The smarter way of buying and selling real estate

Real estate myths

There are a few of myths out there about the large real estate industry players that we want to put straight.

  1. We have a big database of people wanting to buy so have greater reach. FALSE
  2. We are a large agency and our agents work together to sell your home. FALSE
  3. We have local experts who are the best positioned to sell your home. FALSE

These myths might have been easier to swallow some time ago, but in today’s hot property market, that’s driven largely by online marketing, they are just not true.

Let’s start with the database tale. If you go to list with one of the large real estate agencies they will tell you they have a massive database of keen buyers ready to buy your house. These databases are sourced from their hundreds of agents who have their own databases and collectively share these to get spread of reach of buyers. While this sounds good in theory it has a few drawbacks. Firstly, how up-to-date is the database? Think about the number of e-newsletters you subscribe to, how many of them are relevant, and how many do you automatically DELETE before even opening them? Secondly, agents in large real estate firms don’t share their precious databases. These agents are very territorial and it is not in their nature to help out a fellow agent.

Which brings us to our second tall story - that agents in large firms work together to sell your home. This is probably the biggest fallacy of them all. Real estate agents are incentivized to work for themselves, or as a couple. If they can list a home and find a buyer without another agent being involved, they reap greater commissions for themselves. What would possess them to share buyers with their competitive colleagues and in turn share the profit? Most databases are owned by the agents, and locked down so other agents can’t see them. It is not uncommon to hear that an agent working in a large real estate agency is hugely secretive and cautious about their client listings, and almost afraid to print something on the photocopier in case another agent may steal the lead off them. Playground stuff to me!

The third line you might hear is -“We are local experts in this area and best positioned to sell your home”. Sounds viable… but let me paint a picture for you. Suzie is looking to buy in Mission Bay. She has found a place she loves and that ticks all her boxes, but it is listed by an agent that hasn’t got great local knowledge. She has found another place that is listed by the top agent in the area, but it doesn’t quite meet her needs. Both are within her budget. Sure, the top agent knows where the best coffee can be brought locally - but which house should Suzie buy?  Agents don’t sell houses. Houses sell themselves based on what they present to the market, and what the market is looking for and willing to pay.  

In today’s world, the buyer market is online, sitting on the sofa searching for a new home from online channels like Trademe,, Open2View and Hougarden. All channels Proppy markets properties through.  Databases are largely driven from online search and sign ups.  Don’t get swept up by the ‘large database’, ‘agents working together’, ‘we are expert’ yarns.  You’re smarter than that.

Finding the right buyer for your house is achieved by ensuring it’s searchable online, marketed with all the relevant information at hand, with good quality photos, presented cleanly, and by someone that knows about your property.  And that’s where Proppy can help. And the best bit… the commission is just 1.5%!

Oh - worth noting also, if another agent does have a buyer for a house listed with Proppy we are totally happy to work with them. This is called a conjunctional arrangement and the agent will get a commission too, but you still only ever pay our low fees.



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