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loli

Unscrupulous Trickery By Property Agents

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pls beware of this trickery deployed by property agent when you are trying to sell your house on your own.

here's how it goes...

the moment you put up an ad in the papers to sell your house, some unscrupulous agents will call you to find out the specs, and then advertised similar ad so as to divert the queries to themselves WITHOUT YOUR KNOWLEDGE. Think they are advertising it for you free? You are dead wrong.. this is what they will do next...

When they managed to get interested parties (buyers or buyer's agents), they would call you and say that they have direct buyers to view your house and arranged for the viewing. So when they come to your house, you would open the door happily like any other regular house seller, as you would have thought they are buyer's agents. Likewise, the buyers and buyer's agent were MISLED into thinking that he or she is your representing agent as nobody clarifie what their roles are. So nobody suspects anything, especially the seller, until an offer is made by the buyer/ buyer's agent. They called up the "fake seller agent" and made the offer and then this is what is going to happen next...

The Fake Seller Agent would leverage on the offer, and push seller to pay commission, even though there has not been any agreement of engagement of their services at all. When you, as the seller, insisted on not paying, they would either threaten to call off the deal so as to make you scared, or just call off the deal with the buyers or buyer's agents without you knowing.

This is exactly what has happened to us. We were so pissed off with this agent called "Grace" who tried to blackmail us with buyer's offer. Only when this matter happened, then we analysed the series of events and realised why there have been no offers from those buyers who came with two agents , eventhough some buyers have overtly expressed keen interests to us. The Fake Seller's Agent must have called off the deal when we told them we are not paying them a single cent at all.

Since anyone is free to advertise in the papers, and we can't stop these unscrupulous agents from copying our listing and mess things up, we decided to nip the problem in the bud before the next group of buyers come to see our house.

This is what we did...

Before we opened the door to the viewers, we asked who are the buyers and the buyer's agent. There was another agent there who could not answer his role, and we asked who he is. He began to panick and tried to lie in front of everyone that he is OUR agent! We said this cannot be true as we did not engage anyone. Then he really panicked and start to throw in some names of his colleagues whom he claimed we have agreed to engage. We told him politely that we do not know any of these people. Realising that his scheme is exposing, he tried to shrug off our questioning, and said "why dun we view the house first and settle this later?" We said no and explained to everyone, before opening the door that we welcome buyer and buyer's agents only, as we do not have any agent representing us. We also explained why we did so as we just have a bad experience that day with an agent.

We could see the shocked expression on all buyers and buyer's agents face. When in the house, they asked us to clarify if indeed the fellow was not our agent, as they said he claimed to be seller's agent when they approached him! This proves our suspicion was true. After house viewing, we passed our contact to the buyers and their agents and asked them to deal with us directly.

Hence, this is my advise to all home sellers who want to market the property on their own: Weed out the imposter before you open your house to the viewers. This would save you trouble from dealing with these unscrupulous agents' threats and blackmailing.

Edited by loli
 

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Wow, this is very good! One of the most widely used tricks by the agents, esp new ones. However, its also very sad; why can't they just go work hard to serve people who need agents?? Such tricks will not let them go anywhere - trying to chuck themselves into deals that do not involved them at all!

Another bad practice that I would like to reveal here is making use of direct owners (who do not want to pay agent's comm) as the neighbourhood "showflat".

What will happen is that the agent will call up the owner to view, dun pay comm never mind, they just want to close the deal with you (wah so good??). But the funny thing is, when they come with the buyers, they start to criticize everything in the flat in front of the buyers. At first you might think that the agent is not representing you so its natural they don't side with you. But that's not the case.

The agents are actually using your flat as the showflat in order to sell the OTHER flat/s whose owners are willing to pay comm! They do not intend to sell your flat at all, they just want to show the buyers more flats (because buyers always want to see more before they commit) and go back to sell the other flats to the buyer.

This trick also affects the buyer adversely, because the agents will not sincerely show the flats that are suitable for him, but purposely show a series of unsuitable flats, so that he will be cornered into buying the flat that the agent want him to buy (ie the one that willing to pay seller's comm!).

My advice is that you must always promote your flat yourself; do not let the agent and buyer walk around your flat by themselves. Follow them and try to 'sell' it. If your flat is really better than the other one that the agent is trying to sell, the buyer will come back to you.

 

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pls beware of this trickery deployed by property agent when you are trying to sell your house on your own.

here's how it goes...

the moment you put up an ad in the papers to sell your house, some unscrupulous agents will call you to find out the specs, and then advertised similar ad so as to divert the queries to themselves WITHOUT YOUR KNOWLEDGE. Think they are advertising it for you free? You are dead wrong.. this is what they will do next...

When they managed to get interested parties (buyers or buyer's agents), they would call you and say that they have direct buyers to view your house and arranged for the viewing. So when they come to your house, you would open the door happily like any other regular house seller, as you would have thought they are buyer's agents. Likewise, the buyers and buyer's agent were MISLED into thinking that he or she is your representing agent as nobody clarifie what their roles are. So nobody suspects anything, especially the seller, until an offer is made by the buyer/ buyer's agent. They called up the "fake seller agent" and made the offer and then this is what is going to happen next...

The Fake Seller Agent would leverage on the offer, and push seller to pay commission, even though there has not been any agreement of engagement of their services at all. When you, as the seller, insisted on not paying, they would either threaten to call off the deal so as to make you scared, or just call off the deal with the buyers or buyer's agents without you knowing.

This is exactly what has happened to us. We were so pissed off with this agent called "Grace" who tried to blackmail us with buyer's offer. Only when this matter happened, then we analysed the series of events and realised why there have been no offers from those buyers who came with two agents , eventhough some buyers have overtly expressed keen interests to us. The Fake Seller's Agent must have called off the deal when we told them we are not paying them a single cent at all.

Since anyone is free to advertise in the papers, and we can't stop these unscrupulous agents from copying our listing and mess things up, we decided to nip the problem in the bud before the next group of buyers come to see our house.

This is what we did...

Before we opened the door to the viewers, we asked who are the buyers and the buyer's agent. There was another agent there who could not answer his role, and we asked who he is. He began to panick and tried to lie in front of everyone that he is OUR agent! We said this cannot be true as we did not engage anyone. Then he really panicked and start to throw in some names of his colleagues whom he claimed we have agreed to engage. We told him politely that we do not know any of these people. Realising that his scheme is exposing, he tried to shrug off our questioning, and said "why dun we view the house first and settle this later?" We said no and explained to everyone, before opening the door that we welcome buyer and buyer's agents only, as we do not have any agent representing us. We also explained why we did so as we just have a bad experience that day with an agent.

We could see the shocked expression on all buyers and buyer's agents face. When in the house, they asked us to clarify if indeed the fellow was not our agent, as they said he claimed to be seller's agent when they approached him! This proves our suspicion was true. After house viewing, we passed our contact to the buyers and their agents and asked them to deal with us directly.

Hence, this is my advise to all home sellers who want to market the property on their own: Weed out the imposter before you open your house to the viewers. This would save you trouble from dealing with these unscrupulous agents' threats and blackmailing.

Good job, 'loli'!!

This should be the way to weed out those dishonest agents.....

I really hate agents on a general note.

That's why some owners who advertised says "No agents please". Some owners really dun want to deal with any agents, not even the buyer's agents. They only want to deal with buyers directly.

There are alot of tricks played by agents. this is a screwed up industry.

And honestly those so called successful agents who claimed to earn 5 figure a month, i'm very sure they are all doing tricks to get the sales. So i dun respect agents at all.

 

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Wow, this is very good! One of the most widely used tricks by the agents, esp new ones. However, its also very sad; why can't they just go work hard to serve people who need agents?? Such tricks will not let them go anywhere - trying to chuck themselves into deals that do not involved them at all!

Another bad practice that I would like to reveal here is making use of direct owners (who do not want to pay agent's comm) as the neighbourhood "showflat".

What will happen is that the agent will call up the owner to view, dun pay comm never mind, they just want to close the deal with you (wah so good??). But the funny thing is, when they come with the buyers, they start to criticize everything in the flat in front of the buyers. At first you might think that the agent is not representing you so its natural they don't side with you. But that's not the case.

The agents are actually using your flat as the showflat in order to sell the OTHER flat/s whose owners are willing to pay comm! They do not intend to sell your flat at all, they just want to show the buyers more flats (because buyers always want to see more before they commit) and go back to sell the other flats to the buyer.

This trick also affects the buyer adversely, because the agents will not sincerely show the flats that are suitable for him, but purposely show a series of unsuitable flats, so that he will be cornered into buying the flat that the agent want him to buy (ie the one that willing to pay seller's comm!).

My advice is that you must always promote your flat yourself; do not let the agent and buyer walk around your flat by themselves. Follow them and try to 'sell' it. If your flat is really better than the other one that the agent is trying to sell, the buyer will come back to you.

my goodness! the more evil things i heard about the things they do, the more i hate them!

i forgot to share one more thing. when we finally managed to sell the house, and were signing the OTP with the buyer's agent and his manager, the buyer's agent's manager actually has the cheek to ask for 50% of the $1000 OPT fees should the buyer decided not to excercise the option in 2 weeks time. She said this is for their "leg work". Jeesh! I argued back that our opportunity cost is higher than their so called "leg work" as we have to stop marketing the property in the next 2 weeks. Is the agent going to compensate 50% of the selling price, by the same reasoning? In any case, their "leg work" is for the buyer, not seller, so why should we the seller compensate them? We argued back with these reasons, and insisted there is no such policy from HDB unless she can show us in black and white, then the manager realise she can't BS us like those clueless people who will just pay as they are told. She quickly let the matter go by hastily changing the topic, and move on with the OPT form. these property agents can really find all kinds of stupid reasons to screw your money.

really dun understand why these property agents dun make a honest living by working hard for the money, instead of resorting to these unethical means! they must have this mentality that everyone owe them a living. So long as they lift a finger at all, they expect buyer and seller to give money to them!

after this experience, we are even more determined not to engage property agents as far as possible in future.

Edited by loli
 

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Good information, thanks for sharing!

I'm blessed that i have engaged a good and honest agent to help market my house and source for my EM.

Throughout the process, my agent has never asked me to sign commission agreement or exclusive rights agreement with him or any document(except OTP), he said based on trust and should i decide to cancel the whole process, he will bare the cost. Thus far, i'm happy with his services!

 

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Actually there are still quite a few hardworking, honest agents who really out to make a decent living; but I must agree the black sheeps are far more than them.

Agents do play an important role, not just for the lazy seller/buyer, but also for those who are not as quick-witted and articulate. And sometimes people are not lazy lah, they really very busy with their work, fly here fly there, cannot afford to go thru the process to sell/buy the flat themselves.

Thru my previous job, I came across a lady whose husband owns 23 private properties in Singapore and still buying more. She sat in my car and we past by a condo, she pointed to me that she got an unit there. I ask her which floor and facing which direction, she says she doesn't know. So pray tell, how would she cope without an agent?? Those star agents who earn 5-figure sum every month are serving this kind of people.

IMO, the bigger picture is that the agents start to go undertable, backalley, become conmen, misrepresentation, etc simply because the system allows them to do so.

 

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Actually there are still quite a few hardworking, honest agents who really out to make a decent living; but I must agree the black sheeps are far more than them.

Agents do play an important role, not just for the lazy seller/buyer, but also for those who are not as quick-witted and articulate. And sometimes people are not lazy lah, they really very busy with their work, fly here fly there, cannot afford to go thru the process to sell/buy the flat themselves.

Thru my previous job, I came across a lady whose husband owns 23 private properties in Singapore and still buying more. She sat in my car and we past by a condo, she pointed to me that she got an unit there. I ask her which floor and facing which direction, she says she doesn't know. So pray tell, how would she cope without an agent?? Those star agents who earn 5-figure sum every month are serving this kind of people.

IMO, the bigger picture is that the agents start to go undertable, backalley, become conmen, misrepresentation, etc simply because the system allows them to do so.

i agree. There are always black sheeps in every industry. We have come across a few rare gems as well, just that we have dealt with so many crooks thru our course of buying and selling properties that we become very sceptical of them.

Take our house hunting for instance, we agreed to engage the service of this Orange Tee chap who will help us to source for apartments. He really worked hard for it. He looks out for new listings, and informed us about any new apts up for sale, and arranged for the viewings week after week. As the property boomed big time during that period, the average COV sellers were asking for was at least $50k which we thought was ridiculous. While we appreciated his great service, it is a pity that we could not find any suitable apt that does not require so much COV. So we felt really pai seh when we told him that we decided to hold off the house viewing until the market cools off. Never once, did this agent ever ask for any fee for his "leg work". This makes us value him even more.

Then when the property cooled off a few mths later, though we have a choice to look for apts on our own, we feel obliged to call back the agent, as we felt we should be fair to him for all the efforts he has put in for us. But sad to say, when we called his mobile no, it was no longer in use.

What I am trying to say here is when we buyers or sellers do come acoss good agents,we are more than happy to pay them the commission for the hard work they put in for us. And even if the deal falls thru for some reasons, we would remember their good service and would gladly engage them again.

Edited by loli
 

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Good job, 'loli'!!

This should be the way to weed out those dishonest agents.....

I really hate agents on a general note.

That's why some owners who advertised says "No agents please". Some owners really dun want to deal with any agents, not even the buyer's agents. They only want to deal with buyers directly.

There are alot of tricks played by agents. this is a screwed up industry.

And honestly those so called successful agents who claimed to earn 5 figure a month, i'm very sure they are all doing tricks to get the sales. So i dun respect agents at all.

you know, the sad part is, eventhough you have stated in your ad "No agents pls", there are still some who will still want to try their luck. They will call you, and even if you stated clearly right from the start during phone conversation, that you are not paying any commission, they still will try, while some got the message clear and decided not to proceed with arranging the viewing appt. Those who still want to try their luck, the common answers they give are " it is ok cos i am getting comm from buyers's side". This is eventhough later you found out later that these buyers already have their representing agent. Some would also say "never mind, it's ok, let my buyers view the house first".

Then, once you opened the door to these agents, you let in a flood of troubles to deal with. The moment these agents have interested parties making an offer, all the true colors come out. Threats,blackmailing, harrassment begin and will not end until you either give in or your threatened to call the police.

I really feel that HDB should regulate this industry. So long as it is willing to put a clear line about how much commission buyers and sellers should pay, and that buyers should pay buyer's agents only and sellers pay seller's agents only, it would stop a lot of nonsense for house owners and buyers.

 

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I dun think HDB would be the right authority to regulate the agents' industry; they are just like a property developer, eg capitaland or far east orgn would not go and regulate the agents for private properties.

The onus of such regulation lies on the industry themselves; already, there are several associations being formed voluntarily like IEA, SAEA, etc who are in such regulating position, however they can only act upon those agencies who are their members because they are currently not vested with enough powers.

Then, the govt need to come in and say, all agents must be registered with xxx association. Good examples are like the law society and the singapore medical association, where it is mandatory for lawyers/doctors to register with them and they have the authority to discipline the erroneous ones.

With such associations, then it can come up with strict rules and regulations, allow public to lodge distress, and enforce it.

 

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I dun think HDB would be the right authority to regulate the agents' industry; they are just like a property developer, eg capitaland or far east orgn would not go and regulate the agents for private properties.

The onus of such regulation lies on the industry themselves; already, there are several associations being formed voluntarily like IEA, SAEA, etc who are in such regulating position, however they can only act upon those agencies who are their members because they are currently not vested with enough powers.

Then, the govt need to come in and say, all agents must be registered with xxx association. Good examples are like the law society and the singapore medical association, where it is mandatory for lawyers/doctors to register with them and they have the authority to discipline the erroneous ones.

With such associations, then it can come up with strict rules and regulations, allow public to lodge distress, and enforce it.

during house hunting, some seller's agents asked us for commission. We refused, and the agents called off the deals. We ever wrote to IEA, asking about why buyers should pay seller's agents commission, given we are independent buyers and conflict of interests. Guess what they wrote back? They said something like "Take it or leave it, that's the usual practice of the industry". We were so turned off! This shows that the association will only act in the interest of the agents, not us as consumers. The only association we probably can go to is CASE just to lodge complaints, since it is not vested with authority to do anything about it.

Govt needs to do something, be it HDB or any other authorities. As long as there are loop holes and grey areas in the system, we the consumers suffer.

 

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during house hunting, some seller's agents asked us for commission. We refused, and the agents called off the deals. We ever wrote to IEA, asking about why buyers should pay seller's agents commission, given we are independent buyers and conflict of interests. Guess what they wrote back? They said something like "Take it or leave it, that's the usual practice of the industry". We were so turned off! This shows that the association will only act in the interest of the agents, not us as consumers. The only association we probably can go to is CASE just to lodge complaints, since it is not vested with authority to do anything about it.

Govt needs to do something, be it HDB or any other authorities. As long as there are loop holes and grey areas in the system, we the consumers suffer.

Gosh.. there's bogus IDs.. unscrupulous agents n now irresponsible association... Btw loli, u still hv the "orange-tee" guy contact? Pm me is u still hv it.. thanks

 

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Gosh.. there's bogus IDs.. unscrupulous agents n now irresponsible association... Btw loli, u still hv the "orange-tee" guy contact? Pm me is u still hv it.. thanks

i only remember his name is Ken. Dun remember his surname. And I dun have his card anymore...we discard it the moment we realise the no is no longer in use. You looking for an agent?

 

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i only remember his name is Ken. Dun remember his surname. And I dun have his card anymore...we discard it the moment we realise the no is no longer in use. You looking for an agent?

In near times to be cos adding in my future wife into my family tree whom got to bare the hassle/enjoy the warmth of my family after marriage.. So still pondering to upgrade a bigger rm now or later. :sport-smiley-004: .

I guess theres alot of pple moonlighting as a property agent now.. e.g long lost schools frd.. colleagues. But when u realised u got to remind them basic things like how long is ur Minimum Occupacy Period, i think its time to move on n seeks for other honest n professional agents.. which r a opened sacred secret these days.. Hehe. :good:

Keep a lookout for me loli.. thanks~!

Edited by FD1976
 

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In near times to be cos adding in my future wife into my family tree whom got to bare the hassle/enjoy the warmth of my family after marriage.. So still pondering to upgrade a bigger rm now or later. :sport-smiley-004: .

I guess theres alot of pple moonlighting as a property agent now.. e.g long lost schools frd.. colleagues. But when u realised u got to remind them basic things like how long is ur Minimum Occupacy Period, i think its time to move on n seeks for other honest n professional agents.. which r a opened sacred secret these days.. Hehe. :good:

Keep a lookout for me loli.. thanks~!

i agree with you. it is better to move on and look for better agents if your realised they can't even get the basics right. There are so many agents out there who can be rather incompetent.

Take the case of our seller's agent, he doesn't seems to know how to fill in the OTP form, and we actually have to guide him along! We, and the HDB officer, have to also remind him to sign his portion on the form not once but twice! Yet he has the cheek to ask us for commission the day before our 1st appt! We of cos rejected it. Thinking back again, I think we should be the ones asking for commssion from him, since we helped him to fill up the OTP form properly! :D If I am the seller, and knowing how incompetent he is, I wouldn't be happy to pay him 2%, but maybe 1% on the account he has helped to arrange for viewings, nego and so on...

Edited by loli
 

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