Would it surprise you if I said that Real Estate Agents are perceived to be amongst the most untrustworthy professional people out there? When ranked against other industries, surveys have shown that the general public place real estate agents extremely low on the trustworthy scale, just one above used car salespeople. What is this saying?
For those who know me, well we can all have a laugh telling real estate jokes around the dinner table and I know it’s just table humour, no offence is taken and it simply rolls off the back. Personally, I find people are hungry for information about property generally and they love to pick my brains!
But unfortunately there is indeed a darker, somewhat unprofessional side to the role of real estate agent and it saddens me when I hear stories that tarnish the industry I have grown to love. Certain unscrupulous actions conducted by a few who seem to place little value on the care of their clients have helped to create this overall impression about real estate agents.
In the course of my day to day dealings with buyers and sellers from all walks, I could write a story book about the experiences of the public with real estate agents because once I manage to gain a rapport with a person, they are quick to tell me if they’ve ever been burnt by an agent.
As the saying goes, give great service and 2 people will know, but deliver poor service and 10 people will know!
This is how it works in real estate and as you can see, it is pretty easy for an agent who does the wrong thing to quickly develop a questionable reputation and kill their career, not to mention making it all that much harder for those of us who always strive to go above and beyond.
If you’re dealing with a real estate agent in any capacity, be it buyer, seller, tenant, or you’re even just a bystander, and you get that niggling feeling they’re not telling you the full story, then I hate to say it, but intuition is nine times out of ten, always right.
With my 23+ years in the real estate industry in Brisbane, I believe I have perfected my bull**** radar when it comes to real estate agents.
Here’s 4 things to watch out for when testing for the truth.
Get it in writing – if verbal words don’t match written words, Houston we have a problem.
Watch out for vagueness, especially when it comes to property prices. Vague = not clear = doesn’t know or pretending not to know.
Nervousness – Repeating things over and over. Inconsistencies. This is a classic sign that what is being said is possibly not the whole truth.
Buzz words, one liners and promises that seem too good to be true. For example, if an agent tells you they will definitely have a buyer within a week, this is probably a stretch of the truth to win your business. How can they GUARANTEE this will happen? If the quoted price expectation sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
With this being said, not all agents are bad guys and there are many of us out there who will go over and beyond for our clients so please don’t put us all in the same untrustworthy category.
The problem I have found is that some agents have difficulty in dealing with their client’s reaction if the truth is given. This is not to say the truth should be withheld by any means, but inexperience is often the culprit in this case. A less experienced real estate agent can often panic when they don’t know how to manage a client’s expectations and this is where I believe the problem lies.
Have you ever told a white lie because you were afraid of the person’s reaction to the truth?
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