While real estate agents are there to help you find the right home to suit your lifestyle and needs, it’s important to remember that their job is to sell houses. Unfortunately, that leads some unethical agents to deceive their clients.
It isn’t uncommon to hear about buyers finding out their newly bought homes have various defects, some of which are downright dangerous. These owners may not found out this information for weeks or even months to come. So, how do agents deceive their clients and what can you do about it if this happens to you?
One of the easiest deceptions is mood music, which is used to invoke a particular feeling throughout the house that adds to the décor. While there’s nothing wrong with an agent setting the mood to help their sale, it’s vital that you ask them to turn it off at some point.
Shady real estate agents will use this tactic to drown out the sound of nearby traffic. If you didn’t already know, a home subject to the loud noises of a nearby road loses some of its value. By ensuring you don’t hear the noise, they can effectively charge you a higher price.
Almost every seller paints the rooms in their house before placing it on the market. That’s perfectly acceptable and should be expected. However, the fresh paint smell should dissipate by the time you’re looking at the home unless the sellers moved quickly.
Either way, that smell should spark your interest and beg the question, “What is the paint meant to cover up?” Coats of paint can mask dangerous mold and mildew, as well as water damage. Corners and floorboards near sources of water are the prime suspects, both of which can lead to issues with the foundation or collapsing floors if the problem isn’t identified. If you’re injured in the process, you’ll need a catastrophic injury attorney to help you make your case.
Too Much Realtor Talk
Real estate agents are supposed to talk up a home, but too much industry lingo is a bad sign. The word “cozy” often means small, while “peek-a-boo views” means you’ll likely need to look out an attic window to get a view of the sight. The term “newish” is another one, indicating that something isn’t new at all. Keep an eye out for words like these that have a hidden meaning.
Can Real Estate Agents Legally Deceive Buyers?
There’s only one instance where this is the case, and that’s when even the agent didn’t know about the defect. There are times when sellers deceive their agents, cleverly hiding something that should have brough to their and your attention before any sale was made.
If that isn’t the case, then the agent cannot legally deceive you. If they do, you have the right to sue for representation for premises liability, especially if you incurred financial loss or injury as a result. Even in the event that you simply uncovered a defect after the sale, you can still seek compensation. Make sure to speak to a qualified attorney about your situation.