Don’t be scared. It’s so easy. You can do it.
by Neil Jenman
Reading Time: 12 minutes
(Worth every second!)
PART 1 – JULY 6, 2023
Part 2 released week commencing July 10,2023
In these two articles, I will show you how to sell your home without using an agent. Provided, of course, that not using an agent, will give you a better result.
In most cases, you will get a better result without an agent. Especially a typical agent.
A few years ago, prior to the pandemic, one of my sons bought a block of land. It was a thousand square metres, on a level corner block, close to the centre of town – my hometown.
Other than a dusty abandoned sign in long grass, there was no evidence of an agent. Neighbours said it had been for sale for months.
Someone gave us the owner’s details. We called him and asked if he was listed with an agent. He said he had not heard from his agent for a year.
We made an offer which was duly accepted.
And then the sale contract arrived. In the space reserved for an agent, the owner’s lawyer had written (in caps): “WITHOUT THE INTERVENTION OF AN AGENT”.
According to the leather-bound Oxford Dictionary given to me by my grandmother (Wilkins) in 1980, the word “intervention” means: “Interfering in any affair, so as to affect its course or issue”.
That about describes what happen when most agents are involved in property sales.
They do indeed affect the course.
NEGATIVE OR POSITIVE
When you are considering selling a property – your family home or an investment – one of the first questions you must ask is this: Will an agent get me a more positive result or a more negative result?
And, of course, even if the result is positive – in other words, you sold your property for a price that pleased you – did you get value for money?
The answer depends on which agent you choose.
In today’s real estate world, most property owners would be far better off – financially and emotionally – selling without an agent.
I am not talking through any ulterior motive here. I earn nothing when owners sell homes without an agent. Even when I assist them myself – which can involve supporting them through the entire process, from writing an advertisement, to handling enquiries, to dealing with inspections and finally, to negotiating the right price, I don’t get paid.
Many times, sellers offer to pay me. They urge me to accept a small fraction of what they have saved in commission – plus, in most cases, the extra sale price from selling wisely.
But no. Other than books, I always refuse money from consumers.
Firstly, my real estate agency days are behind me.
Secondly, my motivation for helping home sellers is the same as it always has been. I do what I believe is in the best interests of the sellers. If that means I get paid or not, it makes no difference. The sellers’ interests come first.
And these days, so many sellers have such a negative experience with agents they’d be far better off selling their own homes without an agent.
THREE WAYS TO SELL A PROPERTY.
Essentially, there are three ways you can choose to sell your property.
The FIRST WAY – A GOOD AGENT: The first way is by far the best way. It’s to choose a good agent.
A good agent will get you a better price with less costs and less stress.
A good agent will put your interests ahead of their own.
A good agent will be honest and ethical. Even if it means they make no money, a good agent will always give you the advice that’s in your best interests.
Good agents are good negotiators, indeed many have taken courses on negotiation and read books on the subject.
Good agents know that pushing sellers down in price is not negotiation, it’s bullying and manipulation.
Good agents discover the highest price buyers will pay rather than focusing on the lowest price the sellers will accept.
Good agents know that their role is to sell a home for the best market price.
Good agents will never ask sellers to reveal their lowest price; they know that the sellers’ lowest price is nobody’s business except the sellers.
Good agents do not have harsh and unfair clauses in their selling agreements. They do not charge sellers for any costs before their homes are sold.
Good agents never put sellers in the position where the sellers may not sell their homes yet lose hundreds or often thousands of dollars.
Good agents have integrity. They know that every time they advertise a home they are likely to attract an abundance of fresh leads for themselves, leads that can easily result in more commission for the agents. They would never think of doing something as unethical as using clients’ money to create more leads for themselves – even if sales trainers teach them such.
Good agents work hard. They are available to show homes to buyers when it suits buyers not just when it suits agents at the 30-minute per week designated open-house time.
Good agents more than cover the cost of their commission.
If you pay a good agent, say, $25,000, you can be confident that the agent helped you achieve an extra amount on your sale price many times more than the amount of their commission.
Good agents are confident in their own abilities. They don’t need to ask for money up-front as most agents do. They do not leave you with massive debt for marketing costs if your home does not sell.
Good agents accept that business often involves risk. In return for you trusting them with the sale of your home – and hopefully staying with them until your home is sold – good agents are happy to offer you what all ethical agents will offer you: No charges for any reason until you are happily sold.
Selling your home with a good agent is the best way to get yourself the best result.
Unfortunately, there are not many good agents.
It may take you weeks to find a good agent, you may have to ‘import’ a good agent from another area (which, on its own, often leads to a better price); but here’s an edict you must follow if you want to sell for the best result: It’s better to spend three or four weeks searching for a good agent than to spend three or four months stuck with a typical agent.
The SECOND WAY – A TYPICAL AGENT: Real estate agents have never been as unpopular and as distrusted as they are today. The ethical standards in real estate have never been as low as they are today.
These shocking figures – lack of trust and low ethics – is due entirely to typical agents that infest the real estate world today.
Typical agents represent about 90 per cent of today’s agents.
These agents possess three characteristics: They are greedy, they are lazy, and they are stupid.
As a home seller you should never hire a typical agent.
Oh sure, some present well, they tell you what you want to hear. They woo you with their awards and their stories of great success. They seduce you with promises of great results.
Don’t believe them. This mob – and remember they are most agents – are con artists.
All those positive reviews? Well, try leaving a negative review, it’s near impossible.
The only thing typical agents are skilled at doing is conning decent and trusting home sellers. Maybe like you? I hope not.
You can recognise typical agents in three main ways:
First, they expect (or even demand) that you pay advertising money before your home is sold. They urge you to spend several thousand dollars on an internet ad that supposedly guarantees premium position for your home.
What you don’t know, of course, is that they offer the same premium deal for every seller.
Indeed, many typical agents now have a policy: ALL sellers must pay for a premium ad.
Even people who work at the big websites know this is a scam. They know that the most inexpensive advertisement has the same (or even better) chance of attracting buyers for your home.
And be warned: If they offer a “pay later” scheme, you could wind up with a caveat on your home.
This is what happened to Mavis, a recently widowed lady. Her home was for sale for one hour before she changed her mind. She called the agent and said she no longer wished to sell.
A week later, she got an invoice with a demand for $5,000 for “marketing expenses”.
When she refused to pay, a caveat was lodged on her home.
The second way to recognise typical agents is how they use cliché after cliché. They will trot out lines such as “You can’t sell a secret,” to persuade you to advertise. They will make repeated references to “the market”. The market this… The market that… We need to wait and see what the market says.
And on and on. All about the market.
And, of course, when they give you low offers – which they surely will, it won’t be their fault, regardless of what they quoted you before you signed-up. No, it will be the market’s fault.
And then, as more pressure is applied, you will be told to “Listen to the market”.
Well, the only people you should not listen to are these typical agents.
The third way to recognise typical agents is by their “Listing Agreements”. They will ask you to sign a document which they brush aside as “standard”.
Or they will say, “Everyone signs this”.
And then, the ultimate chutzpah: “It has to be signed by law.”
Er, not quite.
Sure, when you list your home for sale with an agent, you must sign a listing agreement. But you do not have to sign a legally binding contract which strips you of all your consumer rights. You do not need to allow typical agents to metaphorically nail you to the wall.
Three words you must remember when a typical agent pulls out one of their ‘standard Listing Agreements’ – DON’T SIGN ANYTHING.
Tell them to leave their agreement on your kitchen table.
And then tell them that you will need time to go through their document slowly and carefully.
And then show them the door.
Start reading their document – slowly, maybe with a magnifying glass – and you will surely be horrified at what you read. An agent being able to charge you full commission even if your home does not sell?! Or having to pay two commissions if this agent fails and you hire another agent.
Let’s be clear about something: Under no circumstances should homeowners sell their homes with typical agents.
It doesn’t matter how long you wait, find a good agent.
Or, if you can’t find a good agent, please try a third way. You’ll have nothing to lose.
The THIRD WAY – Sell “WITHOUT THE INTERVENTION OF AN AGENT”.
As you will see (in Part 2 – released next week), Selling a home without a typical agent is easy, far easier than you ever imagined.
And therein rests the major problem: Most sellers can’t imagine selling their own homes.
SELLERS ARE BLUFFED AND BRAINWASHED.
The real estate industry in Australia has erroneously convinced most homeowners that they need an agent to sell their homes, that they must use an agent.
Some sellers are so brainwashed, they think it’s the law that you must use an agent to sell your home.
Nonsense. It’s easy.
Think about the typical agent, sitting at an open-for-inspection for 30 minutes, waiting for a buyer to turn up and say: “I love it.”
And then think of you paying that typical agent $35,000 for that half hour’s work.
Well, this is what happens to thousands of decent, too-trusting and too-timid home sellers every week.
It need not happen to anyone. Australians are being bluffed en-masse.
In many other countries, it’s common for homeowners to sell without an agent – in the United States, in France – and many (most) countries, as many as 60 per cent of property sales are done “without the intervention of an agent”.
In Australia, less than one per cent of homes are sold without an agent.
And for one reason: The real estate industry has got sellers bluffed, bullied, and intimidated into believing that agents have some great skills and some powerful knowledge that makes them uniquely qualified to sell homes. Just them, no one else.
Oh, come on, seriously: Have you ever met anyone who’s failed to qualify as a real estate agent? Neither have I.
So, brace yourself for Part 2 coming next week (after July 10, 2023).
I’ll show you how easy it is. And if you can’t find a good agent, I will help you myself – as I have helped so many other sellers – to sell simply and safely and for more money than by using a typical agent. And in case you think I may not have the time or the stamina to help you – or my family forbids me from doing too much – I have a team of good people who will show you how to avoid typical agents and sell your home yourself if there is no good agent to assist you.
In the meantime – as I have offered it before, let me offer it again: A book I published many years ago (NOT authored by me) called REAL ESTATE WITHOUT AGENTS.
If you are a genuine home seller and you do not want to hire a typical agent and you can’t find a good agent, let me know. I will mail you a complimentary copy of Real Estate Without Agents.
Please click here to receive your copy.