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Real estate agents

By crabb - 11 June 2008 93

At the risk of attracting flames for posting yet another “where’s the best….” thread, (and yes, I have used the search button but would appreciate hearing some recent experiences) I’d like RiotActer’s recommendations for a decent agent to sell our Gungahlin house. We’ve found the place we want to move to and need to sell our current home promptly. No time to muck around trying to save commission doing it ourselves, just need someone honest, professional and good at their job. Ideas? And what about commissions? Do they vary greatly between agents? Is it OK to bargain?

What’s Your opinion?

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93 Responses to
Real estate agents
jcf 11:24 am 11 Jun 08

Real Estate agents are just used car salesmen without a drivers licence. Scum of the earth who happily lie to everyone and anyone.

Do it yourself, save some money and (more importantly) send less money to those useless morons.

[Ed. (Jazz) Real Estate Agents are required to be licensed in order to sell property in the ACT]

moneypenny 11:04 am 11 Jun 08

Firstly i need to say that I’m a real estate agent, and that I find it really sad to see such horrible comments about real estate agents. Can so many people have such truly horrible experiences to elicit such hate towards people just because of the industry that they work in?

Secondly, Moneypenny is a play on the Bond girl of the same name, not because i’d sell my mother. If you think that I would, you are a clown of the first order.

Most real estate business comes from referrals from previous clients. About 80% of mine is probably pretty close. That means if I’m not doing my job for my client (the seller) then I’m out of a job. Hamilton’s claim that i’m going to push for a quick sale is failing to recognise that a referral from a happy client is worth far more for my business than the quick sale.

I wont be stupid enough to make the claim that the same rules will apply to all agents. In every industry there are shonky operators. My advice is to ask around for references to find a good agent. Interview a few to find one that you think you can TRUST and RELATE to. Real estate agents are now governed by a very strict set of legislation with both financial and criminal penalties if they don’t comply.

The commission from any agent is negotiable and nowhere near the 3.75% of the sale price suggested by ponkygirl. Some agents may be open to a flat rate commission, percentage of sale price (2.5 – 3%) or combinations of both, but you shouldn’t be afraid to ask you agent what they’d consider. If nothing else you’ll be able to test their negotiation skills first hand.

Personally, I am not interested in a quick sale, I am interested in the best sale for my clients – Agents have a legal obligation to work in the best interests of our clients and I take this very seriously. A good agent will generate buzz, introduce buyers and use their specialist negotiation skills to get a sale at or above the asking price, Something I, and other good agents are able to do in a tight market. I work hard for my clients and I know that there are other good agents out there that do the same.

I’d be happy to sit down and have a chat about the sale of your property & its entirely up to you if you’d want to employ me to do so. Obviously i’ll try to make a compelling argument 🙂 I’m told that if you get in contact with a Riot admin they’ll pass through any details.

Morgan 10:37 am 11 Jun 08

Get a professional valuation done, it will cost a bit but will ensure you know what price you should be selling at.

ant 10:34 am 11 Jun 08

The way I see those Go Gecko cars behaving on the road, I’d never patronise them.

Aurelius 10:14 am 11 Jun 08

All real estate agents are scum
But if you’re talking Gungahlin specifically, the Go Gecko people are scummier than the rest

Hamilton 10:08 am 11 Jun 08

The key thing is to set a realistic price for your property and stick to it. If you set an unrealistic price the you are going to wait forever and the real estate agent is going to loose interest in marketing your property. Do your own research (all homes is great for this) and have a look at data for similar properties to yours in the same area.

The real estate agent will try and pressure you to sell it for less because it is a quick sale for them. If you are selling your property for $500,000 and the commission rate is 3% then the commission for the agent is $15,000. If s/he pressures you to sell at $490,000 then the commission at the same rate is $14,700. The net result is you are down by $10,000 and the agent is down by $300 in commission. If you do the same exercise at $480,000 you are down $20,000 and they are down in commission by $600. So basically there is little incentive (a couple of hundred dollars)to get you the price you are after.

As I said before, set a reasonable price and don’t get pressures or fu(ked about by the agent. They are all sharks and would sell their own mothers if there was a financial gain.

Good luck!!

ant 9:52 am 11 Jun 08

I saw a privately-being-sold house on Allhomes last night, and it all looked the same as with an agent. Difference being, you’re contacting the owners. I think that sometimes, agents can lose sales by not getting back to people fast enough, or being poor time managers/multi-taskers so they can’t juggle a bunch of different things going on.

Allhomes is a great resource, I figure any place not on there is going to have a hard time being sold. Plenty of pictures and a realistic price, what have you got to lose?

Spectra 9:41 am 11 Jun 08

Oh, my apologies – I obviously skipped over the “No time to muck around trying to save commission doing it ourselves”. I guess you can disregard my advice then 🙂

Woody Mann-Caruso 9:40 am 11 Jun 08

Mun Ng is a great conveyancer if you’re on the south side – Cowlishaw St, 6293 1577 / 0414 736 474.

Woody Mann-Caruso 9:37 am 11 Jun 08

I have a dream that one day the whole world will look up simultaneously and say “why do we actually *need* real estate agents?” then burn them all at the stake (“cozy timber open-plan cottage with rustic fireplace and great views of the surrounding landscape”).

A real estate agent put my parents’ property on the market, then told people who came to see it that it was no longer for sale and _took them to see her house instead_. Her little plan came unravelled when a Sydney buyer was driving round the village and saw that the ‘for sale’ sign was still up, headed up the driveway and knocked on the door. Her excuse: “I didn’t think they were the right buyers for your home.” Just flat-out useless mercenary scumbags.

OzChick 9:30 am 11 Jun 08

While on this topic, can anyone recommend a good conveyancer?

belray 9:10 am 11 Jun 08

Best of luck with that. We just took ours off the Gungahlin market, because firstly, we re-evaluated what we want to do, and secondly, the market isn’t paying what we were asking (all agents and bank managers agreed that we were asking a realistic price). In fact, the different agents we spoke told us that it will sell in no time. We made an offer on a house and it was accepted. Fortunately, gut instinct told me not to sign a contract, thus I didn’t.

If I had, we would be bridging around the $1Mil mark at the moment, with no prospect of a sale, as the open houses we had brought the usual “maybe drop $100k off the price and I may consider it” or the ever faithful “I can get the same thing down the road for way cheaper”. All I could say was go for it, as this current market brings out those who think that we are at their mercy… When the market improves, it will be a different story.

We were selling because we wanted to. Our mortgage is minimal, thus interest rates don’t effect us greatly. All I can suggest from experience is don’t sign a contract until you have a signed contract for the sale of your property.


enrique 9:03 am 11 Jun 08

“No time to muck around trying to save commission doing it ourselves”

Well, clearly you are not short of a quid then.

Look mate, if you’ve already decided to use real estate agent you’re about to jump into a pool of sharks – what advice could I give you other then to pack a bandage? No matter which one you choose, you are going to bleed.

IMO they are selfish narcicists whose only interest is to increase their commission. They will do anything they can to achieve this goal. I think that they are partly responsible for the ridiculous increases in housing prices in the past 5 years, fanning the flames in order to warm their fat behinds.

If the reason that you have “no time to muck around” is that you don’t want to pay interest on a mortgage on the new place for a few weeks – you may find once you do the sums that a few weeks of interest payments is cheaper than what an agent will suck from you.

Put in the effort and learn what is required to sell the place yourself. If nothing else, you’ll have a new skill and the next time you sell it will be that much easier.

Whatever option you choose, I hope it goes well for you.

All the best.

Spectra 8:59 am 11 Jun 08

Go private – save yourself tens thousands (I believe) on commission. That way you know nobody’s screwing you around for their own ends. We bought through a private sale, and both the seller us and were more than happy with the way everything went. It’s not like we had any trouble finding the place, either (nor did the numerous other people who put an offer on the place) – I can’t back this up with any data, but I suspect once you’re listed on allhomes, you’re probably going to be seen by upwards of 90% of prospective buyers. People may still look in the paper, but who doesn’t look on the web these days?

Ponkygirl 8:55 am 11 Jun 08

Bargain, and bargain hard. They tell you that the 3.75% (or whatever it is, can’t remember) is industry standard, but if you have set a realistic price for your house and it looks like you’re an easy sale, they will fall over themselves to get you signed up. Don’t forget the old “Really? LJHooker said they’d do it for a $12000 flat fee, including advertising” and see who comes to the party.

As to individuals – I don’t think it matters that much. Despite what UK renovation shows tell you, houses sell houses, not agents.

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