• Real estate industry calls for transparency from agent finder websites


    Vendors should be made aware of the true cost of using commercial agent finder websites, with Australia’s national real estate body calling for agent finder websites to be directly remunerated by the vendor.

    Following LocalAgentFinder and Commonwealth Bank revealing they had entered into a partnership, the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) has made a submission to the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking Industry recommending agent finder websites be treated the same as financial advisers.

    REIWA President Hayden Groves said REIWA was in full support of REIA’s submission and believed agent finder websites mislead consumers into believing their services were free.

    “While on the surface agent finder websites purport to be free for vendors, this is not actually the case. Those real estate agents who agree to take leads via these sites are charged about 20 per cent of their commission. These agents then seek to increase their service price to cover this cost, resulting in the consumer bearing the brunt of the agent finder service charge.

    “Agent finder websites should be 100 per cent transparent about their fees so the general public are clear on exactly what they are paying. In the same way that financial advisers must be directly remunerated from the client, vendors should be paying the fee upfront, not disguised as part of the cost of hiring the agent,” Mr Groves said.

    reiwa.com AgentFinder – a genuine alternative

    In 2016, REIWA launched reiwa.com AgentFinder to provide West Australians with a genuinely free alternative to the commercial agent finder websites.

    reiwa.com AgentFinder is an independent, credible source for finding a professional real estate agent or property manager. Unlike other agent finder websites, reiwa.com AgentFinder is completely free – for both the public user and the agent. The vendor’s preferred agent won’t be handing over a portion of their commission for the vendor’s business,” Mr Groves said.

    “West Australians who are searching for the services of a real estate agent, should make use of reiwa.com AgentFinder, the only agent finder website backed by an industry body.”

    Find and compare REIWA real estate agents with reiwa.com AgentFinder.