Why Do Agents Misrepresent Property Online?

In the bustling real estate market of Melbourne, it’s unfortunately common to encounter agents who employ deceptive tactics in their online property listings. At Abode Advocacy Group, we’ve seen firsthand the frustrations these practices can cause for both buyers and advocates. Let’s delve into some of the most prevalent tactics and discuss how they negatively impact both agents and their offices.

1) Manipulating Price Ranges:

One of the most misleading practices we’ve observed is agents setting lower price ranges in the search section of online portals than what’s stated in the Statement of Information (SOI). They justify this by claiming it attracts buyers willing to stretch their budget for the right property. However, this tactic often leads to frustration and anger among buyers who find themselves unable to afford the actual price. At Abode Advocacy Group, we firmly believe that the price range submitted in the backend should precisely match that stated in the SOI.

2) Misrepresenting Property Types:

Another tactic we’ve encountered is agents labeling properties incorrectly, such as marking an apartment as a townhouse or vice versa. They may even go as far as using internal shots of a property to mislead buyers into thinking it’s something it’s not. This practice is not only deceptive but also incredibly frustrating for buyers who rely on accurate information to make informed decisions.

3) Withholding Open for Inspection Times:

Some agents choose not to disclose open for inspection times in their online listings, forcing buyers to contact them directly for this information. This tactic is often used to generate more leads and control attendee numbers at open inspections. However, it can be inconvenient for buyers, especially those with busy schedules or who are hesitant to reach out to agents unnecessarily.

4) Omitting Price Information:

Perhaps the most frustrating tactic is agents omitting price information from online listings, despite the legal requirement in Victoria to include it in the SOI. While platforms like realestate.com.au now include an “indicative price” section derived from the SOI, some agents still choose not to disclose pricing upfront. This lack of transparency only serves to create confusion and hinder the buying process.

In conclusion, we want to acknowledge that not all agents engage in these deceptive practices. In fact, we work with many excellent agents who prioritize honesty and transparency in their dealings. However, it’s essential to address the common frustrations caused by those who do engage in such tactics. At Abode Advocacy Group, we’re committed to helping buyers navigate these challenges and advocating for a more transparent real estate market. If you’re tired of falling into these traps, reach out to us. We’re here to support you every step of the way.

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