Especially for what you don’t want.
by Neil Jenman
Article written and provided by Neil Jenman from Jenman.com.au . To see the original source of this article please click here. https://jenman.com.au/dont-pay-anything-2/. Neil Jenman is Australia’s trusted consumer crusader. He can support you, all the way, from choosing an agent who will get you the highest price guaranteed to when your removalist comes! You get an unprecedented level of total support. All for free. To find out more visit jenman.com.au
Reading time: Apx 5 mins
Last week, my wife and I went for dinner at a Thai restaurant. It looked good from the outside. But appearances are not always reality.
We ordered mixed vegetables with chicken.
When the meal arrived, it was mixed vegetables with beef. Not a chook in sight.
The waiter apologised. He took the meal and said he’d be back.
Less than a minute later, he was back. With the same meal – beef not chicken as ordered.
He said: “The chef says that even though the meal is wrong, it still has to be paid for.”
Although she looked flustered, my wife meekly said, “Okay.”
Now, my wife is the nicest person I know – or have ever known. Like many people, she doesn’t like confrontation. It takes something more serious than a wrong meal to rile her up.
But not me. I could not believe what was happening. The nerve of these people – the chef or the owner or whoever expected us to pay for something we didn’t want.
WAS THE WAITER AN EX-AGENT?
I said to the waiter: “You must have worked in real estate.”
He looked puzzled.
I explained: “Well, agents always make people pay for things they don’t want, don’t need, and don’t request. Just like you are doing.”
I then handed the waiter a book I was reading. It was by the famed lawyer, Marcia Clark.
The waiter stared at the book. I said: “Don’t worry, I’ll get another copy. This one’s for you. The price is $50. How do you wish to pay?”
The irony was lost on him because he said: “I don’t want to buy the book.”
To which I replied, “And we don’t want to buy the beef.”
It was a stand-off.
In the waiter’s defence, he was young and clearly inexperienced (with life). He looked lost.
So, I explained things to him. I said: “It’s illegal to make people pay for something they don’t want and didn’t ask for. You can’t do that to us – or anybody. It doesn’t matter what your boss says. What matters is what’s right. We asked for chicken. Not beef. We are not going to pay for something we didn’t ask for.”
“Just as you don’t want to pay for that book, do you?”
Of course, we did not pay for the beef. We got our chicken.
Later, when we finished the meal, we paid and went home.
UNWANTED ADVERTISING COSTS.
The most common rip-off in real estate is needless advertising costs. Rarely is advertising needed to sell a home. And, even if it is needed, Australia’s agents are the only agents in the world who expect sellers to pay massive advertising costs plus massive commission costs.
And yet most sellers do what my dear wife almost did: They pay for something they don’t want. Or need.
All agents know that, in most cases, they already have buyers on their books that would likely buy any home. If not, they can do what any honourable employee does in any job – work.
Instead of placing ads and waiting for calls, good agents make calls. They ring around. They chase leads. They check out sources. Finally, they find the best buyer. All without the unwanted cost of needless advertising.
There’s a saying: “Advertising is what salespeople do when they are too lazy to follow leads.”
These days, as well as lazy, many agents are arrogant and selfish. And bullies. They refuse to list homes unless sellers pay advertising costs. It doesn’t matter if these costs are needed or wanted by sellers, agents refuse to list a home unless they get advertising money. Or unless they get sellers to agree to pay advertising costs regardless of whether the home sells or not.
Why do so many agents act so unethically with advertising? The reason is simple: Agents are using advertising to promote themselves not homes.
Think about what you likely did – maybe you saw the most prominent agent and thought that “prominence means successful”. But no, most times, the biggest advertisers are the biggest sharks in the real estate ocean.
Of course, sellers are never told the real reason for advertising. Thousands of sellers are bullied into paying for failure. Their lack of experience makes them susceptible to the sophistry of the agents who use guilt lines, such as: “It’s your home, you should pay the advertising costs.”
Oh – and who gets the commission from leads created by advertising paid by the sellers? The selfish agents, of course.
Don’t fall for it.
Don’t pay for what you don’t need.
UNWANTED COMMISSION COSTS.
The same applies with the commission.
One of the biggest problems for sellers (aside from finding an honest and competent agent) is that most agents have different agendas from home sellers. The sellers’ agenda is to sell their home for a good price. The agents’ agenda is to sell the home. At any price.
So, again, here’s how thousands of sellers pay for what they don’t want. Before they sign-up, the agent says their home is worth a certain price. The agent also states the commission rate.
But later, when the price is pushed down, when the agent has put the sellers through weeks of “conditioning” and the sellers are urged to accept a price which is tens – or hundreds – of thousands of dollars below the price they wanted, guess what happens?
The agents get their full commission.
Sellers are forced to pay for what they didn’t want.
Let’s be clear: You should not pay for what you do not want. If you later decide to sell your home for less than the agent first quoted, and you are sure the agent has “conditioned” you, you should insist on the agent doing what you are doing. Drop their price.
If you must drop your price, get the agent to drop their commission. If not, don’t sell.
When you go to a restaurant, you usually pay at the end – after you’ve enjoyed the meal you ordered. You don’t order chicken, get beef, and then meekly pay. Few people would do that.
And yet, when it comes to real estate, thousands of sellers every week are forced (“bullied” and “bluffed”) into paying for what they don’t want.
For years, I have been telling sellers, “Don’t Sign Anything!”. What I mean is: Don’t sign anything unless you are protected.
In addition to “don’t sign anything”, I need to say three more words: “DON’T PAY ANYTHING”.
At least not until you get what you want.
If you don’t get what you want, don’t pay. Or make sure you get a hefty discount.
Don’t pay for beef if you want chicken.
Don’t pay anything – until you get what you want. That’s not mean. Tough maybe, but better to be tough than to be ripped-off, which is what most agents try to do to sellers.
Only in Australia.
But not to you and your family.
FOOTNOTE: If you need an agent who won’t rip you off by forcing you to pay for something you don’t want, please let us know. We compile names of agents who agree to our 8 PROTECTION POINTS for Home Sellers.
Please email email@example.com or call us on 1800 1800 18. Thank you.
How sellers lose thousands of dollars
by Neil Jenman
Article written and provided by Neil Jenman from Jenman.com.au . To see the original source of this article please click here. https://jenman.com.au/comparing-agents-commissions/. Neil Jenman is Australia’s trusted consumer crusader. He can support you, all the way, from choosing an agent who will get you the highest price guaranteed to when your removalist comes! You get an unprecedented level of total support. All for free. To find out more visit jenman.com.au
Reading time: Apx 7 minutes
It seems so logical: You want to sell your home. Dozens of agents want to be selected.
So, you choose the agent who offers you the cheapest commission.
This is exactly what thousands of home sellers do. Yes, it seems logical.
Yet it can be a costly mistake.
Unfortunately, choosing the agent with the cheapest commission is not logical. For one reason: Agents are not the same. Some are better than others. Better at getting you a better price.
Shopping for an agent to sell your home is not like shopping for, say, a fridge or a new car. In such cases, the product is identical. Therefore, it makes sense to grab the cheapest deal.
But when it comes to real estate agents, those who charge the lowest commission often sell homes for the lowest price.
You might save ten thousand dollars on commission, but you lose two hundred thousand dollars if the cheap agent under-sells your home.
If a real estate agent can’t negotiate a good fee for themselves, they are not likely to negotiate a good price for your home. If they give their own money away, what do you think they will do with your money?
Get the picture? I hope so. Because, in real estate land, incompetent agents regularly sell homes hundreds of thousands of dollars below value.
And most times, owners never realise it.
No, owners think they got a good deal by saving commission. But what few realise is this: Cheap commission means cheap price. Not all the time, but enough to be of concern.
HOW TO RECOGNISE THE TRULY CHEAPEST AGENTS
The cheapest agent is not the one who charges the lowest commission. No, the cheapest agent is the one who sells your home for the highest price.
The agent who puts the most money in your pocket is the agent you should hire.
Now, at this point, I can almost hear some agents cheering. Finally, Neil Jenman is writing something they agree with. They can wave this article under a seller’s nose and say: “Lookee here, Jenman says don’t hire a cheap agent. Hire me, I charge four per cent.”
But not so fast.
To be sure, agents who charge cheap commissions often sell homes for cheap prices.
BUT SO DO DEAR AGENTS!
MOST AGENTS UNDER-SELL HOMES
Most agents – no matter what they charge for commission – under-sell homes. The worst thing to happen to any home seller is to pay a high commission and sell for a low price.
And, if most agents are incompetent, of course, you should hire one with the lowest commission.
But there are some agents – those rare few – who are truly skilled at negotiation. These agents are often worth a higher commission.
When Frank and Jenny sold their home in Kew, they first hired an agent who offered them 1.1 per cent commission. This agent claimed to be the best in Australia. But, as Frank and Jenny soon discovered, “best” did not mean best price for them. It meant this bloke sold lots of homes – on the cheap.
When he began “conditioning” them down in price, Frank and Jenny fired him and hired another agent.
Rather than accept the $2.5 million price with the cheap (and self-titled “best”) agent, they hired another agent, a skilled negotiator, who got them $3.1 million. For which they paid 2.5 per cent. Gladly.
As Frank said: “We got $600,000 more for which we paid $50,000 more in commission.”
Yes, the cheap agent would likely have sold their home for $2.5 million and, at 1.1 per cent commission, charged them $27,500. But the second – and more expensive agent – sold their home for $3.1 million and charged them $77,500.
So, if sellers only compared commission amounts – $77,500 with $27,500 – they’d be tempted to choose the agent who charged $27,500.
But that’s not the full picture.
THE FULL PICTURE
The full picture can only be found by looking at the final selling price – as well as the commission. And, to get an extra $600,000 and pay an extra $50,000 commission is great value in any seller’s language.
Yes, the cheapest agent is the one who puts the most money in your pocket.
So, how do you know – when you are interviewing agents – which one will get you the highest price? How do you make sure you don’t pay a high commission and sell for a low price?
Easy. You make the final decision on the amount of commission you will pay an agent at the time your home is sold – when you see the final selling price.
Do not firmly set the commission at the time you hire the agent. You see, when you hire the agent, you don’t know what sort of a job the agent will do. You don’t know if the agent is going to morph from pleasant and friendly before you sign-up to mean and nasty after you sign-up.
No matter how confident you may be that you have chosen the right agent, you never know what they are really like until you hire them.
HOW TO SELECT AN AGENT
It is often said that there are only three ways to really know someone: Live with them; go on holidays with them or work with them. If you don’t want the agent moving into your home and if you don’t want to fly to Fiji with them, the only way to know what any agent is really like is to hire them.
You certainly don’t want to hire an agent, having agreed to pay a high commission, and then they sell your home for a low price.
Remember, you can (and should) negotiate an agent’s commission rate at any time until your home is sold. Make this point clear to the agent when you select them.
To make you feel extra safe, you can write the following words in the selling agreement when signing-up with the agent: AGENT AGREES THAT COMMISSION IS NEGOTIABLE UNTIL THE POINT OF SALE.
Make sure the agent initials beside these words.
NEGOTIATE AT THE END, NOT THE START
Here’s another tip: Don’t push the agent down in their commission rate when you hire them. Wait and see how good they are before you decide how much to pay them.
You can say to the agent: “We don’t mind paying you a higher commission if you get us a higher price. But you must prove yourself. When we see what you do, we will decide how much to pay you. If we think you are worth the fee you want, if you are a great negotiator, we’ll gladly pay you well.”
This will give the agent the incentive to get you a good price.
If – as happens with most agents – the agent comes to you with an offer and expects you to drop your price, ask them to drop their commission.
Or another idea (when given an offer you are considering accepting), say to the agent: “If you can get me this amount net, fine, we will take it.”
Watch how much harder they fight for their own commission.
Don’t shop-around for agents comparing the commission they charge. Look for the agents who are genuinely good negotiators. Be willing to pay well if they do well for you.
The best agents – those who do the best for you – will charge you nothing in advance (not even marketing costs). Truly best agents accept all risks. They are willing to prove themselves to you – and then receive a fair fee.
Give these agents a chance. You have nothing to lose.
FOOTNOTE: If you wish to test an agent’s negotiation ability, we have devised seven questions you can ask them. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a free soft copy.
HOW TO STOP YOURSELF GETTING RIPPED-OFF
by Neil Jenman
Article written and provided by Neil Jenman from Jenman.com.au . To see the original source of this article please click here. https://jenman.com.au/how-can-you-be-so-stupid/. Neil Jenman is Australia’s trusted consumer crusader. He can support you, all the way, from choosing an agent who will get you the highest price guaranteed to when your removalist comes! You get an unprecedented level of total support. All for free. To find out more visit jenman.com.au
Reading time: 7 mins apx
NOTICE: Following a deluge of complaints from distraught home sellers, most of whom are lovely people – who just made a stupid (but massive) mistake – I feel the strong need to use the word “stupid” in this article, especially the heading. All of us do stupid things at times. But when it comes time to sell or buy our family home, stupidity is costly. A financial mistake can easily be equivalent to a year or more in wages. Or years of savings. I can’t stand seeing good people lose money due to bad agents. Many such people feel like friends. They are kind, they are decent, they are trusting. Too trusting. I want to talk with them as if they are friends. Hence, I have written this article as if I was speaking to a mate. I hope you understand. Thank you.
What’s the matter with you, mate?
You want to sell your home, your biggest financial asset.
And what do you do?
Something incredibly stupid like sign-up with the first agent who tells you what you want to hear. That you’ve got a great home and this agent will get you a great price.
Sounded good at the time, didn’t it?
When you think about it – which you obviously didn’t – that’s a stupid thing to do.
And now, of course, it makes you angry when you think about what’s happened.
You should be most angry with yourself. For a smart person, you sure did something stupid.
LOOK WHAT YOU DID…
Your home is your biggest and most important asset.
And you must know, surely, that most agents are dodgy?
The Roy Morgan poll shows real estate agents to be near last of trusted professions. They have never been more distrusted.
95 per cent of people don’t trust agents.
And yet, when selling their homes, 95 per cent of people sign-up with dodgy agents. They give control of their biggest asset to the biggest rogues.
Why did you do it?
Why do so many home-sellers do it?
Don’t you think you should treat your home with the respect it deserves?
Consider this: Would you leave home without locking your door?
You don’t want your possessions stolen. You don’t want to be robbed – even though you’ve got insurance.
But when you sign-up with a typical agent, you can lose far more than in a burglary.
There is no insurance against stupidity.
You see, here’s a fact (that, to be fair, most sellers don’t realise): When you sign-up with a typical agent, you sign a legally binding contract that is legally designed to legally rob you.
Wow, that’s a big claim.
It’s also a big truth. Look closely at any agreement with any agent (even good ones) and you will discover several clauses that – when read in lay (not legal) terms – will horrify you.
Horrify you at their unfairness, their dishonesty, their greed, and their sheer chutzpah.
It beggars belief.
Seriously, no sellers in their right mind would sign a typical selling contract with a typical agent. If they read it in detail.
What happens to thousands of sellers?
Try some of these:
- If a close relative or best mate, buys your home, you are liable to pay the agent the full commission.
- If the agent fails to sell your home, you are liable to pay the agent thousands of dollars in “marketing costs” – marketing that’s of great benefit to the agent, zero to you.
- If the agent fails to sell your home – because of poor skill or neglect (any reason) – to a buyer who inspects the home and then, later, that buyer returns with another agent who is more skilled, you are still liable to pay the failed agent the full commission. This means you must pay two agents – the agent who failed to sell your home and the agent who succeeded at selling your home. This happens to many sellers.
If the agent does something wrong – anything – you are responsible. Even though it clearly is agent’s fault, you must indemnify the agent.
- If you sell your home to anyone – for any price or any reason – during the time you are signed-up with an agent, you must pay the agent the full commission.
- If the agent does absolutely no work, has never met the buyers – even if the agent failed to return calls to buyers who enquire about your home – if those buyers buy your home, you must pay the agent the full commission.
- If the agent has a “continuing agency” clause, you are liable to pay the agent the full commission even if your home sells months after you dismiss the agent.
- If the agent upsets you – through unethical conduct, incompetence, or slackness, even rudeness – you cannot dismiss the agent. No, you are stuck with the agent for the term of the contract. Worse than a bad marriage. This is one relationship from which you can’t escape, no matter how badly you get treated.
- If the agent claims you owe them money – but you feel you should not have to pay (for whatever reason), the agent can sue you.
- The agent can place a caveat on your home. That means you cannot sell your home to anyone unless you obey (pay) the agent.
There are many more “nasties” in every “standard” real estate agreement.
Of course, sometimes nothing goes wrong. Sometimes, when selling a home, sellers are happy. With the price, the service, even the agent. Sometimes.
Just as sometimes, if you leave your home unlocked you don’t get robbed. But would you leave your home unlocked? Of course not.
Well, why would you be so stupid as to sign a document that greatly disadvantages you, that allows an agent to treat you unfairly, unethically and, worst of all, to under-sell your home by thousands of dollars?
Pretty stupid, surely?
Imagine if builders or tradies quoted you a price, did the job, then demanded a higher price? You’d be outraged, surely.
But that’s what agents do all the time.
The agents quote a price. The sellers sign the agent’s contract (designed by lawyers to protect agents). Then the agent sells the home thousands of dollars under the quoted price.
And then the agent demands full payment. And gets it. Because that’s what the contract stated. The contract that most sellers don’t read properly.
So, what can you do when an agent asks you to sign their “standard selling agreement”?
Make changes to the agent’s contract. Of course.
Cross out the nasty clauses. Of course.
Take control for yourself. Don’t give control to the agent. Of course.
Sure, the law says you must “sign-up” to hire an agent. But the law does not insist you get ripped-off. The law does not stop you adjusting the “standard” contract.
The law does not prevent you adding your own conditions to the contract.
For example, if the agent wants you to sign-up for 120 days, you can make it 30 days. Even 7 days. Sometimes, when agents really do “have a buyer”, they agree to 24 hours.
If the agent’s contract includes the right to place a caveat on your home, delete that clause.
When you feel you have found the right agent, do not sign-up immediately. Ask them to leave their “agreement” with you.
Tell them you want time to read it carefully. On your own.
Remember this: Agents who appear the best are often the worst. Especially pushy ones.
These agents will say their agreement (“contract”!) is “standard” and everyone signs it. Well, you are not “everyone” and your standards are such that you never sign anything on first meeting any salesperson – especially one who’s not trusted by 95 per cent of the public.
Do not be timid. And do not be concerned about upsetting an agent just because you insist on changing their agreements to protect you and prevent them ripping you off.
In fact, suddenly you will have discovered a way to find the best agents – when “best” means “the best to look after you”. The best agents, the good ones, will not mind you removing nasty clauses. They are likely using an agreement given to them from the real estate institute or their franchise. Indeed, good agents respect sellers who insist on removing nasty clauses.
Russell Haddan, an agent from Castle Hill in Sydney tells sellers: “Never mind what’s in this ‘agreement’ if you are not happy with me, you can fire me anytime.” It makes sellers feel secure. I know because I have been one of Russell’s happy sellers.
DO NOT BE STUPID
There is no other way to say this: It is stupid to sign-up to sell your home with an agent who imposes rip-off conditions upon you.
Be a smart seller. Take care of your biggest asset. Remove nasty clauses in the agent’s agreement. Bad agents won’t agree. Good agents always agree.
Now, you know two things: How to keep yourself financially safe when you sell and how to find the best agents.
So, finally my normally smart friend, tell me this: Given a choice between signing-up to an agent’s agreement (“contract”) exactly how they designed it (which means you risk being ripped-off) or insisting that the agreement be amended to protect you from being ripped-off which means you may offend all dodgy agents, what will you do?
Avoid offending dodgy agents? Or protecting yourself?
Don’t be stupid, mate.
Look after yourself. That’s the smart move.
FOOTNOTE: If you need help to spot nasty clauses in an agent’s agreement, please email it to us at email@example.com. We will help you at no charge. Please note: WE ARE NOT LAWYERS – although we do get help, when needed from good lawyers. As well as contacting us, we advise you to get legal advice before you sign any document, especially one designed by one of the most distrusted businesspeople in Australia.
OFFER: Russell Haddan wrote a great little book on how sellers can get a good deal from agents. It’s called The Real Estate Book. It has been getting rave reviews from home sellers to whom it is available at no charge. To download a copy, please click here. Hard copies also available. Well worth reading.
Select the one to suit you!
by Neil Jenman
Article written and provided by Neil Jenman from Jenman.com.au . To see the original source of this article please click here. https://jenman.com.au/two-types-of-agents/. Neil Jenman is Australia’s trusted consumer crusader. He can support you, all the way, from choosing an agent who will get you the highest price guaranteed to when your removalist comes! You get an unprecedented level of total support. All for free. To find out more visit jenman.com.au
Reading Time: Apx 8.5 minutes
When it comes to competency, there are only two types of real estate agents – those who ‘wait’ and those who ‘work.’
With the boom all but over – and with reports of a looming crash (mostly by forecasters with a record of being wrong) – it’s more important than ever for home-sellers to choose the agent who’ll get the best result.
“Best result” should be measured in two ways: The final sale price and the total costs.
Here’s how to recognise the two types of real estate agents…
These agents literally sit-n-wait for something to happen.
You’ll see them at ‘open-houses’ each Saturday. Waiting for buyers to show up. If few or no buyers arrive, they say, “Things are quiet.”
When things go slow, wait-agents blame “the market.”
In the boom, when dozens of people turned up to homes, and multiple buyers fought for the same property, wait-agents hailed themselves heroes. They were “Number One.” When buyers were throwing money at them, these agents thrust celebrity upon themselves. It was their brilliance that caused prices to be so high. Not.
Now, wait-agents are worried. With few calls on advertisements and ditto for open-inspections, they complain about the market and consult their foul-mouthed real estate trainer to discover some new method to get sellers down in price.
Wait-agents – and let’s be frank – are lazy. Seriously, they are so lazy that when they win an award, they send someone else to pick it up – just like they often have an EA (executive assistant – because they are so “important”) sit-n-wait at open-for-inspections while they stay out of sight and PTBB. Pretend to be busy.
Here is the life of a typical wait-agent.
Sellers approach them. Usually from an advertisement (paid by naïve home-sellers) or from letterbox flyers or one of those agent-finder sites (which falsely claim to find good agents).
These agents then sign-up sellers with the standard pitch. Most agents are clones. They go to the same training school. And so, the common way for them to win sellers is to promise a humungous price and a low commission (which means sellers sign-up with a liar who can’t even negotiate a decent rate for themselves).
Having signed-up the sellers, the first thing wait-agents do is place advertisements (usually with the money from naïve sellers).
And then these wait-agents just wait – for prospective buyers to contact them.
The second thing is to set an open-inspection. Each week has 10,080 minutes. These agents generously give sellers 30 minutes –at a time to suit the agents. Too bad if it doesn’t suit buyers.
The wait-agents overcome this obvious laziness and stupidity by telling sellers: “If buyers are serious, they’ll come at the open-inspection time.” Sure, buyers will cancel their children’s sporting events or miss their friend’s wedding. Or, if they work weekends, buyers will tell their boss to go jump.
These are the two big ‘waits.’ Waiting for a response to advertising. And waiting for “heads” (as they’re called) to show-up at a weakly inspection (spelling – ‘weakly’ is deliberate).
Wait-agents are weak agents. They are prime pretenders. Many were lured to real estate by the boom and the big money for little effort. Like rats after cheese.
With the boom over, these agents are baffled. They don’t know what to do – other than whinge about the market and “greedy sellers” who won’t reduce their price so these wait-agents can still do what they’ve always done – earn a lot for doing a little.
Unfortunately for today’s home-sellers, wait-agents are about 80 per cent of all agents (that’s conservative).
Don’t hire them. Unless you want to be over-charged and under-sold.
Take the time to find the second type of agent.
A hard-worker is your best chance of getting the best result.
To be sure, hard-workers can be annoying. They bug you months before you think of selling. They clog your emails with insincere newsletters (for which they pay someone who can spell). Speaking of insincerity, they send you cards on special occasions with words that make your skin crawl.
But they want your business.
They are super-keen.
Or, as often said, they are “hungry.” Especially when they’re new.
Salespeople who often sell homes for the best prices are rookies.
Because they don’t know any better.
Experienced (“stale”) salespeople can be like old fat Labradors. They lie out the back of their office scratching themselves and complaining about “over-priced listings.”
Meanwhile, rookies are so excited, they don’t think about prices. They think about matching buyers and sellers. They see a nice home and don’t realise it’s “over-priced”. They contact buyers and show the home – with enthusiasm.
It is often said that true selling is the “transference of enthusiasm.”
New salespeople are enthusiastic.
Until the ‘Labradors’ educate them.
New salespeople are hard workers.
New salespeople pound pavements, going from door-to-door, asking home-owners the same seven-word question “Do you want to sell your house?”
Many owners tell them to get lost. Some say something such as: “When I want to sell my house, I will not choose one who’s been annoying me all the time.”
Is that how you think, sometimes?
What you mean is that, rather than hire the hard-working agent with the courage and character to go from door-to-door looking for work, you’d rather wake-up an old flea-ridden Labrador.
Give it some thought, please.
Some agents might be in-your-face. But it’s hard to beat enthusiasm. And remember this: No agent gets paid until they sell your home (not counting up-front advertising scams, of course). So, in effect, agents need to make two sales: first, to convince sellers to sign-up and, second, to convince buyers to pay a great price.
A work-agent will surpass a wait-agent. A work-agent takes time to improve their skills – in the right direction. Instead of learning scare tactics to push sellers down in price, work-agents work at becoming great negotiators.
Consider the basic life of a work-agent – compared with the wait-agent.
As soon as the work-agent wins a new seller, the work-agent thinks: “Who do I know who’d be interested in this home?”
Before wasting money on advertising – which, as all agents know, often attracts buyers already known to the agents – the work-agent checks prospective buyers who’ve enquired at the agency. The more recent the enquiries, the more likely buyers are to be keen. But even if they go back months, a work-agent will do what wait-agents rarely do. Work to find the right buyers.
The work-agent knows there are many other factors to a home besides the price. The work-agent works at saving the sellers money. They treat the sellers’ money as if it was their own.
If buyers don’t appear, they think how to make the home more appealing. Sometimes this means looking for a different type of buyer. Work-agents are like detectives, they ask themselves: “What sort of person is likely to buy this home?”
They will ask the sellers: “What made you buy this home?” For example, if the reason the current owners bought the home was because it’s close to a school, the work-agent will target parents whose children attend (or are likely to attend) that school. The same applies with hospitals and medical workers.
Work-agents don’t just work harder, they think harder.
The most obvious indication of an agent who works instead of waits is one who works when buyers are most available.
Buyers appreciate agents who make it easy to discuss and inspect homes. Buyers are most available from around 5pm each weekday and all-day Saturday and Sunday. And yet these are the times most agents are closed. It’s nonsensical.
Consider this: If you owned a restaurant, would you close it on Friday and Saturday nights? If you were a priest, would you shut your Church on Sunday? Of course not.
In almost every area, you will find at least one or two agents open seven days and after-hours. These agents have a tremendous edge over their competitors. They are the hard-workers, and their effort pays off, not just for their clients, the home-sellers, but themselves.
Yet, there is a lot of pressure on hard-working agents to ‘fall into line’ and join lazy agents. If one agent opens extended hours, other agents will often send a spokesperson to ‘reason’ with the hard-working agent. The pitch goes something like this: “We have trained the buyers in this area to do business with us Monday to Friday. We want time with our families on the weekends, so please do not open extended hours. If the buyers are serious, they will come back during the week.”
But that’s not true.
When agents are closed, buyers go to an agent who’s open. They may even consider a different area. Hard-working agents have a secret they don’t want other agents to discover – hard work pays off.
There is a saying about business and work: Hard work makes your dreams come true.
So, remember, when you need to sell your home, there are two types of agents: Those who WAIT and those who WORK. Choose an agent who works.
The reasons are many but a big one is this: Hard workers can make your dreams come true too.
How sellers resist a common bait.
by Neil Jenman
Article written and provided by Neil Jenman from Jenman.com.au . To see the original source of this article please click here. https://jenman.com.au/the-got-a-buyer-trap/. Neil Jenman is Australia’s trusted consumer crusader. He can support you, all the way, from choosing an agent who will get you the highest price guaranteed to when your removalist comes! You get an unprecedented level of total support. All for free. To find out more visit jenman.com.au
READING TIME: Apx 6 minutes
If you live in anything but a tent anywhere in Australia, you get “junk mail” from real estate agents.
Their common headline is “BUYERS WAITING!!”
And these buyers are ready to pay you a whopping price.
If you respond to these leaflets, here’s what happens: Within minutes of being in your home, agents will mention “marketing.”
They will say you “need marketing to find buyers.” That’s rubbish. It’s a pitch to fleece thousands of dollars from you. All for two nefarious purposes.
First, most agents want to promote themselves at your expense. Second, they use “marketing” (paid by you) to attract more home-sellers, hopefully as gullible as you.
GIVE IT SOME THOUGHT
You need to Think (with a capital T). Lack of thought is why home-sellers throw-away tens, even hundreds of thousands of dollars.
When selling your home, it’s important to find a good agent and use the best method of sale. Mistakes in these areas – agent and method – is how sellers lose money.
From the moment you meet them, most agents have one goal: to sign you up to an exclusive selling agreement. Once signed-up, you are locked up. At the agent’s mercy.
Don’t think you can resist all agents. That’s what wounded sellers thought. No one likes to feel – or worse, admit – an agent stung them, and that’s why home-sellers seldom complain. It makes them look stupid.
How do normally intelligent home-owners get caught by people they’d never let collect their children from school – or invite for dinner?
It’s simple. They fall for a slick line.
“WOW, HAVE WE GOT A BUYER FOR YOU!!”
A common way that agents catch sellers is with the ‘got-a-buyer’ lure.
But consider an obvious fact: When sellers meet agents who put a ‘BUYERS WAITING’ flyer in their letterbox, agents want money to find buyers.
Didn’t the flyer say: ‘BUYERS WAITING’?
Sellers should look at the agent and ask: “Why do you want our money to find buyers if you already have buyers?”
And, before you get lured by another slick statement such as, “We need to widen our net to find lots of buyers,” remember this: You only need one buyer.
Even if you are silly enough or naïve enough or gullible enough – or you adore agents and you like to give them your money to promote their face and find more [chump] sellers like you – shouldn’t you first meet buyers already known to the agents?
But that won’t let an agent to use your money to promote themselves and attract more sellers.
Will you be okay with that?
Can you live without an agent charging you thousands of dollars for needless advertising?
If yes, here’s what to do.
SHOW ME THE BUYER!
Tell the agent to sort through their ‘bank of buyers’ and bring candidates to your home.
Do not sign anything until the agent shows you these buyers.
Oh, but the agent says you must first sign their agreement. That’s not strictly true; however, here’s another suggestion.
Sign-up for two days.
No more than a week.
Forget this three-or-four months nonsense. Why does an agent with “buyers waiting” need months to contact buyers, arrange an inspection and negotiate a decent price?
So, before you agree to spend thousands of dollars looking for “more buyers,” you should check out the ‘waiting buyers’?
If any of these ‘waiting buyers’ offer you a great price now, you will save money and time instead of a costly “marketing campaign.”
If the agent says: “That’s an ‘off-market’ sale and you won’t get the best price,” that’s more nonsense. Good negotiators get great prices without massive advertising costs. Indeed, many often get far more.
Try it. What’s the worst that can happen? Maybe you’ll embarrass an agent who didn’t have any “buyers waiting.” So what? Better than hiring the rogue.
HOW SELLERS GET CAUGHT WHEN CHOOSING AGENTS
Here’s another danger for home-sellers: Let’s say you have met a few agents. You are taking time to THINK.
Suddenly, one agent says: “We have a couple of buyers looking for a home like yours. Would you be okay if I show them now to see what they think?”
Be careful: This “got a buyer” trick traps many sellers. If you sign up, the buyers disappear, and you’re stuck with a dirty rotten agent for months. It’s so frustrating.
But what if they really do have a buyer? What if the agent is a good agent?
Well sure, if there is no obligation and you do not sign anything, the agent can maybe bring a couple of buyers for a quick look.
But if the agent suddenly whips out a multi-page Selling Agreement (contract) – full of tiny fine print – and they want you to sign up for months, it’s a rort. Ditch that agent, fast. They are the wrong agent.
Before you find the right buyer for your home, find the right agent.
If you can’t find the right agent, you should consider selling without an agent. Check it out. It’s easier than you think.
Whatever you do, however, do not fall for the “GOT A BUYER” lure and commit yourself for thousands of dollars in advertising costs and sign-up for several months.
If agents say they have “got a buyer,” you say: “SHOW US YOUR BUYER!”
If a buyer wants to buy your home for a whopping price today, you will save a lot of hassle. And money.
The only thing you won’t do, of course, is let agents promote themselves at your expense. You won’t become a patsy. You will be in control. Not the agents.
If you’re okay with that, go for it. You’ll be a smart and successful home-seller. Good on you.
FOOTNOTE: Why not consider selling yourself? At the very least, check it out – especially if you can’t find a good agent. Seriously, if every agent asks you for money to advertise your home to find buyers, what are they doing that you can’t do? Surely you can place an ad on-line. Of course.
If you succeed, we will still not charge you.
So, what do we get out of it? Ever heard of “job satisfaction?” Some people in the real estate world put your interests first. At Jenman Support, we are those people.
Thank you for reading our article.
HOW TO BUY LOW AND SELL HIGH!
by Neil Jenman
Article written and provided by Neil Jenman from Jenman.com.au . To see the original source of this article please click here. https://jenman.com.au/auctions-in-the-2022-market/. Neil Jenman is Australia’s trusted consumer crusader. He can support you, all the way, from choosing an agent who will get you the highest price guaranteed to when your removalist comes! You get an unprecedented level of total support. All for free. To find out more visit jenman.com.au
Steve and Marie live in Melbourne. They are in their mid-30s.
Two weeks ago, after more than 10 years of hard work and committed savings, Steve and Marie bought a home. They paid $1,530,000. Although they were willing to pay $1,600,000, they didn’t need to pay their highest price.
As happens with many homes, this home was sold by public auction. And Steve and Marie had just read ‘7 Reasons to Buy at Auction’ (see details below) which gave them a huge advantage. They understood how auctions – especially in the current 2022 market – are a fabulous way for buyers to save tens (even hundreds) of thousands of dollars.
Although Steve and Marie only saved $70,000, they were overjoyed. A small sum for many but a huge amount for them – about a year of savings!
Given that Steve and Marie saved $70,000, the sellers lost $70,000. This happens at most auctions, especially when a boom is over, sellers short-sell their homes. Buyers nab bargains.
As with all auctions, the buyers never have to reveal their highest price. The only people who must reveal their price at auctions are the sellers. At every auction, sellers are required to tell the auctioneer the lowest price they are prepared to accept. There is no such requirement upon the buyers. They don’t have to tell the auctioneer the highest price they are willing to pay.
No matter what the market conditions, many agents tell sellers that auction is the best way to sell a home for the highest price. But these agents never ask the buyers to reveal their highest price. The stupidity is breathtaking. How can you sell a home for the highest price that buyers are willing to pay if you don’t ask the buyers to reveal their highest price?
This gives auction buyers like Steve and Marie a huge financial advantage. Imagine playing cards (like poker) and other players are forced to show their cards but you don’t have to reveal your cards. The other players would refuse. They’d say something such as, “Do you think we are stupid?”
And rightly so.
It would be horribly unfair to have one set of rules (especially as important as “disclosure”) for one player and yet the other player has a different set of rules.
And yet this is exactly what happens at all public auctions all the time. Instead of offering the highest price they are willing to pay, the buyers only need to pay the lowest price the sellers are willing to accept. As happened with Steve and Marie their highest price (which was their secret) was far higher than the sellers lowest price (which was public knowledge).
Sellers short-sell their homes by massive amounts of money at auction. Buyers nab bargains.
Agents who push auctions use many slick lines to persuade home-sellers that auction is the best way to sell. But saying that auction is the best way to sell a home is one of the biggest and most common lies in the real estate world.
Auction is best for agents not sellers.
Auctions allow agents to put pressure on the sellers in two ways. First, by giving sellers plenty of bad news during the “marketing campaign”. Understandably, most sellers, according to most agents, want too much money for their homes. Especially at the start, when a home is first for sale.
Therefore, once the agents have got the sellers signed-up, the next step is to persuade the sellers to “lower their expectations”.
To do this, agents use a process openly called “conditioning.” It’s like a form of psychological torture where bad news constantly follows more bad news – with agents saying: “This is what the market is telling us”. By the time the auction date arrives, the sellers are ready to crack as agents hit the sellers with the second form of conditioning pressure – sell now, often followed again by “This is what the market is saying.”
As the Real Estate Institute teaches agents: “Auction is the fastest and best conditioning method.”
That’s right. Auctions allow agents to be sure of getting a sale and faster than if they had to use another method – such as hard work. Auctions suit lazy agents.
“SUCCESS RATE” – for whom?
As for “success rates” with auctions, agents count any sale as a “success.” If the agent gets a big commission, that’s a success. If a home is short-sold, as happens at most auctions, the agents still count the sale as a “success.”
If the success rate of auctions was measured by whether the sellers sold for the highest price the buyers will willing to pay, it would not reach 5 per cent.
Auctions hoodwink the public. Even the weekly “auction clearance rates” are always fake. And not just some of the time, all the time.
And now, with the market cooling – and most auctions failing (to sell) – the industry is doubling-down on its auction falsification rates.
Agents are starting to panic as the market starts to cool. To keep the cash (commissions) flowing, they must keep sales flowing. And, as you have just seen, the best way to keep sales flowing is to push auction as the best way to sell.
Hence the fake figures will be more fake then usual.
Look at last weekend (June 11, 2022).
552 homes were listed for auction in Sydney. 120 homes sold at auction. That’s a [sales] “success rate” of 21.7 per cent. The published “success rate” was 58 per cent.
In Melbourne, there were 446 homes scheduled for auction. From these, there were 130 sales. That’s 29 per cent. The publicly released “clearance rate” was 57 per cent.
In Brisbane, there were 161 auctions. 42 homes were sold. That’s a “clearance rate” of 26 per cent. But the public was told that the clearance rate for Brisbane was 48 per cent.
BOOM HIDES SINS
A property boom hides sins. For example, when sellers decide to auction in a boom there may be a hundred people in the crowd. There may be a dozen spirited bidders. In a boom, homes often sell at auction for more than owners expect – which hides the “sin” that they could have sold for a lot more.
It’s a financial maxim that the greatest losses occur during times of greatest profit.
So, at an auction if sellers expect to get, say, $1 million but their home sells for $1.5 million, they are ecstatic. The fact that the highest price the buyers were willing to pay was $2 million, is a fact the hoodwinked sellers never discover.
But not now.
Now when the boom is over and the market is cooling, even falling – or predicted to do so – sellers are starting to realise what’s going on with auctions.
Bad enough to auction your home in a boom when you never realise how much more you could have received – but to sell by auction now is to invite almost certain disaster.
If your home does sell at auction, it will almost certainly sell for less than it should have sold by private negotiation.
And if – as is happening with close to 80 per cent of auctions now – your home fails to sell at auction, it then carries a horrible ‘tag’. It becomes an auction lemon. The world sees your home as a “failed auction.”
And that’s how it’s described – “failed to sell at auction.”
In the mind of the buyers, there are only two reasons a home “fails to sell at auction”: Either the price is too high or there is something seriously wrong with the home.
Sadly, neither of these may be true.
The reality (truth) is that the agent gave the sellers bad advice. They will now be pressured to accept what agents refer to as “nose-bleed offers.” They will be told “the market has spoken” and that if you don’t “listen to the market” things will get worse as prices fall ever lower.
To make matters worse, sellers will have lost thousands of dollars in advertising costs. Or, if they have used one of those “pay later” companies, they may be in debt for several thousand dollars. If the sellers realise they have been duped, too bad. If they fail to pay up, they often have a caveat placed on their home.
Auctions are never a good way to sell. And now, with the market cooling, auctions are a financially reckless way to sell. If you want a fair price, for goodness’ sake, choose a fair method of selling. Any agent who has studied the basics of negotiation will never do auctions to you, especially in today’s market.
Once you sell – if you need to buy another home, then you can consider auctions. As a buyer you will not have to show your hand. Unlike sellers who must reveal their lowest price, your highest price is secret. You can easily do what Steve and Marie did – and save $70,000. Indeed, their “saving” is minuscule compared with how much many buyers are saving these days.
Not even “these days.” Ever since auctions started to become the rage with agents back in the 70s and 80s, buyers have been grabbing bargains. In 1996, my wife and I bought a property offered for auction. We paid $700,000. I used a buyers’ agent but when the auction agent saw my name, he laughed and said, “Hey, look at Jenman. He says auctions get lower prices. But he just paid $700,000 when the reserve price was $650,000. Neil Jenman paid $50,000 above the reserve. Gotcha Mr Jenman.”
Er no, Mr Auction Agent. Sure, my wife and I paid $700,000 and that may have been $50,000 more than the sellers’ lowest price. But nobody, other than the buyers’ agent, asked us to reveal the highest price we were willing to pay. It was $900,000.
So yes, this is the stupidity and sophistry that auction agents have perpetuated for decades.
One of the good things about the real estate boom ending is that many “sins” are now exposed. Like the famous comment about “seeing who’s swimming naked when the tide goes out” without the boom so much is clearer. Including the appallingly low skill level of agents who still push auctions.
In the bush, they have a saying: “Everyone’s a good farmer after the rain.” In real estate, the boom has made many agents look smarter than they are in reality.
Reality is coming back.
It’s now that you’ll see which agents are truly successful. And remember: “true success” is not whether a property sells, but whether it sells for the best price.
Only the best agents get the best price for sellers.
And the best agents never suggest selling by auction, especially in 2022.
Auctions are the place to buy for a low price, not to sell for a high price.
HORROR AND HEARTBREAK HEADS TOWARDS HAPPINESS
by Neil Jenman
Article written and provided by Neil Jenman from Jenman.com.au . To see the original source of this article please click here. https://jenman.com.au/how-the-tamil-family-came-home-to-a-home-in-biloela/. Neil Jenman is Australia’s trusted consumer crusader. He can support you, all the way, from choosing an agent who will get you the highest price guaranteed to when your removalist comes! You get an unprecedented level of total support. All for free. To find out more visit jenman.com.au
Reading Time: Apx 10 mins
The story of the family known as “The Tamil Family” is likely the most famous refugee story in Australia’s long and controversial immigration history.
Most Australians are familiar with the story.
A couple from Sri Lanka has been trying to migrate to Australia. They are Nadesalingam Murugappan and Kokilapathmapriya Nadesalingam. The shorter version of their names are Nades (him) and Priya (her).
Nades and Priya met in Australia. They married in November 2014. They had two little girls, both born in Australia. They are Kopika now aged seven and Tharnicaa who turns five this Sunday June 12, 2022.
In September 2019, Peter Dutton, now the leader of the Federal Opposition, reportedly referred to the children as “anchor babies” meaning, in his opinion, they were conceived to enhance the family’s chance of permanent residency.
Nades and Priya moved to the Central Queensland country town of Biloela in 2015.
Nades got a job with Teyes Australia, the local meatworks. On its website Teyes boasts that it “produces 1.7 billion beef meals each year.”
Despite this massive production, Teyes always needs workers. To meet this need, they arrange for South Sea Islanders, especially Fijians, to obtain work visas. These immigrants fill the jobs that many locals don’t want. The work is hard and unpleasant – as with most “meatworks” which were once known as “slaughterhouses”.
Nevertheless, being a “foreigner” and with limited English skills, Nades took what he could get. He worked hard and, by all reports, was an excellent employee.
In his spare time, Nades volunteered at Vinnies (St Vincent de Paul). Priya was the homemaker. They soon became popular members of the close-knit Biloela community.
On a Monday morning (March 5, 2018), shortly after their visas expired, Nades and Priya were woken at 5 am. There was loud banging on their door.
Police officers plus Border Force officers plus SERCO guards came to arrest them. They were given ten minutes from being woken to pack their possessions. It was an impossible task, so they left near everything behind.
This heartbreak would soon descend into horror.
The two adults and two children – one then aged two years, the other 9 months – were taken into custody, driven to a waiting plane, and flown to Melbourne. Nades and Priya were handcuffed on arrival and separated from the children.
It was the start of a nightmare lasting more than four years. They were placed in detention, first in Melbourne, then Christmas Island and, more recently, Perth.
The Biloela community – from their neighbours to their friends, to their employers at the meatworks – rose that Monday in March to find the entire family snatched from their midst.
A group in Biloela rallied to highlight the plight of what became known as the Biloela family. They used the slogan – “Home to Bilo”. They arranged protests, lobbied politicians, and garnered hundreds of thousands of supporters in ceaseless efforts to bring the family “home to Biloela”.
The Federal Government, under then Prime Minister Scott Morrison, refused to budge. Despite many of their own party – such as Tony Abbott, Julie Bishop, and Barnaby Joyce –supporting the family’s return to Biloela, it did not happen. The then Home Affairs Minister, Peter Dutton, said the family were “not real refugees”. His opinion is hotly contested. If the family were returned to Sri Lanka, their supporters believe that, at the least, Nades would face torture, perhaps execution.
On May 21, 2022, following the Federal Election in Australia, the Labor Party replaced the Liberal Party. Within days, interim Home Affairs minister, Jim Chalmers, called Nades and Priya. He gave them their best news in years. They were going home to Bilo.
Most of Australia was overjoyed.
It has reportedly cost the Australian taxpayers more than $17 million to hold this family in detention for four years.
Yesterday, (Thursday June 9, 2022), Australia’s new prime minister, Anthony Albanese, told a press conference: “The Bilo family were loved and wanted by their local community. This guy – Nades – worked at the local meatworks. We import people to work in meatworks because we can’t find enough workers. And here we grab this family in the middle of the night, took them down to Melbourne. Then took them to Christmas Island. Then they’ve ended up in Perth after these little girls who were born in Australia and got not just mental health issues but physical health issues as well. I’m very proud we’ve brought this family home. I’m very proud and the community will be as well. No people should be treated in that way.”
The journalist, Mike Carlton, commented: “Decency and humanity at long last.”
ENTER FRED AND WILMA
Although they are my friends, they wish to remain anonymous. So, I will respect their wishes and call them Fred and Wilma.
I want to use their story as an example or a beacon of hope for the way so many of us treat each other today. Especially those of us who have grown ever more wealthy thanks to no fault of our own – the massive property boom.
Sure, I believe we should all create financial security. If you have read my book, ‘Success Takes Character’, however, you may recall a principle known as ‘The Doctrine of Enough’.
When we have a meal, we know when we’ve had enough. When we fill our cars with petrol, the pump clicks off when the tank is full. We’ve got enough. Why don’t we calculate our ‘enough’ figures when it comes to wealth?
Many of us would then realise that we don’t “need” nearly as much as we think we need – especially when it comes to “happiness”. And no, I am not going to say money does not make you happy. Money worries – especially debt – cause an enormous amount of unhappiness.
But I will say many Australians have far more money than they will ever need. Especially many of us aging baby boomers. We have reached our ‘doctrine of enough’ and we don’t even know it. We keep accumulating and accumulating. And then we die. Rich. And our relatives party.
Why not have the party now? Experience the joy of “giving” rather than have it “taken” after you’ve gone.
Why not do what you want to do with your money while you have it?
I learned a long time ago that there are only two reasons to have money. The first is to give yourself freedom to do what you want to do when you want to do it.
The second reason is where Fred and Wilma come into this story – and where they “meet” the people going home to Bilo.
That reason is this: To help people who, through no fault of their own, are less fortunate than ourselves.
My dear Mum (rest in peace. Bless her soul etc) always told me: “Darling, it is better to give than to receive.”
She was right.
It is often said that there are only two types of people in our world – givers and takers.
Givers lead happier lives – regardless of how much financial wealth each possesses.
Two years ago, when the Melbourne property boom was roaring towards its peak, Fred and Wilma decided to auction their home. They had retired, the kids had left home and, well, you know the story. Time to downsize – and maybe grab a bit of cash.
This is when I met Fred. I told him that he “didn’t sound either ignorant or idiotic”. He asked what I meant. I told him that only people who are misinformed or unintelligent would auction their homes, especially in a boom.
I showed him how to cancel his auction and sell his home correctly by private negotiation. This worked brilliantly for him and Wilma – as it does for everyone who takes the time to understand how, selling a home by public auction is tantamount to throwing money away.
Fred and Wilma ended up with about half a million dollars more for their home than they would have received at auction.
But there was one problem. [There are always problems in life. We need to see them as “challenges” and try to be sure we don’t have the same problems.]
Fred and Wilma had nowhere to live.
They hadn’t found another home by the time they had to move out of their home.
By this stage, my wife (Reiden) and I had become good friends with Fred and Wilma.
And so, we let them move into our home in Melbourne.
This was the first year of Covid, so we were unable to travel to Melbourne. Neither did we want to be there and participate in the lockdowns that gripped the lovely city for months.
All homes – especially those containing love and warmth – need to be occupied. If empty for too long, well, things go wrong.
Fred and Wilma took great care of our home. It was almost six months before they found the right home. We did not charge rent. They got “mates’ rates”. That happens with mates.
FRED AND WILMA’S INVESTING JOURNEY.
Having sold their former family home and bought a ‘downsizer’, Fred and Wilma now had surplus funds. They wanted to invest in real estate. Being in their mid-60s, they were keen to get a good financial return.
Now, I do not charge consumers for real estate support. Sometimes, however, I often think (or wish) that I could find a way to tell more people how to invest safely and successfully in the real estate market. But to be frank, I am frightened of attracting greedy people.
Fred and Wilma are not greedy people. They are beautiful people. They are givers.
And so, over the past few months, I helped them find and buy two excellent properties that give great percentage returns and will provide them with healthy cash-flow – much higher than the pittance from today’s bank deposits.
One of those properties happened to be in Biloela which also happens to be the nearest large town to where my wife and I (and two of our sons) now live (on our farm) in Central Queensland.
Fred and Wilma bought the home in Biloela in April. It is in a lovely street and in great condition – three bedrooms with a huge back garden. At one stage, they were approached by the meatworks company and offered $600 per week – there were going to be four overseas workers living in the home. Based on their purchase price of $327,000, that would have given them a return of almost 10 per cent.
Frank and Wilma decided they’d rather rent to a family.
As mentioned, the two homes they bought – the other was in Tassie – were both excellent. Not only did they offer a good return, they both appreciated in value – quite impressively so.
Fred and Wilma have constantly offered to pay my wife and son and I for our help in finding these homes. We have constantly said no. Other than book sales, we do not charge consumers, especially for our support when buying and selling.
At one stage, Fred said to me: “Neil, at least let me pay you half of any profit I make.”
Again, I said no.
One of my friends recently said that I get great joy out of helping my friends do well. That’s true. But not just friends, I love to help any good people.
And yes, on many occasions we do get paid – in a roundabout way – especially when people sell their homes with our support. The agents pay us a support fee – which is not passed on to the sellers.
I am quite happy – indeed very happy – to help as many people as I can. I detest those real estate gurus who say they “want to give something back to society” and then they ask consumers (“society”) to pay them upwards of $30,000 each.
That’s not giving. That’s taking – in the classic sense.
Recently, Fred and Wilma heard about the Tamil family and how they needed a home in Biloela. Fred discovered that another friend of ours had offered to pay the first six months rent to him and Wilma. This meant, of course, that the Tamil family – Nades and Priya and Kopika and Tharnicaa – could live rent-free for six months.
“Wait,” said Fred. “I am not going to accept six months rent from your friend, Neil. Wilma and I will be pleased to give these good people six months’ free living in our new home in Biloela.”
And our friends are still wanting to pay six months as well.
Therefore, the Tamil family will effectively have 12 months free rent.
This week, when news broke that the Tamil family had been offered free rent by the owner of a home in Biloela, a shy Fred was keeping his head down. But he did take the time to text my wife and say: “Reiden, what we are doing feels really good.”
So, there you have it: A baby-boomer property investor is feeling good renting his home to a family at no charge. Indeed, he is feeling better receiving no income from it (for six months) than he would have felt had he rented the home to the meatworks for the $600 per week they offered.
To give the readers of this article an indication of the character of this Tamil family, we have been told – via their ‘Home-to-Bilo’ support group spokesperson Angela Fredericks – that Nades is very grateful for the generosity shown to his family. However, he has stressed that once he is back at work – and on his feet financially – he is unlikely to need free rent for long.
He wants to pay his own way.
That’s certainly not the character of a taker.
GOOD NEWS SPREADS.
Enter the Ray White Group.
On Wednesday night they emailed me and said: “We wish to help the Tamil family settle in safely and as best as possible back to Biloela. The White family would like to match the six months free rent.”
That takes the offer of “free rent” to 18 months.
As mentioned, however, it is unlikely that the family will need rental assistance for so long.
But they are coming home to Biloela with little more than the clothes on their backs. This week, the ‘Home-to-Bilo’ group have been busily preparing the home for them. They have been purchasing everything from knives-and-forks to beds and blankets and fridges and furniture. At the home yesterday, one of these Biloela “angels” – a near 80-year-old local lady called Marion – was measuring up the fridge size for them.
And the media spokesperson for Ray White, Alex Tilbury, said: “Whatever this family needs, please let us know. We will be delighted to assist. This is what we do. There is a Ray White presence in Biloela. We are keen to support all local communities where we have an office.”
This afternoon (Friday June at 2:25 pm), the plane carrying the Tamil family will touch down at the local Biloela airport (at Thangool).
It’s going to be a magnificent homecoming.
Thanks to the angelic supporters led by Angela Fredericks and everyone else who has worked so hard to help this family.
From the solicitor who prepared the lease agreement at no charge for Fred and Wilma who are offering rent for six months at no charge, to another anonymous benefactor who’s doing the same, to the Ray White Group and their generosity.
Although I am not the recipient of any of this largesse, I feel I need to say thank you because I am receiving something that feels so much better than any financial reward.
Like Fred and Wilma, I am feeling good.
Thank you to all the givers involved in this story.
And, if you need help to sell, buy or invest in property, we will be pleased to assist you at no charge. You can call us on 1800 1800 18 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If, however, we give you support like that given to Fred and Wilma, we will be pleased if you do what they are doing with some of their profits – GIVING to those less fortunate. Thank you.
ASKED BY LAZY AND INCOMPETENT AGENTS!
by Neil Jenman
Article written and provided by Neil Jenman from Jenman.com.au . To see the original source of this article please click here. https://jenman.com.au/sellers-beware-the-deadly-question/. Neil Jenman is Australia’s trusted consumer crusader. He can support you, all the way, from choosing an agent who will get you the highest price guaranteed to when your removalist comes! You get an unprecedented level of total support. All for free. To find out more visit jenman.com.au
Reading Time: 5.5 mins apx
A few weeks ago, Tony bought a house in a regional town.
He paid $420,000.
The sale was handled by a local agent, a member of a large franchise network.
Tony immediately put the house back on the market for $550,000. He chose a different agent, a local independent renowned for getting top prices.
When the first agent saw that Tony had listed the home for re-sale with a different agent, he was annoyed. He felt that Tony should have given him the business of re-selling the home.
Tony told the first agent that he wanted a higher price, that’s why he chose a different agent.
“But I can get that price,” the agent said.
Tony couldn’t believe what he was hearing. Aside from a slight clean-up (mowing the lawns and a lick of paint) the home was in the same condition as Tony bought it.
Tony asked the agent: “If you can sell this home for $550,000, why did you sell it for $420,000?”
The agent immediately shot back, “That’s what the owner wanted. In fact, he would have sold it for $400,000 but I got him an extra $20,000.”
The agent said the previous owner was “rapt” with getting $420,000, being $20,000 more than he wanted.
Tony pushed the point. He asked, “If you could have sold it for him for $550,000, why didn’t you?”
The agent repeated his earlier reason. “He was happy with $400,000. That’s what he wanted. I got him $420,000 so he was more than happy.”
The agent basically accused Tony of being unethical for going to another agent to sell the home which he had just bought from this agent. He said: “If you hadn’t done the wrong thing by me, I’d have made two sales.”
If it wasn’t “unethical” to go to another agent, then, according to the first agent, it was definitely unfair.
The logic of so many agents, thought Tony. Always focused on what’s in it for them.
And, according to this agent, if Tony had been “fair” and given this agent the chance to re-sell the home, the agent would have made two sales – the first sale to Tony at $420,000. And then, also, the second sale for Tony at $550,000.
“Everyone would have been happy.”
Yes, the first seller got $420,000 – $20,000 more than he wanted. The buyer, Tony – who then became the second seller – would also have been happy at re-selling for $550,000, a gross profit of $130,000. And, of course, the agent would have been happy because he would have earned commission on two sales – one to Tony at $420,000 and one for Tony at $550,000.
When Tony insisted that the agent had done the wrong thing by the former owner, the agent raised his voice: “How can it be wrong to get sellers more than they want?”
And there you have it.
Yet another reason many homes are short-sold.
That reason is because so many agents focus on what sellers want instead of focussing on what buyers will pay.
According to Tony, “Blind Freddy” could see the first seller was short-sold by $130,000.
THE DEADLY QUESTION
Here’s what happens to thousands of home-sellers…
They call an agent and say, “We want to sell our home.”
The first question most agents then ask is: “How much do you want?”
And that’s the financially deadly question. Especially during a boom (or when sellers are unaware prices have climbed, such as in many regional centres now), sellers grossly underestimate the value of their homes.
Rather than tell them that their home is worth more than they “want,” many agents instantly think to themselves: “Oh great, I’ll have no trouble selling this home.”
As agents know, the lower the price, the easier it is to make a sale.
Easy sales mean easy money.
And hey, what’s the harm – according to incompetent agents – if they “get the sellers what they want.” If sellers are “happy with the price,” agents think it’s a job well done.
But as Alec Jenman from Jenman Support says, “There are two types of agents: The first are agents who ask sellers what they want. The other agents tell sellers how much they can get.”
If you are selling your home and an agent asks you how much you want, be careful. Chances are almost certain that the agent is lazy, incompetent, and uncaring. The amount the owner “wants” is nobody’s business but the owner’s.
Yet, the most common question asked about homeowners to agents is: “What will they take?”
In other words, “How low will they (the sellers) go?”
Here’s a negotiation maxim: “If you reveal the lowest price you will accept, that will be the highest price you ever get.”
The correct answer to give to an agent who asks you how much you want for your home is this: “We want to sell for the best price you can negotiate for us.” You can then put the question back on the agent by saying: “How much can you get for us?”
Under no circumstances must you reveal what agents want you to reveal – your lowest price.
Most sellers are not skilled property appraisers. They are clueless when it comes to the best price for their home. Many times, therefore, the price that sellers “want” is well below the price they can get.
Selling for the highest price takes more effort than selling for the lowest price. And, given that the amount of commission is always high no matter what the price, it’s no wonder so many agents are happy to sell homes for whatever price the sellers are happy to accept.
Happy, happy, happy. That’s the way many agents measure success. If sellers are “happy” the agents pat themselves on the back. The agents got them what they “wanted.”
Short-selling a home is a total betrayal of an agent’s duty. It doesn’t matter whether the sellers are “happy,” what matters is that they got the right price.
The right price is the best price.
To sell a property for less than it could be sold is a betrayal of the seller’s trust. It’s tantamount to an unfaithful partner who thinks that, if they don’t get caught, and the person being cheated on is happy, all is okay.
But, of course, all is not okay.
Sellers need to be careful which questions they answer, especially the “how much do you want” question.
There is, however, one question that all sellers should ask about any agent they are considering hiring to sell their home: “Can this agent get us the best price?”
The best agents know how to get the best market price. And such agents don’t focus on what sellers want. As Alec Jenman says, the best agents focus on doing what they do best – and that’s getting the best result for home-sellers.
To every agent who applies to sell your home, your attitude needs to be: “Don’t ask us how much we want for our home. Tell us how much you can get for our home.”
The difference can be hundreds of thousands of dollars.
At expense of sellers who sell with wrong agent!
by Neil Jenman
Article written and provided by Neil Jenman from Jenman.com.au . To see the original source of this article please click here. https://jenman.com.au/investor-makes-100000-profit-for-3-hours-work/. Neil Jenman is Australia’s trusted consumer crusader. He can support you, all the way, from choosing an agent who will get you the highest price guaranteed to when your removalist comes! You get an unprecedented level of total support. All for free. To find out more visit jenman.com.au
READING TIME: 8 mins apx
Tony is a coffee shop owner. He ‘dabbles’ in real estate on the side. In March this year (2022), he noticed a home for sale in a regional centre.
At $420,000, it seemed cheap.
After an hour or so of research, Tony bought the home. He then arranged for it to be given a fresh coat of paint plus get the lawns mowed and do some work in the garden.
The total cost of what he called a “spruce-up” was about $7,000.
He then put the home back on the market – with a different agent from whom he bought the home – for $549,000.
Last Saturday, during the election, Tony received an offer of $535,000. The agent thinks the buyers will pay more, so negotiations are continuing.
Tony’s aim is to make a profit, after costs (and before tax), of $100,000. From the feedback so far, he’ll go close.
Tony has never physically seen this home. He just saw it on-line. He has never been to the city where the home is located. By the time the home is bought, spruced-up and re-sold, Tony will have spent less than three hours on this project.
“I’d have to sell a few cups of coffee to make a hundred thousand dollars,” laughed Tony.
But what about the previous owners? They can’t be laughing, surely? After all, Tony’s profit of $100,000 is their loss of the same amount.
It turns out that the property was a deceased estate.
Well, what about the original agent, the one from whom Tony bought the home – aren’t they embarrassed? Or maybe ashamed? How about angry?
A SALE AT ANY PRICE
To quote several local agents – “They don’t care.” They made a sale and that was it.
This is the attitude of many agents – as homes get sold well below the amount for which they could be sold – especially when markets are volatile, as in many areas now.
But what about an agent’s fiduciary duty to always act in the best interests of their client? Well, most agents can’t even spell ‘fiduciary,’ let alone abide by it.
For many agents, a sale is a sale. The price is irrelevant to these agents. They just want a sale – at any price.
Savvy investors like Tony can easily pick up huge profits by purchasing properties below their true value. It happens all the time. Indeed, this example, of Tony making a profit of $100,000, is a small example. There are ‘investors’ buying properties and re-selling them (it’s called ‘flipping’) for hundreds of thousands of dollars profit.
With “bad news” circulating about the property market – interest rates rising and auction clearance rates plunging – many sellers are now being coerced into under-selling their homes – more so than ever before.
SLOW DOES NOT MEAN LOW
Sure, the market may be slower but the word “slower” just means “longer” it does not have to mean “lower.”
If sellers resist the pressure from agents to lower their prices many of them only need to wait a bit longer and the right buyer will appear. Especially on quality homes in sought-after areas.
It is not my intention, in writing this article, to show people how to buy properties on the cheap and flip them again for profits of upwards of $100,000. In my latest book, 88 Reasons Why You Must Never Sell Your Home at Auction, I reveal seven reasons to buy at auction. I explain how, years ago, I often bought homes for as much as half their true value (normally deceased estate or government auctions) and re-sold them immediately – or, like Tony did, after a quick spruce up, for massive profits.
BUY AND SELL WITH DIFFERENT AGENTS
One of the biggest secrets of success in selling or buying real estate is this: The best agent to sell with is rarely the best agent to buy with – if price is important to you.
When I hear people say they are going to sell their home with the agent from whom they bought the home because they were “really nice,” I ask them to define “really nice.”
“Oh, they helped us get it much lower than we were willing to pay.”
Well then, do not go back to the same agent.
A good agent to buy from at a cheap price is not a good agent to sell with.
The choice of agent to sell your home can make a difference of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“BEST AGENTS” – BEST FOR WHOM?
The “best agent” to sell with is the agent who gets the best result for the sellers.
This point was raised with me recently in a message I got from a long-established agent in Sydney’s west. He informed me that an agent who’s currently hailed as “the best” in a recent ranking of agents is, allegedly, selling homes well below their true value – meaning the amount the buyers are willing to pay (or other buyers would have paid).
He’s a ‘churn-em-and-burn-em’ agent. Turnover is what’s important. You can pick these agents because they often boast about the short time homes are on the market.
Well, fast sales often mean cheap sales – as has been shown in respected research.
Beware sellers, when an agent says, “I am the top selling agent in this area.”
Such a statement does not mean the agent is selling homes for top prices. Far from it. “Top selling” means selling the most homes. Even basic research will soon reveal a horrifying fact about so-called “best” or “top” agents. Some are under-selling homes by as much as hundreds of thousands of dollars.
WAIT FOR THE RIGHT BUYER
Recently, I was arguing with an agent (as we often do) about the price of a home. I was supporting the owners who believed they should have been able to sell for more than the price being offered through this agent.
The agent was saying “The buyers won’t pay any more.”
It’s a common line for agents to say that buyers making an offer won’t pay any more. But my reply is almost always to say, “Well, these are the wrong buyers. Find the right buyers.”
Some agents get annoyed with me.
But then I ask them this question: “If the sellers accept the offer from these buyers and then, in a few weeks from now, these buyers ‘flip’ the property – and sell it for the price the current sellers are urging you to get – which is $250,000 more – how will you feel?”
The agent will usually pause. Some admit they would “feel bad.”
Others will say something like, “But that’s not going to happen.”
To which I then say, “Will you give the sellers a guarantee that if the current buyers ‘flip’ the property immediately and re-sell it for a massive profit – which means, let’s face it, that you massively under-sold their property – you will reimburse your sellers the amount by which the property was on-sold?”
In Tony’s case, this would mean (at least) an extra $115,000 (the gross difference between $420,000 and $535,000).
Of course, agents all say no. They are much more careful when it’s their money, their risk.
When Shirley was selling her home in Melbourne’s inner-suburbs recently, she was quoted prices from $4.1 million to $5.2 million. A difference of $1.1 million.
And here’s the catch for many sellers – the huge trap especially in what agents are calling a “down market”: The agent who quoted her $4.1 million was right. And so was the agent who quoted $5.2 million.
“Right” in as much as both agents believed their quoted price was right. The home sold for $4.7 million which, I am sure, was the absolute best price. It took nine weeks to make the sale during which time Shirley had to resist the pressure of offers as low as $4 million.
She waited, she hung-on, she got a great price.
But without good advice and support, without taking the time to research not just prices but agents, Shirley could easily have sold for $4.1 million. The buyer could have then done what Shirley did – and what Tony is doing – and waited for the right buyer to come along and pay $4.7 million.
That would mean a $600,000 gross profit for the buyer.
Waiting is a strategy that many agents won’t like.
But, as happened for Shirley, waiting can pay off big-time. It means you get the right buyer at the right price.
UGLY AGENTS WITH UGLY STRATEGY
Be careful sellers. Sure, the property market is softening. But don’t let agents soften you up. If you have a good quality home in a sought-after (“tightly held”) area, be careful you are not too quick to accept low offers.
On the Central Coast of New South Wales, Gordon and Lisa have just fired their agent who kept trying to talk them down in price and who kept giving them low offers.
The agent had likely been trained by a [foul-mouthed] sales trainer who urges agents to “give them hope” and then get the sellers signed up. And then, the minute the sellers have signed-up – yes, before leaving their homes – the agents “set them up” to reduce the price in a couple of weeks time. He calls it “GOING UGLY EARLY.”
It’s an ugly and unethical tactic. If it happens to you, sellers, you have chosen the wrong agent. If you can manage it, snatch the paperwork back and tell the agent (nicely) to leave your home.
GREAT PRICES CAN STILL BE ACHIEVED
Yes, it may be harder than it has been for months to sell for a great price. But, in many cases, it’s possible to still get a great price, especially if you have a great property.
Don’t succumb to the tactics of agents whose aim is to make sales at any price. Find agents who are dedicated to getting you the best price – not those who quote you a great price before you sign up and, within seconds of you signing-up, they are trying to lower your price (which is often the price they quoted you!!).
Sellers are being assailed on many fronts right now. If they are not careful, today’s sellers will simply become profit sources for savvy investors who know which agents are great to buy from and which agents are great to sell with.
Buy cheap from one agent who doesn’t care about getting a great price. And then sell high with an agent who’s skilled at the art of real estate negotiation.
And beware of the multi-offer technique being used by some investors. They inspect, say, 30 properties and make “insultingly low offers” on 20 properties and hope at least one seller will “crack”.
And then they buy the home and flip it again by using a decent agent, an agent who understands and respects the importance of “fiduciary duty.”
Coercive control is not just reserved for domestic abuse. It’s also used by agents who use high pressure and manipulative tactics to persuade sellers to sell – at any price.
Sure, there are times when sellers must accept a lower price when the market is tougher. But that should only happen after the agent has exhausted every possible method of getting the best price possible.
Unfortunately, these days – with years of booms – many agents have either forgotten how to sell or have never learned to sell.
All they know is how to coerce sellers into accepting lower prices.
Most real estate agents are hopeless at negotiation. As mentioned, they are only ‘good’ at getting sellers down in price. And yet these same agents who expect you to lower your price and accept the huge discount demanded by buyers refuse to discount their commission.
As the late John F Kennedy famously said: “You cannot negotiate with people who say what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is negotiable.”
That’s a description of many agents.
If you are selling your home, you need an agent who genuinely knows the art of negotiation – and that means persuading buyers to pay a great price for your great home, not talk you down in price.
Back in 2015, I wrote and presented a real estate negotiation course for agents. I wrote a booklet with 42 RULES for agents to get the best price for their sellers. If you are a seller and you’d like a copy of this booklet (to check or monitor the skill level of any agent), please click here to download a copy now.
And remember, your home is your valuable asset. Do not allow anyone to profit due to the incompetence or lack of care of your agent.
Find the right agent and get the right price.
And how you can protect yourself
by Neil Jenman
Article written and provided by Neil Jenman from Jenman.com.au . To see the original source of this article please click here. https://jenman.com.au/how-the-biggest-liars-win-in-real-estate-politics/. Neil Jenman is Australia’s trusted consumer crusader. He can support you, all the way, from choosing an agent who will get you the highest price guaranteed to when your removalist comes! You get an unprecedented level of total support. All for free. To find out more visit jenman.com.au
Reading time: apx 11 mins
The number one goal of all politicians, especially at election time – is to win your vote.
The number one goal of all agents, at any time, is to win new listings. A “listing” is the name agents give to a home for sale.
The oft-heard phrase, “We need more listings,” means, “We need more homes to sell.”
The best way for agents to lure sellers is to do what politicians are now doing to lure voters: tell lies.
And lots of lies. The more lies, the more chance of success.
And don’t forget the size of a lie: The bigger a lie, the more chance of winning the vote. Or the listing. Oh – and by the way – politicians and agents now rank alongside each other as second last and last when it comes to public trust.
We don’t trust them.
Yet we still vote for the politicians.
And we still sign-up with the agents.
Whether you are voting or selling, you are being wooed with lies. Indeed, no matter how noble their early career intentions, both agents and politicians soon accept an awful truth: If they don’t lie, they don’t get elected or selected.
And yet, despite getting constantly caught by the cavalcade of lies, so many of us – voters and sellers – seem to keep forgetting: Once they “get” us, they ditch us.
Agents and politicians are notorious for breaking promises. They can’t help it – it’s part of their nature. If they don’t tell lies, they don’t “get” us. And then, once they get us, if they kept their promises, they’d go broke.
Just as politicians can’t pay for their promises agents can’t sell our homes for the prices they promised – especially when a boom is over, as in many areas now.
So, we all need to understand that lying is part of the business of winning our business or our vote – and then, later, deflecting the blame is part of the process of persuading us that it’s “not their fault.”
With politicians, it’s the economy. With agents it’s the market.
THE WAY IT IS – ACCEPT IT.
In the late 1970s, I read a book called The Road Less Travelled. I’ll never forget the opening three-word sentence: “Life is difficult.”
That statement is based on the first of the Buddha’s four great truths, namely that “Life is suffering.” Or, as our then PM, Malcolm Fraser, said: “Life wasn’t meant to be easy.”
The author of The Road Less Travelled was M. Scott Peck, an army psychiatrist. After announcing the great truth about life being difficult, he wrote:
“This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult – once we truly understand and accept it – then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.”
So please, as we head out to vote this weekend or we decide to call an agent about selling our home, let’s accept an important fact: Politicians and agents lie to win our votes and listings.
As far as voting is concerned, I don’t want to give either advice or opinion. Not here. I get enough flak from friends on my personal Facebook page. Suffice to say, I believe character is vitally important and if we excuse behaviour that would ordinarily be inexcusable by saying: “It’s not the person, it’s the policy,” we head down a frightening path. Just read Gandhi’s opinion on ‘7 Things That Will Destroy Us’.
What we must try to do, therefore, is accept that “lying” is simply the way it is in the world of politics or real estate.
BEING CAUGHT BY LIARS.
There are few things more frustrating than being caught by lies. Especially when, at least when it comes to real estate agents, we should know better.
Please see it from their side – or as Stephen Covey said, “Seek first to understand” and you may accept why agents consider it essential to lie to win the right to sell (“list”) your home.
It’s a well-known fact among agents: Those who give the best presentation to sellers are most likely to be the chosen agents.
And the “best” presentation – let’s face it – means the best price. If you interview three agents before selling your home, it’s almost impossible to resist choosing the agent who gives you the best price for your home. Throw in the lowest commission and well, by then, most sellers are reaching for the pen to “sign-up.”
But then, as is going to happen more often after the election if the boom continues to unwind – terrible things start to happen to sellers.
Having won the listing with the biggest lie, the agent now shifts their focus to part two of their mission (to make money out of you). Sell your home.
Not sell for the price they quoted you, no way. That price was a lie, remember.
No, the agent will sell your home for whatever price he or she can persuade, cajole, coerce, manipulate, pressure, or bully you to accept. A current method widely used by agents is the scare tactic. They tell you that if you don’t sell today for this horribly low offer, you’ll be forced to sell for much less a few weeks from now.
You know what they are doing to you. It’s like when a coercive partner says you’ll never find someone else. It’s designed to control you and make you do what they want you to do. And, for most agents what they want you to do is this: SELL AT ANY PRICE.
That’s how they get paid their commission.
How you wish you could walk out. How you wish you had not been caught by an obvious lie. Hey, come on, don’t blame yourself: Agents who sell the most properties are often the best at telling lies.
The agents who make the most sales are often those agents who have the biggest difference between the quoted selling price and the actual selling price.
They are, people, the biggest liars. That’s how real estate operates. It’s how agents get selected. Like how politicians get elected.
But here’s where you strike your big problem. You chose an agent who was the best at lying and you signed a document (euphemistically called a “listing agreement”) which was a heavily binding legal document filled with terms, conditions, and clauses with one primary aim – to protect the agent.
Yes, the biggest liar got the job of selling your home. And you gave that liar the biggest possible protection because you signed a document that contained horrendous clauses that work against your interests.
At least with a politician you can switch votes next time. With a real estate agent, you can’t switch. You are stuck. More stuck, more “tied up” or more “controlled” (these are all terms agents use) than any job or personal relationship.
You must stay with that agent. There is no escaping a bad agent if you signed their contract.
You can walk out of a personal relationship and move in with a new partner within an hour of leaving your previous partner. Not so with real estate. Your first agent can sue you, force you to pay double commission, lodge a caveat on your home and make your life misery.
All because you didn’t take the time to do one thing before you signed up with the agent – you did not protect yourself.
For the inexperienced (most sellers) it seems hard to believe they can get themselves into so much trouble trying to sell their homes. In just about every business or relationship, if you want out, you can get out.
Not under normal conditions with normal real estate agents.
As Scott Peck wrote at the start of his book, “Life is difficult.”
When it comes to selling your home, it should read, “Life is more than difficult, it is horrendous if you make the mistake of choosing the biggest liar and compound that awful mistake by signing that agent’s so-called “standard agreement” (read “nasty legally oppressive contract”).”
So, here is what to do: Insist the agent gives you a series of “outs.”
At Jenman Support, we call them “protection conditions.” Before suggesting an agent to you, that agent must agree to eight protection conditions. These conditions give you the safety, the security, and the rights you should always get – and, in many cases, mistakenly thought you would get.
These conditions can be summed up in one sentence: “The agent is not allowed to rip-off the sellers.”
Or, if you prefer to be less confrontational: “The agent must place the interests of the sellers ahead of the interests of the agent.”
Two of our favourite protection conditions are these:
The sellers will not be asked to pay any money for any reason until their home is sold and they are happy with the price achieved by the agent and the service delivered by the agent.
And this one:
The seller can sack the agent and choose a different agent if the seller is unhappy because the agent has acted improperly or unethically.
And, of course, all commission is negotiable until the point of sale. It’s amazing how much harder agents try when they know they must lower their own commission if they expect the sellers to lower the selling price.
Okay let them tell their lies – that’s the way the industry works. But don’t you, the seller, become the scapegoat for their lies.
Make sure you protect yourself before you sign-up. Indeed, if you want proof that an agent is lying about the quoted selling price, ask them to write the following sentence into their selling agreement: “If the home sells for less than the price quoted by the agent when the sellers signed-up with the agent, then, if the sellers so insist, the agent will agree to forfeit all commission.”
If the agent refuses to sign such an agreement, ask why. Sort of like a political party opposing a body that monitors its level of honesty. Why?
A FINAL WORD.
Just as it’s your vote when you walk into the polling booth on Saturday and you know what is likely to happen if your candidate (or party) is elected, so must you realise that it is your home or property that you are selling.
If the agent gets selected, you must – and this is essential for your own protection and peace of mind – be able to keep control. Yes, the agent will almost certainly lie to you about your likely selling price. But if they are prevented from pressuring you, and bullying you, and suing you – and many of the other common ‘nasties’ inflicted upon thousands of sellers, guess what?
The agent will try harder and perform better when you, the owners, are in control.
And that gives you the best chance of getting the best price.
Life is difficult, true. But be sure it becomes at least as difficult for the agent as you. You must not have the typical scenario where life is difficult for the seller, but easy for the agent.
It’s your home. You are the “employer” of the agent. If that agent does not always act in your best interests, you must have the right to do what you would do in any bad relationship, personal or employment. Get out and find someone better.
You can’t stop agents and politicians from lying to you.
But you can stop yourself from suffering because of their lies. You can insist that the agent agrees to conditions that protect your interests.
Good luck. May you elect and select well.