Most are also the worst agents!
by Neil Jenman
READING TIME: 8.5 minutes
Real estate agents who describe themselves as “the best” are the worst when it comes to looking after home-sellers.
Not all of them, of course. But certainly, most of them. They may sell the most homes, but they rarely sell homes for the most money.
According to our research, around 70 per cent of the “best selling” agents are among the worst at looking after sellers.
In essence, these “best agents” cheat sellers badly. They are so good at cheating that most sellers – especially inexperienced sellers – never realise they have been cheated.
These “best” agents cheat sellers in three ways:
First, they charge up-front “marketing” costs on false pretences.
This can range from a thousand dollars to $50,000 on high-end properties.
Second, they short-sell properties.
The short-sell is often ten per cent. So, if a property sells for $1 million it is likely to have been short-sold by about $100,000. Sometimes much more, especially in booms.
Third, they charge too much commission.
There’s nothing worse than being over-charged for under-selling your property. Most sellers over-pay and under-sell.
To avoid being caught by one of these “best agents” who are really the worst agents, you need to know what they mean when they promote themselves as “the best”.
And, also, you need to define what “best” means to you. More on that in a moment.
As I recently wrote, my sister just sold her former family home in the Central Queensland city of Mackay.
As do many sellers, she asked us: “Please help me find the best agent.” The correct instruction should have been: Please help me find the agent who will act in my best interests.
She suggested an agent whose name and face are spread around Mackay. Of course, extreme caution is needed with “Hollywood agents”.
Sure enough, this agent arrogantly demands $2,500 from sellers before their homes are sold – in addition to the commission. Agent first, seller last. No thanks. Not for my sister.
It’s amazing how sellers ignore obvious questions about some agents.
Questions such as: Who is really paying for that flash car?
How can they spend tens of thousands of dollars thrusting celebrity on themselves?
Agents who demand money in advance of selling a home are the worst agents. They are lazy and unethical. To ask sellers to pay advertising money when the agents already know buyers or could locate buyers without such huge costs is not only lazy, but also dishonest.
You see, the sellers are told a common lie. The agents say that advertising money is necessary to find buyers. But the real purpose of this money is so that agents can promote themselves at the expense of the sellers – and therefore find more sellers.
It’s a nasty con trick. Agents con sellers into paying to find more sellers for the agents.
Among themselves agents openly admit it. When interviewed about why they are the “best” agent, they will reply, “Because of personal promotion”.
It’s all about them, them, them.
These “best agents” – who are really the worst – should all be known as “I specialists” – yes, it’s all about themselves. Every second word seems to be “I”. I did this, I do that, I won this. I, I, I – specialists in focusing on themselves. “I specialists”.
NEVER do you hear these “best agents” say that the reason for their success is because they place the sellers’ interests ahead of their own interests.
NEVER do these “best agents” say that they offer sellers a no-risk selling option – if the property does not sell, the sellers do not lose. Not one cent. A guarantee is a basic consumer right. Not in real estate with these worst “best agents”.
NEVER do these “best agents” say that the reason for their success is that they have studied negotiation and they know how to sell homes for the best possible price. Of course not, it’s so often the case that the faster the sale, the lower the price. “Turn over, mate.” Yes, turn em over.
NEVER do these “best agents” talk about holding out for the best price. Research shows that when agents sell their own homes, they get a better price than when selling clients’ homes.
NEVER do these “best agents” allow prospective sellers access to all their sellers. No, they cherry-pick happy sellers. As for those “reviews” – try comparing reviews on Rate My Agent with reviews on Google. The “best agents” on Rate My Agent are often the worst on Google. Why? Because ‘Rate My Agent’ will not accept reviews from unhappy vendors. Agents pay Rate My Agent. Google cannot be bought. As the saying goes, “He who pays the piper calls the tune”. Rate My Agent call themselves “Australia’s Number One real estate agents ratings website”. Number one at what? Making dishonest agents appear honest. Fake My Agent.
WHAT DOES “BEST” MEAN FOR YOU, THE SELLER?
The agents who are truly “the best” agents do what’s best for you. They put your interests ahead of their own interests.
Some agents are just best at convincing sellers that they are the best. A great quote, erroneously credited to Churchill, is one that all home-sellers should remember: “I no longer listen to what people say, I just watch what they do. Behaviour never lies.”
So, ignore photographs on the backs of buses (or rubbish bins, seriously!) shouting out that they are “the best” and ask yourself: “How do I know if this agent is best for me?”
Here’s a checklist to help you.
- The best agents are those who do what’s best for sellers, first and foremost. The worst agents are those who do what’s best for the agents. It’s simple.
- The best agents are not those who sell the most properties, they are the ones who sell properties for the most.
- The best agents listen to you. They want to know everything about you; they give you advice based that is in your best interests. The best agents feel good.
- The worst agents never shut up. They take no notice when you show them around your home. They tell you how many years they have been in real estate.
- The best agents are different from all other agents. If you find yourself thinking, “You are nothing like other agents,” you could have found the best agent.
- The best agents never ask you for money in advance of your home being sold.
- The worst agents always ask you for money in advance of your home being sold.
- The worst agents will push you to “upgrade” to an expensive advertising package – supposedly because you get a premier position. WARNING: Everyone gets offered the same deal. How can every customer get the best seat in the house?
- The best agents often get you a much better price “off-market”. They use advertising as a last resort, not a first choice. And they pay for it. The risk is with them.
- The best agents chase up buyers. Most agents, especially the worst agents (who call themselves “the best”) only return about 20 per cent of calls from buyers.
- The best agents qualify buyers before bringing them to your home.
- The worst agents hold a free-for-all open-inspection where neighbours, sticky-beaks, other-agents and yes, burglars wander through.
- The worst agents set aside 30 minutes a week for buyers to inspect your home.
- The best agents will show your home during any of the 10,080 minutes each week.
- The best agents offer you a guarantee. If you are not happy, you can fire them with no penalties.
- The worst agents offer no guarantee. If you attempt to sack them, they slug you for thousands of dollars in advertising fees – that were used to promote themselves and to find extra leads, all at your expense.
- The worst agents recommend public auction. These agents are constantly short-selling homes, especially in a boom.
- The best agents may suggest a private auction. More work for them, sure, but more money for the sellers.
- The best agents suggest ways that sellers can save on expenses.
- The worst agents keep suggesting ways that mean more expenses.
- The worst agents have horrible clauses in their selling agency agreements (contracts) such as being able to lodge a caveat on your home. Or they can charge you full commission if you do not sell. Read the fine print and you’ll see some of the worst clauses of your life. The worst agents put them there.
- The best agents don’t ask to be paid until you’re sold and happy.
- The worst agents get you the lowest price you will accept.
- The best agents get you the best price.
- The best agents care about you. And it shows in all that they do.
These are 25 quick checks to help you find the agent who is best for you – not the agents who claim to be the best.
I know this comment will make me [more] unpopular with most agents, but the simple fact is this: YOU CAN’T TRUST MOST AGENTS.
Most agents are not working for you, they are working for themselves. They put their faces on the backs of buses. Not your face or the face of happy customers. They are the ones driving flash cars. What car do you drive? Okay, if you want to contribute to the lease payments for the car of a pretender, what are they going to contribute for you?
When selling your home, safety should be your first goal. You need to be protected from the scores of tricks and traps that await home-sellers.
When my sister asked me to help her find the best agent, I made sure we found her the agent who would best protect her interests. And that meant no upfront costs. It meant a guarantee that she could dismiss the agent with no penalty. And best of all, it meant the best price possible for her home and a fair rate of commission. She achieved all these goals.
The agent we found for her does not have his face on any buses. But he sure put a smile on my sister’s face. And the maximum amount in her bank account.
Isn’t that what the truly best agents should all do?
FOOTNOTE: USING JENMAN SUPPORT TO FIND THE RIGHT AGENTS.
If you’d like us to do the work in finding the best agent for you – at no charge whatsoever (and with nothing to sign and no obligation) – let us know. We’d be happy for you to speak with all the sellers we have helped and are currently helping. One thing is sure and certain: When we find an agent for you, we make sure the agent agrees to our 8 Protection Points. And yes, sometimes some agents let us down too. But when that happens, we can do what most sellers can never do (unless they have our help) – we can fire the agent and find another one. Safety first. That’s how we protect the value of your homes. To get the best result when selling your home – a result that can mean hundreds of thousands of dollars more for you – means you must find the agent who truly is the best agent. Not the pretenders. Not the ones who sell the most unless they are also the ones who sell for the most.
We are here to help you. Just email email@example.com or call 1800 1800 18.
Thank you for reading this article. You have seen what I write. Now, try me and see what I can do. If you are an honest and decent home-owner, at Jenman Support we will love to help you get a great result when you sell or buy your greatest asset.
PLEASE NOTE: Our focus is on helping consumers. Abuse from agents on our website or Facebook page will be deleted, ignored or well publicised – it depends on our mood.
But one thing will never vary: We will never stop doing what we love most – helping polite and honest consumers get the best deal possible in real estate. And, of course, if any agents are serious about taking care of consumers, we’ll help you too. Thank you.