Some warn sellers to beware of unethical real estate agents

When people decide to put their homes on the market, it may be a conclusion they have come to with some difficulty. Those in Ontario who have lived in their homes for decades may be uncertain about current market trends or how to proceed wisely. One Toronto real estate agent has noticed a disturbing trend in other agents preying upon those uncertain home sellers.

On several occasions, this agent has heard from sellers that another agent has made them an offer before the house officially hit the market. The offer was considerably lower than the owner's intended listing price and much lower than market value. The unscrupulous agent also claimed to be speaking for a developer who was interested in the property. The agent warning others of this practice believes there are some in his business who may be hoping to buy houses cheap and flip them for a profit.

In one case, the sellers wanted to list a home in Ontario that their family had owned for 75 years. Their agent planned to list the house for almost $800,000, but before he could, another agent offered the sellers a much lower price. The listing agent explained that the tactic may not be illegal, but the agent may be breaching the ethical code among realtors. If the agent is trying to purchase the home for himself, he may face legal trouble.

Toronto is currently a seller's market with high demand and limited houses available to purchase. Home prices are 20 percent higher than this time last year. Those planning to purchase or sell a home will be dealing with a complicated and confusing process. Having a real estate lawyer to help will ensure a smooth process without delays or unanticipated costs.

Source: cbc.ca, "Real estate agent warns of 'lowball' offers targeting older Toronto homeowners", Adrian Cheung, Jan. 6, 2017

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