Don’t join thousands of real estate victims!
by Neil Jenman
READING TIME: 4 minutes apx.
Thomas is a 33-year-old underground miner with four children under six. He lives in a remote town. Two years ago, wanting to secure his family’s future, he contacted a real estate wealth creation company on-line. They convinced him to buy an ‘off-the-plan’ apartment. The apartment has one-bedroom and no parking. The price was $450,000. He handed over his life savings of forty-five thousand dollars as deposit. The building is now nearing completion and Thomas must pay another $405,000. He can’t find anyone to lend him the money because the apartment is worth less than he paid for it. If he doesn’t settle or sell, he will be sued by the developer. He may lose his family home and go bankrupt. At Jenman Support, we are fighting to rescue him.
The same thing happened to David and Danielle. They were persuaded to invest in a ‘house and land package” on the outskirts of Melbourne. Tiny home on a tiny block for just under $500,000. “Don’t worry about anything,” said the company – from the salesperson to the director – “We are the experts, we take care of everything.” Sure, and this couple now look like losing at least a hundred thousand dollars. At Jenman Support, we are trying to rescue them from this rotten deal.
My son comes home from school and tells me that one of his mate’s dads “needs to speak” with me. I tell the shy father to come over. Sitting in my lounge room, I see the mess he is in. He met a man who bills himself as Australia’s most trusted, respected and awarded “buyers’ agent”, a man who promises to find “the right properties in the right places”.
Three years after trusting this agent, the properties have dropped by almost $300,000 each. My son’s mate’s dad has lost around half a million dollars. He is 48. The buyers’ agent has given him some “compensation”. He has rebated part of the commission he got from the developer. Yes, that’s right, while charging investors thousands of dollars to “locate the right properties”, he is also pocketing huge commission from developers. A classic ‘conflict of interest’.
Desperate for any financial relief, the father accepted the agent’s offer. But there was a condition: He had to sign a confidentiality clause. He is now legally forbidden from discussing the case. Meanwhile, the “highly awarded” buyer’s agent is advertising for more investors.
Some badly bitten investors, desperate to sell over-priced properties before they face legal action, contacted a real estate agency that was advertising “NO COMMISSION”.
The agency, an English mob called Purple Bricks simply changed the word “commission” to the word “fee”. And, unlike normal agents, where you pay when your property is sold, the Purple Bricks’ fee is payable whether the property sells or not. Countless people – whose properties did not sell – are now getting legal threats with a demand for $8,800. Yes, that’s right, for doing nothing, for not selling their properties and for enticing them with the “no commission” line, desperate sellers are now being sued for the “fee” of $8,800. Only in real estate could such conduct occur.
I don’t think I have met many nicer people than Caroline. She and her husband, Greg, moved to a rural community. Greg grew up in this little village and longed to return to his roots. With purchase price and renovation costs, they had a gorgeous home that cost them about $600,000. Then tragedy struck. Greg was diagnosed with cancer. He needs constant medical treatment. They must sell and move to the city.
They called an agent who told them, “No problem, I can get you close to $700,000. Just give us a cheque for $9,000 to cover the advertising costs.” Caroline and Greg didn’t have a spare nine thousand dollars. “No problem,” said the agent, “You can pay at the end.” Yes, but it depends what is meant by “the end”.
More than a year later and the agent who told them he could easily get seven hundred thousand dollars has given up and gone. For him, it’s “the end”. Caroline has been in touch with other agents. Her home is not worth $700,000, it never was. She will be lucky to get $500,000.
Meanwhile, the agent who promised that $700,000 was “no problem” is threatening them for the nine thousand dollars. Be careful: In real estate “no problem” often means “no responsibility”. And when “the end” comes, it may not be the end you expected. At Jenman Support, we are doing all we can to rescue Caroline and Greg.
In real estate, investment advisers, agents and all manner of money-hungry people can tell you anything and promise you the world. If they don’t deliver, what happens? To them, nothing. To you, disaster. If they break their promises, technically, you can sue them. But how many young miners or cancer sufferers can afford legal costs, never mind the stress of fighting the “big real estate world”.
Every week in Australia, there are almost ten thousand property sales. That’s 20,000 ‘sides’ if you count the sellers AND the buyers, involving as many as 40,000 people (given that there are usually two people involved in each transaction).
How many of these 40,000 people find selling or buying property to be stressful? About 99 per cent of them. How many people who work in the real estate industry – agents, advertisers, lawyers – care about the sellers and buyers? About one per cent of them.
And how many of these 20,000 people are being financially hurt – either in direct “losses” or in paying needless costs (such as advertising fees) or who are under-selling or over-paying without realising it at the time? About 90 per cent of them.
At least nine out of ten people who enter the real estate “spaghetti bowl of deceit and disaster” are being hurt, some horrendously. And, every day, we rescue as many as we can. Our “rescue” work can take up eighty per cent of our day.
But there is always one frustrating question when we speak to victims of real estate deceit: “Why didn’t you call us BEFORE you bought that property or hired that agent?”
The most common reply is: “We didn’t want to bother you.”
Well, hey, we appreciate your concern for us, but we’d much rather “PROTECT” you than rescue you. And besides, as I said to one seller yesterday – whose agent was literally blackmailing him (“Pay me a higher commission or I will kill the sale”) – if you’d have contacted me before the agent, we’d both be better off. We’d have protected you which means you’d have got a better price and paid less commission and had zero risk and we’d have got a small fee from the agent.
As one seller said to us recently: “The agents pay you to protect us from them. Fantastic!”
So please, let’s make all our lives better – more rewards and less risks of any financial damage. Before you buy or sell real estate, please contact us at Jenman Support. We make you three big promises – which we always keep: First, we will never ask you for money. Second, we will never ask you to sign anything (just give us your loyalty if you feel we deserve it. And, third, we will always put your interest first.
Andrew, one of our regular readers wrote these words to us this week:
“It is disheartening to know that there are so many people and organisations in the real estate industry willing to take advantage of others trust and lack of knowledge to further their own interests without regard for the harm they cause to others.”
Yes, sure, but surely it is heartening to know that someone is fighting to protect you and make sure you get the very best result – with no risk of any harm – when you sell or buy real estate.
Need real estate help? Call us now. Rescue or protect, protect or rescue; we will always help you.
PLEASE NOTE: Our focus is upon helping consumers. Abuse from agents on our web site or Facebook page will be deleted or 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 honest consumers get the best deal possible in real estate. And, of course, if any agents are serious about taking care of consumers, we’d love to help you too. Thank you.