There is no doubt that using a Vendor Advocate when selling your home has become increasingly popular over the last few years and is now recognised as a safer, more convenient way to sell property. In an industry that according to Governance Institute of Australia’s latest Ethics Index Report, has just been ranked at the bottom of the most trusted list of professions, it’s little wonder homeowners are wary of real estate agents and looking for safer alternatives.
Is using a vendor advocate worth all the hype? Is it really a free service? If you’ve never heard of a vendor advocate before (also known as seller’s advocate), it is someone who acts as a buffer between the seller and real estate agent. They provide you with expert guidance and advice on everything from preparing your home for sale, through to choosing the right real estate agent. A vendor advocate deals directly with the agent keeping them honest and focused on achieving the best possible result for you.
And yes it really is a free service. The agent and advocate share in the one fee paid by the vendor, so it actually costs nothing extra to have someone in your corner protecting your interests every step of the way.
In this article, we dispel the top 3 myths about using a Vendor Advocate to sell your home. The most common misconceptions are:
- The seller ends up paying a higher agent’s commission because the vendor advocate’s fee is added on top.
- Agents don’t want to work with a Vendor Advocate because they need to give away a share of their commission.
- Vendor Advocates only work with certain agents and have their favourites they use over and over again.
Let’s look at each in more detail:
- Agent’s Commission
After we’ve extensively interviewed 3 agents on behalf of the vendor, we provide a comprehensive report with our recommendations of which agent is best suited to sell the property. Once the agent has been agreed upon by the vendors, we go in with a thorough knowledge of the going rate in the local area, and we negotiate the agent’s commission to a level that is fair and equitable for all parties involved. The truth is that when an agent knows they are about to win the business, they are more willing to negotiate to secure the listing.
Not only this, but agent’s consider vendor advocates as a source of future referrals. So when an agent we work with performs well, then next time a property comes up in the local area, they will be given another opportunity to bid for the business.
2. Agents don’t want to share Commission
The reality is that payment of referral fees, conjunction fees or introduction fees are commonplace in the real estate industry. If an agent in one area refers a seller to an agent in another area, they are entitled to put their hand out for a 20% referral fee. The popular agent review/search websites such as Local Agent Finder or Open Agent will share any information you provide while visiting their site, with a number of local real estate agents in return for a 20% referral fee should they be successful in winning your business.
As an ex-real estate agent myself, I know that an agent’s number one priority is to list properties for sale. Selling them comes second. So any opportunity an agent has to secure a listing they will grab it willingly despite having to share a small portion of their commission for the privilege. The majority of agent’s we work with say the process is smoother, less time consuming and much easier for them as they do not have to worry about dealing with an emotional vendor. They get to focus on what they do best and that is marketing the property and dealing with the buyers.
3. Vendor advocates have favourite agents
We are often asked this question about having our preferred agents. If we have dealt with an agent before that achieved a great result for our client, then of course we will invite them to be part of the interview process next time we have a property in their local area.
It doesn’t always mean they will win the business though. Agents go through the same strict interview process each and every time regardless of how many times we’ve worked with them. This is why we can honestly say we work only with the best of the best when it comes to selling agents. They must not only be great at what they do but also a good fit for the type of property, price bracket and buyer demographic.
There is a lot of detail that goes into our agent interviews and selection process culminating in a 5 page written report with our recommendation. Ultimately it is up to the vendor to make the final decision on which agent to appoint.
If you have been thinking about selling your home it’s definitely worth considering the services of a vendor advocate. It costs you nothing extra and the value we provide is immeasurable. Click here to read our REVIEWS from not only past clients, but also Lawyers, Financial Advisers, Mortgage Brokers and even Real Estate Agents!