Oct 14, 2011

Real Estate Horror Stories Part 1: Sellers From Hell

No, I am not the Crypt Keeper but since Halloween is only a few weeks away I would like to share a few short real estate horror stories to keep up with the season.

These stories (or more accurately: scenarios) are based from my own actual experience as well as those I have witnessed or known first-hand from almost 20 years of working with realtors and agents, property buyers and sellers around the country.

Just a short caveat though, this article is written in the spirit of fun and ghoulish humor with generous sprinkling of truth from various actual cases. I am NOT pinpointing to any person or a group but if you feel alluded to by this post...don't blame me. Blame your conscience (which means you are still a good person since you still have a conscience).

As an opening salvo here's a short list of scary scenarios involving sellers that all real estate brokers and agents and even buyers are desperately trying (and praying) to avoid that I deem it appropriate to call them:

Property Sellers From Hell

poster from a 70-80s B flick
What They Do...
  •  Never release commissions even after the deserving/legally registered broker and agent has worked long and hard to close the sale, in a competent & professional manner despite the fact that there's a binding document covering the payment of commissions for services rendered. Worse, they even taunt the real estate service professional to sue them in court knowing that wheels of justice all to often grind slow plus they have the connections to tilt things in their favor.

  • Induce the buyer to purchase the property after the expiry of the listing agreement or authority to sell (even beyond the hold over clause) to save on broker's commissions. In this case, these types of owners are like vampires: they bite the buyer and turn them into one of their own.

  • Once the property is sold, the seller looks for excuse to delay and even reduce the broker / agent's commissions. In some cases, they bring another associate (or a relative / friend) who will demand a slice of the cake.

  • Treats agents and brokers like slaves (i.e. asking brokers and agents to do something beyond what is professional and talks to them in an unprofessional manner)
  • Changes the price and terms at the last minute whenever a very qualified buyer shows high interest on the property or worse, decide not to sell the property at all just before closing for no valid reason at all 

  • Never listens to a broker's professional opinion about realistically pricing the property and instituting other essential changes to make the asset more marketable (sometimes as simple as telling them to clean up their homes, buildings or real estate developments is so difficult for them to action on).
  • Hide and sometimes lie to the broker, agent and buyer about the real status of the property, legal problems, authenticity of the documents and other vital information, etc.

Coming up on my next post / article: "Terror Buyers" and the last part: "Ghoulish Agents & Brokers". If you have any scenarios you want listed on the next post, feel free to send in your suggestions.

How about you? Can you add more Sellers From Hell scenarios? Please leave a comment


  1. Hehehe I can't be a seller nor add more sellers for I have a pail of conscience. Thank you for the adjustment.

  2. Hahaha! Thanks for dropping Belle and for the heads up on what's not working here ;)

    Btw, you don't have a pail of conscience...you have an entire tankfull of it. ;)

  3. Can they be considered as scammers too? I created a video way back January about another terms for scammers in the real estate world.

    Check on this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0kJntumeVA , perhaps you may feature this on your next post Sir Ritch :)

  4. i guess i don't have the guts to be one.. ;)

  5. I believe they are already considered as scammers because they're making money by dishonest means.

  6. *LOL... I never thought that vampires are really that influential... Well, I might grab the opportunity to take a bite. Great post sir, I learned a lot about Realtors and property buyers... As I said me - one of the vampires :)

  7. as buyers, we should be very careful because the transaction involves some bulk of cash.

  8. I was looking at Dallas Real Estate and found the perfect place to buy, The seller however, was a nightmare. Every time we would go to settle, he would ask for a different price. It finally got to the point where I had to give up my dream house because I was not willing to play the seller's game anymore.

  9. Reality is that if a person who having any kind of sense should hire a good real estate agent who must be qualified and knows all the work of real estate agency then will be hire otherwise no need to hire any one.

  10. Thanks for sharing this real estate blog I appreciate it, This post awesome.

  11. great idea, i will keep looking around the site, im trying to get my house in order to sell it quickly.Real Estate Agent Australia