LeafFilter Gutter Guard: ‘Keeps You Off the Ladder’
Gutter cleaning is dirty and annoying. So is deceptive marketing.
What to know about this real estate company's advertising.
Please see the Editor’s Note and Clarifications About an Earlier Version of This Ad Alert at the bottom of this article.
In a national television commercial, Greg Hague, the founder and CEO of real estate company 72SOLD, tells consumers the following:
Thinking about selling your home in today’s more challenging market? Well you don’t have to let it sit for weeks or months trying to sell it the traditional way. At 72Sold, you can get a price thousands more than if you sold the traditional way and get it done A to Z in just eight days. Thinking about selling? Just put in your address and get your price, a higher price for your home in just eight days only at 72Sold.com.
The company’s messaging continues on its website, where it also says it has seven independent studies showing that home sellers who used the 72SOLD program had a median sale price averaging 8.4%-12% higher than other homes sold in their local MLS, or multiple listing service, a database of homes for sale in a particular geographic region, as well as 2,000+ 5-star Google reviews.
72SOLD also has Google ads, where it has said, among other things, “Changing The Way America Sells Home For The Better. Get A Higher Price For Your Home. Our Program Is Designed To Get You $1,000s More Than Selling The Traditional Way. Sell at a Higher Price. Any Price Range. Higher Sale Price. Above Market Price. Guarantee Results.” And ads on social media platforms state, “Want a higher price for your home? Seven studies show we sell homes 8.4% – 12% higher.”
Now, let’s take a closer look at some of these advertising claims.
72SOLD states that its program “is Designed To Get You $1000s More Than Selling The Traditional Way” and says it has several independent studies supporting the assertion that home sellers using 72SOLD get a higher price for their homes. The company, however, does not provide the actual studies on its website for review and did not provide them to TINA.org when we requested them.
Moreover, just because a home sold for more than another home in the same local MLS doesn’t mean it sold at a higher price than it would have had a seller gone the so-called “traditional way.” Many factors, including the size, age and condition of the home, can have a significant impact on the price a house can sell for. And without seeing the studies 72SOLD touts in its marketing, there is no way of determining what factors each of the studies took into account. The company also does not identify who conducted the studies. Finally, the company has stated, in correspondence with TINA.org, that “72SOLD does not assert that each customer using the 72SOLD method got a price higher than they would have by selling through traditional methods – that assertion would be impossible to prove.”
One of the company’s marketing messages is that, “At 72SOLD, you can … get it done A to Z in just eight days.” And while consumers might reasonably think that “A to Z” in this context means beginning to end, they’d be wrong. According to the company, in its communications with TINA.org, “the ‘eight days’ referenced in 72SOLD’s advertising refers to the time period which the 72SOLD program is designed to obtain a signed sales contract for a seller – at which point real estate agents and most sellers consider the home ‘sold’ – not the time for the sale to ‘close’ (which does not happen until title to the property is transferred).” And home sellers don’t get paid for the sale of their home until after the closing.
This information is not clearly or conspicuously disclosed in 72SOLD marketing materials. In addition, the company discloses in an FAQ section on its website, which consumers can only access through a non-sponsored search engine search result (i.e., the FAQ section cannot be reached from other links on the 72SOLD website or via a site map), that if your home ends up selling for more than $1.5 million, “the time period to fully effect a purchase/sale becomes 29 days instead of 8 days.” So the touted eight days doesn’t apply to really expensive homes, another fact that the company doesn’t clearly or conspicuously disclose in its marketing materials.
Consumers could reasonably interpret 72SOLD’s statement “just put in your address and get your price” as a price being provided simply by entering their physical address on the company website, but that isn’t the case. After consumers enter their address on the 72SOLD website and click on “Get Your Price,” they must:
Consumers are then sent a text message but still no price is revealed. Before you can get the price, 72SOLD must conduct “a quick 15-minute walkthrough,” according to its FAQ page (that cannot be reached by on-site navigation).
It’s not any price range. The company discloses on its FAQ page that it doesn’t sell homes valued at less than $100,000.
72SOLD Google ads contain the phrase “Guarantee Results” without any further explanation. What results are guaranteed? Neither the company’s marketing nor its FAQ page shed any light. On its FAQ page, in response to the only question that mentions a guarantee (“Do you guarantee I can sell in 8 days?”), the company states:
Our program gives you the option to sell in 8 days but not the obligation, so the decision is up to you. There is no cost for our 15-minute walkthrough and home price valuation if you decide not to sell.
Consumers might reasonably assume that those positive Google reviews 72SOLD touts about its program are from home sellers. But many of the reviews, which TINA.org has reviewed several times between June and now, are from real estate agents who have signed up with the company to sell homes using the 72SOLD system.
When one reviewer questioned the origins of the company’s good reviews, 72SOLD stated:
Our reviews are from actual clients or from professionals who are employing our home selling program in their own businesses and recognizing how it delivers a better experience and a better result for their clients … We respectfully request this review be removed as it does not pertain to an actual experience with our program or company.
And it’s not just Google reviews that include numerous reviews from real estate agents working with 72SOLD.
The majority of reviews on 72SOLD’s BBB page (listed under a “Customer Reviews” heading), which TINA.org has also reviewed several times between June and now, also come from 72SOLD agents as opposed to home sellers.
And while 72SOLD includes its A+ BBB rating on its website, the company does not inform consumers that the vast majority of the 125 Customer Reviews on the BBB site, all of which give the company 5 stars, were written by agents, not home sellers.
There are fees involved with using 72SOLD, which the company does not clearly or conspicuously disclose in its marketing to homeowners. Fees are disclosed on the company’s FAQ page that cannot be reached by on-site navigation. There, 72SOLD states:
What are your fees?
Our fees at closing for your home are similar to if you sold the traditional way, averaging 5%-6% of the closing price depending on the condition and saleability of your home. However, since our sellers average 8.4%-12% higher prices than other homes sold in their local MLS, they typically walk away with 2.5%-6.5% more net proceeds than if they sold traditionally with no commission at all.
Closing fees of 5 to 6 percent of the closing price is typical of traditional real estate transactions.
If you’re a homeowner looking to sell your home, do your research before signing on the dotted line.
TINA.org reached out to 72SOLD prior to publishing this post to allow the company to respond. However, the company did not respond.
Editor’s Note and Clarifications About an Earlier Version of This Ad Alert
TINA.org originally published an earlier version of this ad alert regarding 72SOLD on June 1, 2023 after receiving a complaint from a reader. Nearly four months later, the company wrote to complain about the ad alert and to demand that TINA.org remove the ad alert from publication, asserting that much of what we had stated about the company was false and defamatory. In November 2023, 72SOLD sent us a draft complaint and threatened to sue us in court if the post did not come down within two days. TINA.org decided to temporarily remove the ad alert from our website in order to have sufficient time to engage in a thorough review of the facts alleged in the company’s threatened 25-page complaint. The ad alert we are now publishing here is different from our original ad alert; among other things, it focuses on some different aspects of the 72SOLD advertising.
As part of our review, TINA.org asked 72SOLD for support regarding some of the factual allegations in its draft complaint but the company did not provide answers to any of our questions.
Gutter cleaning is dirty and annoying. So is deceptive marketing.
When it comes to UV devices and COVID-19, there is no magic wand.
Company’s ads attempt to scare consumers into paying for title monitoring services that they may be able to get for free.