Property appraisal price
• You want x dollars for the property based on what you need to move to or other homes have been advertised for. There can be big differences between the appraisal price, the advertised and the selling price.
• Regardless who the agent is they cannot guarantee the sale price unless they are the buyer, and in SA they need a valuation and the Commissioners approval first.
• In the real estate industry there is a saying “The agent who tells the highest price wins the business. The agent who tells the truth is shown the door.” The owner accepts the high appraisal figure and after the first open the agent advises “The market has dropped since I listed your house”, “Buyers have pointed out this fault which I did not notice” and since you have signed up it is almost impossible to get out of the agency for the next 3 months.
Do not go with the agent who promises the most unless they have hard evidence to prove they can achieve it.
• Do not believe that agents’ fees are linked to their negotiation skills e.g. the agent who charges more has better negotiating skills or the poorer skilled agent charges less.
• Do not believe “I charge more than other agents but sell for more, making me cheaper”
• Beware of hidden fees e.g. a high administration fee especially if charged on sold properties.
• “No sale – No charge” If the agent does not sell the property you pay no marketing. Agents are not charities and while you do not pay if you don’t sell, when you sell you pay indirectly for the marketing on other peoples’ properties that did not sell.
• “No fees – sell it yourself” You still have marketing fees and without the experience in marketing, negotiation, time for showing, answering buyer questions in 24/7 and preparing homes for sale the commission saved is normally less than the end return especially when you take into account the stress of selling and showing buyers through.
• “No commission – just a flat fee upfront” You still pay for marketing and you may have to pay an extra fee for inspections. The agent has only an incentive to list properties and not to sell them, you carry the risk of it not selling, if not sold you still pay marketing and the selling fee.
Commissions, Selling Fees, Marketing fees are negotiable, so do discuss them with your agent.
• Buyers come and go from the market as their needs change, most buyers these days do their searching on line and the websites email them new matching stock, so it is better to get all agents buyers advised rather than one agent.
• An agent promises they have a pool of buyers, a 100 qualified bargain hunters who are ready to buy do not equate to a buyer for your property and if the Agent had one who would only go through them, your agent should be willing to share their commission to secure that sale.
• If the agent really has potential buyers for your home, those buyers will be able to see the information once the property is listed for sale.
• Selling your property to the “Agent’s buyers” before marketing could stop you getting an offer from the person willing to pay the most for your property.
Buyers have no loyalty to selling agents buyers are interested in homes not agents.
We are the local agent or we specialise in this type of home.
When I started in real estate in 1995 this was important, buyers came to the local real estate office looking for homes and we drove buyers to see our stock. Today buyers look online and do not care if the selling agent has an office or not or how many similar properties they have.
Having lots of homes for sale or specific house types, benefits the agent as if they can use your house marketing to sell another property on their books.
The Internet and Social Media
• At the moment over 90% In South Australia of internet home search traffic ends up at domain.com.au or realestate.com.au with both of these being in the top returns for searches on google. So ignore promises of multiple low traffic sites or overseas sites, where buyers are restricted from buying established Australian homes.
• Social media is a way for an agent to build their profile and following, it is not specific enough to target homes sales in an area
Avoid agents promising there internet, social media is the only way to reach your buyer.
Open Homes and Virtual Tours
Can you remember the last time you bought a home or a car, in a car yard the salesperson, gets you to sit in the car and take it for a drive? This is because we buy homes like cars on a feeling then justify the cost later. Virtual tours can help show off a house like good photos but they can’t tap into the emotional side of buying a house, which is paramount.
Open homes tap into emotions and busy opens create a sense of urgency in the buyers.
This is vital to the sale of any home, the question is how much do you spend and where do you spend it. It could range from a simple tidy up, declutter to a complete renovation. This is an area your agent skills can help, what is the return on your investment of time and money, should you style what you have or have a professional style the home for display. There are no fixed answers but it can have a major effect on time on the market and price.
Do not go with an agent just because they promise they have the best home styling team in town.
You can sell by Auction, Private Treaty, Tender or Set Sale, with or without a price or price range, each method has advantages and disadvantages which need to be considered with the individual house and not because it is the agency preferred method.
Marketing needs to be tailored so do not go with an agent who pushes set method of sale or set packages, normally three packages as most people buy the middle one.
I would love to say they are newspaper advertisements are dead, but I have sold homes from the newspaper in the last year. If you are going to use newspapers, the question is how big should your advertisement be?
When selling homes small advertisements can work just as well as large advertisements. Why push large? Large house advertisements are better to indirectly sell the real estate agents services.