Why are real estate agents one of the least trusted professions in Australia?

What do advertisers, car salespeople and real estate agents have in common?

Well, they all ranked among the least-trusted professionals in Australia in a Roy Morgan survey, coming in below politicians, bank managers and talk-back radio announcers.

The survey’s findings were particularly harsh for real estate agents, with only 5% of Australians rating the profession highly for their ethics and honesty. Ouch.

You may be nodding your head as you read this, having been burnt by the underhand tactics that some agents use. Unfortunately, there are some agents who:

  1. Overvalue a property to win you as a client
  2. Communicate poorly
  3. Have a hidden agenda (which they are pushy about)

    Let’s look at them in more detail.
  1. Overvaluing a property to win your business

    Some agents will deliberately overstate the value of your property, to get you to sign on as a client. However, overpricing your property can seriously backfire, as it can scare off buyers and take a terrible emotional toll once you’re forced to lower your price during the sales campaign.

    That’s why it’s always better to work with agents like Trow Jones that will give you an accurate appraisal of your home’s value – even if it’s slightly lower than you’d hoped for.
  1. Communicating poorly

    A real estate agent’s communication skills can make or break your relationship with them, whether you are the vendor or buyer.

    It’s perfectly reasonable to expect an agent to communicate in a clear, transparent and timely fashion. It’s also reasonable to expect to be told the truth, even if it’s sometimes uncomfortable. Sadly, though, many agents struggle with these basic communication skills.

    If you’re selling a home and not receiving regular updates, it could be a sign your agent has taken on too many clients and is spread too thin. Or if the agent has palmed you off to one of their junior associates, it’s probably a sign they value chasing new business over giving you proper service.

    And if your agent is not building good relationships with buyers, it’s likely to weaken your hand in the negotiations.

    That’s why at Trow Jones, our director, Mark Jones, works with only a limited number of clients at once, and handles all the vendor and buyer communication himself.
  1. Having a hidden agenda

    You might think you and the agent are working with the same goal in mind: selling your home for the best price possible. So when your agent suggests spending tens of thousands of dollars on marketing, you willingly agree.

    Often this can be a smart move, because the amount of money you gain from a higher selling price can significantly exceed the amount you invest in marketing. Bear in mind though that some agents push for these big marketing campaigns not to promote their clients’ homes but to promote themselves – so they can win their next listing.

    That’s why at Trow Jones when we do marketing on behalf of our clients, we make their property the star of the marketing campaign, not ourselves.

    Fed up with untrustworthy real estate agents? So are we. That’s why we do things
    differently at Trow Jones. Get in touch by calling 02 8667 5330 or emailing