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Ask the Agent Series: Can Estate Agents Lie About Offers? Debunking the Myth
Welcome back to another instalment of our "Ask the Agent" series, where we delve into the world of estate agency to answer your burning questions. Today, we delve into a question that often crops up in hushed conversations and uncertain whispers: Can estate agents lie about offers? Let's bust this myth wide open.
First and foremost, it's essential to recognise that most estate agents adhere to a strict code of ethics and professionalism. For example, we at Farrell Heyworth are strict adherents of the guidance provided for estate and lettings agents by the Property Ombudsman and National Trading Standards. Misleading clients by fabricating offers is unethical and illegal, and we urge anyone who feels their agent has misled them to make a complaint via those professional bodies. Trustworthy agents understand that their reputation hinges on transparency and integrity.
However, like any industry, outliers do exist. So, while the overwhelming majority of estate agents maintain an honest approach, there have been instances where some have strayed from the path of truthfulness. But rest assured, such cases are the exception rather than the rule.
Technology has further bolstered transparency in the real estate world. In the digital age, communication leaves a trail, making it challenging for dishonest agents to sustain their deceptive practices. Sellers can be in direct contact with potential buyers and can cross-reference the information they receive from their agent.
Additionally, buyers themselves are becoming increasingly savvy. With platforms like online property listings and public property records, it's easier than ever for them to gather information and validate the legitimacy of offers.
To safeguard against any potential unscrupulous behaviour, buyers and sellers must establish open lines of communication with their chosen agents. This includes requesting documentation of offers and considering multiple valuations to gain a realistic perspective of your property's worth.
While the idea of estate agents lying about offers might persist as a lingering concern, the truth is that most agents are committed to honesty and professionalism. The likelihood of encountering a deceitful agent is minimal, thanks to industry regulations, technological advancements, and informed clients. Remember, the key lies in selecting a reputable and established agent who values their reputation as much as their clients' trust.
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