Estate Agents Covering Up Failed Campaigns

Posted on March 6, 2011 by | 5 Comments

Peter Mericka B.A., LL.B OPINION
by Peter Mericka B.A., LL.B
Real Estate Lawyer
Qualified Practising Conveyancer Victoria
Director Lawyers Real Estate Pty Ltd

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It you can’t make it, then fake it.  In the real estate game this translates as a withholding of information so that the public will inevitably draw false conclusions.


Real estate agents are always keen to trumpet their triumphs.  We see all kinds of statistics about clearance rates, sales before, sales after etc. etc.; none of which have any real relevance to the average of consumer.  One real estate agent even uses Twitter to constantly bombard readers with updates on his weekly figures with “100% sold this week” next to a photo of himself with his mouth wide-open as though he’s called out “SOLD” to some lucky purchaser.


While they’re very quick to claim that their “negotiations skills” or “professionalism” or “marketing strategies” bring about sales (when in fact real estate sells itself) and to use statistics to prove it, what happens when the wind changes and purchasers become thin on the ground?


It’s too much to expect that the industry will confess that it’s not the real estate agent’s fault when properties don’t sell, because this would also amount to a confession that estate agents are just as irrelevant when properties do sell.


 So, when the statistics that support the myth of the professional estated agent make the estate agent look unprofessional and irrelevant, what’s to be done?





Follow this link to find out: Estate Agents Covering Up Failed Campaigns

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5 Comments

  • Deposit Bond says:

    How long will this “buyers market” last? If buyers are few and far between, property prices are going to begin dropping.  (or they should in theory)

  • 03office says:

    Well Real estate agents have never been know for their integrity. Wonderful article, on a forever shocking industry.

  • The REIV has been doctoring the clearance rate for a long while now.

    I seen systematic failures to report failed auction results.

    I have seen the words ‘auction sale’ appear next to sales results which have occurred many weeks and even months after the auction date.

    A public failure on the actual auction day almost certainly harms the price the vendors recieve.

    So why should private sales put together after a failed auction count as ‘auction sales’?!

    Also if the agents get wind that an auction is likely to fail they they will ‘postpone’ it. Usually this postponement is indefinite.

    If consumers knew the real number, the percentage that actually succeed on the day, far fewer would choose auction as a method of sale.

    The way most agents secure business is by overquoting. When the market is booming they simply have to delay the sale process long enough for the prices to catch up. Then they quickly take credit for the the result.

    When its a buyers market however. Most agents still follow the same modus operandii. This means their properties just sit there like overpriced turkeys and they blame the market.

    I do believe most real estate agents these days have a tour guide mentality, and do little to actually close sales. In most cases, home sellers would be better off selling their homes privately.

    A highly skilled sales negotiator however is never more valuable than in a buyers market. I remember 2008 as a great year for my listing kit as other agents could only achieve sales at meagre prices. I still use examples from that time to show how a trained negotiator can add value.

    If an agent tells you they’re a great negotiator, ask them to tell you something interesting about negotiation. I’ve interviewed agents for clients before. You’d be amazed by how many can’t respond to this simple request.

  • Tony Fucile says:

    I have been dealing with an agent who has a habit of gross under quoting. To whom can I make an official complaint to?

  • http:// says:

    It has never been in doubt by consumers that real estate agents will do or say whatever is necessary to guarantee a listing.
    It is a pity however that for those agents who are honest with a seller & work to achieve a realistic price for a home they can often get a sale much faster & ensure that the client doesn’t get irritated & go to another agent who will listen to their grievance & act on it appropriately. It got nothing to do with their negotiating skills but their LISTENING skills

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