Mention real estate agents and many people immediately
think about the negative stereotypes. But, while the antics of a few bad eggs
hog the headlines, the reality is that the majority of real estate agents
aren’t like that at all: they’re professionals who work hard to further their
clients’ - the sellers’ - best interests.
Here are our top
three myths about agents debunked
Myth 1: You don’t need
to use a real estate agent
It’s true, you could sell your property yourself. But is it
really worth taking the risk? Real estate agents are property industry professionals. Their
job is to act in your - the vendor’s - best interests, and get you the best
possible price at sale or auction. That means they need to be experts in your
local market as well as in negotiating. So using a good local real estate agent
should add to the sale price of your home.
In fact, far from helping you save, not using an agent can lose
you money by sending the wrong messages to buyers.
Many buyers will expect a bargain because you’ll be saving on
the agent’s fee. Others won’t even make an offer because they’ll feel
uncomfortable or uncertain negotiating directly with a vendor… That’s if they
find your property at all, given many non-agent sales are badly publicised. In other words, saving a few thousand dollars on agents fees
may cost you far more in the overall sale price of your property and therefore
leave you worse off overall.
Myth 2: Paying less
commission to an agent means the seller makes more money
If you convince an agent to discount their fees that doesn’t
always mean you’ll end up making more on the sale price of your home. Instead,
you have to consider the whole package and what you’re actually paying for. Will a lower fee get you the same marketing, publicity and
exposure? And, if it does, is the incentive there for the agent to put in the
hard work to get the best price?
An agent’s commission is typically calculated as a percentage
of the sale price. But there’s no one true standard commission. Commissions
vary depending on the price and type of property and the area you’re selling in.
Many agents are open to a set fee, an incentive structure or a staggered
fee, which means there’s a clear advantage to both you and the agent, for them
to get you top dollar.
As a seller, negotiating a commission fee with your chosen
agent is also one of the best ways to test out their sales and negotiation
skills, which should be finely tuned.
Myth 3: You can’t trust
real estate agents
It’s important to remember that a real estate agent is employed
by the property owner, so their duty is to always act in the seller’s - or
vendor’s - best interests. They’re also regulated by State and Territory legislation and closely
monitored by their relevant Office of Fair Trading.
A handful of agents give the industry a bad reputation based on
stories about trickery at auctions, incorrect quoting, gazumping, withholding
information about a property, or receiving kickbacks.
However these activities are less common than you’d imagine.
They’re also illegal and against the codes of conduct set down by the Real
Estate Institute of Australia. Otherwise, an agent can lose their licence, be forced to pay heavy fines
and, in the most extreme cases, even face jail.
While some agents may have a reputation of saying anything to
get a sale, in the main the industry is made up of professionals, who will work
hard to sell your home ethically, fairly, and for the best price. After all,
bringing in more work depends on having a solid reputation.
Select is a free and independent service
that helps consumers select the best performing real estate agent, and
negotiate the best terms to sell their property, anywhere in Australia.
Select’s three step process provides you with a property report, compares sales
proposals from three local agents in a customised Agent Comparison Report, and
gives you complete freedom to appoint your chosen agent to sell your property
with confidence. Find out more at AgentSelect.com.au or call 1300 040 463.
Read the full article
at Agent Select