Targeting Expired Listings With Buyer Bait-and-Switch

Apparently, at least a few overzealous agents at one Twin Cities broker in particular are now trolling for listings using some variation of the following sleazy strategy:

Step #1:  target “For Sale” homes that have just expired, unsold, on MLS.

Step #2:  show up unannounced at the home with an accomplice, ring the doorbell, and — if the owner answers — say, “we’re here for our 5 p.m. showing.”

Step #3:  assuming the homeowner doesn’t slam the door in their face, chalk up the “missed appointment” to a communication glitch**, then — surprise, surprise — segue into a pitch to show/list their home (“as long as we’re already here . . .“).

Ethics Violation

At least a few homeowners are sufficiently flummoxed (or desperate) that this tactic occasionally works.

And yes, such conduct violates Realtors’ Code of Ethics — it’s just that homeowners don’t necessarily know whom to contact.

So, as a public service to any Twin Cities homeowners who’ve experienced such outrageous behavior, here’s the info:

Linda Stoeckicht
Vice President
Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors

If Linda isn’t able to help, I’m sure that she can redirect you.

**When challenged, the brazen agents have been known to claim that “the homeowner’s spouse or partner OK’d the showing” — which quickly backfires if said spouse or partner is nearby, or easily reachable.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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