Pro Versus Pro

Property ownership: a controversial topic of conversation. You’d never know that so many of your friends were die-hard communists if it weren’t for its divisive ways. Mind you, these are the very same people who, given half a shot, would happily jump on board the buyers’ train without a second thought for their comrades.

That’s neither here nor there, though. What I’m actually here to talk about is how intimidating real estate agents can be. You’ll understand this if you’ve been on a lease for a falling-down townhouse – the kind where the owners neglect to carry out desperately needed repairs to the roof, but you have your bond withheld when part of the ceiling finally caves in.

I’m here to tell you that relations with real estate agents don’t get much better when you’re looking to buy. Sure, they’re nicer to you, and that’s half the problem. They’re out to butter you up, and are willing to tell you just about anything to push a sale over the line and hike up the price in the process. The worst bit is that it’s so one-sided. I’ve always wondered why it’s the norm for vendors to employ a professional negotiator, but it’s not for buyers. The latter are the ones dropping the cash, after all.

I’m now wondering if there is, in fact, such a thing as a buyers’ agent. Melbourne would surely have a market for this. Think of it this way: for every sale, there must be an equal and opposite purchase, which means there are as many buyers as there are vendors. What gives?

Maybe it’s purely that people who are looking to put a deposit on a house aren’t, in general, looking to spend a dime extra. That kind of makes sense. Agents acting on behalf of vendors are motivated by commission, and it’s hard to say exactly how that model would work for those working for buyers. I’m sure there must be people who offer and use this kind of service, but maybe they’re not first home buyers.