Fraudulent “ghost” listings said to be on the rise

Inventory shortage, increased direct communication via websites to blame, brokers say

New York /
Mar.March 28, 2014 04:00 PM

Home seekers in New York City are growing wary of “ghost” listings used to lure in buyers.

In the past, agents have been known to use old or fabricated listings on brokerage websites as a ruse to get buyers on the phone — brokers would then say the home had sold and immediately pitch another property, usually less appealing. But the incidence is reportedly on the rise, reportedly because of a shortage of properties to market or increased direct communication between buyers and brokers via websites.

Although the Real Estate Board of New York has rules against such bait-and-switch tactics, brokers are rarely fined for it, city officials told the New York Times. And because there is no single official tasked with weeding out fraudulent listings, and the board relies primarily on complaints from its members, the paper reported.

“You can call and complain,” Donna Olshan, president of Olshan Realty and and a real estate board member, told the Times. “But there is really no police force, so the consumer is poorly served.”

Ghost listings are more commonly found in marketing for new developments, or in areas where brokers work solo, like Brooklyn, the Times reported. The ploy is also commonly used on Craigslist or brokerage sites than listing sites like StreetEasy, where brokers tend to quickly update information on sold listings. [NYT]Angela Hunt


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
The penthouse in Lightstone's 40 East End with developer David Lichtenstein (Lightstone)
After early-July lull, Manhattan luxury deals are on the upswing again
After early-July lull, Manhattan luxury deals are on the upswing again
30 Park Place PH78A and 67 Vestry Street (StreetEasy, CityRealty)
$45M penthouse helps Manhattan’s luxury market rebound from five-month low
$45M penthouse helps Manhattan’s luxury market rebound from five-month low
109 East 79th Street and at 30 Riverside Boulevard (Photos via Noë & Associates with The Boundary, Google Maps and StreetEasy)
Summer lull hits Manhattan’s luxury market
Summer lull hits Manhattan’s luxury market
21 East 61st Street and 200 Amsterdam Avenue (Photos via Extell, 200 Amsterdam)
Manhattan luxury home market braces for dog days
Manhattan luxury home market braces for dog days
A unit at The Benson was the most expensive deal in Manhattan last week. (The Benson)
Manhattan luxury market sees another strong week with 36 deals
Manhattan luxury market sees another strong week with 36 deals
A two floor unit in The Benson on Madison Ave was the priciest home to go into contract last week. (The Benson)
Best week since 2019 for Manhattan luxury market
Best week since 2019 for Manhattan luxury market
70 Vestry Street and 1010 Park Avenue (Google Maps, iStock)
Tribeca condo with bumped-up asking price tops Manhattan contracts
Tribeca condo with bumped-up asking price tops Manhattan contracts
37 East 12th Street and 262 Central Park West (Google Maps, iStock)
Luxury report: Patience pays off for buyer of $20M penthouse
Luxury report: Patience pays off for buyer of $20M penthouse
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...