deceptive sales

Deceptive Sales Techniques in the State of California

Writer: Manuel Abitia, Editor: Alexandra Blair Feb. 14, 2023

False advertising in the Real Estate industry in California is prohibited by State and Federal law and can result in serious consequences for those who engage in it. In California, false advertising is considered making a false or misleading statement in any advertisement, with the intention of inducing someone to enter into a transaction. This can include false or misleading statements about a property’s features, location, condition, or price, among others. 


At Gomez Law, APC, we understand that some businesses harness unfair practices to advance themselves in the market. In Real Estate, property transactions are no different. The California Business and Professions Code Section 17500 states that making false or misleading statements is a criminal offense that can result in a jail sentence; other minor penalties include fines and damage to one’s reputation.


Sales-Tactics by Real Estate Agents


Real estate agents, sellers, and advertisers must be truthful and accurate in their advertising and marketing efforts to ensure that consumers are protected from deceptive sales tactics.


  • Advertising Low-Prices to secure sales. A frequent deceptive sales technique is the “Bait-and-Switch”. It involves advertising at a low-price to secure bidding, then substituting it with a different, less desirable price amount. Bait-and-switch is illegal in many jurisdictions, including California, and can result in serious consequences for real estate agents and sellers who engage in this type of practice. 

  • Hidden fees and charges. Failing to disclose all fees and charges associated with a transaction, such as closing costs, inspection fees, or repair costs.

  • Misrepresentation of property condition. Failing to disclose known issues or problems with a property, or making false claims about the condition of a property.

Filing a lawsuit

To file a lawsuit, you will need to prove that they may be liable for damages, including any costs or expenses incurred because of the real estate agent where you suffered harm as a result. This may involve collecting evidence, such as advertisements or other promotional materials, and retaining the services of a lawyer to represent your interests.


Homebuyers who suspect that they have been the victim of a bait-and-switch should report their concerns to the appropriate authorities, such as the California Department of Real Estate or the Federal Trade Commission.

Contact a Top Real Estate Litigation Attorney in California

It is important for homebuyers to thoroughly research properties and real estate agents before making a purchase, and to be cautious of any advertisements that seem too good to be true. Working with a reputable and trustworthy Real Estate Attorney can also help protect buyers from potential bait-and-switch schemes and ensure that their interests are protected throughout the buying process. Contact us today at (855) 219-3333 to set up a free 30-minute consultation with our Real Estate attorneys to learn more about how we can help you.