Buyers Are Liars and So Are Sellers...Doing Our Own Homework!

Reblogger Carla Muss-Jacobs, Principal Broker (503) 810-7192
Real Estate Broker/Owner with | Portland Metro Exclusive Buyers Agent | 100% Buyer Representation ~ 100% of the Time Licensed State of Oregon

If this post wasn't timely for me to read!!  Just last week I had the opportunity to witness something I've never experienced in my entire real estate practice.

A pool inspector, not being on site more then 5 minutes, "evaluated" a pool by . . . and I'm not making this up . . . merely pulling back the pool cover on a very small area of the pool -- the area of the steps.  He stated from this thorough {rolling eyes} inspection that the pool needed to be drained and resurfaced.  Yeah, he could tell from viewing 1/50 of the pool area that this was necessary.  Oh brother.  AND he quoted a price of about $10,000.  He later detracted that statement, but came up with other bogus conditions.

The buyers hired him, he was not my referral. 

The home inspector was another piece of work.  Exaggerating issues way out of proportion.  He was, also, hired by the buyers and was not my referral. 

The buyers came up with an "exaggerated" amount of what it would cost to repair/replace items they found needed addressing: close to $20,000.  They instructed me to obtain this from sellers and have the funds "escrowed" . . . HA HA HA.  We don't, typically have escrow hold-backs here.  AND . . . the lender nearly busted his eye sockets when I told him what these savvy buyers had instructed me to do.  Not only could I NOT "take care of this" for them (their words to me) because repairs are NEGOTIATED not extorted out of the sellers . . . but the listing agent wasn't buying any of it either.

An example of the exaggeration:  The buyers wanted $5,000 for the fence -- 10' had fallen down.  They "estimated" it would cost $5,000 because "I'm a daughter of a contractor" (buyer states) and she knew it was . . . and I'm not making this up "$10/per feet" and she was estimating at a 50' fence replacement (the entire length, not just the 10' fallen down section)

Hmmmmmmm . . . I hate to break it to her but $10/ft at 50' = $500

Yup -- these buyers certainly had an agenda.  Unfortunately, that agenda didn't include BUYING THE HOUSE.  It included squeezing the seller with bogus, unsupported repairs and estimates. 

And then I read this post by Mona . . . thankfully (but unfortunately) I'm not the only one.


Via Mona Gersky, GRI,ABR~MoonDancer Realty~ Western North Carolina (Buyer & Seller Representation):

Original content by Mona Gersky NC# 218097

Real Estate Schools sometimes give pre-licensing students a grim view of theDo Your Own Homework microsoft image profession they are about to enter. I clearly remember more than one instructor informing the class that “Buyers are Liars…and so are Sellers”. Do you think there is truth in that statement?

Until the last couple of days, I can’t say that I’ve run into any buyers who were blatant, out and out liars but certainly have run into a few who would “stretch” the truth a bit. Exaggerate a situation. You know, turn a dripping faucet into a scenario of the sink that is likely to fall into the basement, a roof that is 10 years into its 20 year useful life into a roof likely to develop leaks in the next few months, or a three year old carpet that is certain to be the harbinger of allergens and disease. Maybe that’s all part of the “game” and usually the seller’s agent sees right through that...if they've done their own homework.

How about buyers who employ “scare tactics” and utilize untrue facts?

If you are the listing agent, don’t you go through your own “due diligence” period when you take a listing? Isn’t the last thing you want happening is an unexpected “issue” to rear it’s ugly head during negotiations or inspections?

Don’t you just hate when buyers “assume” you haven’t already checked things out for yourself regarding the Environmental Health Department for water or septic issues, the County Clerk of Court for liens, the Planning Department for restrictions or anything else that any decent REALTOR would be reasonably expected to know about the listing?

Isn’t it professionally dangerous for us to accept listings with our heads stuck in the sand like ostriches? Although, I know there are agents who embrace a “no-disclosure” approach to listing…I’m hoping they are in the minority for the public’s sake.

If an agent doesn’t take the precautionary step to understanding their listings then they won’t be in a position to do what we just did…know for a certainty when a buyer was lying blowing smoke. Does that kind of investigation ahead of time take valuable time? Sure it does…it takes a TON of time…valuable, precious time.

But then, what do you think you get paid for? Unlocking doors?

I don’t believe we can stereotype all buyers and sellers to fit into the “Buyers are Liars…and So Are Sellers” description, but I do think we need to be prepared for the minority who are!



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MoonDancer Realty Team Photo Collage copyright 2012 Mona Gersky


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Tim Lorenz
TIM LORENZ - Elite Home Sales Team - Mission Viejo, CA
949 874-2247

I learned the statement as, "Buyer's are liers and Seller's are worse".  A lot has to do with the lack of faith in the agent to represent them.  They feel that have to either motivate you or hide an embarrassing fact.

May 17, 2012 02:27 AM #1
Terri Poehler
Realtor - Coral Springs, FL
Coral Springs Real Estate Agent
This was very well put. And it is a game. To see who get the most bang for the buck. A game as old as dirt.
May 17, 2012 02:31 AM #2
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

Carla, I always enjoy your snappy retorts and quick stories...well, at least you know those two "experts" will never be on your resource list.

I'm off to congratulate Mona on a wonderful post.

May 17, 2012 02:59 AM #3
Eric Michael
Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI - Livonia, MI
Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519

Carla, is they find enough "wrong" with the house, and their bogus dollar amount is "exaggerated" enough, I wonder if someone could actually expect a "free" house?

May 17, 2012 11:56 AM #4
Mona Gersky
MoonDancer Realty, Dillsboro,NC - Sylva, NC
GRI,IMSD-Taking the mystery out of real estate.

Carla, sad to say but we aren't the only ones to get caught by the unethical behavior of others.  Thanks for the re-blog, that was a treat.

May 17, 2012 12:28 PM #5
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Wow... what was that fence made of?  We installed (mind you when I say "we" I mean "we") so no labor, but materials for 140 feet of fence was $800.  I can't imagine the labor would have have been $4200. 

May 17, 2012 12:42 PM #6
Brenda Mullen
RE/MAX Access - Schertz, TX
Your San Antonio TX Real Estate Agent!!

I have not had the "pleasure" of meeting a buyer such as this and I certainlly hope I never do. were you able to save the deal hahahaha...

I think I'd have to find me some other buyers Carla :)!  You are saint :)!

May 17, 2012 01:19 PM #7
Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Connecting you to the L.A. real estate market

Oh boy, Carla.  Those buyers probably have two lists:  one the offer price, and the other a list of demands to lower that offer price.  Grrrr.

May 17, 2012 01:26 PM #8
Kathryn Maguire (757) 560-0881 - Chesapeake, VA
Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach

I am glad to say that I have not encountered many buyers like you sounds like they hand-picked their inspectors with the objective of getting an excuse for the extortion.

May 17, 2012 09:41 PM #9
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Carla, I am sorry to read about your experience. I had an experience where the home inspector wrote that it needs a new water heater when it was working fine . The seller had it inspected by another plumber who said it was fine so the seller refused to put in a new one.

May 17, 2012 11:40 PM #10
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Area Real Estate

Wonder where this mentality comes from? I often think that it's the perfection attitude of 'if I'm going to pay xxx, the house better be perfect'. Well, that's never going to happen.  If these buyers do ever happen to find a house, I can only hope the buyers will do it to them in the end when they go to sell.

Fraudulent exaggeration of the facts from all parties concerned.

Tim #1 - that's ridiculous. The buyers are told this is the way to conduct themselves - the agent should explain the contract parameters to them only. The representing agent has nothing to do with their 'getting screwed' mentality in life.

May 18, 2012 02:32 AM #11
Curtis Van Carter
Better Homes & Gardens Wine Country Group - Yountville, CA
Your Napa Valley Broker Extraordinaire


Is your market as hot as it is almost everywhere in the country? It seems your prices are a bit higher than the norm, more like prices here in the upper Napa Valley. When a home is in this range, it is not unusually for there to be 10+ % in selling vs asking price.

Even so, this is not a reason for extortion and it sounds like this buyer is a lower baller rather a true buyer. Not fun to work with and at some point, discardable. cheers cvc

May 21, 2012 01:14 AM #12
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