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  • 3 bedrooms
  • 2 bathrooms
  • 2 parking spaces

$ 365,000
3BR T/House. One of Shepps Best
  • 3 bedrooms
  • 3 bathrooms
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$ 299,000
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  • 1 bathrooms
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$ 250,000
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Agent tricks

The following are a few of the tricks used by agents that you should be aware of. Most of them are illegal so if you have any doubt contact Consumer Affairs Victoria.

Buying a listing
There are two very important rules when having an agent appraise the value of your property.

Rule 1) Never tell the agent what price you want for the property.
Rule 2) Refer to Rule 1

Why, because unfortunately most agents will tell you whatever you want to hear in order to secure your listing, or worse still, tell you an inflated price, again to try and secure your listing which is called 'buying a listing'. The mentality of these agents is that it’s best to get the listing at any price and then over time, work on the vendor to reduce his price to ‘meet the market’. In fact one agent recently told me that he works on the theory that he’ll wear down the vendor before they wear him down. Let the agent tell you what your property is worth and let them explain the methods they used to determine this price. An interesting fact locally is that the average discounting for the sale price of a property is around 6 % to 7%. KMRE’s average discounting is around 1% to 2%.

Promoting their business at your expense
For agents, real estate is a lot about self promotion and many believe that the bigger their advertising presence, the better the perception of their business which in turn creates more business. Accordingly, some local agencies will ask for up to $4,000 or more up front for marketing your property so they get to have the largest ads. From experience we know that buyers scan nearly every part of the local real estate paper and that a small ad can generally obtain the same result as a half page or quarter page ad. In fact some of the best results come from a single line ad generally called a 'quick pick' so why spend thousands promoting an agents business. Our average advertising cost is around $650 per property.

Free advertising
Some agents say ‘we don’t charge for advertising’ and then when your property sells charge an additional marketing fee of $2,000 on top of their commission. Others charge a higher commission rate which ‘covers’ any expenditure on advertising. The reality is that you get nothing for nothing and if an agent says that 'they will pay for advertising' then, believe me, they will only spend the very minimum to try and sell your property which could dramatically effect the ultimate sale price. In fact the local agents who charge the marketing fee of $2,000 only put 2 advertisements in the local paper at a total cost of around $200 and then say that the remainder goes towards the cost of internet advertising and other marketing costs which are generally offered for free by nearly all other agents.

Adding GST to their commission
Some agents say that their commission is say 2.5% and then when it comes to the signing of documents they slip in that ’GST is an addition cost’. This is illegal as agents must state a fully inclusive rate when quoting their commission.

Under quoting a price
Unfortunately some agents will under quote a price or get you to list your property below market value in order to ‘stimulate inquiries’. The reality is that they want to list your property at the lowest possible price so they get the quickest and easiest sale (ie commission).

Under quoting the asking price
This is illegal and two local agents were caught doing this recently.   Agents are only allowed by law to quote the asking price of the vendor which can be located on the sale authority.

Using Auctions to sell standard properties
Auctions are really only suitable when you have a rising market or where you expect a lot of buyer inquiry for properties with unique attributes such as magnificent views, a very sought after position or unique characteristics. Auctioning the standard home in the standard street is really the wrong marketing technique as any experienced agent should be able to tell you with in a couple of thousand dollars what such a property will sell for. In these situations auctions are really only used for self promotion by the agent who gets to spend thousands of extra dollars of your money to achieve an already known result. Auctions also put a time limit on the amount of time and effort an agent needs to spend trying to sell a property which is better for them than having an unlimited time frame which could be many months. 

Opening up tender documents before the close of tenders
Unfortunately in offices with competing agents, some agents revert to different techniques to gain a sale. One senario stated to me was that a particular agent heavily involved in selling properties by tenders would open tender documents before the closing time and if the tender submitted by his potential purchaser wasn' t the highest price, he would ring his potential purchaser and suggest he should raise his tender by a certain figure to ensure he was successful. This is hardly fair on other people who tendered documents in good faith. My suggestion is that you personally deliver your tender document to the office of the vendor's legal representative where it can be opened independently as one would assume that this is a more trust worthy avenue.

Putting offers to vendors
Agents want vendors to accept offers and also want vendors to think that they have been working hard on their behalf. This is not necessarily the case. I've personally seen an agent receive an offer for a property and ring the vendor and state that the offer was around $10,000 less than it really was. The vendor refused the offer as the agent expected. A few minutes later the agent rang back the vendor saying that they had got the purchaser up another $5,000. Again the vendor refused the offier.   A short time later another phone call was made with an 'increased offer' of another $3,000. This was followed later by another $1,000. The vendor still wasn't moving so a final call was made with another $1,000 and it was strongly put to the vendor that this was the final offer aferwhich the purchaser would 'walk away'. The vendor then accepted the offer which at this time was the amount of the real offer submitted by the purchaser. The end result was that the agent had achieved a sale and in his opinion believed that the vendor thought that he had worked really hard to achieve the result.

The phantom buyer
In order to get a listing some agents will say that they have a cash buyer who is ready to buy a property like yours, right now and that you need to list with them right away so they don't buy another property. Unfortunately on a lot of occasions the buyer doesn't exist and some agents resort to bringing friends and relatives through just to save face.

At KMRE we pride ourselves on telling the truth and acting ethically.

If you know of any deceptive actions used by agents that may be of interest to others please email this office detailing same.

NB:  If you know any person who may be interested in anything contained in this web site, please feel free to pass it on with our compliments.