Buyer Beware or Agent Conspiracy Against the Public?

People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.

This quote from Adam Smith, the Scottish economist and philosopher, is still relevant today, though the frequency with which people of the same trade meet, has increased – and if it hasn’t increased it has, at least, become faster and easier to do so. For a home buyer working with a real estate agent or considering working with one, it might be interesting to get an insight as to how they talk amongst themselves. Granted, often people plying the same trade will air their grievances and frustrations with one another, this particular agent lashed out at bad listings on the internet, rightly so, for misleading customers looking for bargains. Often home buyers will stumble across dubious websites with outdated or incomplete listings, get excited and ask their broker about the house and get disappointed after finding out that it has long since been sold, or the information is inaccurate. A lot of sites repost the listing service data but don’t do it very often or purposefully withhold key information, since they’re trying to generate leads for other brokers. However after getting a lot of feedback from his colleagues, the author rightly points out, that it’s the agents job to help the customer figure out which sites are good, and which ones aren’t. A list containing the latter probably grows by the minute, but nevertheless a list of trustworthy sites will do wonders for your independent customers. There is also something to be said for the fact that details on homes for sale on the Canadian multiple listing system site are wanting – you’re forced to contact an agent if you want to know more. Customers wouldn’t be forced to go anywhere else if more information were available and the data up-to-date and complete – and that’s up to the listing agents. So is this a case of buyer beware, or a agent conspiracy against the public? Well home buyers should be aware of the kinds of sites that are out there, at the same time agents should be up-front with their customers.

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