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Beware estate agent Scam

  1. #1

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    Beware estate agent Scam

    Beware, find and agent you can trust. After viewing their websites and contacting a number of local estate agents, I have noticed that the first thing they all say is that their website is out of date and the property of interest is now a lot more expensive! It appears that their intent is only to get you to register with them and therefore tie you contractually to them. This, to me, appears to be false and unscrupulous advertising. I'm wondering if anyone else currently looking for accomodation has been experiencing the same?

  2. #2

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    That's not a scam, it's their strategy! All of them do it, even the brick-and-mortar estate offices that have the postings in the window. When you go in and enquire, they tell you the one in the window is sold/rented, but they have another one in the same building, just more expensive.

    The only way to do it is to get hold of an agent and get them to show you everything they have.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by vinyljunky View Post
    That's not a scam, it's their strategy!
    In Hong kong it's a 'strategy' and it's OK because 'everybody does it'.
    Anywhere else in the world its a 'bait & switch' scam.
    Last edited by TigerSun; 21-06-2011 at 03:28 PM.
    pushiv and Lisaishere like this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TigerSun View Post
    In Hong kong it's a 'strategy' and it's OK because 'everbody does it'.
    Anywhere else in the world its a 'bait & switch' scam.
    I thought "bait and switch" was swapping the product you have checked and paid for, for a fake or old version before putting it back in the box or bag? hence much easier for phones or something than flats?

    It reminds me of when i was in UK, and there was a clothes shop which was having a "CLOSING DOWN SALE" and ended up closing down for a couple of years

    There is also a VCD shop in Mong kok which advertises that everything is on 80% sale. But the cheeky thing is they stuck some higher prices of $23 and $57 on the cases and left the original pricing of $19 and $45 respectively. So it looks like it has been discounted, but they are just selling at the original price anyway.

    it just goes to show that for many people, money and profit talks louder than ethics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by UK/HKboy View Post
    I thought "bait and switch" was swapping the product you have checked and paid for, for a fake or old version before putting it back in the box or bag? hence much easier for phones or something than flats?
    Nope, if that is true, where's the 'bait'. It is used in marketing and retail to connote shoddy and sometimes illegal practices of advertising a really cheap item (that might not even be available) and then have the salesman offer a substitute.

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    Your clothes are not shabby enough. Roll once more on the ground. If you're White, get a tan or something. Looking like a poor sod is key to not getting eaten by the sharks!

    If there's going to be a rapture, God, please vacuum clean HK real-estate agents first.
    MovingIn07 likes this.

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    We can't really compare real estate agents in HK with their brethren anywhere else in the world.

    HK32, it appears that you're new to HK? Might I suggest you read A Practical Guide To Renting A Shoebox In Hong Kong.

    I was in the same position a few months back, I hope that helps.
    TigerSun likes this.

  8. #8

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    This is probably an unpopular point of view in this thread, but the agents may be acting in good faith and this situation still occurs.

    Most landlords in HK are completely motivated by profit - they will tell the agent in the morning that its available for rent at $20k and when the agent calls the next day to introduce a client, the price has suddenly gone up to $30k or perhaps its not even on the market now since the landlord is now trying to sell it. If that sales deal falls through then the following day its back on the market for lease at $30k. Rinse and repeat for the 10-20 properties an agent may introduce to you and suddenly its the agent that is "evil".

    Real Estate agents may deserve most of the crap they get, but they are not dealing with perfect information and landlords are at least partially responsible for these problems.

    Easiest way to deal with it is to not trust anything from an agent or landlord unless its in a Government land search document or you see it with your own eyes and move quickly if you like it.
    Ramdom likes this.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by UK/HKboy View Post
    I thought "bait and switch" was swapping the product you have checked and paid for, for a fake or old version before putting it back in the box or bag? hence much easier for phones or something than flats?

    It reminds me of when i was in UK, and there was a clothes shop which was having a "CLOSING DOWN SALE" and ended up closing down for a couple of years

    There is also a VCD shop in Mong kok which advertises that everything is on 80% sale. But the cheeky thing is they stuck some higher prices of $23 and $57 on the cases and left the original pricing of $19 and $45 respectively. So it looks like it has been discounted, but they are just selling at the original price anyway.

    it just goes to show that for many people, money and profit talks louder than ethics.
    Actually all the major supermarkets, and health & beauty chains do this in HK. The prices are inflated and then the discount makes it look attractive.

  10. #10

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    Another thing to watch out for.... our estate agent's fee was 50% of the first month's rent! Which means that they will push more expensive apartments. It also means that you will part with 1 months rent, 8 weeks deposit and an estate agency fee of 50% of the first month's rent - all in one go! Good luck!

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