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“We’ve got a list of buyers for your home!” and other lies inaccuracies

I know hundreds of highly skilled, experienced, dedicated, high-integrity REALTORS®. But, unfortunately, as with other professions, one bad apple can spoil the bunch. 

In real estate, some of the most well-known names in the business—typically figurehead leaders of Big Box teams—are the most prominent purveyors of “inaccuracies.” They’re incredibly polished with their sales pitch which has a single purpose; for you to sign the listing contract. After that, they think their job is done, and it’s off to the next listing appointment!

Many of these types take courses and seminars that teach these tactics, then they practice and roleplay until they sound so utterly convincing that many of them actually learn to believe their own BS! It’s quite fascinating.

One of the most frequently recited lines is, “We’ve got a list of buyers for your home!” 

The agent explains that they spend bazillions on marketing, and that’s how they’ve acquired this gigantic list of buyers. Undoubtedly, several of them will be very interested in your home!

(Hey! How about having those buyers line up outside the door with their offers?)

As with all effective deceptive tactics, there’s always a kernel of truth to it. So please allow me to illuminate, beginning with the truthful bits:

1. They do indeed spend a pile of dough on marketing!

Oh, sorry. I thought this was going to be a long list, but I guess that’s about it. So allow me to move on to the deceptive parts:

1. Their business model depends on acquiring these “leads” (potential buyers) to feed the junior team members (typically newer, inexperienced agents). Subsequently, if the junior agent converts the “lead” to a “buyer,” the commission is split between them and the team leader.

2. There are over 6,000 licensed agents licensed by the Calgary Real Estate Board. Therefore, the odds of the buyer of your property being one of those “converted leads” working with the exact same team you’ve listed with are extremely remote. It can happen, but it’s very rare.

3. It’s not like they’ve conjured these buyers up out of nowhere. It’s just that they’ve convinced them to work with them rather than one of the other 6,000 agents.

4. Even if the team does have a buyer, what possible advantage is it for you that they’re working with the same team?  Wouldn’t it be better if almost any other agent represented them?

Let’s talk about dual agency, where the same agent represents both sides of a real estate transaction. This is still technically allowable in Alberta, but it’s hard to ignore the inherent conflict of interest. It’s constantly a topic of debate.

I’ve facilitated dual-agency transactions, but quite honestly, it requires a much higher level of tact and skill. One certainly wonders how a low-skill, poorly-trained Big Box team member, desperate for a commission cheque, can honestly work within a demanding and complicated set of rules.

Besides, when you hire me to list and sell your home, isn’t it your perfectly reasonable expectation that I will represent you and you alone to the best of my ability? Isn’t it my responsibility to expose your property in the best possible light to all available buyers rather than just one?

If another agent, who wants to list your home, tells you, “we’ve got a buyer,” even if it’s true, is this in your best interest? Of course, it’s not.

The bottom line is that “I’ve got a list of buyers for your property” is almost always complete bullshit very misleading, and not in any way in your best interest.

Now, just for fun, here are a few more “inaccuracies” from the Big Box Team playbook:

“If we can’t sell your home, we’ll buy it!” – Yeah, no. If it sounds too good to be true… You know.

“We spend bazillions every month marketing our listings!” – Yeah, no. They spend bazillions every month on self-promotion to generate leads, which is fine, but it has absolutely nothing to do with marketing your home. 

“You’re going to have an entire giant team of agents, all working together to sell your home!” – This may be the biggest “inaccuracy” of them all. It would be so much more honest if they said this:

Absolutely nobody is going to pay any attention to your listing until either:

  1. We happen to receive an offer or;
  2. The listing is about to expire. This is when you get the scheduled call pressuring you to lower the price and extend the contract. They’re very organized about these things.

As I said, the above deceptive tactics are the exception to the rule, but they do often make us all look bad, which drives me crazy.

Until next month! And, next year!

  • Ted