A good estate agent is key to helping you sell or buy a house, their job is to put your mind at ease and help you with a smooth transition from one property to another. However, sometimes you may find yourself in a situation where you feel that your estate agent may not be acting in your best interest but their own.
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Most estate agents will do their best to ensure you get the best deal, however, it is important to remember that estate agents are not just there to help you.
After all, they have an agenda too, making the most money that they can out of you.
Some estate agents may use unscrupulous methods to increase the commission they make on the sale.
The HomeOwners Alliance (HOA) warned about one specific trick estate agents use to get buyers to offer more money for a property.
Sometimes, estate agents will have a ghost buyer to try and increase the value of the property.
The estate agents will often tell the buyers that a last-minute offer has been made on the property with the hope to increase the offer made by the buyer.
By using this trick not only does it increase what sellers will get, but also the commission estate agents will pocket.
To avoid falling for this estate agent trick, buyers should always make sure to request seeing something in writing (e.g. an official offer letter) as it tends to be a risky trick, therefore estate agents will often evade the use of this trick from the sellers they represent.
The HOA explained further: “Your below-asking-price offer has been accepted, the property you are buying is off the market, and it’s all steam ahead towards completion.
“Then the next week, the estate agent calls to say that someone who viewed the property previously has put in an offer a few thousand pounds above yours. You smell a rat.
“If you suspect this is a false bid, challenge the estate agent and ask to see proof in writing that this third party exists and they are willing to make a higher offer.”
By requesting proof from the estate agent, not only could you be finding out about potential competition but potentially you could be saving on a couple of thousands too.
However, this is not the only estate agent trick buyers or sellers ought to be aware of.
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Another trick involves making sure you don’t reveal the minimum you will accept for your home if selling.
While estate agents want to get good prices for the homes they sell, they also don’t want to work too many hours to get their commission.
For this reason, they may be angling for their sellers to accept a lesser offer than they want.
The HOA said: “Never let them know your bottom line (if you’re selling) or your maximum price (if you’re buying).
“Otherwise the chances are you’ll end up having to settle for it.”
Another estate agent warning is to make sure a certain sign is not put up outside your house.
Website UKhomes2less.com states: “Despite popular belief and what estate agents want you to believe, having an ‘under offer’ sign against your property is not in your best interest, either within your garden or on the internet.
It claimed the only person this is good for is the estate agent themselves.
“It gives them great local PR and local credibility. In fact, estate agents can’t get any better local PR than having ‘under offer’ and ‘sold’ signs against their property.”
However, HOA claim that putting this sign up can affectively remove the property from the market.
Many potential buyers will be put off by the sign, assuming the property is as good as sold.
The site added: “You could lose out on many new potential buyers. Remember, your property hasn’t sold until contracts have been signed and exchanged in England, or missives have been concluded in Scotland.”
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