At times it can be frustrating to search through listings of homes for sale. There are too many agents willing to game the system. Any possible advantage they may gain, is outweighed by the negatives.
Here are a few issues I see on a regular basis.
- Homes with overrated conditions (puffing). Marked "Excellent" or "Above Average", when the home is in a state of disrepair.
- Listed as Active, when they are in escrow and not accepting showing appointments.
- Not disclosing short sales or bank owned properties.
- Misrepresenting the size, type of property or topography.
- Not updating the listing to sold in a timely manner.
Why some agents do this:
- They use this listing as a carrot to pick up potential clients who inquire about the property.
- By overrating the condition or size, they hope to get more showings.
- They do not disclose the short sale or REO status to prevent buyers or their agents from filtering it out from their internet searches. Some lenders are requiring their listing agent to not disclose this in their listings.
- Lazy or sloppy.
The net result is the listing agent looks unprofessional.
- They make our profession look bad, hurting the overall opinion of real estate agents to the public.
- They waste a lot of people's time.
- They hurt their reputation with other agents in the area.
- They hurt future clients by negatively impacting how agents will show their listings and will want to do business with them in the future.
- They give the seller, themselves and their broker potential added liability.
I showed a property last week that was listed over $1.5 Million to a foreign buyer. They saw it on the internet and wanted me to show it to them on short notice. It was listed in "Excellent Condition". The home needed approximately $400,000 to $500,000 in repairs and renovations. This is an extreme case, because the numbers were so large. The same principles apply to a home a fraction of that price.
If you have a fixer upper, call it that! There are buyers looking for them. Buyers looking for move-in condition will never buy it. You are just wasting their time. If it is a short sale or bank owned property, do you really believe you can trick someone onto buying it? Get real!
Looking at the big picture you are tainting the data. When real estate agents, appraisers and others are trying to establish value for homes in the area, they are looking at you bad data. By not identifying a short sale, foreclosure, less than perfect condition or over sizing the home, you are negatively impacting the comparable market value of homes in the area.
My best advice is to be honest. There is a buyer for every property. Price it correctly and list it accurately. That way the right buyer can find it. Respect other people's time. Be an asset to your profession and not a liability.
You can't trick someone into buying a home. Lawyers and prosecutors have a name for that. It's called fraud.
Randy L. Prothero, REALTOR®
Broker-in-Charge, ABR, AHWD, CRB, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, MRP, SFR
Team Leader - "The Prothero Group"
Randy Prothero is well established as an expert in working with military / VA clients and first time home buyers. His home seller's (listing) campaign is one of the most aggressive marketing programs in the area. His luxury home listings sell faster and for more money.
Based out of Mililani, Hawaii. Randy services the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) Performs mediations and ombudsman services for the Board of Realtors. To improve overall professionalism in his area Randy also offers classes for real estate agents.