Transparency Most Effective Way to Manage Expectations

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.

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5 Responses to Transparency Most Effective Way to Manage Expectations

  1. avatar AvnerUWS says:

    The more things chage….
    In ’91-’92 I was looking for a rental and used a former classmates’ mother as the broker. She worked for one of the large brokerages and the UWS (where I was looking) was her specialty. I was open but specific about my limits in price and in some things I just did not like (like a decorative fireplace).
    She showed me a ridiculous 20+ apartments and was upset I rented through someone else. She spent an entire eveing taking me to apartments out of my price range or with deco fplc’s.
    “I know this one is more than you can afford but look at how great an apartment it is!” (Duh! Of course I can find apartments I will like better if I pay more….)

  2. avatar csg says:

    Did you report the agent to his superiors, and did his brokerage do anything about it. Don’t the Corcorans, Ellimans, etc. of the world have some role to play in this — shouldn’t they be sufficiently protective of their own good name that individual agents would fear repercussions of such misconduct?

  3. This agent is with a small boutique firm and reporting him would likely yield no result. I believe that the larger firms would indeed have something to say to one of their agents for doing this…I would hope.

  4. avatar Dolores22 says:

    What an agent will normally do is show you a month worth of garbage, when your ready to throw in the towel, he shows you the beauty a bit more than the top of your price range….which he knows as he’s talked to your banker early on to get that number.

  5. avatar Douglas Heddings says:

    Seems like a bit of a conspiracy theory Dolores. Most of my colleagues wouldn’t want to waste a month showing properties that aren’t a possibility for buyers. Just my experience.

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