There are lots of common misconceptions floating around out there about real estate agents. Usually along the lines that agents can’t be trusted and that they’re out to take your money.
But it pays to look at the facts before you start believing everything you hear.
In a recent CoreLogic survey based on 300 vendors ratings, Australian agents were put under scrutiny. The survey found that 66% of people rated their experience with their agent as either excellent (31%) or good (35%). Of those who rated their agent as poor (14%) the majority indicated lack of follow up and negotiation skills as the main reasons, rather than ‘mistrust’ and ‘money grubbing’.
The report revealed that in actual fact most agents were viewed by the vendors as hard-working professionals who often go the extra mile to make the selling process less stressful, and try their best to secure the highest price possible.
It’s our pleasure then to debunk some of the common myths about real estate agents and give vendors a more realistic picture.
Myth 1 - Real estate agents are always late
Notwithstanding traffic delays beyond their control, it’s in a real estate agents best interests to be punctual. Good real estate agents make it a priority to be on time, especially if they have successive open for inspections scheduled.
You’ll actually spend longer waiting in a doctor or a dentist’s waiting room than for an estate agent to show up.
Myth 2 - If I reduce the commission, I'll make more money
Real estate commissions in Australia aren’t regulated but, on average, estate agent fees are 2-3% of the sale price and marketing is often included in that. If you go with an agent with a low commission you may save money, but you’re likely to receive substandard services.
The best agents may be on higher commissions but they’ll work harder to get you a higher price for your house.
Myth 3 - Real estate agents hide information about houses to make a sale
Real estate agents are legally required to disclose issues about a home to potential buyers before sale. Not doing so can land them in court, make them liable for fines and at risk of losing their professional license.
An experienced real estate agent knows the rules down to the letter and won’t hinder a sale (or their reputation) by hiding information.
Myth 4 - All real estate agents make too much money
Many real estate agents would laugh whole heartedly at this one because most are earning less than the people they’re selling homes for. Agents rely solely on commission, so during a market boom an experienced agent can be earning a large commission, but they still need to save for a rainy day. When the market is in withdrawal they may be barely scraping by.
Myth 5 - Real estate agents have to give me all the information about a neighbourhood, especially if its negative
Actually they don’t. It’s up to buyers to do independent research about an area they’re buying into before purchasing. A good real estate agent will recommend sources of information for homebuyers but obviously it’s not in their best interests to make negative comments about a neighbourhood.
Myth 6 - Real estate agents will say anything to make the sale
Referrals are the lifeblood of real estate agents so it’s unlikely they’ll lie, cheat or put their reputation at risk. It’s also against the law and Australia has strict legislation in place around real estate and agent code of conduct. Most agents strive to be open and honest with their clients because they want to be referred.
Have we managed to debunk the most common myths about real estate agents? If you’re ready to list your property on Bricks + Agent simply register as a vendor today, publish your property listing and compare bids from the best local agents. It’s quick, simple and free!