Can you trust a real estate agent? Kevin Turner
March 11, 2011 – 3:00PM
extracted from : smh.au
The time when most people selling a house perceive real estate agents to be dishonest is when they are putting a price on your property.
In the industry, an ambitious price estimate is called “buying a listing”.
The dilemma for agents is that property owners believe their property is worth more than it may eventually bring when sold – a fact of life! I have just sold a property myself, and that was the case with me – and I am a former agent.
Advertisement: Story continues below If an honest agent can’t list properties because other agents are ‘buying’ their listings, there is every chance they won’t stay in the industry too long. It appears being too frank does not pay for an agent.
Most good agents realise that for a seller to accept their word on price or value, there needs to be a level of trust. That trust has to be developed over time, not at the point of listing. This is where a lot of agents go wrong and why the public don’t trust agents.
It is even harder for buyers because the goal of the agent is to get as much out of the buyer as possible.
Lines like “the owners are expecting another offer” or “the owners wouldn’t take a cent less than $XYZ” might sound suspicious but usually have to be taken at face value. What other choice do you have? Some buyers resort to employing specialist buyers’ agents to assist with negotiations.
So how can you tell if an agent is being fair dinkum? Unless you are a really good judge of character, your best bet is to do your homework.
Don’t take the word of an agent about what your property is worth. Make up your own mind through research or, if you’re still unsure, pay to have a professional valuation carried out on your property. That will cost you between $400 and $600.
There’s no doubt a good agent will be able to tell you how much a property is really worth. But it’s finding a “good agent” that is the difficult part.
If you have known an agent for some time, have built a trusting relationship and feel you can rely on the agents advice on price, then good luck to you.