Readers of TrueGotham know exactly how I feel about transparency and I do believe that the real estate industry as a whole is getting much better at accurately representing property to the prospective buying public. Yet I continue to be baffled by blatant misrepresentation of properties by some of my colleagues. I just returned this morning from viewing a home with my most favorite buyers. These buyers are quite particular about their future apartment and nothing is more important to them on the priority list than views. The views must be awe-inspiring of either the city or water and they need to be somewhat protected (quite a challenge in Manhattan but possible). Because of their insistence on drop dead views, we make it our business to confirm with seller’s agents that our clients won’t be dissappointed. In this particular instance, the seller’s agent confirmed that the views were open from all rooms and that the only reason the blinds were drawn in the photos was because the windows hadn’t been cleaned.
Fast forward to our appointment this morning. Imagine our surprise and displeasure as we entered this $3M home only to be met with sweeping views of a red brick wall. No joke! The entire living room faces a brick wall. Now why would the agent boldly lie about the views of this home when we clearly expressed the importance of views? IMHO, he’s scared! The market has slowed to a snail’s pace and in order to get bodies into this apartment, this agent has obviously resorted to misrepresenting the home. In addition to "shady" photos (shades drawn), the agent has chosen to verbally misrepresent the home in hopes that someone will fall in love with it despite the lack of views. Perhaps someone will, but it won’t be my clients nor anyone seeking a home with stellar views so why waste everyone’s time.
Tactics such as these are frustrating to the majority of those in my industry who, in an effort to make an inefficient process more-so, take the time to qualify a property as appropriate for a buyer based on their priority list. Of course the buyers themselves are equally frustrated with situations such as this and it only serves to reinforce the distrust that many have for real estate agents.
So to those of you who think you’re going to fool someone into purchasing a property by misrepresenting it, do us and yourselves a favor. Represent the home exactly as it is! It will make your job much easier and much more efficient and it may even help to garner some trust among a buying public who believes little of what we say anyway.