Agent’s deception gives industry bad name

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By John Tenpenny

The deception an agent used to drum up business speaks to the mania of a hot market and the damage one person can inflict on the industry.

“At the end of day it’s trickery,” says Terry Kilakos, owner of North East Realties Inc., commenting on a bizarre case of Realtor desperation. “They’re tricking the public into calling them. And that’s pretty sleazy.”

An Australian Daily Mail story detailed the incident, but it has grabbed headlines across the Internet.

A Sydney real estate agent faked personal notes and plastered homes in a neighbourhood, each note claiming she had a red-hot buyer lined up to buy their property. The notes were placed in every mailbox.

Kilakos, echoes the comments of readers on several websites, suggesting the misleading campaign represents the ultimate in Realtor shortsightedness.

“You’re not going to get repeat business and you’re not going to be able to build a relationship with that kind of client,” he said.

Asked if this type of behaviour, in his opinion is common place, Kilakos says, unfortunately, it’s not a case of a few bad apples spoiling the bunch.

“While there a plenty of good real estate agents, the fact is the market is getting very saturated and a lot of agents are seduced into thinking it’s easy money and when they realize that’s not the case, they’re ill-equipped, both financially and knowledge-wise, so they compete in under-handed ways.”

The most common trick Kilakos sees is when agents promise clients that they will be able to sell their property for a certain price, when in fact they know it’s value to be less. “They say that so that they can get your business.”

It all leaves a very taste in people’s mouths.                                                 

“The line I draw is that I won’t step on someone else’s toes,” he says. “I make sure my advertising talks about what I can offer, not how bad my competition is.”