Lies my Realtor told me.

I was reminded by this post that while I was looking for a house recently, realtors very often fibbed to me about the quality or location of properties. I had a realtor swear to me I was not looking at a mobile home, when I clearly was. It was in front of me, and it was a mobile home. When my folks were retiring and looking for their current home, my mom and I drove from Michigan to North Carolina to look at a house that turned out to be completely mis-represented by their realtor. It was supposed to be ‘exactly’ what my folks were looking for. I assure you my parents were not looking for a house that reeked of urine.
I think that for the most part, realtors were trying to cover up the fact that they just hadn’t done their homework about the property, not that they’re malevolent. But still…they don’t seem to live by the same level of truthiness.
What have you heard from a realtor that made you :confused: :rolleyes: ?

While hunting for a flat, I was taken to see a couple selected by one of the realtors. I didn’t like his general tactics (things like completely disregarding the information I’d given them about price range, or choosing what places we’d see before I got there instead of going through his listings with me), but you just asked about misinformation and lies.

The first one we saw was outside my price range by an amount equivalent to my yearly salary. He claimed that the fact it had a lift raised its value. Well, maybe. If it had been a lift. It was more like… hm… a “liftette”. The thing wasn’t big enough for a pram. Current regulations demand double doors; a door that opens automatically (in case of blackout it gets stuck open) and the one you push open. The automatic doors were folding doors on the inside of the lift, making it even smaller. Since you entered through one of the short sides but left through one of the long sides, this was two foldable doors.

I’m not planning on needing a pram any time soon, but I do have some claustrophobia, which wasn’t helped by sharing that tiny space with a sweaty, fat, aggresive salesman.

There were several flats that got billed as “reformed” but it may have meant religiously; in one of them, the bathtub had two spider cracks.

This last one was unintentional on the realtor’s part. Back in the late XIX century, people came up with two new words for building levels. We usually refer to “ground level, first floor, second floor” etc; “Principal” and “Entresuelo” are higher than the ground level but don’t get counted in the numbers, so for example my grandparents’ circa 1890 flat claims to be a third but, since the house has a Principal and Entresuelo, it’s actually a 5th. One of the flats I saw during my search was billed as a “4th floor, no lift”, but it was a 5.5th floor: there was an Entresuelo and the ground floor was extra high.

The one I’m buying comes with a choco. Choco is a term that’s specific to this area: it’s a ground-floor room that’s been prepared to serve for big family meetings, with a kitchen and all. But because the laws on property were written by guys from Madrid who haven’t seen a choco in their lives, the choco is legally a “garage”. Uhm. Sure, ok, let me take out that big oak table so I can get the Yaris in. Or maybe I can just put a ramp up and get the Yaris on the table, it’s sure big enough and the ceiling’s high. Would be kind of a drag when I’m trying to leave in the morning, though.

Well, I didn’t find out about this till after I bought my house, but my realtor told me that my house had a deeded boat dock slip included with my house (I live in an older development on a chain of small recreational lakes). At the time it was really important to me since I had a boat, and getting docks on said lakes was really difficult. Bought my house in the fall and it was one of the major reasons I purchased this particular house.

Come spring, start trying to get my boat in, and find out there is no such dock. :mad: :mad:

However they will be happy to rent me one for 500$ a summer. :mad:

9 years later, it still grates me.

“It has an eat-in kitchen!”
Uh, no, it doesn’t.

When we were looking at houses, we saw the ad for one that said said “Eat-In Kitchen!” We knew the neighborhood, and knew the kitchens were all galley-style and there was no way you could eat in them, unless you count standing up over the sink. We figured they must have added on to the house, and were interested in seeing it. We got there, and found out that there was no addition, and it was the original smallish galley kitchen. Cabinets and counter down one side, fridge, sink and stove down the other. I looked at the realtor and said, “This is supposed to be an eat-in kitchen” and she actually had the nerve to say, “Well, if you took out the lower cabinets and counter on the one side, you could fit a small table and two chairs in here.”

I hope I’m not the first to tell you this but these realtors are not “your” realtors.

They are the sellers’ realtors.

Their first obligation is to them, not you.
Now, there’s nothing stopping you from hiring a buyers agent, which inbusiness real estate, is more the norm.

Realtor[sup]TM[/sup] checking in here.

No one in this thread said if the agent was representing you or the other party in a transaction. If you want the agent to be on your side, you need to enter into a buyer agency agreement (if you are the buyer). Not all US states have this arrangement, but in those that do, you would be a fool to not take advantage of it.

Imagine if you asked for legal advice from the attorney on the opposite side of the table in a trial. How reliable would that advice be? But if you, as a buyer, ask for advice from the seller’s agent, this is what you are doing.

OTOH, Realtors are bound by ethics to treat all parties fairly. But it’s all too easy for lines to be crossed.

And, even if an agent is on your side, it’s always a good idea to independently verify anything that is a critical part of your transaction. If you are told the zoning allows cookie shops, and you are planning on opening a cookie shop, you better damn well find out if you can have a cookie shop. Sure, you could sue the agent later if you can’t, but that won’t get you the cookie shop.

When tell my customers/clients about items like zoning – items that I am 100% sure of, even – I always include the line, “But you should verify that. Here is the phone number of the Planning & Zoning Dept.; they are located in the 2nd floor of the courthouse and they will be glad to talk to you.”

A personal anecdote: I recently listed a piece of land. The official tax records showed it to be 2.45 acres, which is what I specified. What could be more accurate than the official gummit records, right? But when we dug up the survey at the courthouse, it said it was 2.03 acres. Was that my mistake? Perhaps, but at that point, we didn’t know which number was right. Did the tax records get entered wrong? Maybe – it happens. Did the surveyor make a mistake? Maybe – it happens.

The way the buyer solved the problem was to write an offer continguent on a new survey showing a minimum of 2.03 acres. It did, and he bought it.

The most blatant case of a realtor describing a house that had no relation to the actual property came while I was actually walking through it. This was a property that was being sold for $550,000, eight years ago before prices really took off around here. Now I wasn’t in the market for a half million dollar house, but both I and my agent were kind of curious as to how they had the nerve to charge that for what appeared to be a rather dumpy house, so we decided to go on the tour.

As it turned out, the house was on something like four acres of land which had perced, so the theory was that the buyer would subdivide, find a few suckers who didn’t care that their new acre was 50% pond and swamp (on a busy road), and make the money back that way. The house was indeed a dump. One step up from an automatic tear-down. It was built during the depression by some guy who made clever use of pressboard and linoleum as structural materials. The rooms were small, devoid of charm, infinitely shabby, and 40 years late for remodeling. But the showing agent acted like it was a little jewel that just needed some tender loving care. As we waltzed through the living room, she babbled about the fine and intricate woodwork. Well…I’m a woodworker and I’m sure that I would have recognized fine moulding if it had been there to recognize.

The house was so depressing that as we were going down to the basement, the showing agent proudly declared that they had a new furnace installed recently and I said “Well, that must have doubled the value of the property.” Didn’t even say it in my private voice. After this experience, I refused to see any house shown by that agent.

Of course, the real estate market being what it is in our area, they did subdivide the lots and put McMansions up on them and I'm sure all parties involved made gobs of money.

The realtor that we worked with last year told us a bunch of crap. She told us we had to by law turn over our home inspection, I all the other houses I’ve bought I’ve never done that. They were going to rent back to us for a few days, we were going to be on our honeymoon so it didn’t matter. When we went to look at the house all was well, when we got back there were holes in the walls from pictures, and I don’t mean little nail holes, big holes, a 1/4" or so in some spots. When we asked about it she told us everyone left their houses this way and we couldn’t do anything about it. She also told us it was our problem when left left an attic full of trash, and a basement full of crap. It cost us $200 to have it all taken to the dump.

Not me, but my folks.

A couple of years back (i.e.2), they were thinking of cashing in on some of the equity in their house and moving. Since this was not a necessary move, they took their time until they found a property they really liked. My folks had an agent, and (of course) so did the people selling the house. They seller’s agent told my folks that there was a bid coming in on the house, so my folks made a very reasonable bid. AFAIK, the sellers agent was under a time limit on when he was required to get this bid to the sellers. (48hrs, IIRC.) This time limit passed, and my folks haven’t heard back. They call the seller’s agent who claims the sellers are out of town. My folks wait another couple of days then call the sellers agent back, only to get a new excuse. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Finally they find out that the incoming bid was from a couple that had hired the sellers agent as their buying agent. That agent had used my parents’ offer to get the other couple to up their offer, without ever presenting my parents’ offer to the sellers. That agent not only negotiated in bad faith with his buying clients, but kept a worthwile bid from his selling clients, got a higher comission, and, in fact, got two commisions because he was then the seller’s and buyer’s agent.

Nice little scam.

My two brothers and I tryied to get my folks to call and complain, sue, raise some kind of stink, but my father just wanted to let it drop. (He has, unforetunetely, a history of getting the short end durring house sales as he won’t protect himself as he should.)

About five years ago, we had a real estate nightmare on our hands with a dual agency. Hubby and I had finally found a house we liked, an adorable old place that had all of the features we were looking for. The realtor, whom I’ll call “Frank”, said that he knew this house would be perfect for us. All of the work it needed was cosmetic. The sellers disclosed that the only problems were a window that was stuck and a sink that had a drip.

We put in an offer, but Hubby had suspicions. He insisted we write in a clause that said if there were any huge problems found by the inspection, we had the right of withdrawal, and we also had to approve of any repairs (to be completed and re-inspected before close) if we agreed to go ahead with the sale. Frank fought us on it, and said we were being unreasonable, but we insisted. It saved our asses.

The inspection, as you can probably guess, came back with some massive problems. The foundation was crumbling, the roof was shredded and the electrical system was a fire hazard. (Our insurance company said they’d refuse to cover us for fire until all of the electic was repaired.)

“Frank” assured us that all of these problems weren’t as bad as the inspector had claimed, and that the sellers were willing to repair the foundation and electrical work. We said we’d take care of the roof.

Time passed, and soon it was gettting down to closing time and I still hadn’t even seen most of the estimates. “Frank” claimed there must be something wrong with my fax machine because he kept sending them. The few we did get were alarming: the sellers had gone with fly-by-night contractors who were essentially slapping a bandage on the problems. A few days before we were supposed to close, “Frank” called us and said that the repairs weren’t going to be completed, but that the sellers would put the estimated costs in an escrow account.

“No way,” I said. “What if the actual costs run higher than that the estimate? We’l have to pay the difference ourselves.” After some hemming and hawing, “Frank” admitted that was true but said we couldn’t back out now. We had signed a contract.

“What about that clause?” Hubby asked.

“Frank” replied that it didn’t matter. We had a contract and unless we bought the house, he would sue us.

Unbeknownst to “Frank”, my grandfather is sort of a real estate baron. He’s presonal friends with the guy who owns the agency after years of doing business with him. I called my grandfather to see if we were the ones in the wrong, here. “Frank” was so insistant that we were being unreasonable and were “trying to pull a fast one” that I started doubting myself. He screamed at us that we HAD to buy the house, or there’d be hell to pay.

Grandpa got that steely Clint Eastwood look in his eye when he heard my story and called the owner of the agency at home. “James? James, this is [Lissa’s Grandpa.] What’s this I hear about one of your agents trying to sue my grandbaby?”

Turns out there was a chain of sales dependant on this transaction. (The sellers were going to buy a house from the agency, and in turn those sellers were going to buy another house, etc.) We agreed to a sit-down with “Frank”, who was still rolling his eyes at our unreasonability.

We pointed out that the electricity was only being repaired at the box-- the ancient wiring wasn’t being replaced, and the wires couldn’t handle such a big load. “Our insurance company said they wouldn’t cover us unless it was all replaced,” Hubby pointed out.

“Frank” snorted. “Well, you don’t HAVE to tell your insurance company that it’s there,” he said. “It’s not like they’re going to come and inspect it.”

“Call me crazy,” Hubby replied. “But my real worry is that my wife will burn to death in a fire.” Frank rebutted that a “fire risk” is not the same as being actually dangerous, and suggested we tell the insurance company that everything was fine.

The foundation “repair” solution was to put one corner of the house on a jack, and we would be responsible for slowly cranking it back into place. “Lots of houses are on jacks,” Frank growled. “NOTHING will satisfy you people!”

We asked about the re-inspection, and “Frank” pointed out there wasn’t time: we were supposed to close tomorrow and that the homeowners had “every right” to sue us if we broke the contract. We said we weren’t going to close until all of our conditions were met, and that was the end of it.

We were served with the lawsuit papers from the homeowners a few months later. They had sold the house for a reduced price and were suing us for the difference. Later, we learned that “Frank” had told them to go ahead and sell as soon as they could, even at a reduced price, because they could sue us and get the difference easily. (And this guy was supposed to be OUR agent!) In a way, I feel sorry for them, because they were getting bad advice, too.

The judge saw it our way. We settled by giving them the earnest money we had put down on the contract. The homeowners were really pissed about it.

We learned some lessons from this mess. When we bought the house we own now, we put clauses in the contract six-ways-from-Sunday. We told our new agent that we would not look at any houses sold by her agency. The poor lady was a bit bewildered by all of our nitpicking on the contract, but she went along with it cheerfully, though she warned us that some sellers might not like it. I said that any seller who objected to our clauses wasn’t someone we wanted to deal with anyway.

We got mildly screwed anyway. The homeowners concealed some flaws (of which it can be easily proved that they were aware) but they were minor enough that we didn’t feel like getting into a fight about them.

I move to Manchester on Sunday. I’m so glad I don’t have to deal with another realtor. Guy number one had the cheek to put up the price from what was advertised, and didn’t mention it until I asked.

Guy number three. Lets just say the company turned out to be so incompetent that before we left the office and saw a single property I knew I wouldn’t be renting from them.

We went with guy number two. This is despite the property being slightly more expensive then another one we saw. The extra money is worth it just to deal with someone I trust.

This simply *has * to be against some law. :confused::mad:

Century 21 in Komazawa, Tokyo.

“We can’t show you the apartment today.”

Really? When my wife called the night before, you were perfectly happy to show us the place. In fact, you were grinning like the perfect salesman right up until the moment you saw her very non-Japanese husband (me) standing behind her. All of a sudden, there were ‘difficulties’. While we sat and waited for these ‘difficulties’ to be cleared up, nobody offered us a look at any other properties, and we were very pointedly ignored while other young (and Japanese) couples were being fawned over. After an hour (we’d spent an hour getting there, and had nothing else to do all day), he realized we weren’t going to give up, and came over to tell us that the tenant was still living there, so we couldn’t go inside.

“That’s fine, we’ll look at the outside”
“Uhh… we don’t have a car available.”
“That’s fine, we’ll walk.”

And so we walked over there in pouring rain, and I made him stand there for twenty minutes and wait while I looked at every brick and downspout until I was damn well satisfied. When we got back to the office he very quickly positioned himself in the doorway and told us goodbye. We walked down to the next station and wandered into a realtor’s (mini-mini) where they immediately drove us out to see three different places. We had our new apartment chosen by the end of the evening.

At least the realtor who told us “I’m not going to show you anything because I don’t want foreigners living in this neighborhood” only took up 5 minutes of our time.

You should really contact your local Board of REALTORS on that one. That is so illegal it is making my head spin.

Are you sure it’s illegal in Japan?

WOW. I didn’t realize Japan was so racist/xenophobic! Unbelieveable. Do you encounter that kind of discrimination often??

The most repeated lie by one particular realtor - Judy was her name: “I was *just * going to call you!” :rolleyes: I was living in Florida at the time, trying to sell my house in Baltimore. Getting information from Judy was like pulling teeth. We’d wait and wait, and when we’d finally get fed up and call her, we got her “line”. OK, she did finally sell the house, but on closing day (we’d signed everything ahead of time, being in Florida and all) it turned out that the buyer didn’t quite have the full amount. We had to hold a second mortgage for something like $12K or lose the deal.

Because, of course, they didn’t know this until they sat down at closing… We held the second, then sold it to a mortgage broker and took a loss.

Then there was the house we rented out, then decided to sell. Because of the market at the time, we didn’t expect to make any money, but our agent assured us we’d pretty much just break even. No problem. We were in a financial crunch at the time, but getting rid of that house would help.

Day before closing, he calls - we need $2K to close. We had to pay to sell our house. Did I mention we were broke?? How embarrassing, at 30+, to have to run to the First National Bank of Mom and Dad for a loan.

These were expensive lessons, but we learned. And thankfully the agent we had to buy this house and sell our land here was an absolute doll. She took good care of us, and that coupled with our bad experiences as lessons made this house a good deal all around. About time!!!

“All that land behind you is BLM, and won’t ever be developed!”

Pretty Minor, but still lies:

  1. I don’t need to put in that offer tonight, I’ll do it tomorrow evening (probably cost us $3K)

  2. I know a great inspector, and I’ve already set up the appointment (he had set the time, but the guy was mediocre…I know more about inspection than he did)

  3. I can sell your current trailer, no problem (he didn’t want to be wrong on this one, but he was)

  4. I would like to re-sign for another 180 days on your property (no, you don’t…otherwise you’d return our phone calls. I ended up selling it FSBO because I didn’t trust any real estate agent after that - come on! You can just say you don’t want the listing).

The best realtor I ever used was my cousin. When we were at the closing on buying our new house, he made the stock comment that if I had any problems I could always talk to his manager. I looked at him and said that if I had any problems I was telling both my dad and HIS dad. He laughed and said that was probably a better incentive.