The apartment suited us in all respects. Spacious, in a prestigious house, in good repair and at a very affordable price. We took a chance and moved. As a result, they arranged their life perfectly, felt the taste of independent life. But all good things come to an end. Like a bolt from the blue in one and a half years the news that the owner is returning. We were asked to vacate the apartment.
And now I have two months to find a new home or return to my parents, and I already don’t want to go back under the “caring wing”. Without delay, I began to act and plunged into the world of Moscow real estate, the world of cheating and unprincipledness.
I will tell you the 5 most frequent frauds that real estate agents resort to. What goals they pursue while still remain a mystery to me.
Looking ahead, I will say that, despite everything, I managed to find a suitable apartment at a reasonable price for us. And we still live separately and happily!
Deception number 1 "Private announcement"
Internet - unlimited flow of information. This is where the main search is for a rented apartment. Bulletin boards are full of attractive offers from "individuals" and "owners" with a zero commission and phrases like "please do not disturb the agents." It is naive to believe that these ads are really from owners. 99% of all ads posted by agents. The commission will still have to pay. And the sooner you put up with this thought, the sooner you will find an apartment.
Deception number 2 "Large, too, lie"
Rightly believing that in such a sensitive issue from a legal point of view it is better to work with a well-known and large real estate agency, I looked at the sites of the most popular ones. The suggestions in the section “Apartments for rent in Moscow” delighted me. The fabulous descriptions of the apartments were supported by professional interior photographs, while the prices were striking in their accessibility.
But the mirage disappeared with the first call to the agency. The manager kindly explained that most of the apartments displayed on the site are either fiction, “advertising” as she says, or put up for sale and are rented up to this point. And still hoping for the competence of the employees of well-known companies, I left applications to several agencies, but none of them was so helpful to me.
Deception number 3 "Ghosts of Luck"
Throwing "fishing rods" to agents, I simultaneously conducted an active search for an apartment on my own. In a series of tiring sentences, a grain of hope suddenly appeared in the form of a vending apartment. I call the agent. And then the play was played out in several scenarios.
Scenario 1: the agent says that the apartment will be shown only in a week, two, three ... and asks to call back. I call back at the appointed day and time, and the agent responds that the apartment has long been rented.
Scenario 2: I make an appointment at the apartment. We come and with surprise, instead of a neat and attractive apartment, we find broken furniture, a dirty bathroom, etc., etc. It turns out that the placed photos were taken five, ten, fifteen ... years ago immediately after the repair.
Scenario 3: we arrive at the meeting at the appointed time, wait at the entrance (the exact address is reported at the very end, and the apartment number can be found out only by going to it), but the agent is still not there. We call back to find out where he is. In response, we hear a blatant lie. For example, the apartment just passed. Or the owner has just changed his mind to rent an apartment.
Such cases are annoying. It is clear that the person at the end of the wire is lying, but alas, nothing can be done about it. It remains only to go back. And the next day, my phone was torn from the countless calls of incomprehensible agents, to whom my number was simply sold.
Cheating number 4 "small liars"
I was upset and offended by unfounded frauds.
For example, the description indicates that the apartment is a studio. I call, clarify, make an appointment. And only entering the apartment, I discover that this is a two-room apartment with one locked room. For me, this is a weighty argument to not even look at the apartment, but I was not warned in advance, and I spent my time.
Or again: we basically did not consider the old panel houses. The agent calls, offers an apartment. I ask about the house. In response: "This is a modern 17-storey house." I check the address via the Internet. In the photo I see a decent skyscraper. Again, make an appointment, again food. Waiting for an agent at the entrance of the house. The agent comes up and happily informs me that the address is different. It turns out that the apartment is located in a nearby 12-storey panel house, where there are sit-down baths in the apartments.
And what would you do?
Cheating number 5 "Cat in a bag"
At some point, I stopped considering offers without photos. Several times, yielding to the persuasion of agents, I went to look at these apartments. The result was depressing. The oral description was completely untrue. Sometimes the agents themselves were unpleasantly surprised by the condition of the apartment being shown, because for the first time they familiarized themselves with it personally, having come with me.
And here we come to the main and incomprehensible issue - the scheme of work of real estate agents in the housing rental market in Moscow.
Being very sociable, my husband once spoke to an agent with whom we were waiting for the owner of one of the apartments. By the way, along with us then at the entrance crowded another 7−8 pairs. Fortunately, the apartment was useless and the fight did not happen.
The scheme of employment of housing agents is as follows: there are agents from the landlord and the tenant. Under normal conditions, whoever hires an agent, he pays him a commission. However, we always pay employer. Typically, the cost of agent services is 100% of the monthly cost of a rented apartment.
The duties of the agent from the landlord include: take a picture of the apartment in the best angles, create an attractive description, place an ad, receive calls from sufferers and their agents, assign and coordinate the showings of the apartment, draw up an agreement.
The agent from the tenant should: write down the wishes of the apartment, look for apartments and carry out the initial selection, arrange meetings, accompany the client when inspecting the apartments, check the owner's documents and the proposed text of the contract in order to observe all the rights of the client.
But agents are people too and perform their work duties anyhow, if at all. Therefore, the photos will be irrelevant, and in the description there will be mistakes, some of which are deliberate ... In the absence of mood, they will say that the apartment has already been rented, they will never go to the apartment before, they will be late for a meeting with the client, or they will not appear at all, they will print the first Internet contract and the documents on the apartment of the owner will not be checked, and many more things they can create. And all customers have to pay for everything.
For a successful transaction, agents must still agree on the amount of remuneration. Since only the lessee pays, his agent must share his commission with the landlord's agent. If they do not reach consensus, you will not get an apartment. Typically, such a deal occurs without the presence of clients at the initial stage of negotiations about the meeting. And when inspecting the apartment, an agent of the employer kills around his clients so that they, God forbid, do not agree directly with the opposing party for a lower commission.
If you have independently found an apartment, you still have to pay a commission to the agent of the landlord. Perhaps you will make a discount.
They didn’t give us discounts, but they promised that if within six months the contract was terminated due to the landlord’s fault, they would find us an apartment for free. I am skeptical about this “bonus”, as experience has shown that in most cases agents searching for an apartment are not attentive to details, and their offers are often opposite to the wishes of the client. It’s even scary to imagine what they will find if they work for free!