You can do so much better than a typical agent.
by Neil Jenman
Reading time: Apx 8 mins
Australian home-sellers are the most bluffed in the world. The real estate industry has done a massive con job – convincing you, the home-owners, that, when you sell your home, you need a real estate agent.
That’s not true. Not even close. Indeed, the opposite is likely true. If you can’t find a great agent, you are better off handling the sale of your home yourself. It’s easier than you think.
So, please read this article and then, maybe just maybe, do something that most sellers do not do before they call an agent – THINK!
In essence, there are three groups of people who can sell your home.
GROUP ONE – A GREAT AGENT.
Let’s define a “great agent”.
A great agent charges you nothing until your home is sold and you get the best result.
Great agents are great negotiators, they know how to get the best price with the least cost and stress. They do not slug sellers for money if homes are not sold.
Great agents have such high self confidence that they are happy to say: “Pay us only when we perform. Until you are happily sold, pay us nothing.”
Great agents put sellers first – in all ways. And it shows. As one great agent advertised: “At our agency, we are not ‘Number One’ – you are,” meaning clients, of course. That’s the way it should be.
Unfortunately, great agents are hard to find. In some areas, there are no great agents. If you can find such an agent, then yes, they are likely your best option. Especially as you have absolutely nothing to lose by using them. You can ‘test’ them at their expense.
But sadly, most areas are infested with the most common type of agent.
GROUP TWO – TYPICAL AGENTS.
About the only thing typical agents are good at is convincing you that they will get you a good price – even if, well wink-wink, nudge-nudge, they may be a little on the dodgy side.
These agents – which now infest all areas of Australia – don’t care about you, they only care about themselves.
For goodness’ sake, please, look at them. They plaster their faces everywhere from bus stops to billboards to business cards. One office has flags flying out the front – each with the face of a salesperson.
Oh come on, how could you bring such blatant narcissists into your life?
Yet thousands of home-sellers sign-up with typical agents every week. Even though around 98 per cent of Australians don’t trust agents, around 98 per cent of Australians give their biggest financial asset to these agents. Astonishing.
Let’s define a “typical agent”.
- They talk about themselves more than about you and your home.
- They constantly use the word “market”. The market this… the market that…
- They are vague about the specific price of your home. “Hard to tell in this market”.
- They want you to pay money upfront for advertising costs – or, as many are now doing, they offer a “pay later” system. Watch out – this means you pay no matter what.
- They want you to “upgrade” to a “premium advertisement” for thousands of dollars. This has become one of the biggest scams in real estate. How can everyone get a special deal? How can everyone’s home be first on the search engines? It’s a con.
- They expect you to sign a legal contract – which they call a “standard” Listing Agreement that strips you of your rights. If your best mate or your mother buys your home, you must pay these lazy agents their full commission. Seriously.
- They talk about their great reviews on ‘Rate My Agent’ which forbids most unhappy sellers from leaving bad reviews. Agents entirely fund this site. Clue.
Aside from their odiousness, there are three huge disadvantages with typical agents.
Disadvantage 1: You are totally at their mercy.
Disadvantage 2. You pay thousands of dollars in needless costs and commission.
Disadvantage 3. Your home is under-sold. When it comes to negotiating the best price, typical agents are hopeless. This is the biggest expense and greatest loss of dealing with typical agents.
If the only agent you can find is a typical agent, why not give some thought to giving your home to a person who cares about you?
A person who knows your home well.
A person who is genuinely interested in selling your home for the best price.
A person who wants to keep costs as low as possible – someone who thinks carefully before agreeing to spend (or give away) tens of thousands of dollars in needless expenses.
That person is you, the home-owner.
GROUP THREE – YOU, THE OWNER.
Nowhere else in the world are home-owners so intimidated by the real estate selling process as in Australia.
In America, thousands of home-owners “sell” their homes without an agent. It’s called ‘Fizzbow’ which means FSBO – ‘For Sale by Owner’. And despite the efforts of the NAR (National Association of Realtors) – the American equivalent of Australia’s Real Estate Institutes (recently judged one of the least ethical bodies in our nation), the American homeowners, unlike their Australian counterparts, have ignored the propaganda perpetrated by the bodies whose main interest is to protect agents.
The same throughout Europe where home-owners often avoid agents. In France, for example, forty per cent of home sellers are private sellers.
In Australia, less than one per cent of home-sellers are private sellers. This is a shameful statistic, especially in a country whose populace is renowned for its courage and common sense.
So, why are we so scared of becoming a private seller?
Let’s use the word again – “BLUFFED”. We are being bluffed. We are being made to think that there is something magical or mysterious about selling our homes.
Well, it’s true. It seems that most Australians would rather fork out between thirty and fifty thousand dollars to a narcissistic nitwit whose only “qualification” is the ability to fog a mirror.
Being a real estate agent is not like being a rocket scientist or a brain surgeon. It’s not even on par with being a tradie; a carpenter or plumber has far more skill than a typical real estate agent.
There are young kids in their late teens or early twenties earning two or three hundred thousand dollars a year in the typical real estate industry. One punk in his 20s – with the ethics of an alley cat – boasts about earning a million dollars a year.
Thousands of home-owners who sell their homes with typical agents could easily become private sellers. In doing so, they’d be tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of dollars better off.
At the start of this article, it was suggested that you, the home-owner, THINK about maybe become a private seller.
In future articles, more will be explained; but, for now, please think about this fact: Typical agents do nothing that private sellers cannot do better.
If you are a home-owner and you cannot find an agent who’s ethical and competent, then, not only can you do anything that a typical agent can do, but wait for it…
You can do better than a typical agent.
WHAT A TYPICAL AGENT DOES – and HOW YOU CAN DO BETTER.
Advertising: The first thing a typical agent does is advertise your home on the Internet. Are you, as a private seller, capable of placing an ad on the internet? You bet.
As for writing the ad, most agents use bullet points. You can do better.
Inspections: A typical agent spends 30 minutes (out of 10,080 minutes) a week at your home. Doing what? Waiting for buyers to turn up!
Can you do the same? No, you can do better. Much better.
Negotiation: This is where you, the private seller, have it all over the typical agent. The typical agent – who has never read a book on negotiation, let alone attended a course – will generally obtain an offer on your home (well below the price you want) by asking an inept question such as: “Would you like to make an offer?”
You can do better. Much better. If people want to buy your home, guess what? They tell you.
Perhaps the biggest “secret” with “selling real estate” is that there is no “selling”. Agents don’t sell houses – especially typical agents. Buyers buy homes.
It’s another great con for agents to say, “I sold a house today,” when they did nothing of the sort. A cardiologist saves lives. Agents do not save sellers. And yet many typical agents get paid more than cardiologists.
Cardiologists know things that us mere mortals do not know. Typical agents know nothing that private sellers don’t know.
There is no great mystery to becoming a private seller, none at all. If you can’t find a great agent, do it yourself. You’ll likely save money, and you’ll get a much better price.
Believe it. As a private seller you are much better off than using a typical agent.
And here’s a thought: Why not try it?
What’s the worst that can happen if you try to be a private seller? You can always give up and go and list your home with a typical agent – and pay them about $10,000 an hour.
Surely, that money is better off in your pocket?
Come on, you can do it. That’s a promise.
A MESSAGE FROM NEIL JENMAN
I’d like to launch a mission to save private sellers from falling into the hands of typical agents.
Many years ago, we published a book on how to sell without agents. If we can’t find a great agent for you, and you’d like to give private selling a try, we’ll send you a copy of the book on selling without agents.
For this, we charge nothing. Your trust is our greatest payment.
If you need a great agent or you need the book on being a private seller, please click here.