Buyers interested in the property – not the agent!
There’s a theory among some people looking to sell their property that goes like this: “I need to list with a salesperson from XYZ agency because they have lots of buyers who only go through them”.
Pretty soon I’ll reach my 25th anniversary of selling real estate and can say with confidence that no-one ever bought a property through me just because they thought I was a nice guy! Or, more importantly, no one ever avoided buying a property through me because I wasn’t their friend.
They buy the property, not the agent.
When you’re selling your property you do try everything to get the best result. As you should. And I’ve heard sellers admit the agent they used was not only an unlikable schmuck, but also someone they struggled to trust. Why did they hand over their most valuable asset to this person? They thought the agency had a big database overflowing with buyers, all waiting to pay the premium price on the day of listing. It’s part of an agents’ pitch – we all have databases of buyers – so it’s no criticism of someone for being drawn to that promise.
But I’d suggest that when it’s you employing the agent, you asking them to work on the sale of your property, you entrusting them to do the best they can, then you want a professional that’s on your side. An agent that might sometimes be tough on buyers – always there to help them of course – but one who’s not afraid to tell them when their offer or its terms might not be fair. To stand up for you.
I’ve heard people say – “That salesperson is a mongrel and they’re not fun to be around. But they’re tough and I want that.” A big-time property developer told me that some years ago. And in my experience you do need someone handling your sale that has some hunger. They need to take those calls, manage the objections and be able to bounce back from the knocks of a sales job.
But I’d also argue you need an agent that has a calmness and patience about them. Someone who can look a buyer in the eye and tell them the offer’s welcome but they’ll need to do better. Someone who isn’t down to their last dollar and relying on you accepting a deal to make their car payment. An agent that understands the sale they miss today might lead to all sorts of future business if it’s about keeping their clients’ best interests at heart.
Buyers enquire on property that suits them and they’re not going to miss one because their ‘friend in real estate’ wasn’t the listing agent. In days gone past they might ask thatfriend to conjunct them over – meaning they’d call the listing agent and ask for a cut of the commission for introducing the buyer. And before the internet turned our marketing methods on their heads, we’d do this. Accepting that this agent might just have found a buyer we couldn’t. But in the process actually paying the buyer’s friend to work for their (unofficial) client. To work against the sellers to get their friend a better deal.
Real estate marketing has come a long way and buyers are more informed than ever. They know what they want and where to find it – and our job is to have your property stand out in a crowded marketplace.
Often I’ll have a friend or family member ask me to keep an eye out for a property. Regularly. And I help where I can. But I know full well that none of my friends love me enough to miss out on a place just because another agent has the listing!
We’d love to hear your thoughts!