Monday, March 07, 2011

Beware of agents who ‘buy’ listings

When it comes to business, I have a QAP philosophy; Question, Answer, Proof. Right now, there isn’t enough of this happening in our industry. Clients are asking questions and they’re being answered, but they’re not backed up with the proof.

These days, whether we like it or not, words hold less value than they used to. Throw away lines, unrealistic claims and over promises have led society to be somewhat cynical and distrusting when it comes to dealing with anyone who has a ‘sales’ tag.

Somewhat unjust, this mentality is understandable. When it comes to real estate, the industry has evolved significantly over the past 25 years. We’ve left behind the ‘used car salesman’ label to step forward as professional and ethical sales practitioners.

The problem is a few ‘bad apples’ always remain. These are the guys who come in and ‘buy’ your listing; and they tend to be easier to spot when the market tightens.

They over promise on price, slash their professional fees to ridiculous levels, then under deliver in service and results.

As The Advertiser’s Anthony Keane wrote a couple of weeks ago… “Many will tell you what they think you think you want them to say, while others will say what they think your bank wants them to say. Get it?”

Unfortunately I do – certain agents don’t give clients the truth when it comes to the market place. They fail to back up their ‘claims’ with the cold hard facts and as the clients are so pleased with what they are hearing about how much their property will sell for, plus the crazy 1.1% fee they’re being quoted, they tend not to ask!

End result? You get what you pay for. In this case an unsold property and an unhappy owner.

Sellers, start challenging the agents that appraise your home. Seek the proof when it comes to pricing. Ask the sales person how they arrived at that particular price for your property. If it’s more than what you were looking for, and they can substantiate it, then great. If it’s less than what you were looking for and the stats back it up, then realize that this may be where the market is placed right now. Either way make sure you see comparable property sales plus a report of what’s currently on the market and similar to your home. That way you’ll be clearly seeing your properties potential, not looking through rose coloured glasses which could have a disappointing result.

Then, pay close attention to how they negotiate the professional fee; these are the same skills they will use to negotiate the best price for your home.

With interest rates remaining on hold this week, and Mad March underway, the next couple of months may see the market pick up a bit as interstate and overseas interest hits town – only time will tell.

Anthony Toop, Managing Director.
© Toop Real Estate Group


Max said...

interesting story. Toop originally listed a Rutland Ave Unley Park property Oct 2010 for $2.85m & said property sold Jan 2011 for $2.13m. Who bought this listing?

Anthony Toop said...

We have sales professionals can only be guided on what the market is “prepared to pay” and take instruction at that time from our vendors.