Walter decided to sell his home in
Sydney's Hills district in 1993, he
made a big mistake.
contacted a licensed agent, who was
a member of the Real Estate
Institute and whose office was part
of a large real estate network. The
sort of agent he could be forgiven
for trusting on 'face-value'.
agent sold Walter's home for
$285,000 to a 'businessman' who was
the father of one of the agent's
salespeople. Walter's home was then
resold for $420,000. The same day.
Not a month later, or a year or two
later, but the same day.
Walter was 'set-up'. He lost
homesellers rarely lose as much as
Walter. But, unlike most homesellers,
Walter had a disadvantage. He
suffered from Alzheimer's disease
and lived in a nursing home. When
the agent visited him and asked him
to sign papers, he didn't ask the
Walter's son, who lived in Tasmania,
complained to the real estate
'authorities'. Months later, he was
informed that legal action against
the agent would be unlikely to
succeed because Walter's "physical
and mental condition would not allow
him to give evidence in the
proceedings". Case closed.
Paul and Lyn's Mistake
Paul and Lyn decided to buy a home
in Adelaide's Hills district in
1999, they too made a big mistake.
Walter, they contacted a licensed
agent, who was a member of the Real
Estate Institute and whose office
was part of a large network. The
sort of agent they could be forgiven
for trusting on 'face-value'.
and Lyn saw a home for auction. They
loved it. It was their dream home.
The agent said "bidding will start
around $250,000", but they were
experienced enough to recognise this
as a common auction 'bait' called
biggest fear was that someone else
would buy the home, so they asked
the agent if they could buy it
before the auction. The agent said
"No, it must be sold by auction."
As the auction day approached, Paul
and Lyn made several calls to the
agent; they were obviously excited
about the home.
days before the auction, another
agent told them that the home had
been sold. They did not believe it.
It must be a mistake. How could such
a thing happen? They were
when they learned the selling price,
their devastation turned to anger.
The home sold for almost $100,000
less than they were prepared to
and Lyn lost the home they loved and
the home seller lost $100,000.
Paul and Lyn known what was ahead of
them, they would not have lost their
dream home. Their mistake came from
lack of knowledge, which is the
reason most consumers suffer
emotional and financial trauma when
they sell or buy a home. But the
real cause of most mistakes is the
systems and the ethics of real
estate agents. This book will give
you the knowledge to avoid these
Real Estate Losses
believe the average family loses ten
thousand dollars when they sell
their home. Across Australia, this
amounts to tens of millions of
dollars lost by home sellers every
home sellers are not even aware how
much they are losing. As you will
read, the 'cover-up' of mistakes
made in the real estate industry
extends all the way to the top.
But they begin with the real estate
There are three types of real estate
First, there are the
honest, hard-working agents,
the small-business owners who try
hard to do what is best for sellers
Unfortunately, most of these agents
use systems which are riddled with
mistakes which cost consumers
thousands of dollars. They do not
intend to deliberately cheat
consumers, they just don't realise
that what they have been doing for
years what they were taught
is wrong for consumers. Their
systems are also wrong for them, as
most of these agents make very
Second, there are the
They know exactly what they are
doing to hurt consumers. They have
got their deceit down to a fine art.
As one of them said,
"I have mastered the
art of faking sincerity."
agents are in real estate for two
reasons - greed and ego. They will
take your money and use it for their
own ends. They will under-sell your
home without thinking twice about
how this affects your family. And
everything they do, they will
justify by saying it is perfectly
agents are highly unethical.
Third, there are the
In this book, you will see how to
recognise them not just by their
'look', but by their actions what
they say and how they treat you.
best agents have a totally different
culture from the typical agents.
They are so different that, when you
meet one, you will think, "You are
nothing like the other agents."
are the agents who place ethics
before profit. They place your
interests ahead of their own. They
will always do what is best for you.
Fair to Sellers and Buyers
of the dilemmas with writing this
book has been the issue of what is
'fair' to both sellers and buyers.
As an agent, I was deeply conscious
that my duty was to obtain the
highest price for the people who
'employed' me: the homesellers. This
did not mean that buyers were
rule was simple: get the highest
price possible for the sellers and
find the best home possible for the
buyers (within their financial
believe, from a financial point, the
people who are hurt the most in real
estate are the home sellers.
family homes are not just about
finances, they are about emotions;
and also high stress levels.
Typical real estate systems hurt
sellers and buyers, most of whom do
not have the knowledge to protect
themselves, either financially or
emotionally. This book supplies the
first part covers 'Buying a Home'
and the second part covers 'Selling
a Home'. It is an 'open' book. Sure,
it will show buyers how to take
advantage of many systems which hurt
sellers. But it will also show
sellers how to protect themselves
from these systems.
1999, we released a booklet
outlining the 18 costly mistakes
made by homesellers.
417,000 copies were
distributed. From thousands of
calls, there was not one complaint
from consumers. But many agents
complained. In fact, they complained
so loudly that several agents who
support The Jenman System are now
banned from advertising the booklet
in their local papers.
response to agents who complain
about our efforts to advise
consumers, we make the following
profits from bookshop sales of
Real Estate Mistakes will be
donated to the 'Do the Five, Stay
Alive' project, the brainchild of
swimming coach Laurie Lawrence,
whose efforts save the lives of many
urge consumers to apply ethical
tests on all agents whether they
are 'Jenman' agents or not. The
purpose of this book is to protect
real estate consumers, and to
promote ethics in real estate.
Many agents are ethical and
competent. These are the only agents
you should choose. Ethics in real
estate comes first.
ask all agents to examine their
systems from the point of view of
the consumer. If you offer a better
service than The Jenman System, you
have nothing to complain about.
Focus on consumers, not on us.
any agents tell you they use The
Jenman System, please check this on
our FREE CALL number 1800 1800 18.
APPROVED Jenman agents
2000, agents who use The Jenman
System - and who meet strict
consumer service standards will
begin to be known as Jenman
will take an agent many months, even
years, to qualify for the APPROVED
status. Changing from one system to
another is never easy.
However, whether an agent is Jenman
APPROVED or whether the agent merely
supports portions of The Jenman
System - or has nothing to do with
Jenman, your approval is the only
thing that matters. You choose the
agent who can do the best for you.
are often asked by agents: "How can
you say such damaging things about
the real estate industry?"
reply is simple: "How can agents
not say such things?" How can
the real estate industry continue to
use systems which hurt hundreds of
thousands of Australian consumers?
That is the real question.
love the real estate industry. But
we do not love the standards of many
agents and their systems. The home
sellers and buyers of Australia
And that is why this
book has been written.
Neil Jenman -
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