15 Ways a Real Estate Agent Could Fool You

March 23, 2022

When it comes to buying a house, one of the most important things you can do is find an agent who will work hard for you and bring in the right people to make your purchase as smooth as possible. But if you’re not careful, you could end up with an agent that’s more interested in his own pockets than he is yours! Here are fifteen ways a real estate agent might try to trick you into signing on the dotted line: 

  1. They’ll Lie About the Property’s Location

Maybe they want to sell you a fixer-upper in an undesirable part of town, or maybe they just don’t want you buying a home within walking distance from their own place. Either way, lying about where the property is located is a common practice amongst real estate agents. They’ll say it’s near a park when it really isn’t, or even tell you it’s close to a freeway exit when it’s actually far away. 

  1. They’ll Claim It’s Been Renovated When It Actually Hasn’t

Everyone wants to believe that the house they buy has been recently renovated, but some realtors will embellish details like paint colors and flooring to give you the impression that the house was updated. The truth is that it may have only been painted, or that the previous owners did all of the renovations themselves, so make sure you ask lots of questions before signing anything. 

  1. They’ll Make You Think That Everything Is Perfect

They’ll tell you how great everything looks, even though the kitchen needs new appliances and there’s a hole in the bathroom ceiling. If you aren’t careful, you could fall prey to this tactic and end up buying a nightmare house for a bargain price. This is especially true if you’re looking at foreclosures or short sales, since these properties often need repairs before they can be moved into. 

  1. They’ll Show You Homes That Are Too Expensive

Some realtors will show you houses that are out of your budget because they know you won’t go any further without seeing them. They might also try to get you to buy a cheaper house, then “accidentally” leave something behind once you’ve signed on the dotted line. These are called bait and switch tactics, but unfortunately, many people have fallen prey to this type of scam. 

  1. They’ll Tell You That There’s No Competition When There Really Is

If you think that a certain home is already sold, they may try to convince you that it’s not worth your time to look at other options. Some agents will even lie and say that another agent hasn’t even shown the house yet, which is technically true but doesn’t mean that there isn’t competition out there. Don’t believe everything you hear! You should always assume that someone else is interested in the house too. 

  1. They’ll Try To Get You To Sign On The Dotted Line Without Looking At Anything Else

Some realtors will pressure you into signing a contract while you’re still touring homes, claiming that the deal will expire soon. You shouldn’t trust anyone that makes this kind of promise, as it’s likely a ploy to get you to sign quickly rather than carefully consider your decision. As long as you’ve seen enough homes to make a reasonable choice, you’re under no obligation to rush through your decision. 

  1. They’ll Say That Their Price Isn’t Negotiable

There’s always room for negotiation, and sometimes it takes a little bit of pushback to get things moving in the right direction. If your realtor claims that his or her price is set in stone, they probably aren’t as honest as you’d like. Remember, if you don’t move forward with the sale, you have nothing to lose. 

  1. They’ll Use Unreliable Information

Realtors are trained to identify potential buyers, and they know what information will draw you in. They’ll take advantage of your lack of knowledge by using data that’s easy to access online, such as tax assessments, school ratings, or crime statistics. Unfortunately, some of these figures are inaccurate, and some are downright lies, so be wary of what you hear. 

  1. They’ll Ignore Your Questions

If you ask your agent a question about the neighborhood, or about the house itself, and he or she never bothers to respond, you should definitely be suspicious. Realtors can answer all of your questions about the area, and many of them will gladly provide you with referrals to local businesses such as plumbers and electricians. If they don’t seem interested in helping you learn about the area, you can bet that they’ve got something to hide. 

  1. They’ll Promise You Things They Can’t Deliver

Don’t let a realtor fool you into thinking that he or she can deliver something that isn’t possible. For example, if they claim to offer “a free month of rent,” you may wonder whether you’re getting a good deal or being tricked. Unless you’re living in a mansion and receiving a luxury rental for free, you’re probably paying for something. 

  1. They’ll Act Like They Know You Already

You shouldn’t feel obligated to trust your realtor, but if they act as though you’re old friends, you should reconsider your relationship. This is especially important when working with a shady agent, who may have worked hard to build a reputation for himself or herself. 

  1. They’ll Lie About What Other People Are Paying for Homes

No one likes to be lied to, and this is especially true when you’re talking about money. Realtors know that you want to pay less for your home, and they may try to deceive you by making up inflated prices for comparable homes in the area. Make sure you do plenty of research before you agree to anything! It’s very common for realtors to falsify numbers when trying to persuade people to purchase a home. 

  1. They’ll Take Advantage Of Your Emotions

You love your family and you want to keep them safe, but realtors know that you tend to make emotional decisions when it comes to purchasing property. They may use this knowledge to their advantage, promising you things that they can’t deliver. If they don’t appear trustworthy, they may be trying to distract you from a potentially dangerous situation. 

  1. They’ll Claim That Everything Will Be Easier If You Move Now

This is often a red flag, as it could suggest that something bad has happened to the person that lives there now. Some unscrupulous realtors will tell you that they’re in trouble, or that they’re moving away because of an illness, in hopes that you’ll feel sorry for them and offer to buy the house. Don’t fall for this trap! There’s a reason that the house is on the market, and it’s usually not because the previous owner was sick. 

  1. They’ll Tell You About Other Properties They Have Under Contract

Real estate deals can move very quickly, so it’s not uncommon to find yourself in a bidding war against another buyer. If your realtor tells you that the seller is willing to sell, but won’t go any higher than a certain number, they may be hiding something. They may also be telling you about properties that are already under contract, hoping that you’ll give up. 

Final Words 

It’s easy to spot a shady realtor, as long as you know what to look for. Keep your eyes open, and don’t hesitate to ask questions if you have concerns. A great realtor will have no problem answering these questions, and you should trust your gut instinct if something seems off. By following these tips, you can rest assured that you’re dealing with a realtor that you can trust. The right realtor will help you navigate the buying process, and he or she will guide you toward a successful purchase. 

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