Toronto Real Estate Tips and Advice

Real Estate Nightmare #11

Real Estate Nightmare #11

I recently heard heard two incredible stories that serve to give ALL agents a bad reputation.

I write about them to help in the education of consumers as to what to avoid in your selection of a real estate professional to manage their largest asset.

The first is about the consumer not practicing their due diligence.  With any financial transaction this is important.  Many will recall the Bernie Madoff scandal where people were swindled out of their life’s savings. This is what happens when you put your trust in a non-regulated professional.

This nightmare story is similar. A buyer had been working with an agent for over a year.  They had routinely looked at homes via open houses in their area of interest.  The agent questioned and cautioned the buyers about this tactic as it could have consequences to which the buyers were unaware.

The agent did not hear from the clients for some time and followed-up with them.  They reported that they had bought a home through an agent at an open house.  This upset the agent in that they had lost a sale.  But this does happen on occasion, where buyers think they are saving money with this tactic.

The selling agent of this new home referred the buyers to their inspector and their home renovator.  The buyers trusted these references from someone that they had no relationship with over the advice of the agent they had been working with for years.

The deal closed. As the buyers were getting settled in, they discovered some major problems with the home.  They ended up spending almost 100K in repairs of items that a reputable home inspector would have easily found.

These home buyers did contact their trusted agent after the fact and realized that they had made a huge error.  Lesson learned.

The second nightmare story comes from BC and a very public shaming of a team of agents. These agents had years of real estate experience under their belt and were well established in their local community.  They regularly knocked on doors, talked with potential buyers and sellers and had come to know their neighbours.

One of the community members wife’s passed and they decided to send him a condolence card.  But instead of just a simple condolence card, they added something to the effect of ‘if we can help you work out your real estate needs, contact us’.  They also attached their business cards.  This really upset the home owner and he threw the card(s) in the trash. 

The daughter of this now widowed homeowner found the card and became furious.  She posted the whole incident onto social media and a fire storm began. The Agents received death threats, a trashing on social media and face the possibility of an investigation by their licensing board. They did apologize to the homeowner and his family but it was too late. The damage was done.

Incidents like these not only damage an Agent’s reputation but also the profession.  It makes us all look like the “ambulance chasers” of the our profession.

It takes a real estate professional years of experience and public dealing to build a business and a professional reputation.  One false move can destroy everything.  Vet your real estate agent and see what their experience has been.  Do your due diligence before signing on the bottom line.

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