Is this another real estate marketing gimmick or is this for real?
Sadly it’s for real and used by many agents all across the country. I can safely say this is a gimmick and/or arena, no matter my confidence or cash-on-hand, where I simply would never participate!
Why not? Because the Internet is littered with horror stories where this scheme has gone astray to the determent of all involved and frankly the risk to both you and I, and our long term relationship, far outweighs any real benefit to either of us.
A Look at the Fine Print
To any observant reader a title or graphic promoting this type of offer is easily recognized as a marketing ‘teaser’. While perfectly ethical in an attempt to grab the readers attention, the real story is in the restrictive small print that inevitably follows.
The worst possible implementation of this offer on the Internet, is one where there is no fine print at all, only a lead generation contact form. This practice is far too widespread in my view, and I wish there were local regulations that required details to accompany offers such as this, even if only in small print.
Remember the old adage, ‘If it looks to good to be true, it probably is‘. Most often this is a perfect description of the ultimate result of this offer. Some of the restrictions accompanying this offer include one or more of the following:
- An agreed upon listing price and time-limit
- Home is not purchased by agent until listing expires
- Purchase price to be paid by agent is 80% of tax-record appraisal
- The home is under a certain price threshold and not a foreclosure
- Etc., Etc.
Too Good to be True?
The fine print detail, which most often renders this offer immediately ‘too good to be true‘ is the purchase price the agent is willing to pay for your home in the event it does not sell within the agreed upon time-frame.
The percentage of tax-record appraisal mentioned above is a biggie! If you are like me, I wouldn’t want to sell my home at a large percentage off of comparative-market-value much less of the tax-record value. In our local area tax-record values are almost always, already quite a bit less than current market value.
One horror story described a law suite where the offering agent canceled the listing contract thereby not letting it expire, and thus by the letter of the contract were not obligated to purchase the home.
My sincere recommendation to any consumer considering entering such a listing contract is have your Attorney look over the contract for potential loopholes that could possibly be utilized to invalidate it by either party without consent of the other.
This gimmick and listing deal is so easy to pass on its not even funny!