Do You Need A Real Estate Agent? - Shields Gillman

Do You Need A Real Estate Agent?


When you stop to think about it- the internet and mobile apps have changed how we do business in many ways…

Instead of booking a hotel, we now use Air BnB.

Where we used to head down to Blockbuster, we now watch Netflix.

Rather than hail a taxi, now we request an Uber instead.

Much has changed in the services we use, over the years. So it’s no surprise that instead of paying thousands of dollars for something that appears to be relatively easy (like selling their home), many people are re-thinking how they go about this, especially in a bullish market like Sydney. The rise of companies like Purple Bricks, and others have people considering using a bargain service to sell their most valuable asset. Some even look to sell it themselves, rather than engage the services of a professional.

Let’s take a quick look at how these services work:

Purple Bricks 

Using Purple Bricks you pay up- front, marketing & fees for an agent who may care- but they have no responsibility. The agent gets paid the same for every single home that they sell. In fact, the agent doesn’t have to sell in order to get paid- you pay them when you engage them. So taking this on board: what’s their incentive to get the highest price for you? On that note- what’s their incentive even to guarantee the sale?


While Purple Bricks advertise that they don’t charge commission, they charge an up front flat fee of over AU$6,000.00.


When you come on board with buymyplace, you’re charged a flat fee for access to a web-site and a sign board. On the surface, this seems fairly easy and straightforward. But again, it doesn’t matter to them whether you sell your home or not, or what price you sell it for. They take your money and that’s it. Then onto the next one. While a service like this appears tantalisingly affordable and easy, you get the results you pay for.

Getting Real About Real Estate Agents

Let’s face it, many people believe real estate agents are overpaid for what they actually do. After all, at times it doesn’t look like they work that hard, either! Now, this may come as no surprise to you, but I’m here to defend the postion of using an agent, and let me share with you a few reasons why:

Negotiation Skills

When it comes to getting the best deal for your house, real estate agents are the experts and act as the third party liaison between buyers and sellers. Your typical agent can make a difference of between 5-10% compared to the D.I.Y approach, and a great agent can ad as much as 15-20% to your sale price. So (for example) on a million dollar home? That’s a difference of $50,000- up to as much as $150,000- and in our area (where the average price is around $1.6 million) that’s a huge difference!

Product Knowledge

This is where we understand the true value of your home and what people are prepared to pay for it, rather than simply looking at the on-paper value. Again, this is the type of industry knowledge that can ad thousands to what your final selling price is.


A good agent has thousands of names on their database they can immediately contact when they acquire a new listing.  Selling privately can significantly reduce the number of buyers your property is exposed to- many people shy away from the idea of having to deal (and negotiate) with the owner directly.


A good agent knows how to stay cool and hold the deal together. Things can go wrong (and often do), people will make offers and then don’t proceed to the exchange of contracts. Agents have dealt with these situations so they keep calm, don’t panic, and more often than not they hold the deal together when it looks as though it may fall in a heap.

Marketing Experts

Agents know how to present your home, who to pitch it to, development opportunities, styling suggestions.     When you incentivise a worker you generally get the best results. Consider offering the agent a bonus eg: some percentage flat fee to a certain level, then an additional percentage if they achieve anything over. That way, you can be sure your agent is working to achieve the highest possible price.

In A Nutshell?

The appeal of using an online service or mobile app- even selling your property by yourself- is understandable. However, the savings you make up-front by listing your home by these methods can quickly vanish when it comes to the price you actually sell for.

At Shields Gillman, we operate on the principle of quality over quantity. For this reason, our listings are limited, and we commit to getting the best price for every property sold by our agency. Our decades of experience and knowledge in real estate, coupled with the guarantees we offer, mean you can rest assured that the sale of your property is in the best hands.

So if you’re in The Forest area and looking to sell- or are even just considering it- we’re happy to answer any queries you might have. Get in touch with us today:

How Much is My Home Worth?