Can you pick the common factor amongst these real estate brands?
Barry Plant; Harcourts; Stockdale & Leggo; Hocking Stuart; LJ Hooker. Agencies within these networks have all plead guilty recently in Victoria to misleading and deceptive conduct or theft from Trust Accounts. Consumer Affairs Victoria has also begun Federal Court proceedings against Fletchers, alleging 25 counts of misleading and deceptive conduct, due to be heard next month.
Understandably, people feel that little bit more comfortable dealing with known brands. As is clear however, there is not necessarily a correlation between brand and being trustworthy. Strangely however, some still feel that just because an agent has been proven to lie or steal, they seem nice and “I’m sure they wouldn’t do that to me”.
There are bad apples in every group and that doesn’t make other members of the franchise bad. But whether brands or not, when there is clear evidence of deceit, don’t think that because they got caught, they are suddenly going to be different. When choosing an agent (or any profession), undertake due diligence and only place your trust in those that have established their integrity over a long period of time.