The conditioning process adopted by some agents is one reason for the bad reputation that real estate agents have in Australia. Conditioning has become part of the real estate market because many agents lie to property owners about the value of their property.
- When valuing a property some real estate agents will quote a value in excess of the property’s true value in the belief that the owners will list their property with the agent that gives them the highest valuation.
- A typical real estate agent’s selling agreement will tie the property owner to that agent for 90-120 days. If the property is sold during this period the agent will earn their commission whatever the sale price.
- Having secured the listing by over quoting the property’s value the agent knows that they must get the owner to accept a lower price for a sale to occur.
- The conditioning process begins. The agent will ensure that plenty of “buyers” come to view the property; this activity is often interpreted by property owners as the agents earning their commission. However many of these buyers will have budgets below the asking price of the property, some may not even be buyers at all but friends of the agent!
- The agent will start pointing out all the negative aspects of the home, talk of the market not being as strong as it was and giving feedback that the market feels that the property is over priced.
- If the property owner elects to sell via auction the conditioning pressures are massively increased on auction day. Often the owner will be pressured into putting the property “on the market” despite the bidding being below the reserve price previously advised. Agents will claim that by putting the property on the market interested parties will raise their bids or even start bidding if they have not previously shown any interest. The logic for this argument is difficult to follow but one thing is certain, by putting the property on the market the real estate agent will get their commission
- It is far easier for a real estate agent to persuade a vendor to accept a lower price than to extract a higher price from a buyer. The agent only has one party to focus on in the vendor but may have many buyers to try and convince. Through the listing agreement the vendor is tied to the real estate agent. Agents can treat vendors appallingly and the vendor has no option but to stay with that agent until the selling agreement expires. A buyer on the other hand can walk away at anytime.
- The agent is typically entitled to their commission if the property is sold during the period of the sales agreement even if they have never met the purchaser. If the owner finds a buyer through their personal network the agent will still get their commission.
- Unfortunately many agents who should be working for the vendor are in fact working for themselves.
Conditioning damages the value of your property
The conditioning process is not just stressful but can damage the value of your property.