Why one phone call saved a client $15,000

Have you met an Agent who claims to be the Pied Piper?

The thing that struck me so hard during the following conversation was the fact that they are still doing it.

Who? Doing what?

Agents, telling porkies to get potential sellers to sign on the dotted line, especially those owners who are conducting their own private house sales.

But it wasn’t until I dug a bit deeper into this client’s initial request that I found out that she was acting on a promise, that, at that time, had little substance and if she acted on it, it may very well have cost her $15,000!

Although this story is true, I am not using the client’s real name – so for this purpose, her name is Lorraine.

Lorraine called, and her first question was, “How do I take my property off the market?”

Seeing she had only been on the market for a few days, my suspicions were raised so I thought I had better investigate.

“You’ve only been out there for a few days Lorraine, what has happened?”

“A local Agent has got a buyer for my place and he doesn’t want me to continue to sell my house online – he wants me to get it off the sites?”

“Ok, interesting. When did the buyer see it?”

“Oh, they haven’t.”

“Right, so you have signed an agreement with the agent.”

“No, but he said for him to bring the buyer I have to take it off the net.”

Qualify the Agent as you would a potential buyer.

“When is he bringing the buyer?”

“I think sometime next week, he wants to pop over on Sunday (remember this is Tuesday) to sign an agreement.”

“Let me get this straight.  You have an agent who may or may not have a serious buyer, without an agreement and he wants you to take your property off the market until this buyer materialises?”

“Ah, yes.”

“How much does he want to charge you for commission?”


“Hold everything Lorraine! That is $15,000 for potentially walking a buyer through your door – and who had probably seen your ad online anyway! What if there are other buyers looking at your property online right now?  They will come to you. You must remember that buyers follow property, not agents. If you take it down now, you run the risk of missing out on serious buyers and putting all your eggs into this Agent’s basket – without any guarantee of a sale with his ‘buyer’.”

“But he said that they missed out on  a property down the road and they are keen.”

“If they are that red-hot, then why are they coming to look next week and not now?!”

“I don’t know?”

“Lorraine, this, sadly, is part of the standard procedure for quite a number of agents to enable them to snare listings. You sign up with them on the promise that they have a very keen buyer, the buyer fails to materialise, and if they do there is no guarantee that they will buy it; and you have signed a listing agreement that might have you locked in with that agent for the next 90-120 days, and if they are able to attract a genuine buyer – you are $15,000 poorer.  And you had it all in hand, controlling your own sale, in the first place.”

“Oh, I never thought of this.  The average person doesn’t know this stuff.”

“You need to tell the agent this…” I then went onto explain how to take control of this agent and his claims to having a buyer.

“That makes so much sense, Craig.  Maybe I should leave the house on the net for now?”

“My word you should.  Keep me posted Lorraine.”

“I will, thank you so much.”

No agent owns a buyer and trying to control buyers is like trying to herd cats or rats – 

And believe it or not, that afternoon Lorraine received three direct buyer enquiries via her ads appearing on the big websites. No agent in the mix. $15,000 still in her pocket.

When you are approached by an agent when you want to sell your own home, with claims of having a buyer, or hoards of them, ask questions.

Qualify the agent as you would a potential buyer.

Don’t take his or her claim on face value.

As I said to Lorraine; Buyers follow property, not agents.

Agents aren’t the Pied Piper of Hamelin!


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How long will it take to sell my house and for how much?

These are two of the most commonly asked questions asked by anyone ready to, or thinking about selling their home, whether with a traditional agent or by private sale.

  • How long will it take to sell?
  • How much will it sell for?

It takes a brave person to answer either or both those questions with complete surety.

…the property market’s version of the Davinci Code.

The property market is awash with (recent) historical data that paints a picture of what has been going on in any particular suburb or town for the quarter (3 months) prior to the moment a property hits the market.

Core Logic, one of the leading property data sources have developed a Hedonic Price Index which they claim can measure property market movement/prices on a daily basis.

Hats off to them and I am the last person to dispute impressive maths, but even I, with 16 years of marketing and sale experience still look like the dog who has seen a UFO land when I try and decipher the property market’s version of the Davinci Code.

Pricing property and determining how long it will take to sell is not something that could be categorised as an exact science.

There is one factor that can’t be quantified, just yet, and that is human emotion.  Fear and greed drive the property market and either switch can be flicked by buyers and sellers in a heart-beat – but it takes weeks, even months, for that fear and greed quotient to be truly measured.

For me, the best two measurable indicators that display the health of any market are:

  • Median Price (although I prefer average price but almost every data platform runs with ‘median’)
  • Days on market.

Median price is the middle price when taking into account the lowest sale price to highest sale price in any given area/suburb/town.

Days on market are generally measured from the day a property hits the market to the day an enforceable contract is executed.

As I like to keep things simple; it stands to reason – the longer the average days on market become, the greater likelihood that a market is slowing down.

Less buyers, taking longer to decide on the best value property for them.

Generally, the median price falls as days on market rises.

The opposite applies when buyers are more confident, less stock (property) on the market and decisions are made quicker.

Economics 101 – Supply and Demand.

…things may not be as dim as they sim.

Its not rocket science, but these two indicators are generally your best market barometer.

So, let’s look at some capital city suburbs for median price and days on market.

I simply stuck a pin in each capital city, for a suburb around 5-10kms from the CBD.

To help you form an opinion on how each suburb is faring days on market greater than 30-40, generally indicate a slower market.

However, I have to say, some of the numbers I am seeing, and the amount of buyer enquiry flowing through our agency says that things may not be as dim as they sim.

(Data supplied by domain.com.au)

Everton Hills (10km from Brisbane CBD)

3 bed home; Median Price $535,000; Days on Market – 38

Marrickville (10km from Sydney CBD)

3 bed; $1.4m; DOM – 26

Caulfield (10km from Melbourne CBD)

3 bed; $1.69m; DOM – 44

Bellerive (3.2km from Hobart CBD)

3 bed; $588,000; DOM – 20

Cheltenham (9km from Adelaide CBD)

3 Bed; $534,000; DOM – 70

Claremont (8km from Perth CBD)

3 Bed; $1.1m; DOM – 64

You can see that it’s a pretty mixed bag, with Hobart and Sydney leading the way for quicker turnover, with Perth and Adelaide properties taking longer to land a buyer.

Ok,what is the answer to “how long and how much?”?

Days on market and similar recent sales is the way baby!

A little objective research goes a looooong way to finding the answer.



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How to Put Buyers on The Bench When You Sell Your Own Home.

The ‘bench’ is a very handy tool to keep buyers warm, and ready to get into the game.


Have you finally lost your mind, Craig?

Kitchen bench, workshop bench…?

Why would a buyer want to sit on my bench?

Luckily I am still able convince the medicos that a I am sane – just.

Having coached junior rugby league for fifteen years, an average (at best) player in my younger days and always a keen observer and avid supporter – I draw quite a few analogies from sport to further my explanations and observations of the property and business world.

In this particular post, I want to show you, if you are looking to sell a house privately, that the ‘bench’ is a very handy tool to keep buyers relaxed, interested and ready to get into the game.


Many team sports don’t just rely on the players who take the field at the start of any game.

There is usually a number of ‘reserves’ who can be called upon when one of the ‘starters’ gets injured, shows poor form or needs a quick chat with the coach.

Players who start from the bench aren’t necessarily poorer players.  They may have a role as an ‘impact’ player, not quite at full fitness, or new to the team and getting used to structures and game plans.

In rugby league, for example, the teams with the strongest ‘benches’ generally prove hard to beat and go a long way into playoffs and finals.

The bench is a critical part of any team’s success.

And it certainly is when it comes to selling your own home.

Your ‘bench’ comes into play at the time, or just after, you secure a deal and a contract on your home or property.

Yes, you have a buyer, however, as with nearly all contracts, there are conditions that need to be met before your buyer becomes the new owner.

The most common conditions are:

  • Approval of Finance &
  • Building and/or pest inspections.

Most contracts allow for anywhere between ten and twenty-one days for these conditions to be met by the buyer.

This is called the ‘conditional’ period.  Yes, you have a deal, but if any of the conditions can’t be met – the buyer can’t obtain finance or the building inspection scares the buyer off – the property goes back on the market and a new buyer is sought.

It pays to have all your bases covered!

It is during this conditional period of the sale that you should continue to take enquiries from other buyers – put them on the bench – in case the current contract ‘falls over’ on any of the conditions.

To make any prospective buyer feel comfortable taking a seat on your bench you simply tell them…

“We have a conditional contract on the property. We’ll know soon if it sticks.  Would you like to know if it fails to complete?”

Nine out of ten buyers will say, “Yes please!”

Keep their details, and if the contract does fall over, bingo – go to your bench and get your reserves onto the field.  Usually another offer/contract isn’t far away.

And if your current contract does stick, it’s nice to tell any bench players that they won’t be getting a run today – the property has sold.

Using another sporting analogy – it pays to have all your bases covered!


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Kids: Cute or a Costly Distraction When Buying or Selling a Home?

Just as I was about to snatch Captain America, snap him in half and bask in the glory of watching Damian lose his shit, mum said she would get back to me after she spoke to hubby.

When buying or selling a home, whether represented by an agent or you’ve decided to sell your own home, if you have young children, I suggest you read this story to ensure your attention is on a very important job – getting the deal done.

Firstly, let me qualify that I am father of three grown sons, who were very energetic toddlers and active growing children.

I understand the demand for attention that they possess and how adults can be easily distracted from any task by the actions of their little darlings.

I sorted this out very early on, when I had the ‘brainwave’ that I could work from home with my children present.

As soon as I would pick up the phone to do some business, my boys saw this as a green light to demand my attention.

From a simple “Dad, dad, dad….” to full blown tantrums when their attempts for attention were not met, I decided that important adult functions and interaction (making a living) were not going to be compromised by a three-year old thinking he is the centre of the Universe.

One day after quite a few, “Billy (name changed to protect the guilty), please be quiet, dads on the phone” pleadings, I calmly said to this client, “Can I call you back in just two minutes?” and terminated the call.

As I was pausing my conversation, I looked straight at my boy, and instantly he knew things were about to go down!

I ‘gently’ grabbed him by the hand, calmly walked him to his bedroom, sat him down and with my nose about 1cm from his, and blasted out like a Regimental Sergeant Major, “If you interrupt me on the phone once more I am going to knock your block off – get it.”

With that, the tears welled as he weighed up whether he might take one more stab at an untimely interruption or would he prefer his head remain in place in the middle of his shoulders.

The likelihood, in his mind, of the latter far outweighed the temptation of the former.

You’ll be happy to know that his current therapist said these images will fade by the time he is thirty-five.

I slowly shut the door and returned to the job of earning an income to feed, clothe and house my little scone grabbers.

“Hi, Sorry about that…”

Up until the time I realised working from home was not all that is was cracked up to be, disturbances from then on were few and far between.

I’m sure the recipient of my ‘tough love’ filtered word through to his siblings that if they want their heads to stay in their current location, don’t bug dad when he is on the phone.

Should you feel the need to report this parenting style to Child Services, they will not have any trouble tracking me down and the ‘victims’, my kids, will probably laugh at the Officers sent to investigate, and commence their own interrogation to find out what life is like as Public Servant.  (Trust me, my mob have been well schooled).

Now that you know I have been there, done that, got the tattoo, I can say with heartfelt sincerity to potential home buyers and sellers; if at all possible, if you have kids under, say, 10years old, try to have them looked after at home by an iPad or similar device, or leave them to visit a kind aunt, neighbour or grandparent if you are going to inspect one or any number of homes or attempt to sell your own home.

There is no way on earth you can calmly and diligently inspect or carry out an inspection of yours or any property with children wanting your attention or running wildly through the home.

I have met parents who are on the ‘Open Home’ or inspection trail with a couple of little darlings in tow, and if I struck them after about their fourth or fifth inspection, the parents looked like they’d been ten rounds with Mike Tyson, and the children were in a mind altered state of boredom, ratty tiredness or imminent starvation.

There is no possible way these intrepid buyers (or sellers for that matter) can make a logical decision and clear observations with the mayhem unfolding amongst the rug rats.

The only valid input that could be useful from a child accompanying their parent on an inspection is if the kid is going to sign the bloody cheque to buy the house!

An inspection I conducted on one particular home motivated me to write on this subject.

A three-year old boy, with perfectly workable and functioning legs, was bolted to the hip of his mother who was inspecting this home – and it didn’t take long for him to weave his evil and distracting magic

His grandmother was present, as was a brand new, still in the package 30cm Captain America doll which the little petal had firmly clenched in his arms.

Mum must have been on the Michelle Bridges 12 week challenge, because she schlepped that kid all over the house, up and down stairs, along with Captain America, for about 20-25 minutes. I was exhausted just watching her.

Each time mum wanted to ask me a question, and I was about to respond, her little angel would press the stomach of his mini Super Hero to enable the built-in speaker – “Avengers Assemble” or “Let’s go boys”. It was cute for about five seconds.

Anyway, at the end of the inspection, and with her muppet still attached to her hip along with Captain America, mum wanted to talk turkey about an offer.

Great.  She had quite a few questions, but ‘Damian’ had more presses in his finger than I had responses.

Each time I went to answer one of mum’s questions, the kid stared straight at me and pressed the button for Captain A to blurt out another call to arms.

It was hard to shift my gaze from mum, because if I had of gazed at Damian, my look would have set his head on fire and burned out his beady little eyeballs.

During this I kept thinking, “step in anytime grandma.  I’m sure there is a tree to show Damian in the backyard”.  But no, those bolts into to mum’s hip were tightened good and proper.

Grandma, although a lovely person was as useful as an ashtray on a motorcycle and no help to me, or her daughter.

Just as I was about to snatch Captain America, snap him in half and bask in the glory of watching Damian lose his shit, mum said she would get back to me after she spoke to hubby.

Suffice to say, she didn’t follow through with an offer, because she probably didn’t hear a word I said during the three way conversation between her, me and Captain America.

In all seriousness, buying or selling a home is a serious business.

As a buyer, you need to look closely, take in all the important features, the nicks and bumps that the home may possess and decide if it represents value as a potential family castle.  And you will have questions you will want to ask the owner if they are selling privately. The little ones can run riot and listen to Captain America on the day you move in.

So, buyers, eliminate distractions, ask questions and take your time to look, in order to make the right choice for one of life’s biggest investments – your next home.

The same goes if you are selling your own property, be attentive to those who are inspecting and don’t get distracted by the little people who may inhabit your current home.

Bribery, threats and even some gentle torture might just give you the opportunity to concentrate for an hour or so and get a deal done.







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Unless you are the owner of the ‘Star of Africa I’ diamond, you may need to re-think using the term ‘Unique’.

Wouldn’t it be the case that if something was so unique, the number of people interested in it/able to afford it would narrow down dramatically?

And the less people you attract will limit competition and therefore, ultimately, the sale price?

Unless you are the owner of the ‘Star of Africa I’ diamond, you may need to re-think using the term ‘Unique’.

Sure, as a marketer I understand better than most, that when you are offering a product or service you really need to define who your ‘target market’ is.

The current buzz term for this is referred to as a ‘niche’ market.

Come up with an idea that will solve the problem or satisfy the need of a specific group of people who see a solution to their issue, and they believe the cost of engaging that service of product will make their lives better, easier, happier (value)– AND there are enough of those people for your idea to make you a living or rich – then you have cracked line #1 of the successful business code.

However, when it comes time to sell your own home, it is important to identify who your ‘market’ is, but the more niche you believe your market to be and unique your property is, the harder the sales process can actually become.

‘Unique’ in the eyes of those home sellers who believe their property IS unique, usually leads to the biggest inhibitor of the sale process – unrealistic expectations.

Leading a marketing campaign with the term ‘Unique’ can be a recipe for disaster.  More than likely you are narrowing your potential market to a very small percentage of buyers who may share your vision and tastes.

I find that ‘Unique’ properties are generally offered by someone who purpose built their property to their specific tastes and specifications, to suit their lifestyle at that particular time.

And because that property was a labour of love, injected with loads of sweat tears, pride and cash, generally the expectations on price can repel even that small percentage of buyers who are even remotely attracted to it.

I had a conversation with a lovely lady the other day who described her property as ‘Unique’ at least four or five times in the first two minutes of our chat.

Sure, it wasn’t your run of the mill property – a small acreage with a business attached but I knew right there and then her potential marketing theme of ‘Unique’ would make matters more difficult to find a suitable buyer.

“Why not see your property and attached business as a LifeStyle OPPORTUNITY for someone? Work, rest and play all in the one place?!”

She went a bit quiet and then said, “Yes, I never thought of it like that.”

A simple adjustment to the marketing message changed the way she thought about her own property in such a way that she was thinking more about who might buy it, rather than boasting about its ‘Uniqueness’.

Do you want to sell your own property and believe it is unique?

Stop and think for a minute about what benefit the home or property offers to a potential buyer and shine the spotlight on that.

Remember: buyers react to benefits, not features or general terms such as ‘Unique’ – especially in a market that has steadied up; and buyers have more choice, whilst placing value at the top of their wish list.

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This Property Life – #2 SERIES #1

The stories of the people behind, and in front of, the scenes in Australia’s most talked about industry.

The Tim Tam Test

“Oh, strong and black thanks Maree – just how I like my men!” Beth Myrvold’s cackle was enough laughter for everyone, as Maree’s husband, Blake, a proud Afrikaner, smiled politely and continued to look courteously at the swath of sheets and brochures in front of him on the kitchen bench.

Beth, one of Eastcastle City Property’s gun agents, whose knack for humour to build rapport was still a work in progress, had been called in by the De Cocks as they were thinking of selling and heading up the coast for a quieter life around Shell Bay.

“Thanks, Maree. Oooh, Tim Tams! Are these the vegan ones?  Ah, doesn’t matter, one won’t hurt.” (“Tim Tams,” thought Beth, “They’ve gone top shelf bikkie here – I must be a big chance.”)

This beautifully presented three bedder, with pool, entertaining area and sought-after man-shed would be a prime listing for Beth, and surely would not hang around too long.

“Shell Bay.  What a lovely spot. Have you got your eye on anything up there?” As a four-year property sales veteran, Beth knew how to open a conversation designed to find out whether or not these home owners were likely to sell, soon.

“Yes, we have Beth, a gorgeous cottage on a quarter acre one street back from the main beach. We love it,” gushed Maree

“Well we have to sell this first dorling,” shot back Blake, ensuring his wife’s enthusiasm didn’t keep him awake at night for the next 20 years.

“So, Beth,” Blake fixed his gaze on Beth as she chomped into her second Tim Tam, “You’ve had a good look around, what will we get for this?”

“Ummmm, well Blake and Maree, you’ve had a look at the market report I dropped in, and you can see the recent sales of properties that would probably compare to yours,”

This was the moment of truth that every agent dreaded.

Would the price guide that Beth was about to blurt out, match the expectations of the anxious, yet sometimes ruthless, home owners?

The number she offered could mean the difference between a third Tim Tam and the listing, or an abrupt ending to their cordial meeting and those almost fatal words, “We’ll have a chat and get back to you.”

Beth felt like time had stood still as she took another sip of her coffee and played the “guess the right price” game a dozen times in her head.

“Ok, based on what the market is doing right now in Linwick…the great position, beautiful presentation…ahhh…well…I’m pretty sure I can get you around…$825,000?!”

All fell silent.

Blake’s eyes remained transfixed on Beth and the non-verbal pause felt like it went on for hours. Beth’s heart was in her mouth and she nervously picked up a couple of the documents on the table and put them in a neat pile – a bit like a newsreader does after they’ve delivered twenty-five minutes of doom and gloom then finished off with a happy piece about Sammy the Surfing Ferret.

Just then, as Beth thought the bulletin had drawn to a close, Blake looked straight at Maree with the hint of a nod, and she thrust her arm across the kitchen table, grabbed the Tim Tams…and said, “Beth, would you like another?”

Beth’s ‘veganism’ vanished as quickly as the smile that had appeared and taken up her whole of her face, “That would be lovely.”

More from Beth and The De Cocks later.


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No Sign! The neighbours don’t need to know I want to sell my house.

There is nothing like selling a secret!

Look, my wife says I am one of the biggest cynics that our maker shovelled organs into, but every time I heard a client, or potential client say, “I don’t want a sign,” it was an automatic response from me of “Why?”

And the smile began to widen across my face as the answer was about to be fired back.

“We don’t want the neighbours to know we are selling.”

A clearly displayed and well portrayed sign still plays an important part in an all-round marketing strategy

At this point I made doubly sure that I was not chewing anything or taking a sip of any liquid, so I didn’t spray any debris over the phone or straight back across the table at my client when the answer I knew that was coming, came.

Let’s be honest here; a sign is not the be all and end of attracting buyers, however buyers are still looking for your sign as they are doing a drive-by or turning up to inspect; a sign is confirmation that they have come to the right place.

A clearly displayed and well portrayed sign still plays an important part in an all-round marketing strategy – whether you have hired an agent or have decided to sell your own home.

But back to the neighbour thing.

In my mind I couldn’t help but think, “Have you heard of a little thing called the internet?”

However, that’s not very professional is it?

It is a physical 24-hour sales person to complement the 24/7 pulling power of the internet

On occasions I have not been able to help myself and responded, almost subtly, with, “So when I am showing buyers around, who have probably parked three houses up the road and scratching their heads, when we are doing inspections your neighbours will think you have invited the JW’s in for a look round – three times in two days?!”

The professional answer?

“Your neighbours are going wise up pretty quick when strange people start coming to your house and cars are driving up and down the street at 25kmh. Also, a sign confirms to any buyer that they have come to the right place.  It is a physical 24-hour sales person to complement the 24/7 pulling power of the internet.”

(Subdued applause).

Basically, when you are selling, you want the whole world to know because the more people that talk about your home or property, the bigger the chance an interested set of ears may be waiting to hear all about your place.


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This Property Life- #1 Series 1

The stories of the people behind, and in front of, the scenes in Australia’s most talked about industry.

Jason’s Opens

The time ticked over to 1.45pm on Jason’s iPhone x, so it was all systems go; to pack up his brochures, cards and self-promotional material at the four bedder on Blake Circuit, Swynton, which, mind you, could have done with a lick of paint in the living room and possibly the c1997 cream carpet in the ‘plush’ bathroom replaced with some cheap and cheerful tiles.

“No luck today,” lamented a usually upbeat Agent Jason Merek-Sadowska, who told his owners that he expected “plenty” of interest come 1pm.

“How many buyers came through?”

“Ummm…none. But I forgot that the Bellcoast Pottery Extravaganza was on this weekend. So many people go to it.  Massive couple of days.”

“The owners will be pretty disappointed, and they are such nice people.  I think they went down to the Pottery show during the open home.”

“What will you tell them?”

“Look, it’s not an easy one. Sure, the Pottery thing played a big part, but it is a bit quiet at the moment.  This has only been on the market for seven weeks, so it might worthwhile for the owners to take up a bigger ad in the Eastcastle Daily for next week to drive a few more buyers to us.”

“What about the other open home you had two streets away, earlier on?”

Jason’s mood lifted noticeably.  “Went off,” flew straight from his mouth as he started packing his tools of trade, including the fold out open home sign covered mainly by his smiling face, into his newly leased Audi A5 with the hands free wi-fi fingerprint/face to voice recognition.

“Had twelve groups through that one. Might be an offer in the wings.”

“That doesn’t sound like it’s that quiet then?”

“Well, probs ‘patchy’ might be a better word.  This one’ll sell, eventually. I haven’t had a good chat to the owners for a couple of weeks.  I’ll sort something on Monday.”

Jason’s ringtone of the Bellcoast Blockers theme song belted out as he started the Audi, “Hi, yeah, just locked up and leaving now.  Yeah, went pretty well. Got a few follow ups to make, but I’ll get back to you Monday for a good chat.  How was the Pottery Show?”

And he didn’t even have to take his hands off the steering wheel to take the call as he kicked it in the guts to zoom away from Blake Circuit onto his next appointment.

Amazing innovation making the job of pros like Jason so much easier.

More from him later.

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The sky is falling, the sky is falling!

The story of Chicken-Little has been told over many centuries, and it’s moral is as true today as it was when it was written.

Someone experiences or witnesses an event, then proceeds to tell one and all that the end is nigh.

Sound familiar?

Around February this year (2018) there were plenty of Chicken-Littles saying the end is nigh.

And the property market has its share of Chicken-Littles; and trust me, after sixteens years serving in the front lines of real estate marketing and sales, I know there is never a shortage of them.

Around February this year (2018) there were plenty of Chicken-Littles saying the end is nigh – the market was about to plummet, wiping huge percentages off the value of properties right across the country.

Although the worst did not happen, the chicken chatter was enough to dent the confidence of buyers and as a result, some ‘robust’ property markets (remember; the Australian property market is a patch work quilt) began to see prices soften as buyers looked skyward for falling debris instead of pursuing their next property.

So, what do you do if you are trying to sell your own home and the market shifts from underneath you?

Yes.  Prices have fallen slightly to moderately in some areas, most noticeably in the ‘big guns’ of Sydney and Melbourne, which can then have a knock-on effect to regional areas as well.

It didn’t take long for me to notice that people in the process of private house sales were becoming a little anxious that their initial price expectations were not being met by the shift in buyer confidence.  And I know, no-one wants to acknowledge that an adjustment in expectation could be warranted.

So, what do you do if you are trying to sell your own home and the market shifts from underneath you?

First, you need to recognise the symptoms:

  1. Buyer enquiries may diminish or stop, as do physical inspections.
  2. Those buyers who do enquire/inspect are less than enthusiastic about making offers.
  3. Those who do make an offer serve up a number that feels like a punch in the gut.

(You) have the leverage to take advantage of buying into a another soft market.

Don’t despair, here is what you do in this type of market.

  1. Sit it out, wait for the market (buyers) to get over itself and meet your expectations on the bounce back.
  2. Take your home or property off the market and wait for the sign to shine over your expectations again.
  3. Meet the market, become competitive and ensure your presentation is bang on, your promotion is well targeted, and your price guide reflects that you are motivated to sell and be prepared to negotiate.

The big advantage to choosing plan C is that if you are planning to buy, the area in which you want to move to could be experiencing the same challenges, and the sooner you cash in your current property, the quicker you can load your bullets to head to the gunfight and have the leverage to take advantage of buying into a another soft market.  (Less buyers, more anxious sellers).

To be honest, the property market in general needed a breather; price increases brought on by bullet-proof buyers could not keep going.

All in all, this is a great market to deal in.  Those who stay in the game are most likely to come out winners or at worst, will parachute to a very soft landing.


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Engage, Engage, Engage: Talk to Buyers When You Sell Your Own Home.

Engage:  Establish a meaningful contact or connection with.

That definition alone says it all.

Life is all about rapport building.

The fastest and most reliable way to find out if a buyer is fair dinkum is to talk to them – and I mean ear to ear or face to face.

Today’s increasingly preferred methods of communication; text, messaging or emailing is killing the art of quick, genuine and productive rapport building.

Life is all about rapport building.

It is not restricted to the world of sales, and in this case private house sales.

Everyday we build some rapport with someone.

This doesn’t mean you want to know their life story, or share yours, or become BFF’s and gush over each other on FB.

The cashier at the supermarket, the plumber you call to fix the sewer pipes, your child’s teacher, work colleagues, the person you are sitting next to on the flight to London…you may not be aiming to be their best friend, but simple courtesies and acknowledgements go a long way to establishing a pleasant, short term relationship that should benefit both parties for the duration of what ever experience you are sharing.

When you sell your own property, rapport building with buyers is critical to your success.

This doesn’t mean you want to know their life story, or share yours, or become BFF’s and gush over each other on FB.

Engagement, rapport building, is purely, in the world of sales and transactions, a means to understanding the needs and situation that pertain to the other party and whether your needs and situation are aligned to theirs.

Take a recent conversation I had with a client whose property was pretty hot from the get go.

“Just pick up the phone!”

“Hi Craig, wow, we have had some good interest from buyers, but no-one has made an offer.”

“Ok, why do you think that is?”

“Well, I’ve sent them all emails to say put forward your best offer and we’ll consider it, but no-one has replied.”

“Have you called any or all of them?”


“Any wonder?! Get on the phone and talk to them.  Engage them, find out what they are thinking, what their needs are, why your property interests them.”

“Oh, do you think that will help?”

“Just pick up the phone!”

Texting, messaging, emailing can play an important role in documenting certain stages of an interaction, negotiation or transaction, but we are quickly going to these means as our default communication choice and so much can be lost or misinterpreted.

Engaging a buyer is merely an opportunity to chat in order to reveal, share and find common ground.

Leaving it all to chance by communicating via a screen only, is a sure-fire way to encounter frustration and confusion when you are an owner selling your house or property.


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