It starts with finding an agent you can trust. According to a 2021 report by Roy Morgan, only 5% of those surveyed trust real estate agents (meaning 95% don’t trust real estate agents). This is compared to doctors who came in at 82%, and school teachers at 74%.

You can see why the words ‘real estate agents’ and ‘trust’ are not normally used in the same sentence. When you talk to friends in your circle, it probably won’t take long to find someone who has had a terrible experience with buying or selling real estate. Hence the reputation this profession has built for itself. As this survey demonstrated, the end result is that real estate consumers (buyers, sellers, landlords or tenants) feel jilted as a result of one thing being said by agents or expectations being inflated than different things actually happening. It’s rare (5 out of 100) to find the agent who intentionally puts their client’s needs first without feeling the need to overpromise or omit truths to win business. This doesn’t just mean saying the client comes first but following through on promises with proven client benefit-based actions.

Last month we looked at three different types of real estate markets – the buyers’ market, sellers’ market and balanced market. Currently, we are between the balanced and buyers’ markets here in Geelong, even though this can fluctuate depending on the suburb. Whilst property is certainly still selling, it is different to the market conditions that we saw during the peak of the pandemic in 2021.

We’ve noticed that while the battle stories of past real estate experiences are still common in conversation, this is the question we seem to be hearing more often.

“What can I do to make sure my property sells, and we achieve the highest possible price?”

Whilst there are various components at play when answering this question, the first thing to ask yourself is DO YOU TRUST YOUR AGENT?

If you do trust your agent, they will be able to navigate you smoothly through your sale campaign. Bringing personal values to the table combined with a proven sales strategy will achieve the Highest Possible Price.

Like any type of relationship, without trust, cracks will be sure to appear. Prior to hiring an agent, we advise you to do your due diligence in this area as it will pay dividends.


Your agent needs to earn two types of trust from you:  Affective and Cognitive Trust.

Affective Trust is the trust you have in your potential agent as a person. To measure this, explore agent reviews from google, ask the agent if you can talk to some of their past clients and consider their personal values. The Geelong real estate world is a small one, it is likely that you will be able to find someone you know who has dealt with your potential agent either professionally or personally.

Be wary of the “lots of sales” trap, just because an agent has high numbers of sales, as the survey suggests, doesn’t mean that all these clients are delighted with the agent, you’ll need to look beyond just the numbers.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions of a more personal nature to ensure their values align with yours. Has the agent done what they say they would do? Are they on time and well-presented? Check out their social media profiles. How do they act out of their professional arena? All these things will come into play with affective trust.

Cognitive Trust is the trust you have in the competence of the agent. This comprises their market knowledge, their strategy, and their proven processes around how to best sell your property. This strategy should be how they center the sale around you – the client – and not a sale process that serves them and their profile or ego. They should be able to prove they know how to achieve the highest price with a good track record.

The journey towards being successful in any endeavor often follows 4 stages and real estate sales is no different. Think about which type of competence your potential agent falls into:

  • Unconsciously competent the epitome of an ethical professional, one of the rare 5% who naturally acts in the best interests of their client who has being doing so over a long period and is someone who has a trail of delighted customers.
  • Consciously competent This type of agent works hard and intentionally implements a proven strategy with good results.
  • Unconsciously incompetent This type of agent is not aware they are putting their client at risk. They are typically very nice and engaging but may have been poorly taught, not taught at all or their training doesn’t revolve around best practice. They are unaware of how their whole strategy or even use of particular words, for example, can be detrimental to client outcomes. This type of agent believes what they are doing is right but will mostly come unstuck or cost their client. Both the client and agent are often unaware of the damage done.
  • Consciously incompetent this agent knows what they are doing is not in the best interest of their clients and not best practice, but they do it anyway, they will deliberately deceive anyone in order to make a sale, the worst kind of agent and person.

A competent agent will earn both your Affective and Cognitive trust. They will be real people without false facades. What you see will be what you get. They will train themselves consistently to ensure that you as their client is receiving industry best practice advice. They will have a proven strategy and be able to create a sales roadmap that is personalised for you, your property, and your circumstances. Throughout the process of the sale, they will be able to provide advice and react to market feedback. They will be able to achieve the best possible price and their negotiation skills will be well-honed.

After finding a trusted agent, there are additional components that come into play when answering the question “How do we get the house sold for the best price?”

Property presentation, smart marketing and accurate pricing are all vital aspects to be considered, however we think Trust is number 1.

Here at Kardinia Property, there is nothing we value more than being good people, to us, this means helping other good people achieve their property goals. We believe in the importance of continuous training, implementing best practices and treating everyone we come into contact with like they are part of our family. We like to think that the 5% of people who do trust their real estate agents are our clients. Relationships are at the core of what we do, overlay this with competence and the Smart Sale strategy and you can use our skills as leverage to “…get the house sold for the best price”.

If you’d like a copy of our guide 8 Questions to Ask Your Agent shoot through your details here and we will send you a copy.

In the meantime, here are a few quick questions to ask when choosing your agent:

  • Does the agent genuinely care about you?
  • Are they a professional salesperson – the best you can find
  • Are they an expert in their field?
  • Do you TRUST them?
  • Are they a person of integrity?
  • Will their strategy achieve a sale at the Highest Price Possible

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