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How to avoid investing mistakes when choosing investment advisers. Part I:Real Estate Agents

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Are you starting out on your investing journey, or already some way into it? Chances are you will get overwhelmed by your research, investment choices and options, and make some mistakes. Choosing an expert for advice or other service, such as buying or selling a property, often means you may need to rely on others for experience or referrals. 

As you build your property investment portfolio, at various stages you will be involved with real estate agents. Whether you are buying or selling a property or just getting their general, or specific, advice.  

You may choose the popular investment strategy (congratulations if you have one, as many don’t!) to buy and  hold property, and perhaps add value along the way by renovating. We did this with a Queensland property we bought 6 years ago, early in our property investing journey. We decided to sell a little earlier than first planned and did some renovations ready for sale. Unfortunately when we chose an agent, we were in a market in which we were unfamiliar (different State) and focussed on the renovations and getting ready for sale. As can often happen, we ran out of time and had to make quick decisions. We fell for the age old real estate agent tricks of being conditioned and bait pricing. Have you, as a buyer or seller, fallen for any of these traps too?

  • a higher likely sale price quoted to us (the Vendors), and
  • a lower likely sale price quoted to potential Purchasers

In his book Real Estate Uncovered (you can listen here to his short radio interviewreal estate agent Peter O’ Malley warns consumers about conditioning and other real estate agent mischiefs. 

You can avoid fundamental mistakes when selling if you:

  • Get appraisals from more than one agent
  • Don’t rely solely on assurances on a potential sale price, without checking local area comparable sales closely
  • Choose an agent you can trust and have them explain their recent sales campaigns and results

You will find in our lists of Guru Cops and in the relevant investing BiG Book information and people who can help you avoid many of these common, and not so common, mistakes.

Neil Jenman, one of the better known critics of dubious real estate practices (and perhaps the most universally unloved in the real estate agent fraternity because of it), has written a forward to O’Malley’s book. Jenman, Ethics in Real Estate and his consumer protection efforts naturally have their supporters and critics.

High profile, respected property investment adviser, media personality and author Margaret Lomas often refers to Jenman’s work; and he has presented at some of her events, so that you can have a better understanding of the real estate industry.

Later in this series of articles, we’ll help you with tips on choosing financial planners, advisers and mortgage brokers. They too are in the business of selling, as Alan Kohler warns in a recent  video interview on recent legislative changes to what commissions financial planners should charge you.  

In the meantime, you’ll  find throughout BiG, especially in our BiG DirectoryGuru Cops and 5 Tips to avoid investment scams and be a winning investor! safer ways for your investing journey. You may also like to go to our opt in box  and download our Investing Guide ‘3 Steps to Take for Successful Investing’.

Safe travels!

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