A recent Domain article explains the pitfalls in using vendor advocacy firms to help you select a real estate agent. It is particularly targeted at online matching firms but applies equally to any company that markets itself as serving to identify the best agent to help sellers.

In reality, most of these companies undertake no due diligence on agents they refer the business to; the basis of selection is whoever will pay them a referral fee of between 20-30% of the sale fee.

Real estate sellers are warned to be wary of online companies promising to connect them with the…

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The most basic rule in any type of selling is “Make it easy for buyers to buy”. In many real estate offices, however, most agents make it hard for buyers to buy.

Two quick examples…

First example: Just try and contact a salesperson if you’re interested in buying a specific home. It’s near impossible to get anyone to talk with you. This is because, in most estate agencies, the salesperson who ‘lists’ the home for sale ‘hogs’ the home.

It doesn’t matter how many salespeople may work at an agency, only one salesperson - the one dealing with the sellers…

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Offering a team approach when selling will give your property an advantage when selling your home.

1. The whole team is looking for a buyer
What many people are not aware of is that most big name franchised agencies don’t operate in a ‘team’ manner. Generally, only one person will have a significantly increased benefit if they sell a property. When you have an agency that works together as a team, the whole team has incentive to find the right buyer for your home. This way, if your agent has a day off, your property doesn’t.

2. You’ll pay for marketing…

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Well, that's the easy question. As stated in the Federal Court recently when handing down a fine of $330,000 to a high profile Melbourne agency, "it creates the illusion of a bargain". Buyers are "lured in". It was found to be misleading or deceptive conduct.

The outcome is that buyers waste time and money looking at houses they never really have a chance of buying. This is, of course, frequently frustrating and in many instances, heartbreaking.

Why do they do it?
Because by "creating the illusion of a bargain", it attracts more buyer interest. This, it is argued to the…

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