Bait agents use to find you

Bait agents use to find new clients

Bait agents use to find new clients
In the United States, 2 million agents are competing to sell 5 million homes.  With too many agents vying for not many homes, it becomes very competitive when getting new clients.   On top of that, being a traditional real estate agent is a 100% sales position.   It’s weird to think that the biggest sale or purchase of your life relies on an industry that is mostly 100% commission-based, but unfortunately, that is how the industry has set up consumers.  
 
Before we dive into the bait, we want to make one thing clear.   We are (and have always been) consumer choice regarding how you choose to sell or buy.   If you're going to use an agent, that’s great!     There are plenty of good agents out there (check out our panels to find a few), but there are also some not-so-great ones in the mix.  Be sure to pick an agent using this process, not an agent using the following tactics to convert you into a client.
 

“I Have A Buyer" Letters

If you live in a popular area or neighborhood, there is a good chance you have received one of these before.  It states that the agent has a buyer looking in the area for a home just like yours and to reach out to them for more information.   There is a good chance that they might have a buyer in a seller's market, but there is also a good chance that every other agent has one too.  
Here are some other reasons why these letters are an issue
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Sometimes, the agent does not have a buyer and just uses this to lure home sellers out of the dark.  When the seller contacts the agent, the buyer suddenly found another home, but the agent would then try and get the home seller to list with them. 

They might have a buyer and attempt to talk you into a dual agency situation, meaning you only pay a lesser commission.  However, the agent representing the buyer would also represent you.   This situation is not legal in some states, but more importantly, you need to know that the agent already has a responsibility and relationship with the buyer.   You could be taken advantage of in this scenario if you do not understand what you are doing.


They might have a buyer, and to avoid dual agency, they refer you to another agent to represent you.  The buyer agent can then collect a referral fee (% of the new agents' commission).  When referral fees are in play, it could affect your chance of negotiating your listing commission.   Also, be aware that using an agent that works with the buyer's agent could cause a conflict of interest.  


 This is another example of gatekeeping information by the real estate industry.   They have a client, but you can only talk to their client through them.   This is not the agent's fault but the industry's fault for creating a wall between buyers and sellers.  You should be able to see who is buying and who is selling, which is why we are adding Public Buyer Profiles to our platform.

 
This also applies to For Sale By Owner properties.   Some agents will contact current for sale by owners, say they have a buyer, and then fall into the steps listed above.   If you are attempting For Sale By Owner, and are struggling to sell your home, find your own agent to speak with, not someone that continues to cold call you.   
 
Example of agent tactic from Realtor community board
Conversation from a 40,000+ real estate agent 
community group in regards to converting FSBO properties

“Find Out What Your Home Is Worth!”

This type of bait is typically used on social media and personal websites.  It can also be worded as “Free CMA” or “Free Home Analysis.”   We have also seen this in mailers as a coupon cut out that says “Free Home Analysis.”   These are all the same and mean that the agent will give you a free analysis of your home and let you know what your home is worth.  

But here is the thing…
Almost EVERY agent does a free home analysis when you interview them.   It is actually part of their job as an agent to tell you what your home is worth.    
 
If you want to really know what your home is worth, we know of some sellers that have paid for an appraisal, while others found a few good agents on their own and had them present a CMA.  If you care about where your info goes, do not fall for these ads.
 

Buying The Listing

Speaking of home values, the other thing some agents do to convert you to a client is to “buy the listing.”  This means that they put your home value higher than what it actually is, and above what other agents told you it was worth to secure you as a client.  The problem with overpricing your home is that it will be harder to sell.    When you overprice your home, about two or three weeks after you have not received an offer, the agent who told you to list higher will act all surprised and then suggest you consider lowering the price.    That price usually ends up being back to where the other agents recommended.
Sitting on the market for an extra few weeks means more carrying costs for you.   It also can give the buyer the impression that you have yet to receive an offer and might be willing to go lower?
 

Door-Knocking

This one is still baffling to us, considering that most cities are still working through a pandemic.  Some agents will go through different neighborhoods knocking on doors to introduce themselves.  Sometimes they will say they just wanted to let you know about the house down the street is listing soon.    Sometimes it is to tell you about the home that just sold and see if you have any questions.  Again, this is to market themselves to you and try to lure you into becoming their client.  
 
Conversation from a 40,000+ real estate agent 
community group in regards to door-knocking tactics

Open Houses

This is one tactic that we didn’t know as a consumer until a few good agents clued us in.   Open houses are more for agents to meet new clients, not to find you a buyer.  Often, the listing agent does not even host the open house and instead will have a newer agent host it to help them find new clients.    When you attend an open house, they will have you sign in, and that is how they are able to obtain your information and start marketing to you.  Even if you say you have an agent (remember how competitive this field is), some agents will still try to set you up on an automatic feed for new home listings.  
 
Conversation from a 40,000+ real estate agent 
community group in regards to hosting an open house

agent tactics after you attend an open house
Conversation from a 40,000+ real estate agent 
community group in regards to what agents do with open house attendee information

 

As a reminder, we are pro “sell or buy whichever way works best for you!”   If that means you are using an agent, outstanding!    Just remember to use an agent that you found, not someone who uses these tactics to convert you into a client.