Beware of promises that sound too good

Posted on 05. Mar, 2010 by in News

January 22, 2010

Mark Weisleder


 ”List with me and I guarantee to sell your home in 60 days or I will buy it myself.”

 How many times have you seen advertisements like this from real estate salespeople? I have often been asked whether these guarantees are in fact legitimate. As with most advertising claims regarding guarantees, there are always terms and conditions that the guarantee is subject to, and these conditions must be immediately brought to the attention of any consumer at the time any inquiry is made about the guarantee.

In addition, the terms and conditions cannot contradict the main point in the advertising.  

In a discipline case decided in March of 2008 by the Real Estate Council of Ontario, a real estate broker made a guarantee that if a buyer bought a home through the broker, then the broker would sell their home in 120 days or he would buy it himself. The buyer found a home to buy with this broker and then listed their home with the same broker. The home did not sell and then the broker refused to buy the seller’s home.

The reason given was that although the buyer did buy a home using the broker as a buyer representative, the buyer did not buy a home that was actually listed with this same broker. The broker was fined $10,000 for this misleading advertising.

Some terms and conditions may state that the salesperson will only pay 80 to 95 per cent of the appraised value. But many other points are left vague. Is the real estate commission included or excluded? When is the appraisal to take place? Who conducts the appraisal? What if the property needs repairs? Who pays for this?

If you intend to rely on any guarantee, be sure to get all these terms and conditions in advance in writing, before signing anything.

Selling a home or condominium is complicated. There is a lot of money involved and potential liability if you are not honest with any buyer about the condition of your home.

That’s why it’s important sellers receive the highest quality of representation, to both make sure they obtain the best price for their property, but also to avoid any risk of being involved in any kind of legal proceedings.

In my opinion, you do not need any guarantee; you need the right salesperson to represent you.

To make sure you find the right real estate salesperson to sell your home, remember the following:Ask your friends, relatives and colleagues for references;

Drive around your area and look for signs that say “sold” on them;

Check the information on the salesperson’s website; the more helpful the information, the better;

Review examples of their marketing materials to see how professional they look;

Carefully review the salesperson’s sales history. Ask how many homes they listed last year and how many sold, as well as how long on average it took for each of their homes to sell as compared to the average on your local market.

The salesperson will prepare a comparative market analysis giving you an idea as to what your own home should sell for. Review this carefully.

Read the testimonials of previous clients of the salesperson and call them yourself to verify the information.

By doing your homework in advance of finding the right salesperson to sell your home, the greater your chances of being satisfied.

It is not about catchy advertising slogans or guarantees, it is about results.

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