Unfortunately, the real-estate-agent business is saddled with a poor reputation. According to the real estate agents surveyed by consumerreports.org, that reputation is sometimes earned. Here are a few of the top bad behaviors the real estate agents surveyed say they’ve witnessed, all of which breach the ethical code of Realtors . They’re listed in the order of how frequently they see them.
“I sometimes steer clients toward houses that will bring me a higher commission, rather than the best house for them.”
It’s obviously a money-making attempt. Know your budget and you won’t fall for it.
“You can’t believe everything I say about myself in my marketing material.”
Agents can misrepresent their experience and credentials on their websites and blogs. Others pay to rank high in Google and Yahoo searches.
“I might persuade a client to sell a home for less than it’s worth.”
This one seems counterintuitive, but “some companies push their people to sell, sell, sell, so they’ll try to make sales quickly, even if it means they make less in commissions,” says Gianni Rosa, a Boston-area real estate agent.
“I might encourage buyers to make an offer that is too high.”
Again, another way to earn a higher commission. Make sure you visit lots of homes in an area, so you’ll know what comparable homes are selling for.
“I sometimes reveal information about the lowest price a seller will take or a potential buyer’s top price.”
Another tactic that might be used by companies trying to close as many deals as possible, says Rosa.
“I might not disclose problems with the neighborhood to potential buyers.”
You must always do DUE DILIGENCE on any property you want to buy or rent before committing your money to any real estate agent.