Agents to 'bid' for new property listings

Wednesday 15 March 2017

Investors keen to pay lower commissions when selling a property can now look to a new website for help to save without bargaining.

By Miriam Bell

New Zealand’s first free, real estate agent comparison service – AgentAuction – launched today and it aims to smooth the process of finding an agent for those selling a property.

AgentAuction co-founder Andreas Heuser said New Zealanders spend around $1.6 billion a year on commissions and yet it is difficult for vendors to compare agents’ fees.

This is in stark contrast to other areas, like insurance or KiwiSaver, where it is easy to compare the costs of what is available.

Heuser said that, until now, vendors have had to endure lengthy sales pitches where commission rates are always discussed last and there wasn’t an easy way to compare proposals or commissions.

“Kiwis like a fair deal, but hate bargaining. AgentAuction takes away any haggling over fees and preserves the friendly relationship between agent and vendor.

“It empowers vendors with a free tool to obtain competitive real estate agent commission quotes and home appraisals online. 

“At the same time, agents can focus on what they’re paid to do: finding buyers and selling the house for the highest price.”

AgentAuction is based around an auction system: vendors submit their property details to the website which then facilitates an auction between up to five agents.

The agents then submit “bids” of competitive commission quotes together with a property appraisal assessments tailored to that property within three business days.

Vendors then simply choose their preferred bidder, based on the commission, marketing costs, service level and/or appraisal, with no obligation.

Heuser said the website also benefits agents as it helps them to find interested vendors and saves them the time, effort and cost of chasing new business.

This in turn benefits vendors.

“A lot of time and money is spent by agents on chasing new business and, ultimately, the vendor is paying for that,” he said.

“This frees up agents’ time and creates cost savings, which they can pass on to vendors.”

In much the same way as Uber and Airbnb are in their particular areas, AgentAuction aims to be a disruptor to the conventional ways of selecting an agent.

Heuser said that he and his co-founder, Henry Milne, are driven by a desire to improve real estate outcomes for everyday consumers.

New Zealanders already make great use of comparison websites for power and gas and KiwiSaver, he said.

“The power of price transparency and competition is enormous and we saw an obvious gap for real estate commissions.

“Transparency and competition can only benefit all concerned.”

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