1. “Your home isn’t worth as much as you think”
Many agents will bend the truth and just tell you what you want to hear to get your business. An agent telling you your home will sell for exactly what you hoped it would suddenly makes them an appealing option. Be wary of these agents and make sure you’re asking the right questions before hiring.
2. “My commission isn’t set in stone”
An agent’s fee is negotiable. If you’re not sure whether their fee sounds reasonable, weigh up each of the roles your agent will perform during the sales process. Then you’ll be able to put a value on the agent’s service relative to their fee.
3. “I’m more of a messenger than a negotiator”
A lot of agents play the part of a messenger between the seller and buyers, rather than negotiating with the buyer to obtain the best possible market price. A good trick to see if an agent is a skilled negotiator is to ask them to teach you something about negotiation. If you’re not impressed, don’t hire that agent – it’s as simple as that.
4. “Your renovation won’t get you a better price”
Despite what you see on The Block, renovating your home doesn’t always equate to more money in your pocket after the sale. You need to enlist the help of a professional to advise you on the saleability of your home in the current condition. Then you can compare that to the price your agent expects to achieve if the renovation was completed.
5. “I’m making a profit from your advertising investment”
Most of the real estate industry’s enquiry is now generated through the Internet, yet so many agents still allocate a large portion of their advertising budget to print advertising. Many agents will turn your advertising investment into a profit for themselves while you carry the risks. Advertising is really likely to attract sellers for the agent rather than buyers as the more ads they place, the more successful they appear.
6. “House staging is a waste of money”
Many agents will encourage you to hire furniture and even interior decorators to improve the presentation of your home. This can be a waste of money and even work against you when the condition of your home is fine, but the buyers are put off by your choice of furniture. Most houses will just need de-cluttering and a good clean.
7. “I only need 2 minutes in your house to know how much it’s worth”
Most agents know what your house is worth as soon as they’ve walked from the front to the back door, but many still put on a song and dance. Don’t be fooled by the show – it’s really just a way for agents to prove to you that they’re the best person for the job. Don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions at this point to really put the agent through their paces.
8. “Your open for inspection helps me more than it helps you”
The majority of people traipsing through your open house aren’t buyers –they’re nosy neighbours and sticky beaks – but it gives agents a chance to hand out their business cards and possibly gains new clients.
9. “The auction probably won’t get you the buyer’s highest price”
At auctions, the buyer’s focus is on outbidding the competing buyers by bids of small increments (like $500 or $1000) as opposed to offering their highest price for the property. Silent auctions usually work better because buyers will submit their best and final offer without knowing what the competition is putting forward. This reduces pressure put on the sellers and any potential public failures.
10. “I’ve lied to buyers to get them to your auction”
This is called Bait Pricing and unfortunately, lots of agents do it. It attracts the wrong buyers to your auction. Many optimistic buyers are led to an auction in the belief they can secure a sale, but when the opening bid is well above the maximum price they can afford, it’s pretty clear it was all a scam by the agent. Bait Pricing can also give the impression that your home, as a seller, is worth less.
11. “The first buyer is the best buyer”
Yes, this is often the case, but many agents will try to persuade you not to accept offers presented prior to the auction. Agents who have spent time and energy on an expensive advertising campaign will often want to use all the time leading up to the auction to generate interest in the property and promote themselves.
12. “Buying an investment property is not a path to riches”
There are various points to consider when buying an investment property, so you can make an informed decision and be rewarded in the future. An obvious one, but one that people often forget is that you need to plan for the long term. Make sure you seek out advice from experienced and successful people independent from the purchase.
13. “Buyers are going to do what buyers are going to do”
Agents might pretend that they can persuade buyers, but at the end of the day, buyers are extremely predictable and well informed these days. Buyers who go back to view a house multiple times are often trying to convince themselves that this is the perfect home for them. Usually two inspections are ideal for serious buyers.