Melbourne estate agents need to tell sellers the hard truths: Mal James

Melbourne estate agents need to tell sellers the hard truths: Mal James
Melbourne estate agents need to tell sellers the hard truths: Mal James

A Melbourne buyers agent Mal James says part of the reason Melbourne's clearance rates are so poor was "the inexperienced/lazy agents’ mindset and sellers’ selection of those agents."

"The right agent in this market is the key to the right price quote, which is the key to maximising a vendor’s price and indeed whether they sell or not," he said.

James suggested price quote lowerings were often a "death sign" for getting a decent price on a publicly listed home last year.

"Price drops make some buyers very nervous, as they perceive the market is saying maybe it’s a bad home and shouldn’t be considered," he blogged

"In these more nervous times, this is not a feeling a professional agent should be inflicting on buyers, as their selling clients want all of them.

Melbourne estate agents need to tell sellers the hard truths: Mal James

He suggested as Melbourne had been in a falling market for 18 months that current values should not be a surprise to some agents.

"Why pay a selling agent the big bucks if he/she can’t give you the seller, accurate and forthright advice," he said.

He suggested some agents appear to have been frozen into a quoting regime that was not best for their selling client.

But he stressed he was not suggesting agents “underquote.”

"Underquoting is where the agent “knows” the home is worth more than or “knows” the sellers definitely wouldn’t accept the number he/she puts in the Statement of Information  – it’s illegal and immoral and in our opinion, those agents should be prosecuted as it’s deceptive conduct

"However, where an agent “knows” a home is worth considerably less and allows a high quote to become public and then lowers it a few weeks later, because he or she was not prepared to give the hard truths (professionally) to his or her selling client early, is for us, borderline unethical and definitely unprofessional."

James concluded that all agents are allowed a mistake or two as valuing is not a perfect science.

"It's when you see consistent price quote dropping or pass-ins from the same agents, that you cry unprofessional."

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of our authors. Jonathan has been writing about property since the early 1980s and is editor-at-large of Property Observer.

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Underquoting Property 2019

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