As with other professions, estate agents also use some tried and tested tricks to make deals and collect money. Some of the tricks are morally wrong, while others are against the law. Here, we have disclosed some dire estate agent tricks and have suggested the ways to prevent them.
Using this strategy, the estate agent intentionally undervalues a house or apartment. In Layman’s terms, they misinform the seller that the selling value of the house is, suppose, £100,000. In fact, they are fully aware that the house may be worth up to £120,000.
In this way, they satisfy the seller and dispose of the house quickly. Here, the question is why would they do so? They can earn more by selling the house at higher price. Well, this is a logical question.
By selling the house for £100,000, they have earned a commission of £3000 at the rate of 3%. Now, they have made this money very quickly without bearing any extra hassle to sell the house at the best price possible. This is the advantage they are enjoying, no tiresome efforts and quick sales!
Intentional Undervaluing / False Purchasing
This trick is worse than the previous one. The estate agent undervalues the house on purpose. The seller trusts them and thinks that it is the best price they can get by selling the house. Then the agent, immediately, calls his friend to purchase the property. He then earns a huge profit by selling the house at its true value. Therefore, to avoid this trick, you should get your house valued by several estate agents. Comparisons will show some differences, this is to be expected but the valuations will be close enough for you to make and informed decision as to where to set the purchase price and which estate agent you want to use.
In this trick, a cunning buyer bribes the seller’s agent to avoid notifying you (the seller) of other prospective buyers offers on the property. The greedy agent then may not inform you of the offers made by the buyers. If you are the seller and want to avoid this trick, the solution is very simple. Just send a friend of yours to the agent and see if he informs you of the offer made by your friend.
In another situation, if you are the purchaser, go to the seller directly and drop a note in his letterbox containing the text “I was passing by your house and it interested me. I want to buy it. Please, contact me at this number”.
Providing wrong information about the property
Sometimes the seller’s agent may try to assure the purchaser of things that have not in fact been agreed, for instance, that planning permission has already been granted for an extension. A wise buyer will immediately hire an experienced solicitor to verify this.
Do not trust the estate agent blindly and ask them to present a proof for any claims made. If they supply you with any proof, make sure that every point in the document is clear and obvious and there are no caveats in it like “As far as I know” etc. Moreover, hire a good solicitor and verify everything before entering into a contract of sale.