Real estate agents mislead consumers with 'market price" hype


It's a tough time to be a real estate agent in Miami Beach, but that's no excuse for misleading consumers.

In the latest copy of The Real Estate Book, Optimar International Realty advertises a number of properties in the Miami area, with ad copy describing incredible deals:

"Market Price $230k. Get it for $109k."

"Market Price $480k. Get it for $309k."

"Market Price $700k. Get it for $489k."

Here's the problem with advertising like this: If the market price is $230k but no one will pay more than $109k, guess what? The market price is not $230k. It's $109k. It may be that the property once sold for $230k but that's very different from the market price being $230k. Shares of Enron once traded for $70 but now they're worthless. The market value is 0, not $70. And here's another question: If the property is worth $230k and you're selling it for $109k, why would you need to advertise it? Just call up any reasonably intelligent investor and they'll take it off your hands!

Adding to the silliness of this ad is this blurb on the Optimar page: "Providing a superior level of informed and professional real estate agents to buyers and sellers. . . "

But if the property is indeed worth $230k, how is trying to sell it for $109k a "superior level" of service? Somebody's being misled here.

Optimar may well be a wonderful company but with ads like this, it's one I'd steer clear of. In this market, you need honest and reliable service when you're buying a home.