Is you Real Estate agent telling you lies?

I think we’d all agree that it’s common knowledge that Real Estate Agents don’t stack up well in any list of the most trusted professions in Australia, and probably even more so on the Gold Coast! Whether this is right or wrong idea, I do believe the industry hasn’t helped itself change people’s view of this concept. In actuality, this is one of the main reasons I decided to change my career path to that of Real Estate. I’d had terrible experiences with real estate agents telling me lies, or hiding things from me, as a tenant, landlord, buyer and seller (as well as some amazing ones). After self managing our  own rental properties, and going through buying and selling different properties, I finally reached the point that I felt I could do things differently, so I got qualified, set up my own Real Estate business, and have not looked back since. 

So why does the Real Estate industry have such a bad name? I believe it’s the way that some agents bend or stretch the truth or are not completely transparent.

Here are my top 3 lies that Real Estate Agents might tell you: 

 

“Your house is worth $XYZ(heavily marked up price)”

This is a very frustrating comment that I hear owners being told all the time. Often the agents telling you this are doing a desktop valuation, without looking at the detailed things that will change the asking price of your property. Many agents will mark the appraisal price up to get the listing. This prompts you to set your expectations high, and sets you up for potential disappointment. It’s all well and good to expect a high price….your agent should always aim to get you the most they possibly can for your home however if the sale price is unrealistic, and the house doesn’t sell straight away, the agent then asks you to lower the price and throw thousands of dollars into extra marketing. 

Before signing up to any agent, always do a bit of research yourself first. Have a look at current listings in the area, what has sold recently and how long properties have been on the market. This should give you a starting point, and allows you to ask the agent about the market to ensure they know what’s going on. 

 

“We have a list of buyers ready to buy at this price”

This may be true, but it doesn’t always mean they’d be interested in your house or location. It’s a well known trick of the trade that agents have groups of buyers go through open homes who are industry colleagues, friends, family or buyers who are interested in other homes and get told to go through open homes for decorating or layout ideas.

If agents are using this line to get your listing, then get them to work for it. You may be able to sign up for a period to be “off market” before you commit to the full package.

I will always offer the vendor the option of having a week before committing to a marketing package. In this time I will advertise to my contacts, approach my list of potential buyers and put teasers on my own social media to get an idea of interest. Usually I will have offers by the end of the day, so the vendor can choose to accept an offer or go officially on market and advertise on all of the big platforms. 

 

“The owner says……”

This is something I see used a lot by property managers to the tenants.

It happens at the time of rent increase, maintenance requests, break lease requests, and anything else that may create extra work for the property manager. 

An example of this is when we took over management of a rent roll a couple of years ago, nearly every property had outstanding repair requests. We discovered that the owners had never been asked about them, however the tenants thought the requests had been denied by the owners. 

I don’t understand why property managers do this, because in my experience most owners will want to ensure their rental is well maintained and has good tenants. this means there is an upmost need to communicate with both owners and tenants. Whether it’s for maintenance requests, rent increase or just general feedback about the tenant whether it’s good or bad. If a tenant feels heard and appreciated, they will look after the rental as if it was their own, which is extremely valuable for an investor. 

A good line of communication between the owner and property manager and property manager and tenant, is very important for all round success. 

 

And then there are my favourite one liners:

The house is cosy  – The house is small

Blank canvas – Nothing is finished

Renovators dream – It needs a lot of work

Original – Old

Functional – Basic and dated

Walking distance – It might take you 1 minute or it might take you an hour

Views – This could be a view of the neighbours fence

No neighbours next door  – Backs onto a highway/floodplain/school/airport etc

As-Is – Fixer upper

Customer-made – Not built by a professional

Quaint  – Yuck

Secluded setting – In the middle of nowhere

(For more like this read “Don’t get sucked in by real estate Buzz words“)

Even with the reputation we have, I really do love working in the Real Estate industry. We’re not all bad…..I have met a lot of amazing agents, so I’m sure one day our industry won’t be at the top of “untrustworthy” or “most hated” industry professionals. 

Post by Deb Farquhar

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