How long is a piece of string? Real estate agents may not rank high in reputation for being the most honest beings, not saying that all of us are in the same basket, but let’s just say, there might be a generalisation about our ethics. Unfortunately, there are individuals in this business that without fail, continuously conduct themselves in a dishonest manner and the biggest problem is that they’re so good at it.
So, what do you look out for? There are a few main areas where you can catch someone out on their BS, but that’s only if you don’t want to buy into it. One of the main reasons why agents get away with so much at the start of a campaign is because they know how to work into people’s greed and use that against them. It’s not hard when we deal in such big numbers and this is really where it begins.
Inflated appraisals are the most common way for the unethical real estate agent to win, or should I say “buy”, a listing. This means that they come on over to your property, give you the whole song and dance about how good they are and all their results and then tell you they will get you some absurd price that you even you know is a shot in the dark. So, why not give them a shot and see if they can? If you do, you will most likely commit yourself to advertising, this is how they get you, and you will also risk making your property stale as there is a high possibility it will remain on the market for an extended period of time.
It’s simple, make sure when an agent provides you with their appraisal on your property, they have proven that with comparable sales in the comparative market analysis they will provide you. Your property appraisal is always based on properties that are similar to yours and have recently sold around you. This is a good way to understand how your buyer is going to research the price for your property and it’s important that you advertise your property competitively to capture good interest to get the best price. If you’re priced too high, you will unfortunately have no one even come through your property and you will find that you will be chasing the market down.
I’ve always believed that an agent who simply offers a cheap commission to begin with or simply accepts a cheap commission without negotiating is someone to look out for. It’s pretty simple, if somebody is unable to even negotiate the best outcome for themselves, then what chance do they have negotiating the best price for you. Now I’m not saying you need to pay high commissions, all I’m saying is that this is the perfect opportunity for us as agents to display our skill in negotiating and coming to an agreement that all parties are happy with to move forward.
Another thing I would look out for is the direction of the whole presentation. Is it about you or about them? Agents by nature are egotistical and are always pretty happy to talk about themselves and all their successes. A good agent on the other hand will mostly speak to you about your situation, goals and how to achieve the best outcome. Don’t get sucked into the me me me banter from our king kong friends and give more emphasis on the agent who actually cares about you and your direction.
At the end of the day, you just have to be logical about your decisions. Use common sense and your intuition to weed out the liars who are trying to buy your love and remain objective with your property and be guided by those who aren’t just telling you what you want to here, but are devising the best strategy for you to get the best price achievable.
The following advice is of a general nature and intended as an opinion and broad guide. For all legal, financial or real estate advice you should obtain independent professional advice to do with the specific nature of your circumstances before making any legal, financial or real estate decisions.