Truth in Advertising

As many of you know, I keep very close track of the real estate market in Cheverly, so I’ll use Cheverly as my example. However, the following happens all over the place.

When I search our listing service, I have go through the results and back out the properties that say they are in Cheverly, but really aren’t. This isn’t uncommon – many sellers and agents figure that they’ll use a popular neighborhood name to attract buyers to the property. These sellers know that if they can make the buyer think that the house is in a desirable neighborhood, they’ll get more showings.

Besides being annoying, it does a disservice to buyers. In some cases, it could lead to lawsuits.  First, the buyer often feels manipulated, which doesn’t usually lead to good offers.

Also, in Cheverly’s case, the town is a municipality with tax and service benefits that are not available to properties that are not within the municipality. So by advertising that a house is in Cheverly when it’s actually in Tuxedo or Landover Hills or Bladensburg, the seller is implying that the property is subject to those same benefits when, in truth, it isn’t.

Buyers have been known to sue for misleading information like that.

And it just goes to show that honesty is by far the safest policy.


(C) 2006 Susan Pruden.


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