Woman sues real estate agent over sale price

Posted on November 3, 2013 by | 2 Comments

A newspaper report brings to light one of the perennial problems in real estate – the real estate agent valuation or “appraisal”.

It is common practice for real estate agents to overstate the value of real estate in order to win a listing, and then “condition” the vendor into accepting a lower price. Few consumers ever complain about the practice, and the real estate agent is usually able to brush away a complaint with the explanation that “the market has softened” or the market (as represented by the handful of attendees at the auction) “has spoken”.

It is very rare indeed for a consumer to actually take an estate agent to court.

But don’t expect anything to change. As one lawyer has already commented, it is more likely that the real estate agent’s insurers will settle the matter out of court, and we will hear nothing further about it.Woman sues estate agent over sale price

2 Comments

  • Chris says:

    On one hand, I completely agree that some agents do get carried away with getting an instruction instead of giving honest feedback (and risk not getting the instruction). The numbers game.

    On the other hand, is that not a warning to any vendor to never rely on just one opinion and get feedback from the market generally? Even if the agent is someone whose opinion you trust, they can only give you THEIR opinion of the value for the house in THEIR experience.

    I feel for the vendor but I also think she didn’t do her best to make sure she got an accurate price based on more than one opinion. Do you only get one opinion when you get a life-changing negative result from a doctor? Then why do this with a life-changing event?

  • I would be interested know if the insurer honoured any claim, as they generally don’t cover real estate agents for false “market estimates”.

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