Industry boss slams agent finder websites
Home Sellers be aware…
Tuesday, 06 September 2016 by Tim Neary on rpmonline.com.au
Agent finder websites are doing nothing more than making a nuisance of themselves and driving up the cost of selling real estate, claims the boss of one of Australia’s largest independent networks.
First National Real Estate chief executive Ray Ellis says these sites have inserted themselves as middlemen in the marketplace, claiming to connect consumers with the best local agents for free, but on the back end they are charging agents a hefty 20 per cent referral fee.
He said consumers don’t always understand that in effect some of these services simply pay salespeople to find whichever agent is willing to pay a 20 per cent referral fee.
“If the best agent in an area refuses, as is often the case, they call lesser agents until they find one who will pay the fee,” Mr Ellis said.
“We’ve had reports of agents being hounded with up to five phone calls demanding they accept the referral of a listing.”
Mr Ellis said this kind of practice is not helping people find the best agent.
[Instead], it’s most likely helping them find an agent who will charge a higher fee in order to cover the cost imposed by [the site].”
Mr Ellis said websites such as realestate.com.au, domain.com.au and ratemyagent.com.au are the chief portals offering agent ratings and reviews without a vested interest.
He added that through these more established sites, consumers can gain insight “in less than two minutes” into the agents who are the most active and successful in any suburb – without having to hand over personal information to a middleman.
For example those commercial website claim to be free to sellers but charge the agents for referring the seller up to 20% of their fee which the agent will have to add to their fees or they get them a agent that is not as good as what they would have chosen for themselves. I anything this is deceiving and should be referred to fair trading to close this loophole.
some of these websites:
They Claim: Agent neutral Our comparison service is without bias. We provide you with agents purely on your property requirements and preference.
And: Free serviceOur service is free with no obligation. Use it at your own leisure – no strings attached!