DO REAL ESTATE AGENTS LIE?
This is a very sensitive question which is why it’s a great opportunity to look much closer at this topic from the seller, buyer and real estate agent’s point of view.
Firstly, the intention is not to jump on the bandwagon of the typical post you’ll see on this topic with real estate agent bashing, but to give fair and unbiased commentary with helpful information and educational information.
The Perception of Real Estate Agents:
It is sad that this perception is still surrounding real estate agents and yes it is most likely true that some do lie. Truth is we all do, no one likes to admit it but we’ve all told the odd “white lie” and that’s True!
You’ll find good and the bad in all professions but it seems to stick like mud as far as real estate agents go. Why? Over the years we’ve all heard stories of some very unethical estate agents, some of the stories you hear would make your hair curl. Thank fully the laws have changed to eradicate bad behaviour and to protect everyone.
Agents that do the wrong thing will get caught either by the ATO or Office of Fair Trading as they leave a paper trail making it impossible to hide any wrong doings.
As one friend often says to me “agents will say anything to get a commission, they lie and they rip you off! As my friend has conveyed to me she has felt betrayed by agents in the past, “I just don’t trust them anymore” to use her words. Trust has been broken, if I was looking at her experiences thinking the same thoughts as she does I would have the same reaction. Who wouldn’t, she has been betrayed as she sees it which is most painful.
You would have to get both sides of the story to really understand what happened for her to feel this way.
It would be very interesting to look at the situation from both sides to get a much clearer picture. However, it really comes down to the issue of trust.
It’s a given that the agent has a fiduciary duty to work in the best interest of the owner, while having a duty of care for the buyer.
Good agents are very aware that the buyers of today will be the sellers of tomorrow. This happens time and time again. In our area of Lake Macquarie Kay McKee, George Serghis and Karen Wilson are stand out agents that help the same families move from home to home. This is demonstrated in the flowers, gifts, messages of gratitude and thanks they receive on a regular basis.
The mass media and some current affair shows love nothing more than bringing you a juicy story about a real estate agent that acted in most disgraceful way imaginable for financial gain.
These rogue agents will get caught and should be exposed. The trouble is good agents that act with integrity may also be seen in this light.
Currently there is a plethora of shows about property, auctions, getting the highest price, so people may be under the perception that it takes little effort on the agent’s part to secure high prices for property. You only see a very small piece of the whole picture of the whole story with some clever editing to make it a show of entertainment.
Well Meaning Friends and Relatives:
Comments from well-meaning friends and relatives may say things like “you paid too much or you could have got more”, these kind of comments can send new home owners and sellers in a spin. Everyone has an opinion on real estate so the next time well-meaning friends and relatives use comments like this ask them how many houses have they sold and when was the last time they bought a house?
You may look to your family and friends for their opinions but the main thing to remember is you bought or sold your property for what you believe was a good price at the time to get you to where you want to be. It is pointless looking at that situation thinking you could have bought for less and sold for more. This will only make you suffer.
What Does the Law Say About This?
The law is very clear about the consequences any agent will face if they have lied. Lying is represented as outright lying, lying by omission, silence, misrepresenting and embellishing information in any way whatsoever.
Section 51 of the Property Stock & Business Agents Act 2002 clearly deals with the issue of publishing false or misleading statements while section 52 covers misrepresentation by a licensee or registered person.
Sections 72-76 of the Property, Stock and Business Agents Act specifically cover representations as to selling price of residential property. Further information about this can be found under the heading Understating Selling Price Estimates on the NSW Department of Fair Trading website.
Click here to read the Misrepresentations Guidelines in full on the NSW Department Fair Trading website.
What Should You Do If You Believe an Agent Has Lied?
Best place to start is with the principal of the agency. Make a complaint directly to them. The principal of an agency does not want to lose their license or damage their reputation and they will act quite swiftly.
This sort of complaint is very serious, if you have no resolution then it would be recommended after three attempts you make a formal complaint to Office of Fair Trading.
The Best Thing to Do is Empower Yourself:
Thank fully there are free on line tools that assist you in doing some research on your own. These will help start your education and you’ll begin to get a feel for the area you’re looking at.
Depending on what free tool you are using, if you see a property on the market that has a calculated estimate, this does not mean the property will sell at that price. It is usually recommended to use anywhere from a 5-15% range. The reason being Price Guides don’t show renovations or damage.
Next, talk to real estate agents and professionals, you can ask for market reports and they’ll happily provide you with one. Go to Open for Inspections, and if you are a buyer stick to your budget and do your research.
Educate yourself by learning about your chosen area. We have some very informative podcasts available for you to listen to on the website and we have our free eBook you download to show you how you can do your own research on line. Talk to agents, you can ask them for a market report and you can also purchase them on line. Just click on the image to fill out your details to have instant access!
The Real Truth About Real Estate Agents Lying:
When someone is studying to become a real estate agent and doing the training we are told about the law and the heavy consequences if those laws are broken. In fact, it is constantly reinstated to always act with integrity, be honest and have empathy. It is the most scrutinised industry in the land.
So if a real estate agent deliberately decides to lie and break the law they are playing a deadly game with the authorities. They will be caught, it’s just a matter of time.
In truth most agents want to do the best job possible for owners, buyers landlords and tenants, their livelihood and reputations depends on it.
Being a real estate agent in the most emotional and sometimes stressful time of a person’s life is one of the most trusted positions a person can have. It is a privilege to serve people in such a way. Things happen in property transactions, a good agent will do what they must but a great agent will always go the extra mile.
Would you like to share your story and experience with us, good, bad or otherwise? Please contact us here or on our Facebook Page and Leave a Comment Below!
If you are a local Real Estate Agent, we welcome your thoughts and comments and if you would like to do a podcast we’d love to hear from you.
You can email us here: email@example.com
The information provided on this website if for general education only and in no way does it represent or constitute financial or specialist advice in any way, shape or form. It should not be relied on for the purposes of entering into any legal or financial commitments. Specific financial, legal or any other advice should always be obtained by a qualified professional before entering into any financial and legal commitments. The responsibility lies entirely with the visitors to the website and any other products and outlets of Lake Macquarie Property Talk.