Selling a home is never easy. There’s so much that goes into the process, and it doesn’t help when the realtor is more focused on the money versus their client’s best interest. People call out the scummiest realtors they’ve had to deal with. Content has been edited for clarity purposes.
“Anyone Talking To Him Could Easily Tell He Wasn’t Fully There”
“My brother had finally recovered from a long coma enough to be living at home with an assistant in a wheelchair. However, he still had a lot of brain damage and it was plain to see the big scars on his head from the replacement of his skull cap. Anyone talking to him could easily tell he wasn’t fully there.
An agent came by walking the area and asking people if they wanted to sell. My brother said he was not interested, but was curious about what the home was worth. The agent told him the best way to find out was to list the home for sale and see what offers people made on it. My brother signed an exclusive listing to sell the home with a fairly low asking price. The agent was very friendly and assured him he was under no commitment to sell.
Legally, if the agent found a buyer willing to pay the asking price, my brother would be bound to pay the agent’s commission even if my brother refused to sell.
When I found out about the deal, I ripped the agent a new one. Fortunately, I was my brother’s legal conservator so my brother’s signature wasn’t binding.”
“The Things We Saw In The House Were Not As They Seemed”
“Our agent was distracted by her wedding plans. She really should not have been working during that time. She had to fly out often to look at destinations, so our schedule centered on her availability rather than ours.
We were initially told that in the housing market at that time the asking price should be $425,000, according to the comps. She also said the house would sell within a couple of weeks and we should be prepared to move quickly. A few days later, a young couple came to look at the house.
Our realtor told us, ‘Put out your nicest pieces of art, books, and other stuff. To show the house at its best.’
The young couple had a toddler who tried to pick up a heavy glass globe and dropped it, sending cracks through it but not shattering it. She told me what happened but never apologized or offered to replace it. I am not sure what the remedy should have been. But I feel since she had told us to leave the house, she would be responsible for the showing of the house, and she should have done a little more to at least offer to replace the item, which was beautiful but only worth about $50.
Another couple came and were very interested. She took them to the HOA community pool and there were teenage boys there, urinating in the pool and writing their names on the walls in urine. The couple left in disgust. She never addressed that. I would have liked to know who they were so I could at least inform the parents how their kids lost us a very promising sale.
At the time, we were planning to move to Colorado from Florida. After visiting Colorado, we decided to stay in Florida. As soon as she found out she would be helping us find a new house as well as selling our old house, she advised us to drop the price to 380,000. Which we did. The house was worth much more than that but she was really not an advocate for us. I was dealing with a new cancer diagnosis and had just been through a hysterectomy. So leaving our house so that she could show it was next to impossible as I was bedridden for several weeks during this time.
We found a house that we liked about 40 miles north of where we lived. We chose that area because our adult children and grandchildren live in this town. We really liked the house and the seller’s agent told us there had been other offers on the house and several people were waiting on loan approvals. She advised us if we really wanted the house, we needed to put in a very good offer. To this day, my husband believes that this was a lie, but at the time we did not know that.
Our agent did not do anything to verify this information. The asking price was $295,000. Sp we made an offer contingent on certain things that needed to be fixed on the house prior to us buying it. She was unable to convince the sellers to do more than just minor cosmetic work. She talked to the seller’s agent who told her that the lowest price they would accept was $299,000. Feeling pressured because our house had sold, and because we liked the house, we paid a little less than that full amount.
The comps in the area were lower. In fact, our house was the most expensive house on the block. When the day came to turn over the keys to the new owners of our old house, we had cleaned everything and taken everything out of the house. But the HOA did not allow you to put trash out until the actual morning of the garbage collection.
Being that that was not for another two days, we put everything together in bags and put them in the garage.
We asked the realtor, ‘Can you please move it out to the curb on the appointed day?’
She was very annoyed and said, ‘You can’t do that. Everything has to be out of the house.’ She then scolded me for leaving the trash neatly piled in the garage and said, ‘I had to use my own car to transport it to the dump.’
Meanwhile, after we were given the keys to the new house, we found out it was loaded with lots and lots of items the previous owners had left behind. The garage was full of all kinds of rusted tools and paint cans-chemicals that you have to actually pay to have taken away. The drawers in the garage were full of auto parts as was the attic.
When we mentioned this to the realtor, and told her we felt there was a double standard, she simply shrugged and said, ‘Sorry.’
I really feel that all of these things were rather minor, but taken as a whole, I could see she was not an advocate for us, she was an advocate for herself.
The (new) house has been set up for showing, but parts of the house were simply held up by non-permanent measures. For example, the spa was running well the day we came to look at the house. But soon after, it stopped working. We learned later there had been a leak in the spa which had been covered up with tape. We also found out the spa pump and heater had been wired as a temporary fix.
The bathtub/Jacuzzi in the bathroom worked the day we got there but once we took ownership of the house it, too, stopped working. We realized the things we saw in the house were not as they seemed.
I am not bitter about this because I learned a lot of valuable lessons from this experience. I don’t know if I’ll be moving again anytime soon, but if I do, I will be much savvier.”
“My ex-partner and I were moving to Oregon from Colorado and had put our home up for sale. We got an offer within two weeks which was great as we were moving a few weeks later.
Supposedly, the buyers were moving to Colorado from Texas for the man’s job. The company was doing the down payment and then paying the balance on closing. Because of the ‘banking issues’ of the house being in Colorado, they ended up only sending $1,000 of the $30,000 down payment.
Our real estate agent said, ‘It’s ok. The wholesale amount will be paid at closing.’
The closing was the day before we were leaving. We got to the title company’s office for the closing and the buyers showed up with our real estate agent, and without the payment check. The guy doing the closing was not happy but the real estate agent had him call the bank where the funds were coming from. He was told there was a malfunction on the bank’s end and the transfer would take place that afternoon.
We went ahead and signed the papers and made arrangements for my mom to deposit the check in our bank account the next day. It was in a small town bank where everyone knew everyone else, so no biggie.
Yup, you guessed it, the check never showed up. Luckily, the title agent was a family friend and refused to hand over the keys or file the paperwork without payment, even when the real estate agent and buyers threatened legal action.
Come to find out, it was a scam. The couple and the company he worked for, had pulled this in other states before. They would do the closing, get the keys, and the title put in the new owner’s name. They would then sell the house and the original owners would be stuck with what little was paid in escrow.
We were lucky the title company refused to file the paperwork. In the meantime, we rented the house to some friends who then purchased it with cash a few months later.
The real estate agent lost their company and license and since it was a small community, their reputation. The buyers left the state and the company disappeared. Technically no laws were broken so we couldn’t do anything legally against anyone.”
Why Would The Inspector Bring His Family To The House?
“The market where my MIL’s home was located was hot. Really hot. The home was built by my FIL back in the early 60s. It was big, beautiful, and lakefront. However, the home needed some updates: new appliances, flooring, roof, and the windows that were fine in the 60s were no longer fine by today’s requirements.
Someone suggested a realtor for my mom. And we called her to come out. At first, she was doing the typical things you expect from a realtor. Fix this, do that, etc. But then she changed her position. She offered to pay for a home inspection, which I thought was weird. I figured that was for the buyer to request. But the agent said it would be like a good faith type thing to have it on hand for potential buyers.
‘Okay. Fine,’ I thought.
My husband came home after the inspection and he started telling me about it. At one point he said something about the inspector’s wife and daughter.
To which, I asked, ‘What? Why would he bring his whole family to an inspection? That’s not professional.’
Turns out the wife was a real-estate investor. That’s when red flags and warning bells went off. The agent never mentioned this. Then the agent started telling us how the home would be put up for investors.
I asked, ‘Why the heck would we do that in such a hot market?’
Well the agent told us we would have a hard time finding anyone who get approved for financing since the roof was in desperate need of repair.
I said, ‘Fine, we’ll take care of the roof.’
She kept telling us she’d be afraid to show the house with the windows on Dad’s deck build-out. Granted, not beautiful, but not the safety hazard she claimed. Finally, I had a talk with her.
I told her, ‘We want it listed on the open market. We’re not doing an investor-only thing.’
Then I told her my concerns about bringing in a home inspector with investment on his mind and said, ‘That is a huge conflict of interest. That isn’t okay.’
She told me, ‘They do investing, but they aren’t looking to buy this property.’
Then later in the conversation, she said, ‘Well, if they’re the highest bidder— ‘
She still was talking about going the investor route. At this point, we were all ticked that we signed a contract with this chick. The kicker came when she told us her proposed listing price (to put it on the market): $400,000. I thought my MIL was going to leap over the table at her. We were all livid.
There were other things she did and said that made us not trust her. I was getting tired reaching out to other agents to verify information that she would tell us. Some were true, some weren’t.
The only plus side I can give this agent is that she let us out of the contract. Kudos for that. Sometimes I wonder if she was just concerned I’d report her.
We found another agent who did a great job. Mom’s closing was at just shy of $150,000 more than the first agent wanted to even start.
Pretty sure the agent was either planning on going in on the investment (her husband invested in property) with the inspector or maybe just getting a second commission through selling after the inspector and his wife flipped the home.
Always double-check if something doesn’t sit right with what you’re told. There are a lot of upstanding agents out there, but those shady ones really give them a bad name.”
“You’re Legally Obligated To Sell Your Home”
“This one just went down this summer. My girlfriend was looking for a new home. She was selling her current home with only one stipulation, that no sale would be finalized for her home until she had agreed to close on a new one. This stipulation was included in her listing contract. Her home was under contract within a week, by the middle of June 2021.
Fast forward to August. Still, no acceptable home had surfaced in this crazy real estate market we are in nationwide. It had been about 50 days since her home went under contract. She found a home she liked and we started looking at it. Not too bad, but it seemed to have a few minor issue. She agreed to consider it, pending inspection.
The home came back with a laundry list of minor to moderate issues, mostly the result of neglect by the previous owners. Nothing we couldn’t take care of, but it was the three BIG issues that made her nix the deal: Septic issues which would total in the thousands to fix, the roof had some considerable water damage at the site of an addition, and Poly B plumbing. The entire home needed to be replumbed. This type of plumbing is prone to spontaneously burst and hasn’t been used since the early 90s.
She got a call from her realtor, they offered $1500 allowance for the repairs. This was coming from the listing agent and our agent. The seller agreed to fix the septic.
Already at the top of her budget, it was pretty clear the roof damage and an entire replumb were not going to come in at $1500. We told her no again.
They came back again, this time offering another $500. It was the final few days, we had been told our buyers would walk at 60 days, and she was ready to take her home off the market for a few months. With no true picture of how much these repairs would cost, $2000 wasn’t going to swing this deal.
At this point, it was feeling like we were making a deal for a used car, ‘and we’ll even include the mud flaps and paint protection.’
We gave the agent a final no. The next day there came a call from her agent. The closing on her home was scheduled for the following Monday. She was not closing on the sale of her home until she knew where she would be living.
The agent started with the hard sell, ‘You’re legally obligated to sell your home. Your buyers are going to be homeless, it has already cost them thousands of dollars waiting this long! You have no choice here!’
Following this call was when I realized something was truly ‘up’ here. You see, they had left her one stipulation out of the sale contract for her home, she was legally obligated to sell after 60 days, with or without someplace to move into.
So, I wrote up a nice little email to everyone, including all agents involved, the president of the agency we were dealing with, and their corporate offices. I added to email that my girlfriend felt manipulated and bullied.
The next day, we got a response. The allowance had been bumped up to $4500, with the agency paying any overage for repairs to the roof and plumbing (replumb has already come back at $4600, not counting drywall repair, still waiting for a roofing quotes.)
The buyers for her home agreed to a lease back for a week to allow for us to get out of the home, paid for by our agent. Turns out they weren’t going to be moving in for another month and a half, no homelessness emergency.
So in the end, things worked out ok, but she could have been forced to purchase this money pit, with little compensation, all because she was rushed into it. I believe they were trying to cover up the error of leaving the contingency out of the sale contract for her home.”
They Hired A Geologist
“We were buying a 20-acre parcel with a 600 square foot house and 9,000 square foot barn. Mind you, this was 18 years ago in Bay Area California. It was almost $1M.
We figured we could live in the 600 square foot house forever. If things got cramped, we could move into the barn.
The place even came with plans by the owner, who was an architect. He drew up to expand the current little house. Dreams of orchards, gardens, and enjoying the land were filling our imaginations.
We were in contract, so we went down to the county for due diligence (buyers should ALWAYS do this). From there, we pulled a permit history report. It seemed that every person who had owned the property for the previous 20 years (five people) had tried to either enlarge the house or build something new, but nothing ever happened. There were not a lot of clues as to why, just a couple of random notes about geology and soils. So, we had a geologist come out to check out the property.
As soon as he got out of the car, he said, ‘It smells like a landslide.’
Now I don’t know if they can really smell these things, but investigations showed there was an active landslide six feet from the house. And the bulk of the usable land seemed to also have slope stability issues. That big barn also had a landslide below it and the ground was slipping away from that.
So we backed out of the contract since we were still in the contingency period. When I went to return the plans to the agent, she was mad at us for backing out.
I said, ‘Well, there is an active landslide on the property six feet from the house.’
She literally put her hands over her ears and said, ‘I don’t want to hear anything.’
I was in shock as I stumbled through trying to further explain the situation. And the whole time, she had her hands over her ears, going, ‘La la la la la.’
Worried about the next person who might buy it unaware, I sent a follow-up email, figuring if it was in writing they would have to disclose it. However, the realtor did not disclose it. She just ‘strongly encourage buyers to do their own investigations at the county.’
The agent knew and I have no doubt the owner/architect knew as well.
A family bought it a few weeks later and later learned it came as a surprise. They had more money than we did so did a lot of expensive retaining walls and earthwork to remedy. They eventually built a huge house super close to the road (only buildable place on 20 acres). Even with 18 years of California appreciation, I doubt the home is worth more than they spent.
Lesson learned: Son’t trust agents and sellers to disclose everything to you. While I find most realtors extremely ethical, there are some bad apples and they seem to attract bad sellers.
Do your due diligence, go down to your county/city, do all your investigations, and hire the experts. Better to lose a couple thousand bucks to investigate than hundreds of thousands by buying.”
“I was involved in a transaction where both my broker and the seller’s broker did not act in the best interest of their clients. I was moving to a new state and had my broker show me some properties I couldn’t afford so that I could get a perspective of the market. I loved one of those properties but although it was recently reduced, it was much more than I could afford.
I had told my immediate family about the property and one of them wanted to see it. They had no plans for Memorial Day weekend so they all came to see it. I didn’t even enter it myself since I would just be teasing myself. After they saw it, they insisted I make an offer. I called my broker and gave her the highest amount I could pay. She told me I would be insulting the owner and would not present my offer which I believe was not appropriate conduct.
Anyways, the following week, she left to help her daughter who was having a baby. So I asked the substitute broker to present the offer. She did and to my surprise, it was accepted.
The seller’s broker had said it was a certain type of condominium that would qualify it for a special type of mortgage. After I applied for the mortgage, the bank said it did not qualify and I would have to put down an additional $4,000 (of course, the mortgage would then be $4,000 less). It was a great deal even if I had to come up with some additional cash but I called the seller’s broker to complain about misleading me.
She said she would speak to the seller and I told her not to, that it was she who provided that information. She must have been afraid I would back out of the deal so she went back to the seller who agreed to pay $4,000 of my closing costs. I had no plans to cancel so she cost her client $4,000 so that she would get her commission. Obviously, the seller must have been desperate to sell and her broker took advantage.”
She Needed A 1K Check ASAP!
“We had to fire our realtor. She told us one thing and did the complete opposite thing. We found a really nice house on the lake and it was 30K less than our pre-approval. So, we wanted to bid on it.
One week before, we emailed and texted our realtor about bidding. She did not reach out to do the next steps. Well, a few days later, when my husband and I were at work.
My husband was in an area that had no cell service and no internet service. So, our realtor contacted me at 11 am, saying another bid was in and we needed to get ours in by four pm that day with a 1K check.
Then she asked, ‘Are you both sure you want to bid?’
I said, ‘We can’t do the 1K today.’
She said, ‘Ask your mother-in-law to borrow the thousand.’
Since I was working, I couldn’t talk that much. She already made me late from my lunch break by 20 minutes. She kept calling and texting while I was at work.
She texted, ‘Your husband has no choice but to sign the paperwork. Send me the check by four just to place the bid.’
However, I remember in one conversation with her, she mentioned how by law, she needed 48 hours from when we paid her to cash it. Then in another conversation, she said she held onto the check until closing. In this way, we could get that back if we didn’t get the house. Then it only went downhill when she contacted my father-in-law.
Since he was taking out a loan to help us with the down pay and closing, she had his contact information.
Then she called our lender lazy because the lender said, ‘The taxes of the home isn’t calculated until close to closing when we have a purchase agreement in hand.’
Needless to say, I told her we no longer needed her services and how we were taking a long pause on our search. However, she kept sending me homes and texting to see if we wanted to look at homes.
That was no go for us. We later found out the 1K fee was an earnest fee. It did not go to her, it was part of the down payment and it was a recommended amount. Not a strict amount.
Gotta love the money-hungry greedy realtors. She was the third one we went through so far. The first one kept lying about the homes, showing homes that needed to be condemned, and showing homes outside of our area that we needed to be in.
The other one she just never returned any calls, texts, or emails. She just ghosted us, which was fine. Never wanted to work with her in the first place. When I did talk to her on the phone, she was boasting about her credentials and herself personally. Sorry, lady I just started talking to you for the first time about something professional.
I honestly don’t need to hear about how you got laid on your first date and I don’t need to hear about your kids from different dads.
They’ve all been fired.”
“I had a realtor trying to sell a house as if the driveway was on the property that came with the house. Turned out the long driveway meandered up a hill on the lot next door she had listed to sell separately. If I had bought that house, within a short period that lot next door would have been sold and I’d have no access to my home a hundred yards from the road. I found out the cost to put in a new drive would have been around $30–40K because of various factors related to the lot and hill.
I ended up killing the deal. I don’t know if she was an idiot or a shyster, but both are no good.”
“My realtor went out of town and asked her friend to take our listing until she came back. This other realtor hid another offer —$20,000 more than the one we accepted, because it would have ‘rocked the boat’ on another offer we were considering.
We found out a year later because that offer came from a friend of a friend who was desperate for our house. I’m still mad at the lack of professionalism.”