Seems like everyone has a real estate license these days. Normally, competition is good for the consumer. However, excessive competition sometimes causes real estate agents to do things they really shouldn’t.
A homeowner (Seller) has a home he/she wants to sell.
The Seller meets with salesperson A at the home. The agent measures the square footage. They list every feature that makes a home valuable: fireplace, bedrooms and baths, finished basement, etc. The agent prepares a detailed market analysis based on comparable homes in the area. He/she returns and discusses what he/she plans to do to sell the home. He/she tells the Seller based on thorough research the home should sell for… let’s say: $150,000.
The Seller thanks the agent and agrees to call the agent back in a few days.
Now, the Seller meets with Salesperson B. Salesperson B is equally as thorough as salesperson A in his/her research. The research shows the same sales price of $150,000. However, before Salesperson B tells the Seller what the home should sell for, the Seller tells the agent he/she has already met with Salesperson A who gave an estimate of $150,000 and the Seller wants more money than that. Salesperson B should stick to his/her research. However, in order to get the business, Salesperson B may ignore his/her research and tell the Seller what the Seller wants to hear. Or, at the very least, Salesperson B may come up with a sales price higher than what Salesperson A said.
The Pennsylvania Code Title49. Professional & Vocational Standards § 35.282 Misleading advice, assurances and representations states: A licensee may not give assurances or advice concerning an aspect of a real estate transaction that he/she knows, or reasonably should be expected to know, is incorrect, inaccurate or improbable.
The Pennsylvania Code, a 91-page brochure is required reading for all licensees. Unfortunately, the pressure of losing business sometimes overshadows a licensee’s legal requirement to comply with the code.
I have been licensed since 1986 and have seen situations similar to the example shown above. It amazes me that a licensee would engage in an activity which jeopardizes not only their integrity but also their Real Estate License.
Real Estate Agents are licensed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of State. The State will investigate any licensee who engages in conduct in a real estate transaction which demonstrates bad faith, dishonesty, untrustworthiness, or incompetency. If you feel you have been treated in this manner, please contact the Real Estate Commission @ (717) 783-3658. The Commission is available to help you, the consumer. But they can only help if you ask. This service is free to the public.