Property agents in Australia typically only represent vendors for selling properties, a characteristic different from those overseas. This appears to be good news for buyers as they do not need to pay agency charges. However, it is an unfair practice to both vendors and sellers, regardless of the market situation.
The sole purpose of an agent's service is for the best interest of the client, which is to achieve the best selling price for vendors. This is in compliance with the legal, ethical and practical standards of practice. It also partly explains why the Australian market price of properties is being pushed up unhealthily in the past decade. During the boom period, buyers have little bargaining power and suffer the most. During the slump period, vendors might be forced to "cut throat", as to resolve debt crises. When a property is not selling at a "fair" price, all parties including vendors, buyers, agents, as well as all tax payers will be adversely affected.
A lot of money, hassle and stress are involved in selling a residential property in Australia. These include:
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