by Neil Jenman

Article written and provided by Neil Jenman from . To see the original source of this article please click here. Neil Jenman is Australia’s trusted consumer crusader. He can support you, all the way, from choosing an agent who will get you the highest price guaranteed to when your removalist comes! You get an unprecedented level of total support. All for free. To find out more visit

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In your eagerness to sell your home, be careful not to make a mistake most home sellers make.

Be sure to protect yourself.

Thousands of sellers every month are in a worse position than if they had never placed their home for sale. They don’t sell, so they get no money. On the contrary, they lose thousands.

Australia is about the only country in the world where home sellers can fail to sell their homes and lose thousands of dollars.

It’s imperative, therefore, to protect yourself from an industry crawling with agents who charge too much and do too little. Bad agents.

Paying thousands of dollars for no result can be financially and emotionally devastating. But you can learn to identify then reject bad agents (which, in some areas, is most agents).

Just remember, safety should be your first concern in everything you do.

All parents know the greatest worry with children is safety. No matter what their age – from toddlers to adults – parents’ primary concern for children is protection. The same with us. When we are driving, safety is paramount. And what adult has ever boarded a plane and not thought of safety?

Yet, incredibly, when home sellers choose an agent, most ignore safety. Huge mistake. To ignore protection when selling your home can cost you thousands of dollars.

Your safety when selling a home should be non-negotiable. Protection is paramount.

Any agent that refuses to offer you a basic level of protection is an agent you must reject.

There are five basic types of protection:


First, NO UPFRONT COSTS. Agents who won’t offer you a “no-sale-no-charge” option are literally saying they will charge you for not selling your home.

Why would any seller agree to such an unfair condition?

So, your first rule of protection is: No-sale-no-charge. Otherwise, no deal. Find another agent.

Second, NO DECEPTIVE CONDUCT. Remember the saying: If a person will lie for me, that person will lie to me. For example, if you want a million dollars, some agents suggest you promote your home at “offers above $850,000”.

If you promote your home at a lower price, you attract buyers at a lower price. The agent will then say: “This is what the market is saying.” But the agent has attracted the wrong market.

So, no deceptive conduct under any circumstances.

Third, NO CONDITIONING. Of all tricks of bad agents, ‘conditioning’ is often the worst. It’s like being betrayed by a partner. They tell you they love you, so you hook up. Then they treat you badly. In personal relationships, you can walk away (sometimes with difficulty, admittedly).

In a real estate relationship, however, it’s impossible for most sellers to walk away from bad agents who start conditioning them down in price. Given that most bad agents engage in conditioning, most sellers get stuck with bad agents.

Ensure that you obtain a ‘No Conditioning’ guarantee in your Selling Agency Agreement.

Fourth, NO NASTY CLAUSES. If you read the so-called “standard” Selling Agreements of most agents, you will be horrified. They are riddled with nasty clauses. It’s like turning over a rock and seeing filthy bugs. Remember: an agent’s selling agreement is a legal contract. It is prepared by costly lawyers whose job was to protect agents.

But who protects home sellers? Especially from bad agents? Sadly, almost no one. This is why you must never sign an agent’s agreement on the spot. Tell them to leave their paperwork with you. Take your time to read it carefully.

And then get out the red pen. Strike out all nasty clauses.

And don’t worry. If an agent won’t agree to remove nasty clauses, it tells you one thing – you have met a nasty agent.

It’s your home, you (not the agent!) set the conditions. If an agent won’t delete nasty clauses and insert clauses that protect you instead of the agent, your remedy is obvious: Find another agent.

Fifth, NO LOCKED-IN CONTRACTS. Most agents expect exclusive rights to sell your home. Why put your greatest financial asset in the hands of an agent you barely know?

Instead of you being forced to trust them – and risk being ‘locked-in’ with a bad agent for several months, turn the tables. Ask the agent to trust you. Say: “If you give us good service and you work hard, we will keep you as our agent. But we are not prepared to lock ourselves in with you and just hope you will be okay.”

You want the right to terminate the agent’s agreement any time with no obligation or financial penalty. That’s the protection you must demand. Good agents will agree. And those that won’t agree, well, what does that tell you? It means they force unhappy sellers to stay with them. Reject such agents.

So there you have it – five simple ways to protect yourself from bad agents. Take your time to find yourself a good agent. And that could mean rejecting lots of bad agents.

But if you want a good result when selling your home, it’s essential that you hire a good agent.

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