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Abodable vs. Real Estate Agents

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Real estate agents don't discuss commission amounts with buyers. Abodable does.

Key Takeaways:

● There are three key parties involved in selling property

● Real estate agents work closely with buyers

● Abodable is better than an agent for prospective buyers

Before we became an online buying platform, Abodable started out as an idea from a conversation with a friend about buying their first home. Knowing that real estate agents, much like sales in any industry, get paid a commission for every sale they make; the conversation turned to, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if you could get the commission, instead of the agent?’. From here, Abodable started with a simple mantra: ‘Give back to the buyer’.

Now that’s nice and everything, but how does that work in practice? Questions and comments arise like, ‘Well how do you make money then?’ and, ‘Hmm, seems a bit too good to be true.’ Let’s break down how agents typically make money through sales commission and then compare that to Abodable.

In any and every property development, there are three parties: developers, builders, and real estate agents.

Developers

Developers are the project managers of property development and discussion - they’re the ones that just get it done. From working with local council, to builders, agents, and even sometimes buyers, developers oversee every step of the process in getting property conceptualised and completed. When dealing with house and land packages, developers are responsible for making blocks of land saleable, which includes clearing blocks and preparing them for builders to be able to begin construction. They also oversee larger projects, like land estates and the clearing of estate lands, and dividing land into individual saleable blocks. Developers are closely involved in the construction of townhouse estates and apartment complexes. Although they commission builders for the actual construction, strict guidelines for layout, construction and design are set and controlled by the developers.

Builders

Builders are the boots on the ground in the real estate industry. They’re obviously the ones responsible for the physical construction of properties, but they also work more closely with buyers for certain property types. As mentioned above, when dealing with larger townhouse estates and apartment complexes, developers call the shots and the builders are really just commissioned to do exactly what the developers want. However, when it comes to properties with more customisation, builders work closely with the buyers to ensure they get exactly what they want. In these scenarios, buyers take on a lot more of what developers will typically do for larger developments.

For standalone houses, builders will have packages with a variety of sizes, layouts, design and façade to capture most buyers’ wants and needs. They then work closely with the buyers to deliberate on any additional upgrades and inclusions such as raised ceilings, upgraded appliances, air conditioning etc. as well as finer details like paint choices, cabinetry and bench tops, carpet - even door handles and light switches; almost anything can be customised (within reason, of course!). This is also the case for duplexes and dual-living properties. These property types are quite common for investment properties, so buyers will work closely with builders in a very similar fashion to developers in order to determine the optimal size, layout and design to attract renters and future buyers.

Real Estate Agents

Agents are the final piece of the puzzle. They really have one key job - liaising. It’s the agents job to communicate with the buyer and the developers and builders, and help facilitate the transaction. It may not sound too hard but there’s a lot of work that goes into it, and there are lot of factors that need to be clearly communicated. There’s a reason you need a licence to sell houses - there’s a responsibility and a duty of care to both parties to ensure such large transactions are executed properly. Complications can arise from changes in situations, such as increased build costs quoted from the builder, or delays in land development from the developer. It’s the job of the agent to handle and communicate these things from the builders and developers to the buyers and then vice versa to ensure all parties settle on the sale transaction amicably.

The Difference Between Abodable and Real Estate Agents

Developments for property are only approved when there’s revenue to be made, so everyone gets a slice for their work. This is contractually agreed upon when the development is planned, and depending on the development, the developers get by council, then the builders are paid for their materials and labour, then the real estate agents are paid a percentage commission by the developers for their work in finding buyers.

So what happens after agents are paid commission? Well, that’s usually that. You work and then you get paid, but Abodable takes it another step. In the above scenario, Abodable acts as the real estate agent, working with builders and developers, but once we’re paid for our work, we take a small fee and give the rest back to the buyer. What the buyer gets can vary depending on the percentage commission the developers pay, but on average it’s about $20,000. The way this amount changes really depends on the market, which can greatly impact how much sales commission is available when property is developed.

And that’s the main difference, and our core mantra: we give back to the buyer. We want housing to be more affordable, and we want to enable people, especially first-time buyers, to buy their own house. The idea that housing is unattainable for the average person is something we want to challenge, because it can be very achievable!

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