Beware Being Told What You Want To Hear

Last weekend my wife and I joined friends, four of whom who are leaving the district, for a farewell dinner. As the evening progressed, the conversation inevitably turned to how each of these two couples was going selling their home. One couple lives in town, the other just outside on acres. For different reasons, one couple is keen to sell their place soon, the others are not in such a rush.

As it happens, both couples have listed their home with the same agent. And they were both told the same story, “I’ve got four people who are keen to buy a place just like yours”. Six weeks in and they have very similar results so far. One inspection for one property, zero for the other.

This is a career-long frustration of mine. It is little wonder many people view real estate agents with a degree of cynicism when this sort of thing plays out.

Even with relatively buoyant market conditions, some properties can take a while to sell. It may be the price-point, the size, the location, the improvements, or other factors that are just outside the current market’s “sweet spot”.

An agent should not only know this, I believe they should be upfront in telling potential sellers these cold facts.

Whether it’s a house in town or a large rural holding, beware of those claiming to “have someone ready to look”. It can be simply a sly way of getting a seller to sign an agency agreement.

And it does not only apply to new sellers. It is important to be wary of those who approach you even when you’re in an agency agreement. A major part of an agent’s job is to manage the “white noise” from others. There can be an endless supply of self-professed experts if you go looking for them, or if you let them in your ear.

I am not saying to ignore the views of others, but, and this is a very big “but”, question their motivation and their commitment to you. Do they really have people ready to view your specific property or are they being opportunistic in order to get a listing? How much time and energy have they invested in you so far? Are they going to commit to your cause if their current prospect does not bear fruit?

The appropriate course of action in most circumstances is to refer such situations to your agent. Let your agent sort the grain from the chaff. Your agent would share their commission if a sale were to eventuate, and importantly they will be there ready to front up again if one doesn’t.

Beware the agent who has “someone looking for a place just like yours”, regardless of whether your property is already listed, or not yet. Whilst it may be true, it is important to handle the situation appropriately in case it isn’t.

Graham MacDougall
MacDougall Rural Property
02 6772 4200

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