While filing an ethics complaint on a Realtor I wanted to see just how much of a problem this was and if it was everywhere. I was amazed at what I found, the issue is everywhere and just as bad. So then I asked myself, why are there not more ethics complaints filed so we can get rid of these agents. Fear of repercussion, hopeing they will get caught by someone else, turn the other cheek or a combination of all?
These unethical agents not only give our profession a bad name, it hurts the consumers on both sides of the transaction. These deceitful practices cost the seller money because the property will sell for far less than what it is actually worth. The home usually takes a longer time to sell, sometimes months. Their goal, these unethical agents, is to submit the deal that has them with all the home’s buying and selling commission by dissuading other agent’s buyer's from making offers on your home. .
I found this info on the net that I thought may also help the public to identify these habits;
Only One Photo
These agents will often use just one photo on the multiple listing website. Often, the photo will be of extremely low quality – a low quality view of the exterior or unappealing shot of a messy interior. Disreputable agents do this so that when other agents or prospective buyers see the property on the internet, it looks so bad they have no desire to see it.
The listing agent will then go on to hold several open houses, hoping to find a buyer without agent representation. This way, he or she will find her own buyer for the home. Some agents go so far as to have beautiful photos of the property on their own website, but they won’t be posted anywhere else on the web.
Making Your Home Uneasy To Show
These shady listing agents won’t respond to showing requests. They ignore calls and e-mails from other real estate agents. They will never be available at the time requested. The agent may cancel or try to reschedule the appointment at the last minute, often just within an hour of the scheduled time.
First, this keeps buyers represented by other agents out. Second, it can cause the frustrated buyer to think their agent is not on the ball. The buyer will then contact the listing agent directly. In real estate parlance, this is known as “going direct”. As the buyer simply wants to see the property, out of frustration he lines up appointments directly with listing agents, not realizing he’s giving up adequate representation on his part.
This two-pronged attack enables the listing agent to double their commission, while reducing other neighborhood agents market share. The unethical agent then becomes the so-called “neighborhood expert”. The agent’s signs and ads will appear everywhere, and often seems to represent all the buyers and sellers in the area. The agent becomes the “go-to” guy or gal. The truth is, they’re flattening home values out of their greed.
The Bait & Switch
The listing agent tells potential buyer's agents and their clients that the property has no offers. They say to make “any” offer. This is a hint that there is little interest on the property. They want the other agents to think that even a low-ball offer might be accepted.
The buyer is more than happy to offer a low amount of money. After all, they will save thousands and get a great deal on the home. Meanwhile, the listing agent may have their own prospect with a higher offer. The unethical agent then uses the low offer to convince the seller that their offer is the best they will get.
By comparing their offer to an even lower offer, they has made thier low offer look attractive. All the while, the buyer would have actually offered more but didn’t because he was led to believe that they could have gotten the home at a low-ball price. It’s classic, don’t be duped.
No Other Offers This happened to me just over a month ago
This is one of the most deceitful techniques they use. This occurs when the listing agent simply does not show all the offers submitted to the seller. So despite offering more money than other buyers, filling out all the paperwork, writing a letter saying how much you love the property, putting up an earnest money deposit, the buyer doesn’t have a chance. Your offer never makes it into the hands of the seller. The seller has no idea you were interested in the property. He or she doesn’t know that you would have paid more than the offer he accepts. This is, of course, a breach of the fiduciary responsibility that an agent holds to his seller. It is also a breach of the realtor’s code of ethics.
When interviewing agents, ask them what percentage of their sales are from when they represented both the buyer and seller. For ethical agents, the percentage will be fairly low, as they’re interested in selling homes and not by doubling their commission.
There are many good, ethical agents who are willing to work hard to sell your home. The majority of REALTORS are honest. Do your home work and find someone you can trust.