Last updated on August 14th, 2023 at 12:18 pm
Buying a house can be an exciting but stressful process.
You want to make sure you get the best deal possible, and that’s where real estate agents come in.
However, not all agents have your best interests in mind. Some use tricks and tactics [like lying and manipulating] to earn more money for themselves, which could cost you thousands of dollars.
Real estate agents can sometimes use a “bait and switch” tactic to get buyers interested in a property, where they advertise one property at a low price, then try to convince the buyer to purchase a more expensive property.
We’ll also explain how these tricks could cost you money and what you can do to avoid falling for them.
Don’t let a shady realtor take advantage of you – read on to learn how to protect yourself during the home buying process.
But most agents have intregrity and represents their clients well.
Real Estate Agent Tricks to Avoid
When it comes to buying or selling a property, having a knowledgeable and trustworthy agent can make all the difference.
Unfortunately, not all agents have your best interests at heart.
Some may try to use underhanded tactics to get the deal done quickly or earn themselves a larger commission.
- According to a survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors, approximately 25% of real estate agents admitted to playing tricks to increase their commission.
Be aware of common real estate agent tricks that could cost you money in the long run.
By staying informed and vigilant, you can avoid these pitfalls and ensure a successful transaction.
The Importance of Awareness
Maintain a cautious approach while dealing with real estate agents to avoid falling prey to their tricks.
Even though it is their responsibility to act in the best interest of their clients, some agents prioritize their commission over anything else.
For instance, dual agency, where an agent represents both the buyer and seller, potentially compromising their impartiality, is one such trick.
The agent will receive a commission from both the buyer’s side and seller’s side.
Similarly, convincing cash house buyers to skip a home inspection could speed up the buying process but might lead to costly repairs later on.
A survey conducted by the Federal Trade Commission found that 15% of real estate agents admitted to providing false information about the condition of a home in order to increase the sale price.
Therefore, working with an agent you trust and feel comfortable communicating with paramount in avoiding these tactics.
Bait and Switch
In the cutthroat real estate industry, some agents will go to great lengths to secure a sale.
- One common tactic is the “bait and switch” trick, where an agent shows a property that is not actually available to get you interested in another property.
This playing on emotions can be a frustrating and time-consuming experience for buyers who are eagerly searching for their dream home.
Moreover, agents may overprice a property to win your business, but it can lead to longer selling times and ultimately less money for the seller.
Inflating Home Values
When it comes to pricing a home, real estate agents may inflate the value in an attempt to entice potential buyers or justify a higher commission.
The more the house costs, the more money they make.
However, this can lead to overpricing and difficulty in selling the property.
Buyers who pay cash should do their own research and compare similar properties in the area to determine an accurate value.
Ultimately, doing your due diligence can save you from overspending on an overvalued property.
Misrepresenting Experience and Track Record
When it comes to trusting a real estate agent with one of the largest financial transactions of your life, experience and track record matter.
Unfortunately, some agents may exaggerate their qualifications to win clients.
This can lead to frustration and disappointment if they cannot deliver on their promises.
Look for someone who has extensive experience in your local market and a proven track record of success.
Many websites offer real estate agent reviews.
Don’t be swayed by flashy marketing materials or promises that seem too good to be true.
A trustworthy agent will be transparent about their experience and qualifications, helping you make informed decisions throughout the process.
Adding Extra Fees to Commission
Real estate agents often charge commissions for their services, but some may add extra fees on top of that.
These fees can include administrative or transaction fees and may increase the overall cost of using an agent.
However, buyers and sellers should be aware that these fees are often negotiable.
Before signing a contract with an agent, it’s important to ask about any additional fees and try to have them removed or reduced.
Comparing commission rates and fees between different agents can also help ensure that you’re getting a fair deal.
Claiming to Already Have a Buyer Lined Up
Sellers often feel the pressure to make a quick sale and may be enticed by agents who claim to already have a buyer lined up.
However, home buyers can fall through at any point in the process, leaving sellers back at square one.
Pressuring is sometimes used to convince sellers to accept lower offers or higher commission rates.
It’s important to ask for concrete proof of the buyer’s interest and consider seeking out other offers before making any decisions.
Don’t be afraid to work with another agent if you feel uncomfortable or pressured by your current one.
Steering Buyers Towards Their Own Listings
Real estate agents who steer buyers towards their own listings are not always acting in the best interest of the buyer.
This tactic can limit the buyer’s options and result in a rushed decision that they may regret later.
A good agent will listen to their clients’ needs and show them a variety of properties that meet those criteria, even if it means showing properties listed by other agents or brokerages.
Only Showing Expensive Properties
Real estate agents who only show you expensive properties with high commissions may not have your best interests in mind.
This tactic is often used to increase their own profits, rather than finding the right property for you.
Communicate your preferences and budget clearly with your agent to ensure that they show you properties that meet your criteria.
Remember, it’s important to find an agent who prioritizes your interests over their own financial gain.
Creating a False Sense of Urgency
Real estate agents may use high-pressure tactics to create a false sense of urgency in buyers.
By claiming that other buyers are interested in the property or suggesting that the price may increase soon, they hope to induce hasty decision-making and secure a sale.
However, buyers should take their time and conduct their own thorough research before making any decisions.
Remember, it’s your investment, so don’t let anyone rush you into making a decision you may regret later.
Using "Bait and Switch" Tactics
Real estate agents who use “bait and switch” tactics can be a nightmare for buyers.
These agents will advertise a property or service to attract clients, but then offer something different. They are clearly withholding information.
It’s common for them to show a property that is below the client’s expectations in hopes of upselling them on more expensive options.
To avoid falling prey to these tactics, always ask for detailed information about the property or service being offered.
How These Tricks Cost You Money
Real estate agents who use common tricks can end up costing buyers a significant amount of money.
Overpricing a property, for instance, can lead to the home staying on the market longer and eventually selling for a lower price than it should have.
Dual agency – where an agent represents both buyers and sellers – can create conflicts of interest that harm the buyer’s interests.
Hidden fees, pressure tactics, and misrepresentation can all also lead to financial losses.
Examples from Real Life
Real estate agents may use a variety of tactics to manipulate buyers into making hasty decisions that can result in costly mistakes.
For example, some agents may exaggerate the positive aspects of a property while downplaying its flaws, leading the buyer to overpay for a less-than-ideal home.
Others may push for unnecessary and expensive repairs or upgrades that can add up quickly.
Some agents may apply pressure tactics that urge buyers to make quick decisions without fully considering all of their options.
Pricing a property wrong
Agents may also use pricing tactics, such as listing a property at a lower price than its actual worth, to attract more buyers.
This can be good for the seller, but the buyer should be aware of what is happening.
Overpricing can also lead to the property staying on the market for longer and ultimately costing the seller money in lost potential profits.
It’s important for buyers and sellers to do their own research and not solely rely on the information provided by their agent.
What are some common tricks that real estate agents use to get sellers to sign contracts
- Rushing: Agents may create a sense of urgency, telling sellers that if they don’t sign right away, they might miss out on a great opportunity.
- Too much jargon: A real estate agent may use industry jargon or legal terms that the seller doesn’t understand.
- Big Picture Approach: They may tell sellers to look at the big picture or the end result (like the price)
- No Time: Presenting the contract right before an important step in the process, leaving little to no time for reviewing.
How to Avoid Falling for These Tricks
When it comes to avoiding common real estate agent tricks, knowledge is power.
- One of the best ways to protect yourself against shady practices is to do your own research on both the property and the agent before making any decisions.
- Research the market value of homes in the area you’re interested in and ask questions to ensure you’re not overpaying for a property.
- Be sure to vet any potential agents by checking their credentials, online reviews, and client testimonials.
By doing your due diligence, you’ll be better equipped to make informed decisions and avoid falling prey to common real estate agent tricks.
Interview Agents Carefully
Selecting the right real estate agent when buying or selling a property. Interviewing agents carefully can increase your chances of working with someone who has your best interests in mind.
- Ask for references and check online reviews before signing with an agent. Be cautious of agents who make unrealistic promises or use high-pressure tactics to convince you to sign with them.
- Consider working with someone who is transparent about their fees and commission structure and has experience in your local market.
- Ultimately, choose an agent whom you trust and feel comfortable working with.
What a good realtor offers
- A good realtor will have your best interests in mind and provide non biased advice throughout the process, helping you avoid common tricks used by some agents.
- They can also leverage their expertise to negotiate deals and ensure that all legal requirements are met.
- You might get a reference from friends or family members you have had a good experience.
- Remember, ultimately working with the right realtor can save you time, money, and stress in the long run.
Fire Your Agent
Unfortunately, not all agents operate with their clients’ best interests in mind. If you suspect your agent is engaging in unethical behavior, it may be time to consider firing them.
While it can be difficult to sever ties with someone you’ve been working with, remember that ultimately, you are the one in control of the process and deserve to work with someone who puts your needs first.
Before taking this step, review your contract and understand any potential consequences or fees.
Consider speaking with their broker or filing a complaint with the local real estate board if you have serious concerns about their behavior.
Remember that finding a new realtor who you feel comfortable working with is always an option.
File a Complaint
If you’ve encountered a real estate agent who has engaged in unethical practices, take action and hold them accountable.
One effective way to do this is by filing a complaint with their licensing board or professional association.
By documenting any evidence of wrongdoing and providing as much detail as possible, you may trigger an investigation into the realtor’s conduct, which could help prevent others from becoming victims of their tactics.
Not all real estate agents are the same, and there are many trustworthy professionals out there.
By taking action against those who engage in shady behavior, you’re helping to protect yourself and other consumers from being taken advantage of.
It’s important to be aware of the common tricks that real estate agents may use to get a bigger commission, as falling for them could cost you a lot of money.
Always do your research and ask questions to ensure that you are dealing with an honest and reputable agent.
If you encounter a shady realtor, don’t hesitate to fire them and file a complaint if necessary.
Fequently Asked Questions
Yes, it is possible to buy a home without a real estate agent. However, it can be challenging and time-consuming to navigate the process on your own. You will need to do your research and become familiar with the local real estate market.
Consider hiring an attorney or a real estate consultant to assist you in the buying process. They can help you understand legal requirements, negotiate contracts, and ensure that all necessary paperwork is completed accurately.
While not all agents use false advertising, some may do so to attract more clients.
False advertising can include exaggerating property features or hiding defects. Agents may resort to these tactics to generate more leads and increase their commission.
However, it is important to work with a reputable agent who values honesty and transparency. This will ensure that you receive accurate information about properties and make informed decisions for your real estate needs.