10 Lies Real Estate Agents may tell you to Convince you to List with Them
It may appear bizarre for a real estate agent to write this article about how some dishonest Realtors can mislead and misinform sellers. However, those agents that work hard at maintaining their good name like myself would love nothing more than to see the dishonest real estate agents who tarnish our industry be removed.
Every field and industry has its’ bad apples, and I suppose that will never change. The bad apples are more concerned with maintaining their own selfish interests at the expense of good service and at the expense of others, namely, the client.
Below, I listed some unfortunately common deceptions or lies some real estate agents tell. I would like to say, I think there are far more good real estate agents, but that doesn’t mean we should ignore the bad ones. If you talk to an agent about selling your property, see if you can spot any of these red flags. You should be asking them lots of questions about their experience and credentials. It is ok to develop a rapport and a sense of trust with a real estate agent before you commit to one. Some of these lies and stretching of truths are worse than others, but they are all bad for you, the client none the less.
1. When Real Estate Agents say “I will sell your home at whatever price you want!”
I think one of the hardest things to do as a real estate agent is look the seller in the eye and tell them their home or property is not worth as much as they think it is. I have had sellers become mad at me and even resort to name-calling because I offended them so greatly. Unfortunately, it is a very common problem for sellers to want to ask more than the home is worth. From the real estate agent’s perspective, it is far easier to agree with the inflated sales price just to get the listing and hope they can talk you down after you signed the dotted line on the listing agreement. To make matters worse for real estate agents is that giant websites like Zillow often give a false value on their Zillow Zestimates because Zillow is designed for national use, not local use. Those these things may work against the real estate agent; it doesn’t make it right to tell the seller what they want to hear when you know it is not true. The seller may get mad, but they may also respect that real estate professional for being honest with them, looking out for their interests. A good real estate agent will give you accurate sales numbers and stand by those numbers even if you decide not to list with them. Never choose a real estate solely based on the sales price they give you.
2. When Real Estate Agents say “My commission fee is the lowest in town.”
In real estate, brokerage fees are negotiable. There is no standard or minimum. The broker can decide what they want to charge as any service provider or retail store can. Anyone who says to the contrary is not telling the truth. They may be telling you the truth and perhaps are the lowest in town, does that mean you want to hire them? Remember, you get what you pay for. Better real estate agents are better at negotiating deals and getting you more money for your home. They also charge more but many times make up for it with an increased sales price or a deal more favorably structured to benefit you the seller. If you go the cheapest route, you take a chance on losing big. My job is to inform you of the risk; it is your job to decide if you accept it or not.
Please know that the seller usually pays for both the selling and listing agents’ commission. Be sure you know how much you are paying the buyers agent. Even if you are an FSBO, you will most likely pay a buyers agent commission for bringing you the buyer.
3. When Real Estate Agents say “I have sold a ton of homes!”
Some real estate agents lie or stretch the truth about how many homes they have sold so they can win your favor. I’ve been in cities where there were at least 5 or 6 agents claiming to be the number one agent for the city. A tip I will give you is looking at their recent sales history. Check to see how active they currently are. Next, you want to check for consistency. If you see a real estate agent had ten sales in 2016, 2 sales in 2017, and 5 sales in 2018, you know that the real estate agent is not very consistent with production. A real estate agent who has a consistent history of selling homes is ideal, especially a strong recent history.
Maintaining a good production record is tough. Sometimes real estate agents will take the path of least resistance and lie about it. It is sad but true.
4. When Real Estate Agents say “I have potential buyers standing buy!”.
This is one of the oldest tricks in the book if you will. I have known agents to do this in the past, and I am sure some are still doing it today. This unethical tactic uses greed or desperation on behalf of the seller to seal the listing agreement. One the agent has you sign on the dotted line of the six-month listing agreement, the buyer they had suddenly changed their mind or conveniently decides not to buy at this time. Of course, you, as the seller client has no way to verify this. All you can do is take the word of your new listing agent you are stuck with for the next six months. Even if the real estate agent had a potential client, that does not mean he or she would be a good agent to represent you. Believe me; there is quite a distance between a “potential buyer” and a signed contract. The best way to avoid this problem is by judging the real estate agent on their recent record and skill level, not on what other clients they might or might not have.
Dual Agency Agreements
One side note to this is, let’s say your new listing agent has indeed a buyer who is willing to sign a contract. That means your new real estate agent is also their real estate agent. You will need to sign a dual agency agreement where your new agent is now a neutral party. You must honestly ask yourself if you are ok with that.
5. When Real Estate Agents say “I guarantee to sell your home within X number of days!”
There are those real estate agents that will also use hokey gimmicks and make promises they can’t keep just to get you to sign the listing agreement. Most sellers want to sell and want to sell fast! An unethical agent will take advantage of this desire by making these ludicrous promises to you.
There is also the gimmick line, “If I can’t sell your home within 60 days, I will buy it myself” The agent may be telling you the truth here, but they never say how much they will buy your house for. You will not hear a real estate agent say, “I will sell your house in 60 days or buy it myself paying your asking price.” I promise you he will offer you far less than market value. Every buyer wants to get an awesome deal, including real estate agents.
There are good and honest real estate agents like Benjamin Ross Realtor. View his testimonials below.
6. “My giant social media presence will get your house sold in no time!”
Social media, no doubt, can play a big role when it comes to selling your home, but, as with anything else, it does take tech skills to make it work. There are entire classes and tutorials on simply placing a facebook add. There are many different strategies to employ, depending on the type of market you are in. Remember, real estate agents are supposed to be experts in real estate, not technology. If an agent is proficient with both, they are all the more valuable to you. So, how do you tell the agent techs from the non-techs? Ask them to show you other social media adds and the strategies they used for other clients. Did they use contests or raffles to get leads? What did their Facebook adds look like, and how much traction did they actually get? One thing I know is that techies (agents like myself included) love talking about tech, and sometimes it is hard to shut us up. If the agent does not elaborate or changes the subject quickly, consider that a potential red flag.
7. “My real estate website gets tons of traffic!”
Top real estate agents in this day and age must have some sort of presence on the web. The more sophisticated agents will have their own website and not just an extension of their brokers’ website. Many agents claim to have there own website when, in fact, they don’t. They simply use an extension of their brokers’ website. What is the difference, you might ask? Cost and Control. It costs me a lot of money every month to have and maintain my website as well as the features it contains, such as IDX. This means I can do whatever I want with my custom website. I can market my custom website in any way I please. I can take the whole thing down if I like. I have full control of marketing your property in any way I see fit, artwork, and color scheme included. To run and manage your own website as a real estate agent, you must have tech skills or hire someone who does, which is costly. Find out if your agent does indeed have their own website.
If they do have their own website, ask them what their websites MOZ domain rating is. A company called “MOZ” has an algorithm that simulates Googles’ algorithm. Every website has a MOZ rating of 0 to 100. The higher the number, the more exposure that the website gets on the web. You can find out the MOZ score of any website by clicking HERE. If the score is 10 or 12, it is safe to say they have little web influence. The higher the number, theoretically, the more Google trusts your company and brand. You can ask the agent to do a search and see if their name comes up in a generic search query. It takes a lot of work, dedication, and time to increase your MOZ score. I am writing this article in hopes that it increases my MOZ score. The higher the number, the more traffic you get. It takes years to get a high MOZ score in real estate. If an agent’s website has a high MOZ score, this means even Google trusts them. That’s huge.
8. “I will use the internet to sell your home in no time!”
As we discussed in the previous paragraph, ask them if they have a custom website. By now, we all know that 90 some odd percent of buyers begin their home search using the internet. Most real estate agents understand the internet is a valuable and necessary tool. With that said, ask your agent what he or she plans to do differently that all of us are not already doing. How is he going to use the internet to make your home stand out above all the others that are also on the internet? What are his MOZ scores and web presence? Does he have an active and current real estate blog? If he is going to use the internet to sell your home, he better. Check into it and be specific. If they can’t be specific and verify their claims, they are throwing you a line.
9. “I specialize in the type of real estate you are trying to sell.”
If you are selling a condo, it only makes sense that you seek a real estate agent that specializes in condos. After all, condos’ are handled differently than traditional detached houses.
A real estate agent can claim to have experience in an area or the type of real estate you are trying to sell when in fact, they have very little or even worse yet, don’t have any experience. However, if you do your homework and due diligence on background discovery, you will quickly find out if the real estate agent is, in fact, telling you the truth. They very well may be, but it is still your job to double-check, no harm, no foul.
10. “I have years and years of experience.”
Every seller wants to hire an experienced real estate professional. Let’s face it; no one wants to take a chance on a newbie, especially on such an important life-changing transaction. Newer real estate agents know this, and many are desperate to bring on new clients so they may add to their experience, not to mention their pocketbook. It doesn’t mean they are a bad agent, but if they lie to you about their time in the industry, it does mean they are not a good agent.
You can verify when they received their license by calling the board of realtors. Just be aware that just because they have been a realtor for one year does not mean they have only one year of experience. I got my real estate license in 2017, but I have been a real estate investor since 2002. I have been an agent for almost three years now, but I have been in the real estate industry for 18 years, and I have much more experience than the average realtor. Just follow up with them and ask if they have done anything else in the real estate industry besides being a realtor. Perhaps they were a mortgage broker before.
A real estate agent can often mean success or failure when it comes to selling a home. Be sure you take your time and properly vet the agent you are thinking about hiring. Many sellers end up going with a friend of the family or a family member. I would not advise doing this. I have seen first hand how a rough real estate deal can ruin a relationship. Remember, just because they are family or a friend does not mean their selection is in your best interest. This is why experienced, honest, and skilled real estate agents are in such demand. Take the time needed to find one. For more great article go to My Active Agent and click on Tips, Tricks, and Trends.
About the Author
Benjamin Ross is a real estate expert and professional who serves the state of Texas. Benjamin started his career in 2002. He was a director for private investment companies, responsible for acquisitions and management of real estate.
As a Realtor, it is Benjamin’s priority and intention to treat you, the client, the way he would want to be treated if he was the client. Benjamin believes every client is unique with a unique set of goals. It is Benjamin’s job to help his clients accomplish their goals big and small.
As an Investor, Benjamin has an extensive history working with real estate investors. It can be challenging to find a realtor with personal real estate investments and the experience that comes with it. The fact that Benjamin is a real estate investor and Landlord makes him unique and beneficial to his clients.
As Source Expert, Benjamin also serves a variety of journalists and bloggers. Benjamin has a passion for teaching others about the real estate industry. Knowledge is power and Benjamin does not mind sharing it.
Benjamin loves to partner with other professionals across the state of Texas.
As a team player Benjamin embraces the knowledge and experience of others. He is always open to new ideas and opinions of others if it results in the success of his clients.
Real Estate Aside…
Benjamin owned and operated a therapeutic group home for special needs children. He specialized with the care of children who were afflicted with down’s syndrome and severe autism. Benjamin started a non-profit company, Yoshua Haven and partnered with Toys for Tots to ensure disadvantaged children in the state system had Christmas gifts during the holiday season. Secondly, he partnered with warehouse distributors to help distribute food to the homeless and low-income families in the DFW area.
Benjamin has three beautiful daughters and a loving fiancee. He resides in Corpus Christi and McAllen.
Benjamin’s Published Articles and Quotes (see all)
Because of Benjamin’s knowledge of real estate, his quote’s and articles have been featured in many publications nationwide, including the ones’ displayed below.