Listen to your instinct not the sales pitch.
by Neil Jenman
READING TIME: Apx 7.5 mins
If I could only give you one piece of advice about selling your home, it would be this:
NEVER HIRE A DODGY AGENT.
Dodgy agents cause you no end of trouble.
Especially after you hire them.
Before you sign-up, you’ll think that having this well-known agent whose face is splashed around your area and who shows you awards and testimonials on Fake-My-Agent – and sprouts about being “number one this” and “number two that” is surely the best agent.
You won’t realise that, when it comes to agents, biggest does not mean best.
Okay, it’s clear he (or she) is a ‘scallywag’, but they are not marrying into your family. They just have to sell your home; so hiring “a bit of a rogue” may be the way to get the best price.
Sort of like – “Send one to catch one” or “Yes, he’s sleazy, but look at the prices he gets”.
No, no, no.
No matter how much you are tempted, no matter what they promise you, don’t hire a dodgy agent.
Dodgy agents never put your interests first.
Dodgy agents rarely get you the highest price.
Dodgy agents hit you up for a tonne of ‘extras’ – such as “premium” ads or styling –which supposedly gets you more money but which channels your dollar into their pockets.
Simple formula with Dodgy Agents: The more you spend, the more they benefit.
Dodgy agents assail you with all the real estate lines, such as “You can’t sell a secret” and “We’ll have to see how the market responds” and “The more buyers we attract the better it is for you.”
Many real estate clichés sound good, but they don’t feel good. So slow down and think before you sign-up. Never sign-up without giving yourself time to think, especially about some of the dodgy methods the agent may suggest.
Such as, “If we promote a lower price, we will attract more buyers.”
When you look worried, the agent will say, “Believe me, it works, I have been doing this for X years.”
And sure enough, a fake low price does bring lots of buyers.
At the fake low price.
The dodgy agent will then say, “This is what the market is saying.”
Yes, but the dodgy agent has attracted the wrong market.
Dodgy agents love to play you for a fool.
Think about it: If you want to sell your home for a high price, the first thing you need is a buyer who can afford to pay a high price.
Not according to Dodgy Deals Pty Ltd. According to them, the more buyers who offer you a lower price the more it offers “proof” that your home is not worth the price you want.
But the only sure proof when an agent suggests quoting a low price is that the agent is dodgy.
And please remember the maxim: “If someone will lie for me, they will lie to me.”
That’s right, agents who give you the wink-wink, nudge-nudge, about how they fool buyers will almost surely be fooling you too. Dodgy agents don’t discriminate. They are dodgy with everyone – buyers and sellers.
The best talent that dodgy agents possess is hooking sellers. They are masters of the first impression. They lay all the enticement traps.
But, once you sign-up with a dodgy agent, they unleash some of the worst behaviour you’ll ever experience in your life. All focused on what they want you to do – sell at any price.
If you think they are good at persuading you to sign-up in the belief you’ll get a high price, they are even more ruthless when it comes to persuading you to accept a lower price.
After you sign-up, dodgy agents will introduce you to something called “the market”.
The way dodgy agents talk about “the market”, you’d think the market was another person, introduced into the selling mix for the sole purpose of forcing you down in price:
“The market says this…”
“The market says that…”
“You have to listen to the market…”
If you remind a dodgy agent about the high price they promised you before you signed-up, here’s their common response…
“I am only telling you what the market is saying.”
It’s as if they point to the market, saying “Don’t blame me, this is the market talking.”
Dodgy agents tell the lies, and then the market becomes their alibi.
According to dodgy agents, there is only one solution if a home does not sell: Lower the price. Yes, throw your money away. Yes, devalue your home. Forget their promises when you signed-up. The market has spoken.
How about increasing the effort?
How about pushing the features of a home? How about taking the focus off negative points and placing it on positive points?
How about some enthusiasm and excitement about your home, for goodness’ sake?
Dodgy agents are lazy. They have got the sellers signed-up which, to them, means “tied-up”, often for months. The agents can nag; hammer, pound and pressure owners into reducing their price and the owners can’t do anything about their behaviour.
This is not like a marriage where you can up and leave. When you sign-up with a dodgy agent, you’re not going anywhere. You are locked up.
The only people dodgy agents put first are themselves, always themselves.
Dodgy agents are interested in two things – and two things only – their commission and their ‘profile’. Whatever they can do to put the most money in their pockets, they will do, while at the same time – or, more correctly, at all times – promoting themselves and their image. All at your expense.
If you hire a dodgy agent, it’s not your home that you will be paying to promote; it’s the agents and their profile. It’s all done with a uniquely Australian scam called “Vendor Paid Advertising”. A scam that exists in no other country like in Australia. Gee, makes you wonder how they sell homes in other countries. Oh that’s right. Advertising is included in the commission.
Believe it, please: Only dodgy agents ask you to pay thousands of dollars to advertise your home instead of following-up thousands of buyers who leave details with agents each year – and rarely get contacted.
One of the great truths in marketing is this: “Advertising is what gets done when salespeople are too lazy to contact prospective customers.”
You may wonder why agents focus on getting sellers to lower the price of their home. Surely, the higher the price, the higher the commission?
Sure, a higher the price means more of something that dodgy agents detest, a four-letter word that’s anathema to them – work.
Dodgy agents are lazy agents.
Lazy agents do what’s easy. They avoid what’s hard.
It’s easy to sit at your home for 30 minutes a week waiting for buyers to turn up.
It’s hard to spend the other 10,050 minutes each week searching for buyers.
It’s easy to send a mass email to thousands of prospects on a database.
It’s hard to sift through a database to find the most likely prospects.
It’s easy to force buyers to inspect at a set time each week that suits the agents.
It’s hard to show properties when it suits the buyers.
It’s easy to ask sellers to reveal their lowest price.
It’s hard to discover the highest amount buyers are willing to pay.
So please, whatever you do, never a hire a dodgy agent to sell your home.
But how do you know which agents are dodgy?
Oh please, come on. You know it. What did we say at the start? Many sellers not only know that the agent is dodgy, they think that hiring a dodgy agent will get them a result.
And yes, it will get a result. To be sure, dodgy agents know how to sell.
But you need them to be selling the buyers to pay the right price, not conning you into selling for the wrong price.
And yes, it’s true that some honest agents can seem somewhat weak. They don’t make false promises. They avoid all the hyperbole that can be so enticing. And yes, sadly, it’s the honest agents, those who dare to tell the sellers the truth in the beginning, those who refuse to pump-up the price to hook the sellers, these are the agents who so often get trodden on.
As one good agent once lamented: “When we go to listing presentations, many owners will punish us if we tell the truth. And then list their homes with agents who lie about the likely selling price.”
What’s even more painful – for good agents and home-sellers – is that dodgy agents who lie about the selling price to entice sellers to sign-up, almost always sell homes for lower prices.
If sellers knew what lies beneath the “tell-them-what-they-want-to-hear” attitude of the dodgy agents, they’d never sign-up with any of them.
So, please follow one of the golden rules of life when choosing an agent to sell your home: Don’t listen to their sales pitch because, as you should know, the best persuaders are often the worst rogues. Listen to your instincts.
It may seem trite, but you should do business with people you like, not someone you are prepared to tolerate because you think their dodgy ways will get you a better price. Dodgy agents don’t care about you – at least not once you sign-up with them.
Instead of asking which agent gave you the best quote, ask yourself which agent you liked the most, which agent seemed to truly care about you, which agent seemed genuine.
And, if you wish, here’s a crazy one: If you had to select an agent to marry into your family, which one would it be? Well, maybe that’s the one you should hire.
No matter what you do, don’t choose a dodgy agent, no matter what.
If you are not good at listening to your instincts, if you consider yourself a poor judge of character, then here is one sure rule for picking the difference between good agents and dodgy agents.
Dodgy agents will ask you for money in advance (usually for “advertising”). Or, if your home does not sell – never mind if they expect you to sell it for thousands of dollars less than they quoted you (which means they lied to you to persuade you to sign-up), they will send you a huge bill for “advertising” expenses. In other words, with these agents, all of whom are dodgy, you run the risk of losing money and not selling.
Good agents always offer you risk-free selling. If they do not get the price you want, you pay nothing. Not a cent. Good agents are prepared to take all the risks. And for one reason. Good agents know they are going to do a good job so they don’t demand money in advance of service.
On the contrary, dodgy agents know they are dodgy. They know that if they don’t get the money in advance – or get you to commit in advance – there’s no way you’ll pay them later because you’ll discover that they are dodgy. And who wants to hire a dodgy agent and be forced to pay them? Not you.
So, there you have it: Dodgy agents are high-risk. Good agents are no-risk.
If you need help finding a good agent, choosing a good agent or protecting yourself from a dodgy agent, just call our 24-hour Jenman Support line on 1800 1800 18
Please note: We do not charge sellers for our support. Nor do we ever ask you to sign any agreements. Our entire focus is to protect your interests.
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.