Compiled by Neil Jenman
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The old joke: “How do you know when real estate agents are lying? Answer: When their lips are moving.” is not a joke, it’s real. From the moment they start in real estate – and work under the typical systems, new agents soon learn the most vital rule of real estate survival: If you want to succeed, lie. Those who earn the biggest commissions are often the biggest liars. To agents, they see these lies as “part of the job”, but to the victims of these lies, the effect can traumatise them, not to mention financially devastate them.
When you’re selling, it won’t be long before you’ll hear the same lies told by different agents constantly. If you interview three or four agents – as we recommend – it’ll feel like the same person with a different face coming to see you.
That’s why the first thing you need to do when selling is get some support. And support starts with educating yourself and learning the truth behind the lies.
We have listed the ten worst lies that agents tell sellers. Below each lie is a brief explanation.
“AUCTION GETS THE HIGHEST PRICE.”
It doesn’t matter if your home is worth two hundred thousand dollars or two million dollars, a public auction will almost certainly mean your home will be under-sold. It doesn’t matter how many people want to buy your home, a public auction is the worst way to get the highest price. Auctions do NOT get the highest price.
Agents will tell you stories about HUGE prices they have got at auction. Well, here’s what they never tell you – in most cases, when homes sell for a huge price, the winning bidders would have paid a lot more than the final selling price.
Yes, auctions may get you a higher price but they rarely, if ever, get you the highest price. And, the highest price is what you want when you sell your home – or any real estate. True? Then please, stay away from auctions.
“WE’LL GET YOU A REALLY GREAT PRICE.”
If you do what most sellers do, you call an agent and ask two questions: How much can you get for my house and how much will you charge?” This encourages agents to lie to you about your likely selling price. In real estate, it’s known as “The biggest liar gets the job.”
Here’s what to say when an agent quotes on the sale price of your home: “If the home sells for less than the amount you quote me, will you charge me no commission? If not, why not?”
If you really want to know the true value of your home, call a registered valuer. Valuers are the hidden heroes of real estate. Sure, they may cost you a few hundred dollars, but they are well worth it because you will know the true value of your home.
“YOU NEED TO INVEST IN A MARKETING CAMPAIGN.”
Don’t fall for the most common scam in real estate. Do not pay agents to advertise your home. Agents should always have plenty of buyers on their books. You go to a real estate agency to sell your property, not to buy advertising space which the agents use to promote themselves at your expense. The Golden Rule in Real Estate is this: Never pay any money to any agent for any reason until your home is sold and you are happy with the price and the service.
“WE’VE GOT BUYERS WAITING.”
Something doesn’t make sense. Agents put flyers in your mailbox, send you letters and place ads saying the same thing: BUYERS WAITING for a home like yours. And then, as soon as you meet the agent, the first thing most say is: “Give us some money so we can advertise to find some buyers.”
“YOU CAN’T SELL A SECRET.”
This is a slick line to get you to waste your hard-earned money on advertising that is primarily designed to promote the agent not your home.
As for the “secret” line, as any good negotiator knows, you can sell a secret for a lot more money than something that’s been “shopped around” to every Tom, Dick and Mary.
“THE MARKET SAYS LOWER YOUR PRICE.”
How come the agents always give you the bad news about the “market” AFTER you put your house for sale? Before you sign-up, it’s all roses. After you sign-up, it’s all thistles.
Agents know the truth of the market all the time. If an agent is giving you bad “market” news after you’ve hired them, it’s time to fire them.
Here’s what’s going on: Agents tell lies and use the market as their alibi. Don’t fall for it.
“THERE ARE NO BUYERS ON SUNDAY, SO WE’RE CLOSED”.
This is an excuse for plain laziness. Most people have got Sundays off which makes it by far the best and most convenient time to inspect homes. Find an agent who is prepared to work Sundays and you’ll have a much better chance of selling your home for a much better price. Don’t swallow the “no buyers around on Sunday” lie.
“IF WE PROMOTE A LOWER PRICE, YOU GET MORE BUYERS.”
Oh really? So, what the agent is saying is: If you want $900,000 for your home, let us promote it for $750,000 and this will attract more buyers and we will talk the buyers up in price.
Well, two points need to be made: First, as the old saying goes, “If a person will lie for me, they will lie to me,” so don’t trust a liar.
And second, if you want to sell your home for $900,000, the first thing you need is buyers who can afford $900,000. If you advertise it for $750,000, you will just attract buyers who can only afford $750,000. The agent will then say, “This is what the market is saying.” But the agent has attracted the wrong market.
“SELL NOW. THE MARKET IS ONLY GOING TO GET WORSE.”
Any agent who claims to know, for sure, what the market is doing is a liar or a fool. Haven’t you ever noticed that, when agents are talking to sellers, it’s always the best time to sell and when they are talking to buyers, it’s the best time to buy? Of course, it can’t be the best time for both sellers and buyers! Here’s the truth: It’s always a good time for an agent to get commission for themselves. But not at your expense.
“THIS IS A GREAT OFFER. THE BUYERS WON’T PAY MORE.”
When an agent assures you that the buyers are offering you their absolute maximum and they won’t pay a cent more, here’s what to say: “Can I ask a friend of mine to speak with the buyers?” The agent should say yes. You then ask the agent another question: “If my friend can persuade the buyers to pay more, will you agree to forfeit your commission?” If the agent says no, then you know that the buyers will almost certainly pay more.
These are the ten worst – or most common lies – that agents tell sellers. There are dozens more, so please be careful. Take control and only sign-up with an agent for a short time, such as 30 days. If you are happy at the end of that time, you can sign-up for another 30 days.
And, please, do your research. Find out as much as you can about the selling process before you decide to sell.
Call Jenman Support on 1800 1800 18 and ask for a copy of one of Neil Jenman’s books or speak with one of our trained supporters. As a home seller, we will never ask you for money and we will never ask you to sign anything. We focus on what’s best for you – all day, every day. No excuses, no exceptions.
EXTRA-WARNING: Some of the biggest real estate liars have devised a truly deceitful and dishonest way to combat the Jenman exposure of auctions. They tell this monstrous lie: “Neil Jenman sold his own home by auction.” If any agent says this to you, then please ask them to give you that statement in writing and forward it to me. I will share the proceeds of the successful lawsuit with you – that’s a promise. For the record, Neil Jenman has never sold any real estate by auction. Nor has Australia’s biggest property billionaire, Harry Triguboff. You see, Harry and I know the truth: Contrary to what agents tell you, AUCTIONS GET LOWER PRICES!!
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.