The property industry weathered a very difficult year in 2016. Declining sales have mauled the industry, hitting agents and homeowners alike. But there may be some good news on the horizon.
Global real estate innovation has never evolved as rapidly as it has in recent years. With technologies and cutting edge training systems the main culprits of this revolution, real estate professionals are being forced to stay on top of their game at all times.
Real estate agents play a role in shaping perceptions. How should the ethics of buying and selling property be managed?
There are bad apples in every industry who can taint the name of a sector, even if they make up a small portion of the collective. It is no different in the property sector, if one or two agents cross the line when it comes to conducting business ethically. What sort of practices and industry norms may be legally permissible yet morally questionable? One example: agents may pressure their buyers to bid too much and their sellers to price too low to expedite a sale and claim higher commission. Or agents may steer buyers towards homes that offer higher commissions or towards their brokerages’ own listings. Alternatively, agents may offer higher valuations to secure an exclusive mandate from that seller, only to suggest later that the seller brings their price down when the property doesn’t sell.
Planning to buy a home usually takes a long term strategy, with many buyers having to either save for a deposit, assess affordability or scout for the perfect property to call home. Then when the time finally comes and the country’s economy seems to be unstable - interest rates are higher, banks are implementing stricter lending criteria, doomsayers are warning against long term investments, buyers could be caught in a funnel of information and be left confused and unnecessarily wary.