Not influenced or controlled by others in matters of opinion, conduct, etc; thinking or acting. This is the dictionary definition of independent.
Many organizations in the real estate industry make false claims about being independent.
Even the bastion of the “Independent. Always” The Age newspaper can at best in reality be independent sometimes. When there are large sums of money at stake unfortunately the promise of “Independent. Always” invariably goes out the window.
Newspapers and their associated digital media rack in enormous amounts of money from real estate advertisers. As one regular Age property writer believes, he has to “be careful” not to upset this lucrative stream of income.
If your opinion or comment is affected or influenced by the amount of monetary gain then you are not “Independent. Always”.
Some buyer’s advocates falsely claim to be independent. The word “independent” is written all over their web site yet they are far from independent. Many engage in a service known as vendor advocacy.
Vendor advocacy is a service offered by most buyer’s advocates. The service involves a buyer’s advocate acting in conjunction with a selling agent to sell a property; they share the sales commission that the vendor pays.
This arrangement is not conducive to a buyer’s advocate selecting the optimum property for his client in his role as a buyer’s advocate.
Will the buyer’s advocate favour a particular selling agent’s properties when selecting a property for his client?
Will the buyer’s advocate negotiate rigorously on behalf of his client against the selling agent that assists him earning a substantial fee through selling property?
When reviewing his client’s property portfolio will the buyer’s advocate advise his client not to sell a property, if that is in his client’s best interest, knowing that if he does a substantial fee will not be made?
The reality is because of this cosy relationship the buyer’s advocate’s client will lose out.
Some buyer’s advocates involve themselves in joint marketing initiatives with selling agents. For example using the selling agent’s website to advertise breakfast information sessions.
There is no such thing as a free lunch, or in this case a free breakfast. It is likely that the buyer’s advocate will give the selling agent preferential treatment when the opportunity arises to the detriment of his client.
Buyer’s advocates who claim to be independent should be at arm’s length from selling agents 100% of the time.
Organizations who claim to be independent cannot be selective as to when they are independent based on opportunities of earning revenue.