Translating the language of agents – for sellers.

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/learning-to-speak-real-estate/. 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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One of the biggest reasons that homeowners have trouble with real estate agents is that owners do not understand the real estate language. They can’t speak real estate.

For example, let’s say homeowners are selling.

They call an agent who says,

“Oh, your home is beautiful, it’s worth at least two million dollars.”

The sellers think the agent said their home is beautiful and worth two million dollars.

But no.

What the agent really said is:

“I want to list your home. To get you to sign-up, I tell you a whopping lie. Your home is a dump, and you’ll barely get $1.5 million. So, once you sign-up you are ‘locked-up’. You can’t sack me. I can condition you down in price. And get a whopping big commission.”

There are two stages when it’s vital to understand ‘real estate speak’.

The first is when you are considering hiring an agent.

The second is once you hire an agent.


Agents say almost anything to win sellers. They will lie – oh, how they lie. They will grovel. They will harass – often near-stalking. And some will near beg.

And through all these stages, they will talk ‘real estate speak’. You need to translate what you hear agents say into what they are really saying.

AGENT SAYS: “It’s hard to know what a home is worth. It’s best to let the market decide.”

TRANSLATION: If I said what I think your home is worth, you’d kick me out.

AGENT SAYS: “The best way to sell is by auction.”

TRANSLATION: The worst way for sellers is auctions. It’s only best for agents because it allows them to condition the sellers down in price.

AGENT SAYS: “Check our reviews on Rate My Agent.”

TRANSLATION: Rate My Agent is funded by agents; negative reviews rarely allowed.

AGENT SAYS: “We are the top selling agent”.

TRANSLATION: Top agent does not mean top price.

AGENT SAYS: “It’s important you invest in marketing.”

TRANSLATION: We use your money to promote ourselves plus find new leads.

AGENT SAYS: “You can’t sell a secret”.

TRANSLATION: Yes, you can. Many buyers pay a premium for a home not flogged to sticky-beaks.

AGENT SAYS: “All agents charge you for advertising.”

TRANSLATION: Only dodgy ones. Ethical agents never exploit sellers.

AGENT SAYS: “We recommend a premium ad, so your home is the first seen.”

TRANSLATION: Every seller is told their home will be first. Ha-ha.

AGENT: “The more you pay for advertising, the more people see your home.”

TRANSLATION: Whether you spend thousands of dollars or near-zero, buyers find your home.

AGENT: “We have a database of buyers ready to buy.”

TRANSLATION: You still pay advertising costs.

AGENT SAYS: “We don’t get the advertising money; it goes to the website.”

TRANSLATION: What about the kickbacks and all the new leads from conning sellers to promote us more than their homes.

AGENT: “We will give you a discount on the commission.”

TRANSLATION: If we give our own money away, watch what we do with your money.

AGENT SAYS: “I am skilled at negotiating the best price.”

TRANSLATION: I hope they don’t ask if I have ever done a course on negotiation or read a book. Or worse, ask if I know the 42 Rules of Real Estate Negotiation.

AGENT SAYS: “I’ll need you to okay the paperwork to list your home.”

TRANSLATION: You are about to sign a legally binding contract full of conditions that protect the agent. You are about to be “controlled”.

WARNING: Never sign up with an agent without having PROTECTION CONDITIONS. For more information on how Jenman Support can protect you (at no extra cost),


From this point, almost everything the agent says has one aim – to sell your property (at any price). Be careful.

Be sure you can translate what they say into what they mean.

Here are more examples:

AGENT SAYS: “We need to quote a lower price to attract more buyers.”

TRANSLATION: Promoting a home at a lower price attracts buyers at a lower price. If you want to sell for a good price, you need buyers who can pay a good price. Most sellers do not realise this obvious point until it’s too late. And then…

AGENT SAYS: “This what the market is telling us.”

TRANSLATION: When you under-quote a home, you under-sell a home.

AGENT SAYS: “The market feedback is lower than we hoped.”

TRANSLATION: Here we go. First stage of the conditioning process.

AGENT SAYS: “We got a couple of low offers which I don’t want you to accept.”

TRANSLATION: Low offers are often dummy offers to soften you up.

AGENT SAYS: “35 groups came through on the weekend. Plus 527 views on-line.”

TRANSLATION: No one has bought it. Things not looking good for the seller.

AGENT SAYS: “You need to listen to what the market is saying.”

TRANSLATION: Here it comes. Time to blame “the market”. Let’s hope the owners don’t remind me of the price I quoted before they hired me.

AGENT SAYS: “You need to be realistic.”

TRANSLATION: You need a better agent.

AGENT SAYS: “We’ve got a cash buyer. It’s less than you hoped but it’s the best we’ve had.”

TRANSLATION: I want to drop their price; I hope they don’t want to drop my commission.

AGENT SAYS: “We never reduce our commission.”

TRANSLATION: Liar. Every agent has reduced commission.

AGENT SAYS: “If you don’t sell now, you may get less later.”

TRANSLATION: If you don’t sell now, I don’t get my commission.

AGENT SAYS: “The market has spoken. I think you should accept this offer.”

TRANSLATION: I want my commission.

AGENT SAYS: “If you go to another agent or sell yourself, you still have to pay us.”

TRANSLATION: When you sign up with (without protection conditions) you are controlled by agents. No matter how they treat you, there’s little you can do.

AGENT SAYS: “If you refuse to pay – even though your home hasn’t sold – you will end up with a caveat on your home which means you can’t sell until you pay the debt.”

TRANSLATION: You should have read the fine print before you signed up.

AGENT SAYS: “You can’t give me a bad review because Rate My Agent won’t accept it.”

TRANSLATION: Agents pay Rate My Agent. Only Google Reviews allow negative reviews.

Unfortunately, for most sellers, it’s not until they’ve endured the trauma of the double-speak of agents that the sellers realise what’s happened to them.

So, before you even start to sell, familiarize yourself with the words and phrases that come out of the mouths of most agents. And make sure you translate them.

When you know what agents are really saying, you’ll know how to get a better result.