Apparently I awakened a sleeping giant of a topic with last week's article "Top 5 Ways to Get Sued in Real Estate." I received over 100 comments and emails from agents all over the world giving their input on the matter. The comments ranged from jokes about foolish agent decisions to providing other common ways to get yourself in trouble in real estate. Since I had the pleasure of fielding these responses I wanted to share them with you, the real estate community, to provide even more ways to get sued in real estate. Enjoy!
8 More Ways to Get Sued
1) I have heard San Francisco agents telling buyers, "No, that tenant is not protected, don't worry." Or also, "Yes, I'm sure you can add a garage there."
- Beth Ellis (Coldwell Banker, San Francisco)
2) I know of a Tallahassee agent who told the buyers that the vacant land behind the house "could never be developed." After they bought the house, the city rezoned the property behind the house. The woods were bulldozed and the property was developed. The agent and her broker got sued.
- Fred Griffin (Broker, Tallahassee)
3) As a home inspector I hear agents tell buyers, "It's ok if the HVAC isn't working, you are getting a home warranty and the warranty company will replace it."
- Damon O-Donnell (Pensacola)
4) My clients have high expectations of a home advertised as "completely remodeled." The transaction quickly goes south when the truth is revealed.
- Joe Nernberg (Westlake Village)
5) I've shown homes listed as 4 bedrooms only to find one legal. One advertised a fireplace that was actually an antiquated gas grill in the back yard.
- Mary Jo Quay (Remax, Minneapolis)
6) I had an agent show one of my listings and tell the buyer that the fridge was a Sub Zero, when it wasn't. I corrected her of course, but had I not been there she could have owed them a brand new Sub Zero!
- Pam Orzan (BHHS, Delray Beach)
7) I constantly bump into listings advertising the basement apartments which are not only illegal but also renovated without any permits.
- Olesa Islamova (Royal LePage, Toronto)
8) Telling a buyer, "You can always refinance later" (which provides an expectation of market appreciate).
- Pamela Seley (West Coast Realty, Murrieta)
Just For Fun
1) Just yesterday in a class an agent had no idea of what dual agency meant here in AZ -- and he does a lot of deals. Head shaking stuff for sure.
- Anna Kruckten (Phoenix Property Shop, Phoenix)
2) For the love of all things holy, stop being stupid!
- Valeria Crowell (Keller Williams, Walnut Creek)
3) There are too many stupid agents out there who tend to bring our profession down. I feel for brokers who allow these agents to come into their brokerages!"
- Barb Kelley (Remax, Cypress)
4) Dusty, unless you are selling smart pills this kind of crap won't stop. It just won't. As much as I would like to see more intelligence in the world of real estate the bar to entry is just too low. Let's remain hopeful and continue to raise the bar in our own business.
- Kathleen Daniels (KD Realty, San Jose)
5) If you didn't already know about this advice, then you have no business holding a real estate license. Seriously!
- Carolyn Roland (Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate, Wilmington)
6) Many I meet do not know the laws and regulations. The scariest are the know-it-alls, who are unaware of how much they don't know. Ignorance is bliss until it smacks you in the head!
- Jerry Lucas (ABC Legal Docs, Colorado Springs)
7) Knuckleheads beware!
- Jonathan Denwood (Mail-Right, Reno)
Raise Your Personal Bar
It is easy (and I'll admit it fun) to poke fun of crazy things you see real estate agents doing and saying, but it is also heartbreaking. It is saddening because these agents' clients have no idea what position they are being put in by their sub-par representation. As real estate professionals, we are hired to help our clients and the only way we can do that is being the best we possibly can be. Being the best entails continued education, intelligent marketing and actual hard work. Let's each raise our own personal bars and hope the rest of the industry follows!