A bad real estate agent can cost you thousands

It’s great to deal with a bad real estate agent when trying to buy a property.sale

Just make sure you don’t have a bad one when it’s time to sell.

I recently wrote a blog about how a bad property manager can cost you thousands.

This week, I have realised that a bad real estate agent can also cost you thousands.

Here’s why

I saw a listing come up for a property and instantly realised it was a bargain.

The heading read ‘owner liquidates’. I emailed the agent for some more information and in her exact words she told me “I have never seen a seller more stressed out or anxious to sell in my entire life”.


She then continued to tell me that he just needed to sell, no matter what, and it was an urgent sale. It needed to be sold yesterday.

Another giveaway was the fact this property was going to auction in just over a week.

This means the pre-auction campaign will be less than two weeks, which allows hardly any time for potential buyers, therefore reducing the competition at auction.

Obviously something sudden has come up for this vendor and the agent is more than happy to tell everyone how desperate he is “to just get rid of it”.

The problem with a bad agent is that they tell you way too much

Potential sellers will instantly realise this and start playing hardball.

After the email chat I quickly decided to go even lower with my offer, given I knew the circumstances.

I didn’t hear back so assumed my sum was offensive to them. But then the agent did write back and she told me she’d definitely take the offer to the vendor.

I wrote to her again, asking to go through the property as soon as possible.

Free_property_sales_reportThat was two days ago and she’s now still trying to organise access to the property.

In the meantime, the poor vendor is probably getting more stressed out by the day, as four days have now passed since my initial email.

By the impression I get, four days is crucial to the vendor and I am sure as more time passes, the vendor’s stress increases.

But so does the chance of nabbing a bargain. A lazy property agent just won’t get the results this vendor is desperate to receive.

Not chasing things up and not being organised and efficient is wasting time and also potential offers from other buyers.

I’m also considering using some other tricks I’ve learnt since working at API, if I do decide to go ahead (it’s still a bit TBC, given it would have to be a true bargain for me to be interested, as I think I would prefer to stick as close as possible to a CBD location these days.)

Some other little helpful lessons I’ve learnt since working at API include:

  • If the offer really is crazy ridiculous, I might take out the ‘subject to finance’ and ‘subject to building and pest inspection’ clauses, as well as the cooling off period, provided a loan can be organised quickly. (Do NOT try this at home kids – most people would advise against this, but I think in this case, it would perhaps solve a problem for the vendor and perhaps give me a chance to put in an offer and have it accepted before the auction.)
  • Make the settlement period faster.
  • Rock up with a cheque to the tune of $20,000, which would be a 10 per cent deposit in this case. I’ve never actually tried this one, only read about it and written about it.

    From what I’ve heard, it tugs on the heartstrings of the buyer, because they instantly visualise how they can spend the money.

This is also another good lesson on why it pays to have pre-approved finance, so you can be ready to go when good opportunities come up. We don’t have pre-approved finance so it might be in the too hard basket, but like all good deals, it’s definitely worth a shot!


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Lauren Day


Lauren Day is the former deputy editor of Australian Property Investor Magazine and an avid property investor.

'A bad real estate agent can cost you thousands' have 1 comment


    August 4, 2014 Jenny

    Being a retired real estate agent I would agree that these days there r a lot of ‘shabby’ agents (cunning & mischievous to both parties). However, I find a seller should a) not disclose everything to an agent, just give them the order to sell, nothing else and b) try to engage an agent using the Jenman system of selling real estate (a true Jenman-type agency train their selling agents well) and there is more chance of finding an honest agent. Google “Jenman” and you will find where to contact ‘head office’ then ask for the nearest real Jenman-type agency to you. Mind you there r still some rogues agents, so be careful. Be fair, firm and not too friendly. Read the book “Real Estate Mistakes” by Neil Jenman – invaluable!


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