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Property Buyers - Code of Practice

Common Tricks Estate Agents Play On Homeowners

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If your house is not selling or your estate agent is not performing, you may be wondering whether it is time to change agency (particularly if you are trying to sell your home quickly). We don’t recommend you make any rash decisions.

However, it is valuable to review some of the tricks real estate agents play when selling a home. Several of the agent’s techniques are actually beneficial for homeowners, but there are also real estate tricks to watch out for!

Tricks real estate agents play

Photo Credit: g-stockstudio / Shutterstock

Excuses real estate agents give when they haven’t sold your property:

  1. “With so much uncertainty in the air, the market has become very slow.”
  1. “It is the wrong season to sell. Things should pick up in a few months.”
  1. “The weather has caused everyone to stay home rather than make viewings.”
  1. “Your current tenants are putting off prospective buyers.”
  1. “Your home needs freshening up as clients are choosing refurbished properties instead”
  1. “The price is too high. Let’s talk about bringing the price down.”

At times, these excuses may be valid. For example, you should always think about whether you effectively prepared your home for viewings. However, it is vital that you don’t simply nod at everything they tell you. These are definitely real estate tricks to watch out for. Do your research.

Here are some helpful questions to ask yourself when thinking about changing your estate agent:

  • What other properties have sold in the area?
  • Who is the responsible agent for your home?
  • Have they been honest with you and are they being honest with prospective buyers?

Photo Credit: g-stockstudio / Shutterstock

Are your agents giving prospective buyers these excuses?

  1. “Sorry, my car broke down. Can we rearrange the viewing?”
  1. “The owner has changed the keys and has not given us the new set yet. Can we reschedule?”
  1. “I’m stuck in traffick but I’m on my way,” they say, from the office.
  1. “Another estate agent has taken the keys and did not return them on time.”

Photo Credit: G-stockstudio / Shutterstock

Why do estate agents make up these excuses?

Sometimes they completely forgot about their appointment. Rather than apologising, it is easier for them to lie. On other occasions, they are running late due to a prior viewing or paperwork is taking longer than expected. Equally, it could be that they needed the extra fifteen minutes to grab some lunch – these are a few of the tricks real estate agents play!

Of course, sometimes these lies work in your favour. For example, if an estate agent believes the prospective viewer is a ‘time waster’ or a more affluent buyer has stepped into the scene. As such, they will often prioritise the client who is more appealing on paper. After all, more money for you, means more cash for them too. On the flip side, that may mean they sweet talk a buyer into a pricier property.

However, dishonesty will shine through these excuses. As such, you may lose valuable offers! Sometimes the estate agent is the problem, not your house, the market, or tenants. It could be that they are not punctual, they have been caught in a lie or it could simply be their personality.

Photo Credit: G-stockstudio / Shutterstock

What should you do about real estate agent tricks and traps?

First and foremost, be on guard. Of course, you must play nice too. Things could get worse if you constantly call the office or become a ‘needy’ homeowner. However, ask questions and do your own research. It is vital that you meet the agent who will be representing your property to ensure they are the right choice.

Should you change estate agent?

If you suspect your estate agent is being unethical, the first step is to talk to them about it. Although, chances are, if they lied once, they will do it again. As such, take their response with a grain of salt. If you feel comfortable proceeding with the agent, then see if you can find some mutual terms by which your proceed.

For example, you can request to be informed every time someone views the home or request to hear feedback. If you are extremely concerned, set up security cameras. However, tell your agency these are in place (you don’t need to say why they were installed).

However, if their unethical behaviour continues or you no longer trust them, it may be time to change agent. Particularly if your home has already been on the market for a long time. In some cases, sellers no longer feel assured by the whole agency. There are alternative options available which do not require an agent to land that perfect buyer.


For example, you could sell the property yourself to avoid the tricks real estate agents play. There are several options available when selling a property without an estate agent. For example, you could put your home up for auction. You also could sell your home through a ‘we buy any home’ scheme. However, be careful to avoid scams.


Feature Image: g-stockstudio / Shutterstock

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