By: Sharon Aron Baron
Ever get those brochures in your mailbox from local real estate agents boasting about their recent sales in the neighborhood? Look carefully at them because one local agent’s mailers may be misleading residents into believing they are selling homes close to the asking price.
I won’t mention the name of this popular real estate agent in the Woodlands Country Club community in Tamarac, but chances you may have likely received their mailers every month or so. The last one I received made me suspicious, so I decided to do an investigation and find out if the closing price was really close to their listing price.
What I found out will make you look a little more closer in the future.
On this one agent’s most recent brochure, they were promoting their recent sales by advertising the list price and sale price of all the homes they had closed in the Woodlands. The first one said that the list price was $350,000 and the sale price was $335,000. This is only a difference of $15,000 and 5 percent below list price. Looks great, right? But the truth is, the agent initially listed this property at $450,000. This ends up being 26 percent or $115,000 less than the original cost. Not as impressive on paper.
Another home they advertised was listed for $299,000 and sold for $299,000. This is extremely impressive, obviously this agent is a pro and got their sellers their asking price. Sadly, our residents have been mislead again. They didn’t disclose that the home was originally listed for $315,000.
There’s more. Another home they published said it was listed at $255,000 and sold for $252,500. Most residents would believe that this was only $2,500 below asking price. What they don’t want you to know was that the home initially listed for $399,000. That’s a whopping $146,500 below their initial asking price.
I did a history check on these homes in the MLS and the original listing prices are still there. It may be the way they do business, but this is deception pure and simple for residents that are looking for someone to get them top dollar for their home.
Next time they want to promote their listing prices, they need to put their initial listing price on these mailers so residents can see the whole picture and decide if they are really getting them top dollar.