by Neil Jenman
READING TIME: 5 mins apx
If you are selling a home and an agent is asking you to pay money up-front for “marketing costs,” here’s a message for you: Don’t pay. Find a better agent.
It is ridiculous how agents are scamming so many home-sellers. Well over a billion dollars a year is now “spent” by hapless sellers on needless advertising costs.
Yes, it is ridiculous.
There is now about twenty-five times as much money spent on real estate advertising than was spent 25 years ago. There are not 25 times as many homes being sold. Not even double.
There is now the ridiculous situation where Australian agents have got together – like a massive cartel – and conspired to fool sellers into paying for what agents should be paying for, advertising their business.
Most advertising costs are a ridiculous rip-off.
Agents who are asking you for your money, ostensibly to promote your property, are telling you some monstrous lies.
Plus, they are covering-up two big reasons they want you to pay for advertising costs:
First, they are promoting their agency at your expense. The main reason for advertising is not to promote homes, it’s to promote agents. It’s called raising their “profile.”
Sure, at your expense.
Second, they are using your home as a source of leads to find other homes for sale. Their chutzpah is so brazen that most agents now have a question or a link (in the sellers’ ads) urging other sellers to contact them – before they mention the home being sold.
Sellers are played for suckers by most agents.
The agents call this massive advertising rip-off “VPA.” It stands for “Vendor Paid Advertising.” They talk about it all the time. Some laugh about it, like petty crims counting loot after a burglary. It’s ridiculous.
“Make sure you get VPA on all your listings.”
“You’ll get paid more if you bring in more VPA.”
“Hey, 95 per cent of our listings are all VPA”.
And on it goes. Agents ripping-off thousands of sellers every week for millions of dollars in advertising money which has nothing to do with selling their homes.
Agents know it’s a scam. They don’t need your advertising money to find buyers. How many times do they advertise a home and get calls from buyers that had previously called them?
“All the time,” replied one rare honest agent.
VPA should not stand for Vendor Paid Advertising. It should stand for VENDOR PROMOTES AGENT.
When you are selling your home, you want to hire an agent to sell your home, you do not want to buy advertising to promote the agent. It’s ridiculous.
Indeed, not only is most advertising for most homes not necessary, in many cases it can be damaging. There is ample evidence emerging to show that homes sold off-market are often sold for higher prices than comparable homes with massive advertising campaigns.
Sure, in some instances, advertising may be necessary to attract buyers for some homes; but even if this is the case, it doesn’t mean you, the sellers, should pay for it. And certainly not before your home is sold.
And, as for those “premium ads,” that’s another con-job. Keep this to yourself please, but, on a plane, I once sat next to an executive from a major website. I was told, “When I sold my home, the agent wanted $6,000 to “upgrade” me to premium. I said I work for the real estate website, and the cheapest ad is just as effective – if not more so – than that premium rubbish.”
Australia is the only country in the world where agents ask sellers to pay advertising money in advance of their homes being sold. So, if an agent says they “can’t sell your home unless you pay thousands of dollars in advertising money,” ask how agents do it in every other country.
So, please, just say no.
Don’t swallow the guilt-line of, “But it’s your home, you should pay the costs of advertising it.” You go to an agent because you expect them to find a buyer for a home. If they find a buyer at a price acceptable to you, you pay a commission. You don’t pay in advance to find a buyer.
What other businesses expect customers to pay separately for their advertising? Such costs are built-in to the cost of a service or product.
Now that the pandemic restrictions are easing, people are starting to invite friends to their homes. Barbeques are back.
But imagine going to your local butcher and saying, “I’m having a barbeque on the weekend, I’d like to order three dozen steaks.”
And the butcher says, “Sure, but please give me some money so I can advertise to find some cows.”
What would you reply?
You’d say, “Don’t be ridiculous.”
Well, come on, seriously. A butcher asking you for money to advertise to find cows is no different from an agent asking you for money to advertise to find buyers.
But why pick on home-sellers? What about home-buyers? Instead of asking sellers for money to find buyers, why not ask buyers for money to find sellers?
It’s ridiculous, of course.
Here are two statements:
STATEMENT 1: It’s ridiculous to think that butchers would ask customers to pay money for advertisements to find cows. Customers expect the butchers to have steak in the shop.
Would you agree?
STATEMENT 2: It’s ridiculous to think that agents would ask buyers to pay money for advertisements to find sellers. Buyers expect agents to have homes for sale.
Would you agree?
If you agree with those last two statements, let’s try a third statement…
STATEMENT 3: It’s ridiculous to think that agents would ask sellers to pay money for advertisements to find buyers. Sellers expect agents to have buyers on their books.
Would you agree?
Well, if you agree with those three statements, then here’s a statement to make to any agent who tries to convince (con) you into paying money for advertising your home:
“I am not going to pay you any money for any reason, until you give me those juicy steaks.”
Oops, sorry, I mean – “UNTIL MY HOME IS SOLD.”
PLEASE NOTE: If you can’t find an agent to sell your home without you having to pay advertising costs, please contact Jenman Support on email@example.com or 1800 1800 18. We are finding such agents for sellers all the time. And, best of all, as well as saving these sellers thousands of dollars in needless advertising costs, they are getting the same – and often much better – selling prices. Call us. We love to help you.
FOOTNOTE. Coming soon:
Thankfully, a growing number of home-owners – especially those who do their research – are waking-up to these ridiculous advertising scams. Instead of believing what agents tell them, home-sellers are starting to ask questions. And these questions lead home-sellers to discover the truth – they do not need to pay thousands of dollars (especially in advance of a sale) to sell their homes.
Soon we will bring you an article called QUESTIONS TO DISCOVER THE TRUTH ABOUT REAL ESTATE ADVERTING.
In the meantime, please DON’T SIGN ANYTHING with any agent who wants you to pay money for advertising.
DON’T PAY ANYTHING until your home is sold.
To do otherwise is just ridiculous.
If you need help to sell, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. No cost or obligation.
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.