Top 5 White Lies Told by Real Estate Agents

There are many serious challenges that come with buying a property. Questions are asked, like “Is it structurally sound?” “What is a fair price for the property?” “Will the bank agree with the price and loan me the money to buy it?”

You don’t expect the challenges to come from the real estate agent as they are hired to help sell the house. Unfortunately, they are the biggest contributor to putting buyers off. Sellers and buyers alike often get that uneasy feeling around agents because they’re thinking ‘is this person telling the truth about other buyer’s offers?’ Or ‘is he/she telling me the real reason why the property is on the market?’

White Lies Told by Real Estate AgentsSenior Buyers Advocate, Mark Ribarsky has worked in the Real Estate Industry for more than 20 years and has worked with many real estate agents, in order to secure a property. While most agents act in a professional manner, there are a few agents that adopt techniques in order to get the buyer over the line. Therefore, Mr Ribarsky will take us through the top 5 white lies that selling agents might tell us, and what the lies really mean.

  1. There are couple of individuals/ families interested in the property.

When a selling agent decides to say this statement to you, they are trying to imply that there are other potential buyers that wish to purchase the property, meaning that if you take too long to decide whether you like the property or not, then you run the risk of losing the property. Therefore, the agent is playing on your fear of losing out to other buyers. This technique can be an extremely effective psychological play which will help the agent to push the buyer over the edge. In some cases, the agent could be telling the truth, however you shouldn’t feel the need to purchase the property just because there are other buyers, as there are many other properties that are out there for you. If you wish to challenge the agent to see if they are telling truth, then consider asking a question like, “has a signed contract been offered to the seller?”


  1. We’ve had a few offers by buyers

With this strategy, it is very similar to the above one, at it is trying to scary you into buying the property as you fear that another buyer could beat you in the race for the house. It can also be a technique for the agent to sell the house at the maximum price possible, meaning that you could potentially pay above market value. Again, if you wish to see if it is genuine, then ask if the offer has been presented in a signed contract of sale, if it has then you know there is a genuine bid for the property. If they say ‘no’ then you a dealing with a verbal proposal, or a constructed offer by the agent.

  1. We have not gotten as much interest as we would have liked

Selling agents who love taking property to auction tend to use this tactic to reel in a number of potential bidders when it comes auction day. They will offer a guide price to the bidders which are often beyond market value, they then catch them with low market interest and hope that you think you have secured the property at a bargain.

Begin by asking what reserve the seller might begin the auction with. It is most likely that you won’t get a straight answer/ figure, however you can figure out roughly what they are asking for by measuring the response against any comparable sales. You could potentially ask them, what price did you quote on when listing the property. By having the knowledge of the property market, it guides you so that you do not get caught in the agent’s trap.


  1. The vendor has asked for a signed-up contract by today

This is one area that will trick many buyers, as an agent will use this tactic to secure you into a contract to purchase the property so that you do not walk away and change your mind. However, if you think of it logically, if the vendor has been presented with more than one exited buyer who have given them an offer, then they would be more than happy to wait for the competition to play out, and see who the higher bidder is. So, do not rush into signing any contracts. If you wish to purchase the property, but you wish to have it inspected first, then don’t be scared to give a written offer with a condition clause, making it clear of what you expect.


  1. The vendor hasn’t given any indication on what they expect to happen.

Be extremely careful when a real estate agent tells you something like that, as agents work on commission meaning that agents want to know everything that the vendors want. Regardless if they tell the agent on a sales authority form, or indirectly through an informal chat. Even after you have questioned them and they still refuse you of what the vendors expect, then possibly change your approach, by asking, what type of limit should I set myself on auction day? By asking this, it makes the agent feel obliged to give you some sort of response to your question.

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