Real Estate – Top 10 Lies That Real Estate Agents Tell Home Sellers
Real Estate – Top 10 Lies That Real Estate Agents Tell Home Sellers
Real Estate – I’m sure that you had to do a double take with the title of this article. A real estate agent writing about real estate agents lying to home sellers? There is no way!?
The reality is that there are some real estate agents out there who say anything to home sellers in order to get a listing or make a sale, even if it means lying. If you’re thinking about selling your home or are selling your home and have realized that an agent is lying to you, you’ve now been presented with one of the most common signs that you’ve hired the wrong real estate agent.
Some of the lies that real estate agents tell home sellers are actually very common. It’s unfortunate that some agents feel the need to be dishonest and lie to a homeowner but it happens.
Read on to find out what the top 10 lies that real estate agents tell home sellers are. A home seller who is aware of these top 10 lies will put themselves in a much better position to protect themselves from having the wool pulled over their eyes by a real estate agent.
Lies About Price
Correctly pricing a home for sale is one of the most important factors that impacts whether a home will sell or not. An overpriced home will struggle to sell, even in a sellers market, because today’s home buyers are very savvy.
One of the top 10 lies that agents tell home sellers relates to price. Some real estate agents will tell a seller their home is worth more than it really is. They do this in order to secure the listing with the hopes they can either get price reductions in the future or at the very least, pick up some buyers from the listing. This is commonly referred to as “buying a listing” in real estate. Hiring a real estate agent who is buying a listing is one of the biggest real estate pricing mistakes that home sellers make.
If you’re selling your home and you’re interviewing prospective real estate agents and all the agents but one is telling you a lower price, the agent with the higher suggested listing price is not the one you want to hire. It’s critical when interviewing real estate agents you ask them to provide you with a comparative market analysis so that you can compare them to one another.
Some real estate agents may not purposely be lying about the price they recommend to a seller but it’s being done because of a lack of training and experience.
Lies About Brokerage Fees
Before I dive into another one of the top 10 lies that real estate agents tell sellers, it’s important to point out that brokerage fees are negotiable. Some agents will lie about brokerage fees, which are commonly referred to as commissions.
There are some real estate agents that will tell sellers that the commission is a fixed percentage, which is not true. It’s likely that if an agent is telling this lie it’s because they haven’t proven enough value in what they provide a home seller to prove their commission and need to make it seem like commissions are a fixed amount.
On the reverse side, there are some real estate agents who will lie to a home seller and tell them they have the lowest commissions in their area. This is a tactic that is used by many discount brokers or agents who also use home sale gimmicks to secure listings. For example, some real estate agents will use what is called a guaranteed home sale program, which leads sellers to believe they will guarantee to sell their home or they will buy it themselves.
If you’re selling your home you need to first understand that brokerage fees are negotiable. Secondly, it’s important to realize that every real estate agent is different and each agent will offer different real estate marketing strategies. You should take into account when discussing brokerage fees what services and marketing strategies each prospective agent is going to provide you to sell your home. Bottom line, it’s not always the best idea to hire the real estate agent who offers the lowest brokerage fees!
Lies About Their Production
One of the recommended questions to ask real estate agents during interviews relates to their production levels. Another common lie that some real estate agents will tell sellers is their production levels.
There are some home sellers that will put a lot of weight on the number of homes sold by a real estate agent when picking their real estate agent. Some agents who don’t have a ton of past sales believe it’s a great idea to lie about their sales.
This is a crazy thought because there are so many ways a seller can find out about a real estate agents sales. If you’re unsure whether an agent is lying to you about their production, a simple phone call to their broker to find out their track record will usually uncover whether they’re lying or not about their sales history.
Lies About Their Experience
Before those new real estate agents jump down my throat with sayings such as, “Every agent is new at some point” or “Every agent starts from zero,” I get the fact that new agents don’t have a ton of experience. The problem is when new agents decide it’s a smart idea to lie to a seller and tell them that they’ve been selling real estate for years when in reality it’s been months or weeks.
Is it possible some sellers will not hire a real estate agent because they are brand new? Yes, it’s very possible, but it’s almost a guarantee if an agent lies about their experience that they will be fired if it’s found that they are new and not a seasoned agent like they say they are.
Just like it is very easy to find out about a real estate agents sales history, it’s also easy to find out how long an agent has been in business. Finding out how long an agent has been selling real estate can be achieved by a simple Google search of the real estate agents name or a call to the local real estate association.
Lies About Their “Specialties”
Have you heard real estate slogans such as; “I’m the Waterfront specialist, “I’m the condo king,” “Luxury home guru,” or something along those lines? I’m sure the answer is that you’ve heard slogans like this in the past, possibly quite frequently.
Another common lie that real estate agents will tell home sellers is that they have a specialty selling specific types of homes, when in reality they have a limited number of sales of said types of properties. For example, if you’re thinking about selling a luxury home, if an agent tells you they specialize in selling luxury homes you should confirm that this is actually factual.
There are many specialties that real estate agents will claim to have. The most common specialties that agents will lie about having include;
- Luxury Homes
- Waterfront Homes
It’s also common that some real estate agents will lie about having a specialty of selling homes in a specific area. If an agent claims to be the local neighborhood specialist, it’s a good idea to confirm they have a solid track record in the area.
Lies About Their Use Of The Internet
The internet has had a huge impact on the real estate industry and is continuing to do so. The majority of home buyers are beginning their home search online.
Recently while selling a home in Webster NY, the seller mentioned to me in conversation that one of the real estate agents they interviewed said they were the only agent in the area using the internet to sell their listings. Can you believe that a real estate agent actually had the courage to make such a false statement? I nearly fell off my chair when the seller told me this.
Some real estate agents will lie to home sellers and tell them they are using the internet to sell homes and other agents are not. What is even more appalling about this lie is that some sellers may actually believe an agent who is making these false statements.
If you’re selling a home, it’s critical you know exactly how an agent is planning on leveraging the internet to sell your home. A real estate agent who really does use the internet to sell homes will have a clear and concise plan to provide you.
Lies About Their Use Of Social Media
Social media and real estate, if used properly together, can help sell a home. Some real estate agents will lie about their use of social media and tell home sellers that they will sell their home because they will put it on social media.
These real estate agents social media profiles are likely filled with only information about their latest and greatest listing. Constantly blasting listing after listing is a great way to fail at social media and will not likely lead to a sale for a seller. Real estate agents who are successful with social media are using it as a way to build a local following by providing helpful information, in addition to their newest listings. For example, the top real estate agents on Twitter not only provide information about their listings but also provide helpful content.
Many real estate agents will also tell sellers that they are the only agent in the area who are using social media. This is another crazy lie and one that you cannot fall for when talking with prospective real estate agents.
91% of real estate agents are using social media to some extent according to Realtor.org. If an agent is telling you they are the only agent in the area using social media, they are clearly lying. It’s important to keep in mind that even though 91% of agents are using social media, they are potentially not using it correctly. Sellers should ask agents how they plan on leveraging social media to sell their home, and like the internet, they should have a clear and concise plan on how it will benefit them.
Lies About Their Website
There are still many agents who do not have their own website, which is absolutely astounding to me since over 90% of home buyers are shopping online for homes. With this being said, there are still a lot of agents who have their own websites, contrary to what some agents will say. Some agents find it to be a good idea to tell prospective home sellers that they are the only agent in town with a website.
While an agent telling a home seller they are the only agent who has a website is the worse lie, there are also agents who will lie to a seller about the amount of traffic their website generates. Even though an agent may have a website, it does not mean it’s getting local traffic. Local traffic is extremely important for a seller as it will expose their home to potential buyers. Some agents will lie to sellers and tell them they are getting tens of thousands of visitors to their site.
It’s recommended that if you’re selling your home that you research prospective agents websites. A great website to get an estimate of an agents website is SimilarWeb. This website provides a traffic estimate of any website in the world and is a great way to determine if an agent is lying to you or not.
Lies About Open Houses
Open houses are a very controversial topic in the real estate industry. There are PROs and CONs of open houses and it’s critical sellers understand what they are. Where agents will lie to a seller is when they tell a seller they will sell their home at an open house.
The percentage of homes sold at open houses is extremely low, less than 5%. Agents will lie to a seller and tell them the primary purpose of an open house is to sell their home. I have no problem with agents doing open houses, however, telling a seller that there is a good chance they sell their home at an open house is wrong.
There is no problem if an agent tells the truth to a seller that the primary reason for holding opens is to pick up new buyers, but the reality is that many agents are not honest about this.
Lies About Having Potential Buyers
Last but certainly not least, another common lie that real estate agents tell sellers is that they have potential buyers for their home. This is a tactic that is used by some real estate agents to help pursued an seller to hire them to sell their home.
If you’re selling your home and an agent tells you they have a potential buyer for your home, don’t hire them solely for this reason. If they have a potential buyer for your home, the buyer will be able to see the information once it’s listed for sale.
As you can see, there are several lies that some agents will tell home sellers. These lies are commonly used as a way to secure listings, which is completely unethical and simply not good business.
It’s vital that home sellers are aware of these common lies that some agents will tell. If there is any doubt whether an agent is being honest and truthful, it’s a good idea to confirm any potential doubts before agreeing to list your home with that particular agent.