Real estate agent accused of 'slimy' tactic after family tragedy

A Melbourne woman says the “strange” actions of a local real estate agent made her devastated mother “feel worse” in the wake of her husband’s death.

The grieving daughter took to Reddit to share her confusion after her mother received a surprise gift.

“My mum got a call from a REA [real estate agent] this morning asking if she was interested in selling her house,” she wrote online on Tuesday. “She said no because my father recently passed away. These arrived from the REA this afternoon.”

The Melbourne woman said the floral delivery from the local real estate agent made her mum 'feel worse' after the loss of her husband. Source: reddit

In a photo shared to the social media website, a large bouquet of white flowers could be seen resting on a kitchen bench. “I’m sorry to hear about the passing of your husband,” the card read.

Sharing the image, the reddit user told readers that she thought it was a bit odd. “It’s a nice gesture but it’s just really strange to me,” she said.

Social media outrage

The post has since gone viral, with hundreds of people leaving a comment. Many suggested that the real estate agent was making a direct ploy for business.

“I started working in real estate in the early 2000s and my boss would trawl through the obituary section of the paper every day for leads,” one person said. “So gross.”

Other users on reddit slammed real estate agents as 'sharks' who 'don't actually care.' Source: AAP
Other users on reddit slammed real estate agents as 'sharks' who 'don't actually care.' Source: AAP

“This is a sales tactic, they don’t actually care,” said another. “Real estate agents are sharks,” someone else added.

“Why else would a REA send a stranger flowers apart from if it is a vested interest,” another asked. “They are just manipulating to get a sale. They are slimy.”

“How deplorable that they would treat her emotions like a commodity,” a user added.

But the author wasn’t so sure.

“My father’s death wasn’t posted to any obituaries so I think she [her mother] just got cold called due to high interest in the area and when she told them about my father they jumped into the opportunity,” she said. “The whole thing feels super weird to me and if anything it made my mum feel worse today.”

Others defended the floral gift.

“Maybe they just have a nice receptionist who felt sorry for the loss,” one person wrote. “Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill.”

“She spoke to the REA on the phone and told the person her husband passed away and that person then sent her flowers,” another said. “That’s a very normal and nice thing to do. People wake up ready to find something to be outraged about these days. It’s insane.”

The message from the real estate agent.
Another Melbourne reddit user received a Facebook message from a real estate agent following her ad for a garage sale. Source: reddit

Another agent sending their condolences

The incident came the same day that another Reddit user in Melbourne was approached by a real estate agent following a death in the family.

“My mum died in March and I’m finally organising a garage sale,” they wrote. “I got a message on Facebook from an REA. Aren’t they wonderful people.”

In a private message on the social media site, the real estate agent passed on their “sincere condolences” before jumping in.

“Just wanted to stick my head in to quickly check if you may be interested to know what the present market conditions are doing to the value of your property?”

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