2019 07:09 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
CEO of Vision Drive Realty - Coastal San Diego

Is it right to plagiarize? No. But sometimes, baring the fluff piece, there's only so many ways to describe amenities and floor plans. I don't police my MLS, I'm too busy.

Jul 23, 2019 07:00 AM
Dee Toohey
Innovative Realty Solutions Group - Longwood, FL
Broker, ABR, AHWD, CIPS, FMS, ePro

You can't copy anyone elses work without their permission.  I can't even legally copy and ask this question.  We must follow US Copyright laws.  

Jul 23, 2019 06:52 AM
Peter den Boer
Atlanta Communities - Woodstock, GA
MBA,GRI, Associate Broker, Realtor

Nope, nope, and nope. Oh, unless you really want to show your new seller how incredibly lazy and non-talented you are.

Jul 23, 2019 05:31 AM
Denise Copeland
Home Sales Palm Beach - Jupiter, FL
Jupiter Abacoa Sales & Beach Front Luxury Homes

I suppose you could copyright the contents of your listing. I would be annoyed, but I’m not sure I could do anything other than that to stop them. 

Jul 23, 2019 04:51 AM
Tim Ball
Post Real Estate Group - Eau Gallie, FL

I contacted my Board of Realtors to ask the very same question I posed to all of you.  The reply was that they do not condone that, and to let them know the listing number.  The listing must have been reviewed, because the verbiage has been changed.    Thanks for all of your replies.


Jul 23, 2019 03:39 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

I wouldnt recommend it, on the other hand I would not let it upset me either.

Jul 23, 2019 09:05 AM
Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Evolution - 447 Boston Street, Suite #5, Topsfield, MA - Topsfield, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

I wouldn't lose to much sleep over this. Imitation is a form of flattery I've heard.

Jul 23, 2019 08:26 AM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

In colleges across the Nation this was rampant until they came up with software that tests it for originality. In other sectors like Real Estate, people who have no marketing skills or are lazy or tempted take the E_Z way. The search for identity (who are you) is at risk when you copy or imitate

Jul 23, 2019 05:30 AM
Peter Testa
Nationwide Homes - Danbury, CT

Copy it verbatum, absolutely wrong. Doesn't say much about their work ethic either; writing a unique, appealing, verbose description is part of our job. 

If they took the listing from you (expired) & then took your words then it's even more aggregious!

If you have no thoughts of your own or there is just not that many things to say then I suggest PARAPHRASING, that'll work. 

Jul 23, 2019 11:26 AM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

it's not what I would do, but I'd "let it go"

Jul 23, 2019 10:09 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate Services

I echo what Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA said.  The MLS has rules and the board frowns on copy and pasting listing descriptions.  There are agents out there that do that with entire websites!!!  I know of 2 examples where they were so lazy and stupid they did not change the name or the phone number.  Holy Crow!!! 

Jul 23, 2019 09:34 AM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA
https://HugginsHomes.com - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

In my area, it would not be allowed.  It happens and if the thief does not correct it once called out on it, the board will usually come down pretty hard on them.


Now with that said, if it's a section in the writeup about community pools, parks, etc. there are only so many ways to say "Neighborhood has community pools, etc."

Jul 23, 2019 09:22 AM
Ginger Harper
Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage~ Ginger Harper Real Estate Team - Southport, NC
Your Southport~Oak Island Agent~Brunswick County!

NO!  that is not acceptable in our local board

Feb 01, 2021 01:34 PM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

I would not, come up with your own.

Aug 07, 2019 04:53 PM
Evelina Tsigelnitskaya
SIB Realty - Sunny Isles Beach, FL

No, it is not acceptable.

Jul 27, 2019 02:36 PM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

I see it happen alot in our area.


Jul 26, 2019 11:52 AM
Valeria Mola
SIB Realty - Miami, Sunny Isles Beach - Sunny Isles Beach, FL
305-607-0709 SIB Realty Condos for Sale and Rent

Not really. 

Jul 24, 2019 08:14 PM
Sandy Padula & Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West & Florida Realty Investments - , CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Hell NO!

Jul 24, 2019 11:17 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

It is not acceptable but, we do see it quite often. 

Jul 24, 2019 09:15 AM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

If your verbiage is unique and you have worked to make it different, it would be an affront to you to have it duplicated on another agent's listing. If it is descriptive of the features of the unit or community...well, there are a limited way of describing shared features...pool, community center, parking.

Yet, it is easy to see if the other agent just took the lazy way out out used your creativity or simply used common descriptors.

Jul 24, 2019 05:55 AM
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

Not in my opinion.

Jul 23, 2019 11:48 PM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

I would not suggest that to any agent. Create your own copy and also don't take my community photos for your use either. I see  this going on all the time.

Jul 23, 2019 03:09 PM
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

It's probably allowed and could be acceptable. Sometimes it's the seller that writes the description that they want agents to use. If sellers didn't create, other agent might have said go ahead and use it. Otherwise, new agent can give it their own twist. Not something I'd worry about.

Jul 23, 2019 02:52 PM