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How to Avoid Rogue Property Listings

How do you determine a reliable, and honest real estate agent In Turkey?

Generally, most real estate agents in Turkey are professional and undertake good practice when it comes to assisting clients wishing to buy or sell homes. But, occasionally, clients have been disappointed by ‘rogue listings’ and misleading conduct.

Rogue Listings – Properties listed for sale which don’t exist.

A ‘rogue listing’ is when agents attempt to dominate property sales portals with a huge number of listings and to achieve that, this is their practice:

  • Properties which are sold or withdrawn from the market are not deleted or marked as sold which makes agents appear to have more properties on offer than they actually do.
  • Agents who who simply acquire old photographs and create a new listing, often mixing and matching properties to create a property that doesn’t exist but which may appeal. This mix is used as a ‘hook’ to catch an audience. Of course, once a potential buyer commits to viewings then the reality hits and the agent’s explanation is that  “this property is no longer available but we have an alternative”. Such agents work like this and see it as a percentage game.  They attempt to dominate the internet in order to gain clients to view their alternative portfolio, even though there is a lot of disappointment involved.

Phantom Clients – Clients who don’t ever exist

A common strategy for this type of real estate operator is to create a phantom client, or several, to gain a new listing. It is becoming increasingly regular for agents to advertise properties for sale (which actually are not for sale) without any consent or knowledge of the owners.

Here is how it works: unscrupulous agents select an actual villa, take some external photos or download information off of the internet often lifting photos from an advertisement belonging to another agent.  They then start advertising without knowledge of the property or who the owner is. They wait for the owner of the villa to spot the ‘rogue’ advert on the internet and make contact to complain. This is the ‘rogue’ agent’s chance and they have what they set out to achieve. Their script will be along the lines of “we have clients, or a buyer looking for a property just like yours…. etc”. Often this is a fallacy and a ploy with a pure aim of retaining the listing and giving legitimacy to it.
Our advice to any owners who befall this type of practice is:-

  • Don’t get coerced into dealing with agents who advertise your property without your permission or knowledge. They will take up your time talking to you about nonexistent buyers.  This becomes frustrating and creates a slight disadvantage for agents’ with genuine listings who pride themeselves on accuracy and current listings. In the long run this of course protects the good agents’ reputation and enables long term relations with investors and repeat buyers.
  • Agents in Turkey who make up an advertisement of a property without the owner’s permission or knowledge are making a criminal offence according to Turkish law as stated in articles 135 and 136. If you are a victim of false or unauthorised marketing, you can ask your Turkish lawyer to take legal action and/or make your complaint to the Turkish real estate association.

Tips on spotting a good Real Estate Agent in Turkey

  • Accuracy of their listings. Do they have permission to list?
  • Niche markets – which areas do they specialize in?   Luxury Property Turkey specizlizes in the areas of Bodrum, Kalkan, Fethiye, and Istanbul.
  • Choose an agent who is actually in Turkey, established and has stood the test of time.
  • Choose an agent who is willing to put you in direct contact with prior buyers and sellers as a reference.
  • Work with an internationally recognised agent with full credentials.