Should you put your trust in a door knocking real estate agent?

You may have been targeted by a real estate agent arriving on your doorstep uninvited offering to sell your house because they have a buyer interested in your property - right now!  And if you just sign this listing agreement, they can get them through for a viewing. Yeah right. 

There are lots of things to consider including when is the best time to sell a house

By landing on this page, you have likely encountered a door-knocker or cold caller and you are wanting some advice about whether to ‘give them a go’ or not. Yes, some agents can be very convincing so you need to be very clear about how to respond because good real estate agents do not behave in this way.

You may not have even thought about selling your house prior to that moment, or seriously anyway but the estate agent was ‘such a nice person’. Hold it right there and be warned, this is the riskiest and least diligent way to sell a house and it can cost you tens of thousands of dollars, if not more. 

If this situation has made you think seriously about selling your home, do it once and do it right with the least pain by finding out more about where to start when selling a house 

If you need advice, call 0800 789 532, we are happy to help.

Real estate agents are trained to ‘get listings’ (not using this method in particular) but some will go to any lengths to get one, sometimes unashamedly scouring death notices of the elderly and approaching the family soon afterwards. We know this because we have been told this by those families.


If the door-knocker has suggested they can get a sale price that sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Our rule of thumb is to get two to three free real estate appraisals first so you can compare them objectively and make the right decision in your own time rather than be cornered by one property agent.  

In our view, real estate appraisals form the foundation of the whole real estate process. All other decisions are based on its accuracy so be warned, door-knockers are more likely than most, to not follow due process.


Do you feel comfortable about signing an agency agreement with this agent?

Have they recommended you get legal advice?

Do you have a written property appraisal to establish your home's value for selling?

Have they provided you with a list of all expenses including commission and fees?

Have they provided you with the Guide to Signing An Agency Agreement or the Code of Conduct?

This list could be a lot longer but if your answer is 'no' to any of these questions, say 'no thank you' and ask us for help. 

Real estate agents are required under their Code of Conduct to recommend that you seek legal advice before signing an agency agreement and before signing a sale and purchase agreement.


Never agree to sell your home or start marketing it for sale unless you have signed an agency agreement.

Only sign an agency agreement to sell your home with a real estate agent when you have done your due diligence. 

Request a copy of the Guide to Signing An Agency Agreement now.

An overview of the correct procedure is:

  • At your invitation, a real estate agent views the indoors and outdoors of your home.
  • They then carry out research to compare your house to recent sales in the area and current comparable properties for sale in the area. They will also take into account special features that could add value or issues that may lower the value.
  • Based on this, the real estate agent recommends a sale price range for advertising purposes, in writing.
  • The agent will return to go through the appraisal in detail with you and explain how they reached that price estimate. 
  • They are obliged also to explain their real estate commission and fees and recommend a method of sale (auction, tender, negotiation etc)
  • The agent will outline a marketing and advertising plan including the cost - this must be in writing and signed as approved by you. Any amendments to this must also be signed by you
  • You will receive industry guides and the Real Estate Authority Code of Conduct
  • The real estate agent should always recommend you seek legal advice

If you sign an agency agreement with a real estate agent then have regrets, there is a cooling down period. 

If you need help getting started on selling your house, or simply need advice, get in touch it's a genuine free service for home sellers


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Page Updated June 12, 2020 by Trish Willis

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