Real Estate agents resorting to Bait and Switch in this day and age?
How could this be possible? Who among us does not know that it is unethical and illegal?
While spending the winter in Florida, I met a person who was looking for a yearly lease on a condo in the same building I was residing. I remembered that I saw a flyer in the window of one realty on Surfside's main road. I told the prospect that I will look into it, and get back to him.
I took a stroll down the street, again. This time, I wrote down the information and called the listing agent. He first asked me if I am an agent. When I said I was, he hesitated and than said: "It is not available any more". He also asked if I saw it on his website. I was not pleased to hear that this was a non existent listing while I am looking at a flier in the window. I asked the agent why he would still advertise a property that is not available. He mumbled something irrelevant.
At first, I thought he did not want to share his commission and that did not sit well with me. It turned out much worse when I found out in my building that the apartment has been leased at least since October! This reflects very poorly on the practices of local real estate agents and brokers.
Today, more than a week later, I passed by and the flyer was still there! I opened the door and informed the agent upfront that it is not OK to mislead the public with false advertising with the hope that you would gain a client. She responded as if she had no idea, and maybe she did not. She asked me to tell her who is the agent.
Would you have believed that so many years after it had been drilled into agents and the general population that such practices are fraudulent and illegal, some agencies still resort to such practices?
If you are a consumer and you have a similar experience, I suggest you stay as far away from such agents as you can.