By Neil Jenman www.jenman.com.au
Consumers are conditioned to believe that buying or selling real estate is difficult. For years we have been told we need agents. But, in most cases, this is not true. In most cases, we do not need agents.
Research shows that nine out of ten consumers do not trust agents. And yet more than nine out of ten of us choose agents to sell our homes. Our greatest asset entrusted to people we don’t trust.
Typically, when selling with agents, thousands of home owners endure one of the worst experiences of their lives. And then, when their homes are sold – usually for less than they expected – these owners are forced to pay thousand of dollars.
The average commission on the average home sale is now around $10,000 – plus expenses. It hurts.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. It is easy to sell without an agent. Much easier than most people imagine. And not only can homesellers save thousands in commission, there is another huge advantage of selling without using a typical agent – a higher price.
If you have ever met an agent and thought you could do a better job yourself, you are right. There is little that the typical agent does that you could not do yourself.
Think about it. What does a typical agent do?
First, the agent places ads in the papers (and usually expects you to pay for these ads). Well, you could do that yourself, placing an ad is not hard.
Second, the agent sits at your home and waits for buyers to show up. You can do that too. You can do a better job because you know your property better than the agent. Most agents can’t answer the most basic questions about the properties they are supposed to be selling.
And, as for the so-called “selling” of the home, what do most agents do? They don’t “sell” homes. The homes sell themselves. Most agents are order-takers. The buyers show up, tell the agent that they want to buy the home and then the agent tells the owner (often urging the owner to lower the price, but rarely offering to lower their commission). And that’s it.
The agent then pockets $10,000 for doing nothing that the sellers could not do themselves.
Sure, some agents do a good job. And yes, perhaps they are worth their fees. But they should only be paid after they have done a good job – never before. And if they don’t do a good job, they should never be paid.
However, because sellers must sign contracts with agents before their homes are sold, the agents get paid no matter what sort of job they do. It’s absurd.
The majority of agents charge far too much for doing far too little. By avoiding these agents, most sellers could save thousands of dollars in commissions, get a better price and avoid terrible trauma.
Just ask any honest agent and they will tell you – yes, in most cases, sellers could do it themselves. And pay zero commission.
It’s time for the real estate industry to stop conditioning consumers into believing that agents are always needed. The truth is that, many times, homes can be sold without agents – and often for a better result, both in price and satisfaction.