Just as in all professions, there are good real estate agents and bad ones. The thing to remember is that they do play a crucial role in helping you to purchase a property.

Bad first impressions.

I remember when I purchased my first property and inspecting the property I wanted to buy with my mum. As soon as we got out of the car the real estate agent yelled to her ‘are you Diane?’ in an attempt to make it seem like there were more people inspecting the property.

There was never a ‘Diane’ and no one was looking at the property besides us but it was a poor attempt at making it seem more popular than it was. That experience turned us off the agent immediately.

Let’s take a look at the list

  1. Get the real estate agent working for you
  2. Understand who the real estate agent is representing
  3. Understand how real estate agents are paid
  4. Real estate agent promises are not legally binding
  5. Don’t get your real estate agent to draft your special conditions

Get the real estate agent working for you.

Find the top local agents in your area and email them with a very specific description of the property you are looking to purchase. One of the best things you can do is to include what you don’t want as well. Make it clear that you appreciate their help, but that you would like them to ‘stick to the script’ and only show you properties that fit your criteria.

Understand who the real estate agent is representing.

Often when you are starting out the property landscape seems overwhelming. There are heaps of people looking at every property you go to, agents hustling with offers and contracts and everything can seem exhausting and a blur.

How are real estate agents paid?

Remember that real estates are paid commission on the sale price of the property. Whilst it is in their best interests to get the highest price for their client, as the deal reaches its’ conclusion and the vendor and purchaser haggle over a couple of thousand dollars, this represents almost no value to the real estate agent.

Real estate agent promises are legally worthless.

Real estate agents aren’t lawyers. They can promise you the world about what will be done to the property before settlement, what will be painted or fixed or moved, but at the end of the day if it isn’t in the Contract of Sale in a well drafted Special Condition then you might as well kiss it goodbye.

Don’t let your real estate agent draft your special conditions

You wouldn’t get your lawyer to sell your property, so don’t let your real estate agent act like your lawyer. One common issue that we see is real estate agents drafting special conditions to get the deal across the line on a weekend when lawyers are typically unavailable.

This is a huge risk for a purchaser; they risk their wishes being incorrectly stated or included but ultimately legally unenforceable in the contract.

Heading to auction? Take a look at the 6 things you need to do before you start bidding! Click here to read more.