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Real Estate Agents Are Scum – Fact Check

Real Estate Agents Are Scum – Fact Check
July 14, 2016 Josh Rowe
real estate agents scum

Real Estate Agents Are Scum – Fact Check

real estate agents are scum crooks scumbags uselessThe Claim

Real estate agents are scum, crooks, scumbags and useless – according to Google’s autocomplete search feature.

The Verdict

It is true that there are real estate agents which deliver poor service. However, there are many other agents which provide great service. Therefore there are real estate agents which are not scum, crooks, scumbags and useless.

The common real estate agent myths are:

  1. Real estate agents are overpaid
  2. Low real estate agent commissions equal more profit
  3. Real estate agents lie to win sales

Here are the common real estate agent myths and what you might expect from ethical and honest real estate agents.

1. Real estate agents are overpaid

The impression is that real estate agents salaries are high.  It is understandable given they dress to impress and drive fancy looking cars.

The reality about real estate agent salaries is slightly different to the image they project.  A 2014 Macquarie Bank report found the following salary bands for real estate agents:

  • Over half (56%) of real estate agents were paid less than $100,000 per annum
  • Only 5% of real estate agents were paid more than $350,001 per annum
  • Just 1% of real estate agents made the exclusive one million plus salary club

real estate agent salary australia

2. Low real estate agent commissions equal more profit

A lower agent commission does not necessarily mean it will deliver the seller the best price for their home.

Consider the real estate agent who is selling homes for customers with different commissions. The agent is more likely to spend their time on selling the homes which deliver the higher commission for them.  In other words, sellers get what they pay for.

3. Real estate agents lie to win sales

There is a perception that real estate agents will do anything to win a sale.  In fact some say that everyone loves to hate real estate agents.

The reality is that with any industry there will be bad operators and good operators.

Trusted real estate agents become so through their experience, openness and honesty in their dealings with clients and the industry.

In summary

As with any industry there are good and bad operators, the real estate industry is no different.  Carefully review your choice of real estate agent against a range of criteria and information sources.

What are the important characteristics of a good real estate agent from your perspective?

More reading

2014 Residential Real Estate Benchmarking Report – Macquarie Bank



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    The views and opinions expressed in this communication are those of the author and may not necessarily state or reflect those of REALas.

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  1. Michael 3 years ago

    Interesting article as always Josh, however the opinions you express in point 2 have no independent statistical basis that I am aware of.

    The opinions you express merely tug at the emotions of vendors and while they seem logical, there appears to be no evidence this is actually true. Most discount and agent assisted operators appear to have lots of happy clients and these agency models are slowly but surely gaining traction.

    Can you provide some independent statistical evidence that real estate commissions are linked to outcomes for vendors. That is, the more the vendor pays in commission, the more their property will sell for. Or indeed, the lower the commission the lower the sale price.

    • Author
      Josh Rowe 3 years ago

      You are spot on Michael. This is a qualitative opinion. I too would be interested in quantitative data which examined the benefits of low (or no) commission based real estate models versus traditional real estate commission rates.

  2. bob 3 years ago

    what a load of BS.. I had a local scumbag LIE to me at least 10 times in a 3 month period.. he stopped after I asked him if he had a bandage for his broken nose.. he said .. I don’t have a broken nose.. I replied .. you will if you lie to me one more time …..

  3. John 10 months ago

    I have to disagree with everything I read here. Real estate agents are TRASH!! In all honesty, where are these “good, honest, decent, hard working” realtors? Because I sure haven’t met any that fit that description. I will give you just a small sample of just how BAD realtors are.

    *They are tasked with knowing and keeping up with the ever changing local housing market conditions. Yet all they ever do is tell the potential buyer/seller what they want to hear. Looking to sell? Ah, what do you know! It’s a seller’s market! Oh, what was that? Looking to buy? Hot dog, we are right in the middle of a big time buyer’s market. My father got told what a “big time seller’s market” it was when there were houses all around him up for sale. The two faced you know what lied right through her teeth with MULTIPLE for sale signs literally a few few from where she was standing.

    * They threaten renters. If the person selling has a renter, they insist on the renter being evicted because it makes the place too difficult to sell.

    *They stick signs in the front yard and then do little to nothing. They can’t even be bothered to hold an open house

    *When the board of realtors starts clamoring for more money, well, guess who the real estate agents pass the cost on to. You guessed it, the customer. There is always a sob story about how it costs $1,000 just to be a member of the board of realtors, not to mention all the dues associated with it. Uhhh..newsflash….membership in the board of realtors is not mandatory!!

    *They don’t communicate worth a crap. I feel so bad for people who are selling out of town and can’t be there. They have to rely completely on a sorry listing agent.

    *They seemingly do nothing. So when the recession hit and for years even when things improving why were no top performers selling anything? They are geniuses only when the economy is good. No value. I don’t know anyone talked into a home by a realtor. Seriously. You think people are buying the home because the realtor was the deciding factor? Hilarious!

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