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?”
“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!