Will Any Old Agent Do When I Want to Sell My House?

Will Any Old Agent Do When I Want to Sell My House?

The only answer I can give to that question is; there are agents, then there ARE agents.

Just the other day I saw a headline from one of the several Real Estate Industry info offerings I subscribe to, which said, “Sydney Real Estate Agents Struggle with Slump”.

I didn’t even have to read the article because I KNOW some Sydney, and Melbourne, Agents would be struggling because they a have not come to terms with a softening market and are operating in denial; which not only disadvantages themselves, but also their clients – the home sellers.

By denial I mean they are assessing (appraising) properties based on prices that were achievable 12-18 months ago and they are reluctant to share the current market situation with potential sellers for fear of not winning the listing; then hoping upon hope they stumble across some cashed up, deaf, dumb and blind buyer who just got off the spaceship from Mars and knows nothing about anything.

Read: Overquoting – Should I worry about overpricing when I sell my house?

The agents who thrive in softer markets, where buyer numbers have dropped and confidence is waning, are those who deal with today’s buyer sentiment, behaviours and the stats that reflect them.

Those are the agents you want to hire if your really want to sell – if not, it might pay to sell your own home.

Read: Five sure fire tips for private house sales success.

An excellent example of my point has been shared by a close relative of mine, along with his fiancé.

The agent had embarked on a ‘Set Sale Date’ campaign (don’t get me started on these useless campaigns) where all or any offers had to be in by a certain date

They are on the hunt for a property in Southern Sydney with a healthy deposit and a budget in the low to mid $700,000’s – eager, yet cautious first home buyers.

Very recently they identified a three-bedroom townhouse, deceased estate, currently rented and in need of some reasonably serious TLC, very serious.

Similarly configured properties, up to date, with modern fit-outs and no work required have been selling in the low $800’s.

A professional builder advised the couple that the ‘tired’ townhouse they were interested in needed around $70,000 to $80,000 to re-fit and rejuvenate the tired old thing – plus asbestos was likely to be present.

The agent had embarked on a ‘Set Sale Date’ campaign (don’t get me started on these useless campaigns) where all or any offers had to be in by a certain date.

That valuation is as much use as an ashtray on a motorcycle when it comes to the current market conditions.

At the first open home my relative and his fiancé attended, the agent was quoting them ‘8-9 hundred (thousand)’ based on a ‘valuation’ he carried out on the property for the beneficiaries about ’18 months ago’.

18 months ago!! That valuation is as much use as an ashtray on a motorcycle when it comes to the current market conditions.

AND…at no stage did the Agent ask my relatives the $64,000 question; “What do you think it will sell for?”

How will his sellers actually know what to expect IF any offers do come in on the ‘Set Sale Date’? They have had no feedback.

My eyes have not stopped rolling or my head shaking since hearing this story – let’s press on – it gets better!

When my relatives shared this with me, I nearly lost my shit.

Based on similar well presented, move-in ready properties in the area, they submitted an offer to the Agent, the day before the ‘Set Date’, in the lowish $700,000’s knowing full well, and more than willing to, there would be some negotiation involved.

The agent said he would have to wait for the set date in case any other offers came in (at the time they submitted the offer he said there were no others).

Then lo and behold, two other offers came out of the woodwork the day after the set date “One a bit lower, one a bit higher than yours, but the sellers want me to open the property on Saturday to see if I can flush out any others.”

When my relatives shared this with me, I nearly lost my shit.

Start negotiating and do what you get paid to do, put a deal together.

The agent had obviously failed to communicate with his clients about the current state of the market, and also failed to provide them with any useful feedback on market (buyer) sentiment during the campaign – what the bloody thing is likely to sell for!

He disclosed the position of the other two ‘offers’ he pulled out of his arse to my relatives, which is a no-no.

Then he just left them swinging in the wind by saying he would be ‘opening up’ the property on Saturday to ‘flush out’ some other offers.

Now the price guide on the property is ‘Offers’ – you already have one you peanut, or three if you are to be believed.

Start negotiating and do what you get paid to do, put a deal together.

Potentially he, and his sellers, could have burned a good chance at a sale.

Time will tell, and my relatives will continue to look at other properties because it is definitely a buyers’ market in that area, and most of Sydney for that matter.

And there is why the headline at the top of this post was written, ‘Sydney Agents Struggling…’

The failure to manage seller expectations, lack of market knowledge and inability to shift focus to attract and engage the smaller number of existing buyers could lead to this particular agent joining that sobering headline.

Published by

Craig Heppell

Craig is a well respected, successful and ethics focused Property Professional. Over the last seventeen years, as a traditional agent and coach, he has assisted almost over 2500 owners to sell over $1billion worth of property. Craig is a vocal and passionate advocate for Home Owners everywhere.

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