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That their commission almost certainly won’t include advertising costs, and these can run into the thousands. If it doesn’t you should be able to add an item to your agency agreement specifying that advertising costs paid upfront, will be taken out of the final commission in the event of a sale. If you don’t sell with that agent, you’ll still be up for the costs though.  You should also realise that agents don’t pay for realestate.com.au on a per listing basis but on an agency basis.

That their high profile newspaper presence is likely largely paid for upfront by their current clients, and that this presence serves to promote them – not their properties for sale.

That they’re probably negotiable on their commission rate. This can be particularly useful to know if your property is in a higher price range where half a percent can make a huge difference to the final cost you pay.

That it’s extremely easy to become an agent – in some states the training and certification can be done in a matter of days so it’s crucial to ask about the agent’s experience and question whether they really have superior selling power.

That many houses largely sell themselves – There aren’t really any special tools that agents have that “make” somebody buy a house. The bottom line is, if buyers like a house they can afford – they’ll buy it – who they buy it from has very little to do with it.

That they don’t have any local market knowledge that you can’t gain yourself. Nowadays you can buy the same detailed property and suburb reports from RP Data that they can.

That they don’t really have a database of buyers waiting – buyers that are in the market are constantly changing. If a particular buyer is interested in a particular house, they’ll contact whoever has it listed.

Your home is probably worth less than what they’re telling you in their appraisal. They know you’re more likely to sign with them if they tell you your home is worth more. They also know that they can gradually beat you down on price after you sign an exclusive agreement with them. 

That they’ll likely use your enquiries for some of their properties. For example, if they have a buyer who likes your property but isn’t especially keen– they may redirect this buyer to another property on their books that is an easier sell.  Remember, agents are trying to achieve a commission. 

That they’re in competition with other agents from their office to sell your home. This is because commission is split. Part of your commission payment goes to the agent who lists your home, part goes to the agency itself, and the other part goes to the agent who sells your home.

The downside of this approach is it may make some agents not want a sale to be achieved with a particular buyer if they did introduce that buyer to the property, because they will be losing half their commission.

That they’re not needed for paperwork. In fact, a solicitor or conveyancer generally handles all or most of the legal paperwork – not them. Whilst some agents may fill in the front page of the contract, the solicitor does the heavy lifting, and can do all the work if you choose to undertake a private sale.

That an exclusive agreement means they’re entitled to a commission if they’ve introduced somebody to the property, even if that somebody ends up buying through yourself, or another agent long after the exclusive period has expired.

That you can get listed on the major websites and sell a property yourself. In fact, there’s even a special type of agency agreement that allows you to try and sell the property at the same time of the agent. If you sell it without their involvement, they are not entitled to a commission.