Home Buying in Piscataway>Question Details

Home Buyer P…, Home Buyer in Piscataway, NJ

Why do realtors have to be dishonest?

Asked by Home Buyer Piscataway, Piscataway, NJ Wed Jan 28, 2009

I looked at a REO property. I was told by my agent that the listing agent told her there were no offers on the property. Of course I fell in love with it. I was told there were no inspections completed and as far as they knew there were no significant problems with the property. As my agent placed my bid the listing broker wanted to let me know there were septic issues and a person who already had a bid in on the property? Plus two more behing mesaid it needed to be connected to the city sewer at a cost of 20000. He was going to submit my bid to the bank though. He knew all along. I thought that any known issues with a Fannie Mae property were to be disclosed if they were known. How stupid am I? I asked my agent 3 times are there any bids on this property??? The answer was no. Lie....while we were viewing the property a neighbort came out and said "Oh I thought this house was sold? My neighbor was buying it. I smell a rat, and I am so discussted. All I get are lies, lies, and more lie

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There are laws and ethical standards we as professionals are supposed to follow. I suggest you speak with your agent, their manager, the real estate commission or who ever it may take to get satisfaction. If agents knowingly deceive the public they should lose their licenses. On the other hand perhaps there was a lack of communication or extenuating circumstances (ie a contract fell apart or hadnt been accepted by all parties)
Unfortunately all to often foreclosures are listed by agents who do very little to become familiar with the property. Perhaps the seller (bank) has no knowledge of inspections etc that were done. . In my experience REO deals are not well suited for many buyers. (or agents)
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 28, 2009
Yes, you were under the misunderstanding that offers are taken in order. There is no requirement, when dealing with REO (or any other type of property, for that matter) that states that they need to deal with each offer, one-at-a-time, when they come in. They are allowed to do just what they're doing... go back to all the offers, and ask them to give their "highest and best" final offer (now, with the knowledge that there are multiple offers).

I'm not sure why you're so upset with your own agent. it sounds as though he was the victim of the listing agent's lies too.

I can understand why you are disgusted, but just because you have run into a seriously rotten apple, does NOT mean that all Realtors are dishonest.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 29, 2009
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
MVP'08
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I am licensed, but do not practice because of the dishonesty in the business, I will not swim with the sharks. I am currently in the process of finding a home in California for my brother. We submitted an offer on a short sale 7 days ago and the agent keeps saying he is meeting with the seller to sign, but as of yet no response. He did not ask for a deposit with the offer either. This house is in great neighborhood and is realatively inexpenseive, we are just wondering if he is holding our offer until something higher comes in. We spoke to another agent, about another house, who did not know we had offered on the first house. When we told him, he disclosed to us that there was an offer for the exact same amount as ours (it was ours) but that he was not suppoesed to disclose that info to us (wink, wink). We told him that it was our offer. We cannot get a response from the listing agent. Did he submit our offer? Why did he not request a deposit check. This is not the first time this has happened. It is sad, but the listing agent for these reos and short sales have all of the power. I put an offer in on a home for myself, and had not even signed on the bottom line when another person drove up to the property, and the agent told her it was in pending status, I had not even signed the contract.. It was another wink, wink situation. He told me flat out, if he wanted me to get the house, I would get the house. Sad that they are all about the money and not about the client anymore. But as the old saying goes, a bird in the hand... so he just lost a futrure referal and client. My all time favorite though when house shopping with the listing agent is" Just so you know, I have an offer coming in TONIGHT on this one".. BLAH BLAH BLAH, then deal with that offer, because you just lost this one.

Carla
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 3, 2011
Home Buyer,

Since my first response, I've been following all other responses, including yours as well. It definitely appears that your agent was at no fault because they were relaying to you when they were told themselves.

By your sentence, "I dont think...I expect to hear soon that I've been outbid"
Are you saying that at this point you think your offer is the highest and best? You have no contract signed by the bank so withdraw your offer if you do not want to proceed on the house and even if the bank does take your offer and sign off on it ...three days of attorney review allow you to cancel the contract with no explanation owed. You are not at this point stuck with an overpriced bid. Again, should you wish not to proceed with this house.

Good luck. Please keep us posted. Again, I am sorry for your frustration, aggravation and bad experience.

Gina Chirico, Sales Associate
Prudential NJ Properties
973-715-1158 cell
973-992-6363 ext 116
GinaChirico@PruNewJersey.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 29, 2009
Well, I guess we all have our horror stories. I went and picked a customer up once at his hotel and spent the day with him showing him houses. Never heard or saw the man again. He doesn't answer emails or return calls. Today I drove an hour and a half to a couples home for them to sign contracts and another hour and half back after spending an another hour and a half with them goig over what it is they were signing. Maybe, just maybe, they will be accepted by the owner and approved by the bank. That's life. Ah, if only it were a movie: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4o_CyV1Tjw4
Web Reference: http://GregoryBain.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 28, 2009
IDK! Why do customers tell us they are pre-approved and want to see homes they can't afford? Or, why do they look at 30 houses with an agent over two months and then buy one they visited on an open house the day you had to take your son to the hospital? Why can't we all just get along (R.King)?
Web Reference: http://GregoryBain.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 28, 2009
Buyer,

All professions are basically an extension of society. Thus, you will encounter honesty and sincerity as well as dishonesty and deception in every faction, medicine, law, business, real estate etc.

One of the factions that people in real estate need to deal with is their source of information. Their word and reputation is only as good as the information they recieve. We are constantly recieving information that we eventually find to be inaccurate.

Unfortunately, if you have already shared this with other people it tends to be a reflection of you as a dishonest person. We are flooded with secondhand information, on a daily basis that is a threat to people's reputations.

There should be a reminder here to only give credit where credit is due..........
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 28, 2009
Home Buyer,

I cannot speak for the listing agent or your agent but I can see and understand why you are frustrated. Again, I'm not sure of whom actually lied and why. It could be that the listing agent lied to your agent (I have no idea why) or it could be that the listing agent was honest and your agent lied to you (again, I have no idea why). How much time in between was the question asked and your offer submitted? Some houses and some markets are still experiencing multiple offers within hours of each other so that may be the case here. If in fact the listing agent was aware of the connection to the sewer, it should have been disclosed.

You cannot fault your agent if it was the listing agent being deceptive. There was no way for your agent to have known if other offers were pending.

Gina Chirico, Sales Associate
Prudential NJ Properties
973-715-1158 cell
973-992-6363 ext 116
GinaChirico@PruNewJersey.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 28, 2009
The answer to your question "Why do Realtors have to be dishonest" is the same answer as "Why do buyers and sellers often lie to their Realtor". People are people. Some are honest and some are not. Some lie and some do not. It is the same everywhere and in all professions. In truth most people are honest and don't lie, and that includes Realtors.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 5, 2011
Thanks you Thomas. I have walked away from the property. I was told it was under contract months ago. It is still listed for 225 and empty so I really don't know what's going on nor do I care I this point. I moved on to another property that's turned out to be just as much a headache. Once I move into my new home it will be a very long time before I attempt this again. Foreclosures, short sales equal nightmare. Thanks again.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 25, 2009
If you feel that there was any wrong doing by the listing agent, so far I agree that your agent has been giving you the info that they were given, you can go to the broker on record for the listing agency and complain. Also to the realty board that the agent belongs to. We are licensed by the state and follow a strict code of ethics. Even though you we just trying to get information, contacting the listing agent was not good. That is what your agent is for. If you do decide to withdraw your offer, I would take a good look back and see if your agent was working as hard as they could for you. There are plenty more of us out there that do work hard and follow the code of ethics. Below is a link that should give you information on filing a complaint with the State of New Jersey. good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 24, 2009
By the way, this house http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/112-Gibson-… is very close to http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=40.586191… Dunellen Train Station http://dunellentrain.blogspot.com/ and is a block walk to nice trail to http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=40.56559… Grandview Elementory School of K to 3 http://www.piscatawayschools.org/grandviewschool/site/default.asp

The school bus going to other schools from 4 to 12 has bus stop right in front of this house so you know your kids do not need to worry about cold snow days nor raining morning. They can having breakfast and seeing all other kids waiting till the bus showd up.

Even better, it is very close to http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=40.56841… Irishtown Park http://irishtownpark.blogspot.com/ with hocky ring, tennis court, baseball field, basketball court and playground ...etc
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 5, 2009
It is also documented at Grandview Elementory School Community Blog@ as you can see http://grandviewatpiscataway.blogspot.com/

It is snowing out there, so probably no one will compete with you if you act quick. The listing agent number is 732 371-1550 (cell)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 4, 2009
There is another one just came out http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/112-Gibson-… that is an estate property as realtor said. It looks nice and shine and walk to Grandview school of K to 3 and the school bus to all other schools are in front of the house!!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 4, 2009
Wow Dave, what a glib comment. I'm sure you are an excellent realtor beyond reproach.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 29, 2009
Well folks, it looks like the truth is out, I guess we should all start selling used cars.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 29, 2009
Gina, I don't blame her at all really she is a nice women but I think she needs to retire. There was an interesting development today, I got on the phone with the city engineer and the health department. The gentlemen at the health department knew what I was inquiring about before I even gave him an address. He said that about a month ago someone filed a complaint that the sewer was dangerous and a heath concern. He did an inspection and said the septic was dry and he saw no evidence of contamination or dangerous conditions. And found out I could obtain a CO with the septic in working order.... I'm smelling a rat again. Did the person I'm up against file this complaint so there was something on record???? Also my agent called me this evening...and said when the listing broker spoke to me, I sounded as if I had trust issues....what a laugh I got over that...and she warned me not to contact him again. The only reason I did was that he had given a deadline of today at noon to place a best and final offer and I did not know weather or not the form had been received.....how could I possibly make an offer with absolutely no information? So I gave it my best shot factoring in 30000 for septic.I didn't factor in the 20 or so more it will take for cosmetic repair inside. I have no clue as to if my offer was highest or best. How could I?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 29, 2009
Well I just got of the phone with the listing agent. He said he was sorry that I had concerns. I had sent him an email because I wanted something in writing, which he was smart enough not to do. There were no bids on the property he says until after mine. Then he said there was a bid that was placed when the property was with another agency. Is a bid not a bid, no matter with whom it was placed? My agent said there were no inspections done. Listing agent just told me they had an inspection done that was when they learned of the sewer issue and some bad plumbing. Again, this was not told to my agent until after I placed my bid. So this other buyer has had months to get his answers, think about what the property is actually worth etc. They hold all the cards and I have none...except to overbid. I did not I dont think...I expect to hear soon that I've been outbid...I'm really angry.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 29, 2009
Well I just got of the phone with the listing agent. He said he was sorry that I had concerns. I had sent him an email because I wanted something in writing, which he was smart enough not to do. There were no bids on the property he says until after mine. Then he said there was a bid that was placed when the property was with another agency. Is a bid not a bid, no matter with whom it was placed? My agent said there were no inspections done. Listing agent just told me they had an inspection done that was when they learned of the sewer issue and some bad plumbing. Again, this was not told to my agent until after I placed my bid. So this other buyer has had months to get his answers, think about what the property is actually worth etc. They hold all the cards and I have none...except to overbid. I did not I dont think...I expect to hear soon that I've been outbid...I'm really angry.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 29, 2009
All agents are not the same. If you'd like to discuss in more detail feel free to contact me directly (413) 537-4276. I have access to a vast network of Century 21 Realtors and they may be better suited to assisting you in NJ.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 29, 2009
Home Buyer,
Please let us know how things turn out. (though I suspect you cant name names) For your agent's sake I hope she has good records of what and when she was told things. For your sake I hope you have kept track of any money you have spent as well as time. Not that I believe you could be compensated for your time, I wouldnt be surprised if you had a case if you spent money on dewinterise and inspections which revealed conditions known to either agent/agency before.
Please dont judge all agents based upon this experience. We all know there are agents who should have retired years ago, there are/were agents who should have had their licenses pulled for a variety of reasons, there are many just plain lousy agents. This said though, I believe there are many many excellent, honest, hard working agents who put their clients interest above all else (including their own). Re your earlier post about agents who dont cover areas, some times this is due to the fact that a particular area is too cheap for the agent to want to work in. (My office is in Princeton, yet Trenton is less than 20 minutes away, given the choice I would always prefer to sell in Princeton, after all prices are higher, less of a drive, easier co requirements...) Other times the agents are not familiar with the area you are considering and dont feel they could represent you well there due to this lack of knowledge. I have on a few occassions represented buyers in areas which I did not consider my self well versed in and I made them aware of this. But it was my background and experience in construction, rennovations, and negotiations that made them request me in these areas. (yes I did have to do some additional area research but that is part of the job)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 29, 2009
Good Morning,

As agents we strive to do the best we can for our Clients, we can only tell you what we know, we cannot read other agents minds, we wish we could! Especially with foreclosures, you can call, be told of NO offers, go back to the office, write the contract up ( which as you know takes time and agents do not want to keep writing offers) send the offer, and then be contacted to say there are multiple offers!! It is not only frustrating for the client, but the agent too.

I can see that you really did want this home, I hesitate to say this, however, maybe if you take a step back and look at the whole picture, taking away the emotions, and knowing your agent as you obviously do, do you really think that he/she would lie to you? As much as we love to work with our clients, we do not want to keep writing contracts for no reason.

I am curious as to why the Septic was not talked about or put on a Property Condition Disclosure, I am at a loss, this can be costly and to know up front that this is a problem will save other buyers from visiting the property, as I said I cannot speak for the listing agent, I can only learn from what you are telling us.

I am sad to hear that you are having a terrible time with purchasing, I do wish you luck with whatever you decide to do!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 29, 2009
Carol I was told there were no inspections done to the property. The listing agent knew about the sewer situation because obviously because he told my agent, is she SURE she wants to place the bid, blah, blah, blah. And yes two other offers came in after mine. It costs 350 to dewinterize to do an inspection according to Fannie Mae. If there had been one the listing agent would have had to be aware of it. Again MISUNDERSTANDING? It is obvious the neighbor has inside information because she knew the previous owners. I suspect the septic problems contributed to them losing the home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 29, 2009
If Fannie Mae knows of any hazards on properties we own or market, we disclose this information through our real estate listing agents.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 29, 2009
Dear Home buyer:

I absolutely do not agree with lying or non disclosure of material items, however I think your expectations are a little high with regard to these types of properties. The banks actually have an addendum that states they can take a higher offer up to the date of closing.

They do not answer bids in order and almost always ignore any time tables that are set forth in your original offer. If there are multiple offers, the lender will come back and ask for highest and best. Sometimes twice.

The strategy is to price the home at a ridiculously low price to create a bidding war and get the home up to the price they want. Disclosure gets tricky because they are not required by law to disclose because they have never lived in the property and the owner is not available to answer questions about the condition. You also will be required to sign an AS-IS addendum on any of these properties.

Below is a link about Fannie Mae properties that may have helpful info for you:

http://www.fanniemae.com/homepath/homebuyers/buying_fanniema…

If you happen to be the winning bidder, I recommend having a home inspection as well as a well/septic. Then you will be armed with the information you need to ask for a discount in lieu of repairs. Be sure to get estimates on the septic repair in writing so they can be submitted with your request.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 28, 2009
Maybe the offers came in after your agent was told there were no offers. Could it be possible that the person that made the offer had the home inspected and discovered the septic problems? Sometimes people do a lot of work with their agent before the listing agents knows they are interested.

Agents must sumit all offers. Neighbors sometime assume homes are sold because they see the same people coming and looking. Maybe the neighbor saw the inspector and assumed it was under contract. I have shown property and had it inspected without telling the listing agent until I was ready to write an offer. This is done often in the case of foreclosures and short sale properties. As you know these properties are sold as is in many cases.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 28, 2009
Misunderstanding? I don't think so. I know very well what I was told, and I have two witnesses. I didn't want to get my hopes up because this is not the first time this has happened. Kenneth I will be taking your advice and contacting the Real Estate commission tomorrow. I've already contacted the listing agent so I can get what he has to say in writing. Also Christine no septic system is not a small issue it's a rather large one I believe. A neighbor was there and mentioned that she believed the property had already been sold to her neighbor, that was my first red flag. I asked my realtor on the spot to call the broker again so I didnt go through the process unnecessarly. I was again assured that there were no current bids on the property. Does anyone still think I am misunderstanding something?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 28, 2009
I also wanted to add that I thought your offers on a forclosure were taken in order. If you were the first bid in you were dealt with acordingly etc. Now I receive a form that says we are all on an even playing field and the highest bid will be accepted, countered etc. Do I have a misunderstanding of how the process works? Or even with Fannie Mae properties the bank or broker can just do as they please.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 28, 2009
Thanks Christine. I must be dealing with the most ignorant realtor on record.I think she is the cause of my frustration more than anything. But I know people are not telling the truth. I suspect my realtor is frabricating things also. Everyone I speak to says, OMG where did you find her...I'm done searching for a home it is too much stress and I must accept the fact that I live in NJ. I'm thinking the only chance I'll ever have to find a home is too leave this state.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 28, 2009
Hi Home Buyer, I'm so sorry you've had a bad experience - use what you've learned to pick an agent to represent you. As others have commented, foreclosures can be tough, lenghty, uncertain, and very frustrating. I'm involved with one now - we were told that all offers would get to the bank, and with considerable effort, we put together a complete offer package including a HUD statement. Now we are told that the bank does not want to see it because it has another on the table and is reviewing offers one at a time. Our understanding was very different based on what we were told - a lie, probably not, just a misunderstanding...but oh man, it is frustrating indeed.

I'm sorry you've fallen in love with a house that may be unattainable but I'm urging my buyer to look at the whole experience in a positive light. Part of the process is to get to a point of readiness to buy - work up the courage to put pen to paper, and no matter how our deal goes, we are there now. It may be that we won't buy the house that brought us to that state of readiness (and we really do love it!) but we will buy a house, and we are continuing to look in earnest as our offer on the foreclosure sits in its uncertain state of uncertainty.

Good luck to you - surround yourself with resources you trust. There are good agents out there Home Buyer doing good work for their clients. Best of luck to you.

Best,
Jeannie Feenick
Search and connect at http://www.feenick.com
Web Reference: http://www.feenick.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 28, 2009
I apologize that you had to experience such a horrific encounter with a real estate professional. Ironically, there are more agents than you realize that do work hard for our clients (whether buyer/seller) without ever seeing a penny - and we do it willingly to continue our sought after reputation. Technology has brought easier access for the public to research homes, but remember, as your agent, we are sharing homes with you, the client, that meet the search criteria you have established as desirable. In many cases, what we, as consumers, need versus want vary and after seeing home after home, you may realize that you purchase a property with characteristics you originally hated. Now that may be an extreme, but the truth is we all change our minds and as agents we do our best to represent you and actively search for "good investments" for you.

As for the foreclosure property, I know from experience how misleading information/disclosures can be. In many cases the listing broker has an agent and an asset manager overseeing an individual bank's properties. In many cases, the listing agent fields all inquiries about the property, but the asset manager deals directly with the banks. Since there's a chain of communication, its always possible that information is not disclosed immediately. Many offers can be submitted to the listing agent, forwarded to the asset manager and then to the bank - at this point the bank can make a decision on the offer or hold on to it for a week or so to see what else comes in. Since there's no set time typically defined to answer an offer, there are times the bank decides to accept an offer when they feel like it and then that's passed on to the asset manager and agent. Meanwhile any buyer's agent may have contacted the listing agent and are told no accepted offers. As you can see, it's not necessarily the most efficient setup but its how the banks want it handled.

If you are set on looking at foreclosures you should be advised of this process and realize that if the right questions are asked to the right people, you can have a smooth transaction. Many foreclosures will have preliminary inspections to get an estimate of repairs so the bank can factor that in when deciding on a list price for the property. Depending on the bank, usually a full blown inspection isn't done so its merely just general estimated costs for repairs. As a buyer, its important to place the home inspection clause into the contract so you can hire someone and get a better idea of what you're getting into. I could go on, but if you'd like to get more education first before continuing your home search, I'd be happy to answer questions directly!

Christine Markow
ERA Statewide Realty
(908) 444-3106
christine.markow@era.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 28, 2009
Well Gregory, what happened to the days when agents came and picked you up to look at properties and the days where they found properties for you instead of you doing all the searching online, or get annoyed with you because you have to find another agent to show a property because it's three miles out of their area. "Oh I don't go that far"..or you find a house you love and your agent has to cover the desk that day and when you finally get there the house is under contract, or gets annoyed when you dont like a house they feel is PERFECT for you......these are many of the things I have encountered, and my favorite line, Oh we will find you a house, then you never hear back from them. I'm thinking maybe I'll concentrate on properties sold by owner.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 28, 2009
This particular had been on the market for while now I know why. It was the listing agent that did not disclose the information I believe....frustrated? beyond belief. To be quite honest through my experiences No offense I do not trust any realtor I deal with. This has been such a terrible experience I think I will be giving up searching for a home. I am not a young person. It has been my dream my whole life. I am so dissapointed and disillusioed by it all. If you look at half the properties listed here you will see, no address disclosed. Why? the reason is obvious. There need to be laws that protect consumers against the fraud that goes on in this industry. I have actually toyed with getting into the game myself. From a buyers prospective never. It will be interesting to see how this deal goes down and when it is all said and done I will confront the selling agent myself. I'd certainly never recommend a liar to anyone.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 28, 2009
Hey - unfortunately we can never account for other people. Sounds like your agent was doing his best though, so please don't think that we're all like that.
good luck,
Jackie
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 28, 2009
I don't know why some agents see the world through rose colored glasses, I think they are trying to protect their precious commissions. Forget about the damn commission and put the client and honesty first!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 28, 2009
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 28, 2009
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