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What can I expect from an agent?

Discussion in 'The Buying & Selling Process' started by pianissimo, 1st Aug, 2015.

  1. pianissimo

    pianissimo Member

    Joined:
    25th Jun, 2015
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    Location:
    Australia
    I am going through a very painful selling process and I need some advice from the forumites

    To get ready to put the house on market, we vacated the property (loss of rental income), spent few weekend painting and fixing the house, and also put a lot of effort on home staging.

    Once we signed the contract with the agent, the agent went overseas. No one informed us until we found out from his assistant.

    His assistant looked after all the work for him. However,everything was in mess and it took days for the assistant to reply us for everything.

    I was expecting my agent would come back on time for the first open inspection and there would be at least two agents in the house handling the inspection and potential buyers.

    Today was the first open inspection. I didn't see my agent nor his assistant. The house was on the main road with rear access. The unknown agent conducting the inspection came there by himself, he didn't even know there is rear access and didnt know where to park the car as it is on the main road. Therefore, don't even ask him what he knows about the house.

    I was very upset with the agent. I found it very unprofessional.

    My question is do I get too involved in the selling process? Should I just look at the end result that how much can I get from the house by the agent? or I should just switch agents and forget the advertisement fee ($2200)?
     
  2. Chilliblue

    Chilliblue Well-Known Member

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    Review your agreement and then talk to the licencee and politely inform them of your expectations.

    If the agency is a franchise then speak to the head franchise.

    Document everything in writing.
     
    Kael and pianissimo like this.
  3. pugstar205

    pugstar205 Well-Known Member

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    Brisbane
    Sorry to hear about that experience. Is there a cooling off period or have they breached the governing Act in your State? You may be able to mutually agree to terminate the contract.

    Before I sold my unit, I read Neil Jenman's book 'Don't Sign Anything". It was very helpful in identifying how some agents operate and the risk sellers face when choosing an agent. A few of my learnings:
    • Only sign a 30 day contract (not 60 days) - if they can't get a decent offer in 4 weeks then the property is probably over-priced or the marketing strategy isn't right. You can always sign-up for another 30 days. Don't lock-in for too long and get stuck with a problem agent basically.
    • I had it written into the contract that the agent who signed me up would be the agent doing the open-homes and negotiating with potential buyers. It was a boutique agency and they were happy to commit to this provision. Some of the big agenices will send out their gun salesperson to win the listing, but once you sign he/she disappears and you get an inferior/less experienced person leading the campaign.
    • There's no such thing as a standard commission - some Qld agents will tell you that they charge what the REIQ instructs them to charge. This figure is actually the maximum they are allowed to charge and the REIQ encourages sellers to negotiate. I paid 1.5% of the total.
    • I refused to pay for professional photography ($500) because the agent took the photos himself, or signage at the front of the house ($250) - the agent met these 'costs'. However, if you are selling a high end property, it is worth paying for a decent photographer / marketing / staging (IMO).
    • Be wary of agents 'buying' the listing. The agent that over promises on the likely sale price (especially if it is ridiculously high) will usually let you down. It's easier for the agent to persuade the seller to lower their expectations than it is to persuade a buyer to pay more.
    Anyway, I hope you can get out of the contract or get this agency to raise their game.
     
    Terry_w, S.T, pianissimo and 2 others like this.
  4. pianissimo

    pianissimo Member

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    All good points. Thanks Pugstar!
     
  5. SeafordSunshine

    SeafordSunshine Well-Known Member

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    Sydney
    Dear Pianissimo,
    write a letter to the agent, and cc it to your Solicitor itemising the lack of professionalism,, eg. security risk, (2 exits ) etc. Make a formal complaint to the Lisencee in charge & head Franchise.
    You don't say what state you are in? If its NSW you can download the Fair Trading Estate Agents Code of Conduct, list what breaches they have made and make a formal complaint to Fair Trading, that way any one else looking to use their services can have a warning.
    I hope this helps, you need to get your best price!
     
  6. pianissimo

    pianissimo Member

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    Thank you for the reply and kind words, Seaford.
    I'll let you guys know how it goes at the end.
     
  7. stiltz

    stiltz New Member

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    Hi pianissimo, really sorry to hear about your misfortune. Did it get resolved?

    I have anew other ideas for you.
     
  8. pianissimo

    pianissimo Member

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    The house finally got sold with the price that I wanted. I'm so relieved now.

    Looked back from the whole selling process and the end result, I can tell you that the agent got zero mark for paperwork but he got very good negotiation skills.

    Thanks for everyone for the input.
     
    chylld and Be Developer like this.
  9. Be Developer

    Be Developer Property Developer Business Member

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    @pianissimo

    Congratulations!!!! Finally it worked out in your favour!
     
  10. Chilliblue

    Chilliblue Well-Known Member

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  11. Azazel

    Azazel Well-Known Member

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    Engaging someone for work and then have them disappear with their assistant left to do the work is frustrating in any line of work.
    Unacceptable.
     
  12. krisdavant

    krisdavant New Member

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    Thank you for this... Has opened my mind.