10 False Assumptions People Make About Estate Agents 

10 False Assumptions People Make About Estate Agents 

Property News You Can Use presented by Harcourts

Everyone in your circle of friends or family knows a real estate agent. But unfortunately, television has somehow created a stereotypical representation of real estate agents. Unfortunately, in doing so, the general public has adopted some assumptions about agents that are very far from the truth. 

1. They make “easy money.” 

Oh ya, haha. The only people who could ever possibly make the case that being an agent is an easy way to make money are those who have never done it. It’s hard, uncertain work, with many instances of months wasted on a deal that doesn’t ever close. Furthermore, the estate agent never has immediate gratification. They always work on a post-dated cheque of at least 3 months. 

2. They are required to show you houses even if you just ‘want to look or are not a serious buyer or not pre-approved. 

There are definitely agents who will show you houses in such instances. Still, a professional agent is not required, and most experienced agents probably will not. The agent has a signed mandate from the seller where the agent undertakes that all viewings to introduce the property will be to serious, qualified buyers. This thereby protects the interest and privacy of the seller at all times. 

3. As the owner, I can do self-pricing. I know the worth of my property 

It would be wonderful if this were accurate for sellers to determine their own home valuations. Still, you’d laugh in most cases if you compared their results to actual appraised values. Trust us, real estate agents want you to get as much money as possible for your house, but often reality gets in the way. Trust your estate agent to give you a fair market assessment for your home. It is, in the end, what the market is prepared to pay. Buyers are astute and do their homework. They will not even view an overpriced property. 

4. They make massive commissions 

The popular real estate flipping shows on TV and Million Dollar Listing have given everyone the impression that real estate agents are rolling in the dough. Of course, most real estate agents wish this was true, but the reality is much different. The median commission on the existing home sale price from December 2021 to July 2022 was R100,000. This means that, after splitting the commission and paying their broker, an agent took home about R35,000 (gross) on the transaction. This does not include all the agents’ marketing and related expenses. In general, most agents sell only every second month, which adds to about R420,000 annually. Not exactly huge. 

5. They’re an unnecessary evil 

Many people have argued that real estate agents are unnecessary and merely an impediment to a more efficient “For sale by owner” model of real estate. The best way to eliminate this misconception is to sell your house yourself. Nothing is more sobering than desperately having to “google” all the laws & understanding all the relevant clauses about selling property. Furthermore, in terms of your own protection and security, it is pretty dangerous opening your home to strangers knocking on your door asking to view your home. 

6. They’re sleazy 

Unfortunately, real estate agents have joined the ranks of lawyers, politicians, and salespeople in some of the public’s assumptions about their trustworthiness. The financial collapse of 2008 exacerbated this perception. Thankfully, the market correction also weeded out most of the unsavoury elements in the business. The truth is, real estate agents are honest, hardworking people who make a living like any other profession. And just like any other profession, there are a few bad apples that unfairly give others a bad name. 

7. They’re uneducated 

This misconception gets under most agents’ skin. Not only do many agents have degrees (and advanced degrees in quite a few cases), but the knowledge required to pass a real estate exam is substantial. Many agents/agencies are unable to get their FFCs because of their inability to pass the necessary exams and compliance requirements, which makes the concept of an “uneducated” agent laughable. 

8. They want you to pay more for a house so they can make more money 

If you looked at the math involved in calculating real estate commissions, you’d never utter this falsehood again. An agent getting you to pay R10,000 more for a property will often earn less on the deal. This is because the commission will either stay unaffected to ensure the seller achieves a specific net price, or if the commission is linked, the nett result is minimal. This barely covers the cost of petrol required to drive to and from your appointments. The truth is that an agent absolutely wants you to buy a house. What’s not true is that they want you to pay more. 

9. They’re mostly part-timers or bored housewives 

If you ask the average person to describe the archetypal real estate agent, they’ll probably say it’s an older married woman looking for something to do in her free time. This is stereotyping at its finest and ignores the hundreds of thousands of full-time professional agents and the hardworking primary breadwinners that make up the real estate workforce. Moreover, the so-called stereotypical agents can hardly exist in our current market conditions. What an estate agent must do to fill their role and comply with the legal, compliance and qualification requirements to qualify for Fidelity Fund Certificate. 

10. All they want from you is the deal 

Yes, agents want your business. But genuine professional real estate agents want to be your lifelong real estate advisor. They want you to think of them whenever you or your family and friends have any real estate questions. They want to see and talk to you more than once a decade. They want to ensure that you remember your interactions with them as delightful. 

≈ ≈ Marsha


Previous articles

Interest Rates Hike. Is It Over, Or Is There Another Hike In November?

Tenant Activity Still Makes Property Your Best Investment

Landlords’ legal obligations with load shedding and water cuts 

Your Show House – Be Vigilant

Home Staging – Is It All Just Window Dressing?

FOSTER Golf Day – Saturday 5 November

FOSTER Golf Day – Saturday 5 November

The annual FOSTER Golf Day is nearly here, and with just a few days to go before tee-off on Saturday 5 November, there are only a few tee-off times left. As it is the PGA as well next weekend, if you wish to play golf on Saturday in St Francis it will have to be at the lower course and you will be aiding a good cause to boot, by playing in the FOSTER golf day.

Just R280 per player gets you a great day’s golf with some awesome prizes to win. Weekends away, premium wines, meal vouchers and professional photo shoots, to mention a few, are waiting to be won. Thank you to our generous sponsors and supporters.

Call the lower golf course on 042 294 0467 to book your place before it’s too late.

Annual FOSTER Golf Day

How Many Good Summers Do You Have Left?

How Many Good Summers Do You Have Left?

The change of seasons is a welcome reminder that we’re not living in a never-ending now. Time marches on, and it waits for no one. Whether you find yourself on your way into, or out of, another Summer, it is a good time to reflect on the shortness of time.

At this time of the year we also ponder the year that’s been and start thinking about our aspirations for what lies ahead. We’re roaring through the roaring twenties. While the days can feel long, the years are indeed short.

What is Wealth?

A simplistic definition of wealth is the amount of money you have access to. This unfortunately traps many people into spending their finite time to accumulate as much money as they can.

We know that money has value, and wasting it seems silly. But we all throw away something far more valuable every day: time. One of the few truly finite resources, the amount of time we get is uncertain, but we know it’s limited.

Those who attain monetary wealth realise, sometimes too late, that real wealth is the ability to spend money to buy time. We find meaning in being able to spend time on our terms, doing things we love and that bring us joy.


One of the few benefits of the pandemic is that it forced most of us to spend time very differently from how we used to. It’s given us a valuable opportunity to recalibrate how we view the trade-off between time and money. Time is an abstract concept, difficult to get our heads around at times. One exercise that brings it to life is to consider how many specific events or seasons you may have left.

How many books will you realistically still be able to read? How many holidays do you have left to enjoy with your parents or children? How many good Summers do you have to look forward to, ones you are healthy enough to enjoy? We rarely reflect on how much quality time we have left, mostly caught up in the hustle and bustle of life.

Time Enough

Whilst the time we have is limited, there is enough of it to live a meaningful life if we use it wisely and are conscious of how much we have left.

The Roman philosopher Seneca wisely said:

“It is not that we have a short space of time, but that we waste much of it. Life is long enough, and it has been given in sufficiently generous measure to allow the accomplishment of the very greatest things if the whole of it is well invested.”

How Many Good Summers Do You Have Left?


A more holistic approach to your own financial planning may, therefore, involve resolving not only how you will invest your money, but also your time, energy, and talents.

Given that we find ourselves nearing the end of another calendar year, being intentional with our time is a challenge we can all rise to. It is our job to help you to make a connection between your money and the life you wish to live. It is a responsibility we take seriously and cherish.

As always, we are here to help you to make informed decisions about your money and enjoy the Summers you have left.

Dirk Groeneveld, Certified Financial Planner

t. 083 261 9287

e. dirk@clientcare.co.za

Previous Columns:


Wildside Marketing Screens – What’s Really Going On ?

Wildside Marketing Screens – What’s Really Going On ?

There has been a lot of interest in the Wildside Marketing screens and a few complaints, so we just wanted to explain to all and let people know more about them.

There are four screens inside the SUPERSPAR, Buildit, Kouga Print and the Coastal Convenience Store in Cape St Francis. These four screens play a loop of adverts that catch shoppers’ attention due to their strategic placement- near tills, near counters etc. 

The cost to advertise on these four screens is R3k/annum. It is very affordable, so there is no option to only pay for a few months or the season. It is an annual rate.

The adverts are 10 seconds long, and they form a loop. Currently, the loop is sitting on 9mins, so an advert will be broadcast every 9 minutes, or 6 times an hour, all day that the shops are open.

The complaints have mainly been that a particular advert isn’t showing or the screens are off. This has a lot to do with load shedding and loss of Internet signal. We do our best to keep the screens running, but somethings the blackout is too long or too fast, and we have to go in and manually reset the system.

We currently have a UPS (uninterrupted Power Supply) attached to the screen in the SUPERSPAR. Still, sometimes that too runs out or delivers a bit of a jumpy service as the power continues to drain.

We are looking at expanding more screens soon, and there is plenty of availability. So please be in touch if you wish to get some decent advertising reach over December. 

If, however, you’re going to complain because the screens are off when you are in the shop, then this marketing platform is not for you. If you’re reasonably tolerant and a little bit Zen about our current power predicament and would like to advertise over the festive season (and for the next 12 months), feel free to give us a shout so we can answer any questions.



WhatsApp: 0823764443