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The Golden Rule

“There  is one certain way to protect yourself from paying too much to an agent. It is to follow The Golden Rule of hiring an agent.

Never pay any money to any agent for any reason until your home is sold at a price you want.

Be warned: Break this rule at your peril. It is an easy rule to remember, but a hard one to follow. Some agents are very persuasive. They will use every great ‘line’ they know, to coerce, manipulate and even bully you into paying ‘up-front’ fees. Some of these lines sound really good. But they are not good, they are deceitful.

Just remember that you hire an agent to sell your property and any agent who wants money from you for any reason, before your home is sold, is an agent you should never consider.

The main reason some agents ask for money in advance is because they know they won’t be paid later when you are upset with their broken promises.

As well as not paying money in advance, do not sign anything which commits you to pay any money if your home is not sold. Some agents will place a ‘caveat’ on your home if they do not sell it and you have agreed to pay fees.

If you have any concern about signing anything, don’t. Seek independent advice first, preferably from a lawyer. Do not seek advice from a Real Estate Institute. Many people think Institutes are official bodies that ‘police’ agents. They are not. Real Estate Institutes represent real estate agents.

Seek advice about the comments in this book. Show it to a lawyer or an accountant – anyone who does not have a financial interest in the sale of your home.

If you do not feel comfortable with an agent, this is a ‘clue’ that the agent is not suitable for you. Listen to your instincts.

Follow the Golden Rule and you will be safe. Add to it by asking the agent questions about negotiating skills and finally, make sure you are comfortable with the agent. If you can’t find an agent you like, keep looking”.

Extract from Real Estate Mistakes by “Neil Jenman”