Believe me when I say…

When you are interviewing agents to sell your home, many will make appealing claims and promises. It may be the promise of a high price or the claim of superior customer service.

‘If you run the right advertising campaign we could get…’

‘We could sell this in two weeks!’

‘There will be no problems selling this one!’

Consumers often experience a large gap between the promises made by sales people and the actual service provided. If you sign with an agent on the basis of certain claims they make, it’s only fair that you can hold that agent to account in the event they fail to deliver.

To ensure that you don’t fall victim to an over promising sales person, get all verbal promises in writing, before signing an agency agreement. If the agent’ price quote seems high, simply say to the agent, ‘that sounds good, can you guarantee it in writing?’

This is not to be confused with you as the home owner asking the agents to guarantee an extreme request, such as a sale 30% above market price. No agent can be expected to guarantee a fortunate outcome, whether it’s a sale at above market price or a sale in under two weeks. You are simply asking the agent to guarantee their promises in writing. The unsolicited promises the agent made to you. Most people would agree that this is fair.


The best agents are more than happy to back up their verbal promises in writing. If an agent won’t guarantee the price they quote you, you need to ask ‘why not?’ before signing.

One of the most common tricks that home sellers fall for is the length of the agency agreement. An agent will promise that they have ‘many buyers who would be interested in a home just like this one’. Yet when the time comes to sign the agency agreement, the agent wants the owner to sign a 90 day exclusive agency agreement. Why 90 days if there are so many buyers ready and waiting in the wings?

To verbally promise a service or result and then back away when asked to commit in writing fails the fair dinkum test.

It is very difficult to hold someone to account on a verbal promise, yet easy to do when everything is in writing. When employing an agent to sell your home, you have the most power and control before you sign an agency agreement. Use it wisely.

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