Do you trust real estate agents?

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Do you see real estate agents as essentially untrustworthy souls who are a necessary evil of the property investment game? You’re not alone.

According to this year’s annual Image of Professions survey from Roy Morgan, real estate agents are the third least trusted profession in Australia – just behind advertisers and car salesmen.

Only 9% of respondents gave real estate agents a ‘very high’ or ‘high’ ranking when asked to score the occupation for honesty and ethical standards. This was, however, a 2% increase on last year’s score.

Advertisers scored 8%, while car salesman came in at a lowly 2%. At the other end of the scale were nurses (90%), pharmacists (88%) and Doctors (83%).

“Once again Car Salesman (2%, down 1%) rank at the bottom of the list — a position they have held for over 30 years. Bucking the overall trend, the two next lowest professions both improved slightly in 2012 — Advertising people (8%, up 3%) and Real Estate Agents (9%, up 2%),” said Roy Morgan spokesman Gary Morgan.

But it’s not just your real estate agent that you should be wary of, if the results of the survey are anything to go by. The score for accountants dropped from 54% to 49% this year; bank managers saw their score slide by 4% (37%); and lawyers saw their perceived trustworthiness crash by 8% (30%).

Financial planners (down 2% to 26%) and insurance brokers (down 2% to 10%) have also seen their standings slip.

The results:

Respondents were asked: “As I say different occupations, could you please say – from what you know or have heard – which rating best describes how you, yourself, would rate or score people in various occupations for honesty and ethical standards (Very High, High, Average, Low, Very Low)?”

Source: Roy Morgan

Do you agree with the poll results? Have your say by commenting below or joining the debate on our property investment forum.

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  • mark says on 01/06/2012 08:15:31 AM

    They should be at the bottom of the list.
    As having worked in the industry, the whole process works around manipulating the seller and buyer to ensure they get a commision.
    Agent "buy" listings by promising higher prices than the competition, then condition the seller down to a lower price blaming the market.
    The listing of a property involves an agent Steering questions in so called casual conversation, to work out what the vendor thinks their property is worth and then suprise, suprise, their professional appraisal matches that amount. So rather than give an accurate figure of the value, the figure is what will lock in the contract.
    I had to canvas a street knowing full well that a womans husband had died one week earlier and they had to sell the house. This kind of practise is common.
    Sellers pay for advertising which has a big picture of the agent promoting themself and not the property.
    Open houses are looked as on opportunity for an agent to advertise themselves and secure new listings.
    Agents claim to be acting for the vendor but the only person they are acting for is themselves.
    A short Tafe course is all you need to be selling someones most valuable asset and after working in the industry, I came to realise that you do not have to understand property but selling.
    The sale and the commision is the most important thing and how you get it, is not important.

    I recently attended an open house and knowing the agents tactics, I was able to get $300K of the asking price ( was this guy working for the vendor ).

    No doubt the agents reading this will defend the profession by claiming integrety, dedication Blah blah
    but in an industry that is only as good as its next sale, the agent will stoop to any level to get the sale.
    The good thing is that most people are not fooled and are smarter than agents give them credit for.

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