by Neil Jenman

Article written and provided by Neil Jenman from Jenman.com.au . To see the original source of this article please click here. https://jenman.com.au/how-to-control-real-estate-agents/. Neil Jenman is Australia’s trusted consumer crusader. He can support you, all the way, from choosing an agent who will get you the highest price guaranteed to when your removalist comes! You get an unprecedented level of total support. All for free. To find out more visit jenman.com.au

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The most stressful times are when we find ourselves in situations where we have no control.

For most people, selling a family home is one of the most stressful times in life.

The reason for such stress is because most home sellers surrender control of the sale of their family home – usually their most valuable asset – to someone they trust the least, a real estate agent.

The solution is simple – although it does take a degree of assertiveness, and a little courage: When selling your home, be sure you control the agents. Don’t let them control you.

When you take control of selling your home, three things will happen to you: You will have less stress. You will get a better result. And you will likely enjoy yourself.

Control is a big word in real estate. Agents talk about “controlled listings”. This means that sellers have signed-up (under the agents’ conditions) and agree to what agents suggest.

Most agents depend on the ignorance of consumers. Without ignorance agents seriously struggle to control the sales process.

It’s easier for agents to control ignorant sellers rather than informed sellers. Ignorant sellers are agreeable. They do what agents tell them to do. This means agents get sales faster. It also means – and most sellers don’t realise this – homes are massively under-sold. In addition, most sellers fork out thousands of dollars in unnecessary expenses. All because agents are in control of the sellers and the selling process.

Few things scare a typical agent more than a well-informed homeowner, one who tells agents what to do instead of allowing themselves to be pushed around by agents.

Geoff Lane owns a gorgeous home in the sought-after Sydney suburb of Roseville. Before meeting agents, Geoff did something most sellers don’t do: He learned the best way to sell his home. He educated himself.

Now, instead of being a naïve homeowner who gives agents control of his biggest financial asset, Geoff is in control. As it should be.

Real estate owners not real estate agents should control the sale process. The owners should set the terms under which they employ agents. As Geoff said, “I find myself educating agents”.

Best of all, however, in Geoff’s case, he controls the agents. The agents don’t control Geoff. They soon realise they have only two choices: Do what Geoff tells them to do or go away.

The simple truth is this: The person who controls the process of selling the home is the person who gets the best result.

Most agents have one goal only: To sell a home at any price. The best way for agents to control sellers and convince them to sell at any price is to lead sellers down the typical real estate road (like a drover herds cattle) – massive amounts of marketing, open inspections, negative feedback (“The market says your home is not worth as much”), low offers, intense pressure, high stress, conditioning, more stress, until finally the agent gets what the agent always aimed to get – the home is sold at a lower price. And the agent gets a high commission. This happens to thousands of sellers every week. These sellers are all controlled by agents.

The more knowledge you possess as a homeowner the more you control your sale. With knowledge, agents can’t easily fool you with sophistry and slick lines.

Even a small amount of knowledge can give you great control of the sale of your home. And save you a massive amount of money.

Here then, are five essential points to make sure that you, not the agent, has control of the sale of your most valuable asset.


It’s your home, you are the boss. Just as if you were a manager hiring a worker, you are hiring an agent to work for you. You don’t let your employees dictate everything from how they’ll work or when they’ll work to how they’ll be paid.

Always remember: You are the boss.


Before you hire any person, be clear about what you want them to do for you. You hire a real estate agent to find you a buyer at a price acceptable to you. If they can’t achieve that task, why hire them?

Don’t fall for any nonsense about needing “marketing costs”. Good agents have got buyers on their books. Tell them to call buyers, not use your money to sit and wait for buyers to call them.

The two main factors you need in an agent are, first: No risk of loss. If your home does not sell – or you withdraw from sale for any reason – you are not thousands of dollars out-of-pocket.

And, secondly, you want an agent who can negotiate with buyers to discover the highest price they are willing to pay. Most agents want to know your lowest price. That’s none of their business. Their business, the reason you hire them, is to discover the highest price buyers will pay.


Who gets paid before doing a job?! That’s crazy. A person should do the job for which they are hired to do and then – when they have done the job to your satisfaction – you pay them. Not before.

If you give money to an agent (for any reason!) before the agent sells your home, you are giving the agent control.

Let agents know that you are aware that Australia is the only country where agents ask sellers to pay advertising costs before their homes are sold and, worse, to pay if their homes are not sold. In all other countries, sellers pay nothing until their homes are sold.


The number one tool agents use to control sellers is their “Listing Agreement”. These agreements – which agents refer to as “standard” – are horrendously unfair. They are filled with nasty clauses that give agents incredible control. There are even warnings – which most sellers ignore – saying that sellers may have to pay two agents two commissions or pay commission if their home is not sold. These clauses are totally unacceptable.

Under no circumstances should any sellers sign any agreement with an agent without deleting the nasty clauses and inserting fair clauses.


Agents have never been so distrusted. Research shows that 95 per cent of people don’t trust agents. So don’t let them control you. Don’t accept their advice.

Tell them that, instead of you trusting them, they must trust you. Don’t sign their “locked-in” contracts. Insist on a sole agency agreement not an exclusive agency agreement. This will give you the right to sell your home to your parents or your best friend without paying thousands of dollars to an agent for nothing.

If the agents aren’t prepared to trust you, why should you trust them?


Abraham Lincoln famously said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend four hours sharpening the axe.”

Sure, it’s harder to find an agent you can control. Most demand you do it their way. Just say no. Your way or no way. Never give up control.

Far better to spend four weeks searching for the right agent than four months with the wrong agent. Be strong. When an agent sells your home, they’ll be paid thousands of dollars commission. Appeal to business acumen – even their greed.

In return for the thousands of dollars you will pay them, there is one point over which you are not negotiable – control.

You control the agent. You do NOT let the agent control you.