Reading the FIne Print!

Does it annoy you when you see advertisements on TV or online and there is a whole stream of “fine print” disclaimers at the end? How about when you call in for what you perceive as an error on your cell phone or cable bill and find out that those extra charges were fully outlined “clearly” in the disclaimer portion which of course is always in minus 6 font that no one over the age of 15 can read. I especially hate the car and credit card advertisements that advertise the price of a car or an initial rate that are very attractive. When you actually try to buy the car, you find out that there was only one stripped down model at that price or that the interest rate on the credit card actually goes to 22% as soon as you use it or after a year’s time. These kinds of advertising are perfectly legal! But how do they make you feel? Kind of like you have been taken advantage of?

There are several parallels in the real estate industry. If you watch television and pay any attention to some of the more advertised mortgage companies, you might actually believe that they were going to pay you interest to take out a loan with them. I am sure that these exceptionally low rates are possible if you have the highest possible credit score, have a very high down payment and, in essence, don’t need the loan. For the average population of borrowers, these rates are simply not available. In actual practice, the borrower comes to me having calculated their payment on line expecting to have purchasing power of 20-25% more than they can actually qualify for. This happens because of the difference in the advertised rate and the actual rate as well as the fact that many of these calculators do not factor in taxes, insurance and homeowner’s association dues into the equation. Again, we feel a little misled but still perfectly legal.

Home warranties are another place where we see a lot of “fine print”. In their defense, no warranty could possibly cover every item in a home. Most of them, in the fine print, disclose exactly what they do and do not cover. In spite of this up front process, when the warranty tells you that your heater is not covered because of a pre-existing problem you still feel the same way.

In recent weeks, I have seen real estate advertisements distributed to our neighborhoods that say in giant letters “Recent Sales” or “Homes Sold” and then it lists 6-12 homes sold in the neighborhood. On most, but not all of these flyers, it does say somewhere on the page that these sales are not necessarily those of the agent being advertised. This disturbs me when I see my sales being advertised by another agent and you have to look, in some cases, very closely to determine that they were not that agent’s sales. At the Al Gage Team we only advertise the sales in which we were directly involved. There is nothing improper or unethical about the aforementioned practice but how does it make you feel about the agent you are about to hire?

Let me reiterate, in 2014 and 2015 we sold more homes in your neighborhood than the next two agents combined and the top ten competitors average by an average of 3 times as many sales.

We don’t need to rely on “fine print” to promote our track record of sales in your neighborhood and in the “fine print” of all our listings, we allow you to cancel your contract if you are not happy with our