They Advertised a Solar Heated PoolThey Advertised a Solar Heated Pool
The past week in real estate, I have learned quite a bit about what I would call about the practice of misleading. It really makes me sad that agents in our industry will go to any length at all to mislead.
The first instance of misleading came from someone who used to be a managing broker of a branch of a well known national real estate company. Now, she is off on her own and I understand why her reputation is sullied. When presenting an offer on a listing of mine that clearly stated we could not accept a buyer that had a home they needed to sell, she put forth an offer with coinciding settlements. Well, in our regional sales contract, that means that her buyer's property is under contract with all the contingencies removed. However, the property was not listed.
Approaching the buyer broker about this, she stated, "It will go under contract with multiple offers that result in a contract with no contingencies. I'm not worried about it." That made one of us. And as for multiple offers in Gainesville or Bristow resulting in contracts where buyers are willing to forego home inspection and appraisal...dream on. It doesn't happen in the first time buyer price range.
To make matters worse, she told me that I was thinking about how to proceed on my seller's buy side incorrectly. So what if the listing my client wanted to buy wouldn't accept a home sale contingency, and definitely not a coinciding settlements if we had buyer who also had to sell to buy. That's too many homes to sell to make the last deal go. She suggested, "We'll just add it after your seller's purchase offer on the buy side gets accepted. The listing agent doesn't need to know." Thank you, but that's not how I do business. Misleading a seller that my clients are in a position they are not is not a good business practice or ethical. Next!
The second instance of misleading was the bone of a skeleton of a past deal. I'm representing clients who had formerly purchased a listing of mine with another agent. When we sat down to write a purchase offer and I requested an earnest money check, they asked if it was going to be cashed. Of course, but only after the contract is ratified. Imagine my horror when they said, "Well the agent we bought our current house with never cashed the EMD check. He said it was only liquidated if there was a problem." Don't even get me started. Obviously, he wasn't a great agent because they chose not to work with him again. Proof of the deposit of the EMD is something I must now ask for on every deal. It makes me sick that agents don't understand the laws of paracticing real estate in Virginia and can't read a contract and understand the terms.
Finally, the lightest weight misleading tidbit of all--the solar heated pool. No, there weren't solar panels powering a heating mechanism that was professionally built, UA Laboratories approved and professionally installed. Nope. There was a homespun rig of black corrugated plastic tubing, facing the southern sky on a DIY tilted wood table, powered by a pump, hooked up to the pool by a heavy duty extension cord that was less than a foot from the water. I'm certainly not a home inspector, but I am confident in my statement, "That ain't right." Shoot, a safer solar heated pool would be a pool that was simply warmed by the overhead sun, don't you think?