Can Estate Agents Lie About Offers? The Truth Revealed...

Written by Millie Archer

I love all things property and have a real eye for detail. I’m always reading up on property news, whether it be renting a first property or buying a mansion.

Can estate agents lie about offers? We explore the answer, as well as what other lies an estate agent may tell a seller and what to do if this happens to you...

Selling a property isn’t something you do every day, and you will want to make sure you have everyone on your side, from the buyers to your solicitors, to your estate agent…

Notice how we paused after estate agents?

This is because it is questioned whether or not estate agents are really on your side or whether they’re just chasing the commission.

Can estate agents lie about offers? Do estate agents have to tell you about offers? What other lies can an estate agent tell me, as the seller?

All good questions, which we have answered for you right here!

Dive right in and get some answers, as well as a solution to what to do if you find your estate agent has been lying to you by using the menu below:

Don't want to put up with estate agent lies?

Sell to us instead!

Can estate agents lie about offers?

Your first question that may come to mind when thinking can estate agents lie about offers, is whether or not it’s even legal for an estate agent to lie about offers.

Whilst it’s not strictly legal for an estate agent to lie to a buyer or seller about offers, it’s unlikely that you will catch an estate agent going to jail for lying about an offer, but it does go against the code of conduct which legitimate estate agents should follow.

By code of conduct, we mean that most respectable estate agents will be a member of a property redress scheme for estate and letting agents, with The Property Ombudsman being the most well-known and well respected one.

The Property Ombudsman membership means that estate agents must agree to a Codes of Practice and if an estate agent is found to be breaking these rules they will be penalised and expelled from the scheme.

One of the rules laid out is that estate agents must not make up or invent details about any offer which does or doesn't exist.

How else can you know an estate agent is legit?

Their estate agent contract will be clear and professional. The contract will include all costs, what you should expect from your estate agent, what is expected of you as the seller, and details of any other expenses. If the estate agent contract isn’t clear there’s likely something they want to hide, showing you they’re not ‘legit’.

Also, a legitimate estate agent won’t be too pushy. This is because they will have trust in their ability and therefore will have confidence in you seeing this too and won’t need to force you to choose them.

Any estate agent that is trying to push you to choose them to sell your property likely doesn’t trust their own abilities and is therefore a tell-tale sign you probably shouldn’t trust them either.

If you’re wanting to know what sort of questions you need to ask your estate agent to ensure they’re legit, then this article has got you covered.

Do estate agents lie about offers anyway?

The rules of The Property Ombudsman should make it unlikely that an estate agent will try and make up an offer, as it carries a lot of risk. However, the reality is an estate agent may and do make up a phantom offer and, providing they’re not caught out, no one will ever know.

An estate agent lying to a buyer about an offer carries a small risk, as the likely outcome will be the buyer increases their offer to 'match' the new offer the estate agent states has been put forward.

However, an estate agent lying to you as a seller about offers carries a lot more risk, as there’s a chance you may turn around and test them on it…

What to do if you think your estate agent is lying about an offer?

The best thing to do if you’re unsure whether or not an estate agent is lying about an offer is to challenge them and ask them to give written proof of the offer. This could be as simple as writing you an email with details of the offer to asking a solicitor to sign off to say the offer is real.

If your estate agent is reluctant to give you written proof of an offer, then this is a clear sign the offer probably doesn’t exist and you can take this forward and escalate it to someone higher up, for example The Property Ombudsman.

Worried your estate agent is lying to you?

Get off their books and sell to us!

Do estate agents have to tell you about offers?

An estate agent is legally obliged to tell you about every offer that is made, in writing. Even if the estate agent knows it’s below the price you would accept, they still have to tell you the offer to allow you the opportunity to say no.

When relaying the offers, estate agents can’t try to sway you towards one particular offer over another. For example, a buyer may have committed to using an estate agent’s in house services, for example house repayments advice or conveyancing, and this may lead to your estate agent wanting to sway you towards choosing this buyer.

Estate agents also can’t try to make you take a certain offer because they believe the sale will move faster, for example if a buyer has no chain, especially if the offer is lower than you would want to accept.

In this situation, even though an offer may be lower, an estate agent would want you to take this offer because this will allow them to get their hands on the commission fee faster.

A buyer may ask for an agreement to try and stop you from accepting other offers and these agreements are:

Lockout Agreement

A lockout agreement involves a buyer paying a deposit to the seller’s solicitor under the conditions that the seller takes the property off the market for a set period of time. This will allow the buyer to get the contract signed and removes some of the risk of a competitor putting in a last-minute bid.

Good Will Agreement

A good will agreement is when both the buyer and seller will pay a deposit when the offer is accepted. This means if either party were to pull out, the other party would get to keep the deposit money.

Typical lies you’ll hear from an estate agent

Estate agents aren’t limited to just lying about offers, there are other lies an estate agent may tell a seller, which we have listed here for you, so you know what to keep a look out for:

  1. Lying about viewings – One lie you may get from an estate agent is that your property is really popular, leading to you having a lot of viewings. The reality is the estate agent may just be booking all the viewings in back-to-back to make it appear as though it’s in high demand. They may also ask their friends to come and view your property and act as though they’re interested, to make the estate agent look as though they have done their job in creating lots of interest in your property
  2. Giving you an overpriced valuation – Another lie you may get from an estate agent is that your property is worth more than it actually is, as a way of getting you on their books. If an estate agent knows they’re competing against other estate agents for your property, then they will likely overvalue your property to encourage you to sell with them, but this will likely lead to pain down the line. By this we mean your house could sit on the market with little to no interest, which is only going to lead to an estate agent trying to get you to knock down the price
  3. Pushing a house repayments advisor – An estate agent may lie and tell you that their in-house house repayments advisor will give you the best offers and will make out it’s in your best interest to choose their advisor. However, what they’re forgetting to mention is this may not always be the case and that they have an interest in you choosing their advisor, as they will likely get a financial reward
  4. Lies about their experience – All estate agents have to start somewhere but what they shouldn’t do is lie about their lack of experience. If they’re found out to be lying about their experience, you should get yourself off the books as fast as possible, because if they can lie to you about their experience, what else are they lying about…
  5. Lies about offers – This is probably the main reason you’re here, as you search for the answer to ‘can estate agents lie about offers’. Although they shouldn’t, estate agents can and do lie about offers to make it look to you as a seller that they’re creating lots of interest in your property. An estate agent may also lie about offers so they can push you in the direction of a specific REAL offer, so they can get their hands on their commission ASAP

What to do if my estate agent lies

If you find your estate agent is lying to you, you have a few options you can take…

You could approach The Property Ombudsman to make a complaint and they will let you know whether or not you have a case for suing the estate agent.

Or you could leave a review and make others aware of your situation. Reputation is a big thing to companies and word of mouth is one of the best advertising methods they could ask for. As a result of this, an estate agency will quickly notice your situation and so you will get some response from them ASAP.

However, neither of these options will sell your property for you, which beneath it all is what you’re after. Having said this, we do have an option which can sell your property FAST and do it in an honest and open manner…

Sell to us!

Yes way! Here at The Property Buying Company we are a cash buyer of houses, buying any house in any condition. We will give you a cash offer for your property, complete in a fast timescale to suit you AND cover all your fees as a thank you!

You don’t need to worry about any estate agent lies here as our cash offer is for us to buy the property from you directly, so all you need to do is say YES and let us do the rest…

We only require one quick viewing of the property to make sure our valuation is as accurate as possible and then we will work our magic and get you completed, without you having to lift a finger or pay a penny!

Fed up with your estate agents lies? Why not give us a call or fill in our online form today to receive a no-obligation cash offer for your property, which we could have in your bank in as little as 7 days!

Ready to get on your way to an honest sale?

Sell to us!

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