Real estate honesty
REAL ESTATE HONESTY. It may seem like an oxymoron. After all, according to the latest Roy Morgan poll survey of 30 professions (Image of Professions survey 2015), real estate agents are among the lowest ranked profession when it comes to ethics and honesty. Only 9 percent of Australians aged 14 and over rate real estate agents in regard to ethics and honesty, with nurses being ranked as the most ethical and honest profession, at 92 percent.
No surprises there. Though most of the selling agents out there are no doubt hardworking and honest professionals, it is still a minority that let the industry down. Perception is reality in some cases, and here at House Search we have dealt with a wide variety of all types of selling agents over the past decade. I am happy to report that the majority have been ethical, diligent and admirable candidates representing their vendors and we have enjoyed working with them in a professional manner and for the good of our clients, though they be at opposing ends of the property transaction. However, as with any industry there are always those who perpetuate the public perception of dishonesty associated with selling agents, by their mere actions. They also happen to be the same selling agents who regard us with suspicion, when searching for and assessing property on behalf of our clients. My experience has been that these same selling agents are usually the ones who have something to hide, are failing to disclose something pertinent to the property or are just telling plain porkies.
Though such selling agents may sometimes make the decision NOT to disclose relevant information or to be creative with price guides/offers/levels of interest (for fear of losing the buyer or risking a sale falling through) their job is made difficult by the fact that they are acting for the seller, after all, and need to present the most positive picture they can to prospective buyers. It is important for consumers to realise this, and that the selling agent is working for the vendor and NOT for the buyer. They have a fiduciary responsibility to the principal who is paying them and only them.
As buyers agents, our role is very defined and clear as our fiduciary responsibility is to our purchaser, and one reason why our industry continues to attract popularity is because buyers realise this and the value of engaging a professional acting exclusively on their behalf, and in their best interests.