Hawaii Randy's Real Estate Opinions: False Advertising Does Not Sell Homes!

False Advertising Does Not Sell Homes!

We have all seen it.  The home listed as "Excellent Condition" and the termite holding hands are the only thing holding up the roof.  What are they thinking?  No buyer who has been brought there under false pretenses will buy that home.

I showed a home last week that was owned by the listing real estate agent.  The home was listed as a 3 bedroom/ 2 bath in Excellent Condition.  It had only one bath.  Excellent, well that was a stretch, but not as bad as thinking no one would notice the missing bathroom.

I wrote an article about red flags.  REALTORS® Point Out Red Flags, They Don't Give All The Answers   It was stimulated by this listing.  You can draw your own conclusions on why it was probably not in Excellent Condition.

If your listing has 1 bath, say it in the listing.  If it is a tear down, price it correctly and let the public know.  There are buyers looking for rehabs.  Those looking for a 2 bath and in Excellent Condition aren't who you are trying to attract anyway.

Take good pictures, buyers won't even look at homes without pictures in most cases.  If it is ugly tell them.  I know several buyers who think those are steak.

The bottom line is no one likes to be lied to.  Do the right thing, attract the right buyers and gain their trust up front.  If they don't trust you, they won't buy.



Randy L. Prothero, REALTOR®

Broker-in-Charge, ABR, AHWD, CRB, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, MRP, SFR

eXp Realty

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. 

www.HawaiiRandy.comOahu (Honolulu County) Property Search  Hawaii Military Relocations

Comment balloon 28 commentsRandy Prothero • July 24 2008 08:06PM


I showed a rental listing yesterday. My client really wanted to see it because the listing said it had a private, fenced back yard. We get to the house, look in the back yard to find no fence.

Posted by Richard Mielke, REALTOR, Gettysburg Pennsylvania Real Estate (RE/MAX Results) over 10 years ago

Good Post, why agents do this I'll never understand, do they think people don't look at the homes or are blind.  What a waste of a buyer's agents time and the buyers, ithis is just the type of behavior that verifies the publics low opinion of the real estate industry.

Have A Great Day

Posted by Doris Freeman, Broker/Agent, Realtor, Madison-Gibson-Crockett (RE/MAX REALTY SOURCE) over 10 years ago

RANDY, I find it annoying to get in a house and find out it was advertised as a four bedroom and it is really a 3 bedroom with an office.  I'm not sure why you would lie about your listing because the truth will come out.

Posted by Marchel Peterson, Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro (Results Realty) over 10 years ago

Randy, I agree.  Not only does it not sell homes, it's what perpetuate the bad rep that the industry has.

Posted by Anthony Kirlew, Helping You Make Fiscally Sound Choices (Keller Williams Realty East Valley) over 10 years ago

And the worst part is, it only takes a few to mess it up for the rest. Its a shame that honesty is still one of the hardest traits to keep.

Great post, hopefully those who do this will see themselves and straighten up.

Posted by Danial Dansereau, Fernandina Beach Realtor® (Watson Realty Corp.) over 10 years ago

I once ran an ad that said "Abominable Condition: 4 level Victorian bay front has seen too many toga parties."  My Open House was mobbed and it sold in 4 days with multiple offers in a bad market.  People thought I was exaggerating.  I wasn't.  It's about lowered expectations.

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Randy I don't think I have ever heard that one before "the termite holding hands are the only thing holding up the roof" .......... LOL

I really don't know what they hope to gain by waisting peoples time and gas, by getting them to the house under false pretense.

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) over 10 years ago

I wrote a post a short while ago about how another agents "puffery" could hurt my clients.  What good does it do to lie about the number of bathrooms or the condition of the house.  Do agents think when we get there the buyers will somehow fall in love with it despite the condition.  It doesn't happen that way.  Especially in a market with hundreds of houses to choose from.  Get real and tell it like it is. 

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 10 years ago

The last thing people want is for you to over promise and under deliver. I think that is the best way to ensure that a client is dissapointed when they view a property.

Posted by Pete Jalbert, R(S) (The Maui Real Estate Team, Inc. ) over 10 years ago

I was taught years ago to always point out the flaws right away. Somehow they didn't seem that bad once you talked about them.

Posted by Monika McGillicuddy, Southern NH & the Seacoast Area (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty) over 10 years ago

Richard - That happens way too often.  I went to see one that advertised ocean view.  It had a view of the neighbor's house and the sky.

Doris - It not only hurts the image of our industry it is not even effective.

Marchel - Do they really believe that someone who was tricked into looking at it will fall in live with the home?

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Anthony - I couldn't agree more.

Fernandina - Don't hold your breath.  If they have no ethics they are not likely to changer unless forced to.

Patricia - I like it.  I believe that is the way to go with a property like that.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

George - You haven't spent much time looking at homes in Hawaii.  LOL

Cindy - After it doesn't sell hopefully the sellers will find a reputable agent to market their home.

Pete - I couldn't agree more.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Monika - I believe if you tell them the negatives up front it gives them time to get used to the idea and makes them feel like they are dealing with trustworthy people.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Randy - this sort of thing is all to common, especially with homes that are less than stellar. It is deceptive to buyers and agents alike, and misrepresentation of the client. It wastes our time as well. They aren't fooling anyone, and getting off of the wrong foot by being disceptive doesn't inspire confidence in those who are on the other side of the transaction. They probably said "buyer to verify all" as a coverup.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (Solutions Real Estate ) over 10 years ago

Jeff - I haven't seen "buyer to verify" used here.  Please do not give them any ideas.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

The "condition" slot on the MLS listing is one of the biggest jokes in our market, as I'm sure in others.  It's so subjective as to be useless - but on the other hand, advocating putting "no opinion" as an option doesn't work either as customers continue to search using that field on the IDX out there...and want to see "excellent" or "very good".

Posted by Jeff R. Geoghan, REALTOR, Marketing Manager (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 10 years ago

Jeff - I sometimes like to look at fair.  I am always looking for a bargain.  I hate when they call those above average.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Randy, Great blog!  I agree with you about being honest and getting a lot of photos.  Thanks for re-emphasizing these principles!

Posted by Tony & Darcy Cannon, The C Team (Aubrey and Associates Realty) over 10 years ago

Tony & Darcy - Thank you

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Randy...I find that when I get to a listing and it isn't what it's cracked up tp be...it turns the client off.

Posted by William Feela, Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No. (WHISPERING PINES REALTY) over 10 years ago

William - It also turns me off to the agent.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

I think that it puts the listing agent in a bad light, as well as making your buyer feel like they just wasted their time.  The problem with both is that the listing agent loses respect, and will start to get a bad reputation - and that is all agents have is their reputation.  As far as your buyer, they may feel like you took them to a home you knew wasn't what they wanted.  We spend so much time building trust in our clients, I would hope they would understand when it is not our fault, and the listing agent misrepresented the property.

Posted by Troy Erickson Realtor, Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor (Good Company Real Estate www.ChandlerRealEstate.weebly.com) over 10 years ago

Troy - It is not good for our industry either way.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Truth in advertising . . . a lost art.  Almost.  Among some.  Where I live on the beautiful Olympic Peninsula in Washington, we have water views galore, so it might be no surprise we have listing agents who call almost anything above water level a "water view" lot.  I wrote about a recent incident at:  Water View or No.

Posted by Chuck Marunde, Sequim Real Estate Broker (Sequim & Port Angeles Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Chuck - I actually had a client ask me to list an ocean view.  You had to stand on a chair in the upstairs bedroom window to get a peak.  I did not include the view in my listing.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Hi Randy, I saw some article where a guy actually sells homes quickly by marketing the house on it's ugliness.  He uses some creative words that make you stop and take notice. 

Posted by Michelle Hall (Century 21 Hecht) over 10 years ago

Michelle - I have always felt that is the best way to address one like that.  I haven't had any ugly ones, but will know how to handle them.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

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