8 Lies Sellers Tell Real Estate Agents

White lies. Little fibs. Everyone does it, especially when they’re trying to sell a house quickly. Before you get snookered by that lovely young couple, that sweet little old man or that single mom, familiarize yourself with the 8 lies that sellers tell real estate agents and prospective buyers.

Spreading Lies

Real Estate Lies

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Homeowners who are trying to sell commonly stretch the truth, and some do it more than a little. Prospective buyers may hear the lies repeated by real estate agents, which makes the lies more believable. The burden is on you to double-check all the information you hear.

“Harmless” Lies

Harmless Real Estate Lies

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Homeowners may believe that some lies are “harmless,” not exactly fabrications but selling points. Once the buyer finds out those little white lies aren’t true, they’re not harmless at all.

  • The neighbors are all very quiet. You may be told that most of the neighbors are elderly or professionals who are rarely home, and only later learn about the teenagers who hold their band practice in the garage right next door.
  • You’ll love the schools! Homeowners may lie, even unwittingly, about the nearby schools when they’re trying to sell a property. You may find the school is too close, often noisy, and the bus stops right in front of your new home twice a day.
  • Everything is nearby. Sellers want to make the entire area around the house attractive, too. You may learn that the promised post office closed last year, the grocery store is members-only and the day spa is really just a nail salon.

Intentional Lies

Intentional Real Estate Lies

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Some lies that homeowners tell are borderline malicious. It’s a very real possibility that the homeowner may lie about certain problems within the home or omit them completely.

  • Leaking roof. If you see visible water damage, don’t accept the easy explanation. Homeowners may say that the roof was repaired, and leaked only once. They’re not going to tell you the roof always leaks and that it needs replacing, because that might affect the sale.
  • There aren’t any termites here. Get a termite inspection! Don’t accept the homeowner’s word that they have never seen termites, or that they suffered only minimal damage once.
  • The plumbing and electric are in great shape. Hire inspectors to check out all plumbing and electricity. You may see brand-new sinks, faucets and light switches, but you don’t know what’s happening behind the walls.
  • Foreclosure. If there’s a foreclosure situation in the works, homeowners may lie or gloss over this truth. Buying a foreclosed home is a lengthy process, and potential buyers may wait for many months, or even years, before the bid gets accepted.

The Biggest Lie

Big Real Estate Lie

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All homeowners are trying to present their home in the best possible way. But there’s one big lie you’re going to hear that trumps the other 7: “This is my bottom price.” It’s never the truth, it’s just an aggressive counter-offer. Don’t be afraid to negotiate, to ask for repairs and to demand inspections.

In most cases, homeowners will definitely come down on their asking price and their “bottom” price. At the end of the day, they want to sell.

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