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BRW Magazine

BRW Magazine published an interesting article which highlighted the subtle yet sure change that is occurring in the real estate industry. A new player, the commission free model, has joined the ranks.

The article entitled, ‘What real estate agents won’t tell you’, exposed a key fact. Houses aren’t really that hard to sell and real estate agents aren’t the only ones who can do it! The internet has changed the game because the information you need to buy and sell is now at everyone’s fingertips.

Here are some key takeaways from this article:

Consumers can now buy and sell their homes online at a fraction of the cost of an agent by using websites such as PropertyNow and zerocommission.com.au (see story “Virtual agent makes its move”).

These sites act like a virtual real estate agent. Depending on how many bells and whistles you’re prepared to pay for, they help arrange professional photographs, a for-sale board at the front of your house, assitance with a full range of online marketing and additional support services

Such sweeping changes have empowered sellers, buyers and landlords like never before.

“The veil of secrecy has been lifted; it’s not hard to sell a house, it’s ridiculously easy,” the owner of PropertyNow, Andrew Blachut, says. “Agents try and wrap it up in mystery as much as possible.”

“They say things like, ‘We are masters in selling your home – you don’t have access to buyers and don’t have masterful negotiation skills’. It’s complete nonsense.”

Buyers advocate David Morrell says the internet will become “more and more the medium through which people buy and sell” and that “you don’t necessarily need the agent in the middle”.

Investors can now do their own research and get a reasonably accurate home valuation from a variety of sources. Some of it’s freely available on the web, including suburb and street profiles and median house prices………

Many people have also learnt that marketing your home isn’t really that hard. Hundreds of thousands of properties are listed for sale or lease through the portals www.realestate.com.au and domain.com.au and some consumers are using Facebook and Twitter to sell their homes.

Domain and realestate.com.au dominate in property listings. REA Group, which owns realestate.com.au, controls about 70 per cent of the online real estate advertising, IBISWorld estimates. It and domain.com.au charge real estate agents a subscription fee plus advertising fees to advertise houses on their portals. Consumers pay a one-off listing fee.

To read the full article published in BRW Magazine click here.