How sellers can still sell well!
by Neil Jenman
Reading time: 7.5 minutes
Suzie is a friend of mine. She’s been looking for a home for months. Last weekend, she finally bought one. A lovely terrace in the inner-city. She’s so happy.
The home was for auction – the worst way to sell at the best of times; and a near-certain disaster for sellers when a market is “cooling”.
But, for buyers, auction is a great way to pay less than they are willing to pay.
Suzie and I spent hours discussing pricing, strategy and, of course, the best price she was willing to pay. I suggested as much as $3,270,000. After all, she loved the home. And, where love is concerned, you seldom regret paying a high price, if you can afford it.
But it didn’t come to that.
Suzie was the only bidder. She bought the home for $2,750,000. That’s about half a million dollars below what I suggested. It was $200,000 below her best price.
A great result for Suzie. She achieved a rare ‘combo’ for buyers: A loved home at a great price.
Although I don’t know them, I felt sorry for the sellers – as I always do. They were school-teachers – and I wondered – again, as I often do – how long it would take them to save at least $200,000, the minimum amount by which they under-sold their home.
Five years? Ten years?
Incredible, isn’t it? Home-owners work for years and then, when they sell their homes, they destroy those years of earnings in a few minutes. Mostly due to stupid, selfish agents. It makes me wild.
I told Suzie that if she wanted to, she could re-sell this home for $250,000 more than she paid.
I said: “If I was looking after those sellers – not as an agent, but as a supporter/adviser, they’d have got at least $3 million.”
So, what would I do?
And how do you avoid being a victim of the boom-bust blues?
There are three essential steps to avoid under-selling your home now.
STEP 1: FIND THE BEST AGENT.
Most agents have three characteristics. They are greedy, lazy, and stupid. Those are qualities you must avoid if you want a good price. Better to spend two or three weeks searching for the right agent, than be stuck for months with the wrong agent.
How do you recognise the best agents?
It’s simple: They are optimistic. They don’t give you any drivel about having to lower your price now the market has cooled. Also, they are confident in their ability, so they never ask you for any money until they sell your home. Only the dodgy agents ask for money in advance of a sale.
The best agents do something most agents can’t do – sell! As in sales skills.
Most agents are beneath order-takers. It takes no skill to sell a home during a boom with plenty of buyers for each house. Over the past two years (or longer) thousands of weak agents have credited themselves with the high prices paid for homes. They think they are so clever.
What utter nonsense. So many stupid agents thinking they’re smart.
These over-paid, lazy agents just happened to have been “johnny-on-the-spot” pocketing thousands of dollars for doing an hour or two’s work in the biggest boom in decades. As Dire Straits sang: “That ain’t workin’”.
Or, as one seller recently quipped: “A corpse could sell a home during the boom.”
So, when a market gets tough, the last thing sellers need is a weak agent (a “corpse”).
Weak agents are those whose first action is to tell sellers to lower their price.
The best agents – those few who know how to sell – know that, to get a high price, there are two requirements: A buyer who loves the home and who can also afford a high price.
Weak agents will moan that there are “less buyers around” now.
The best agents will say, “We only need one buyer – the right buyer.”
The right buyers are like Suzie. If they love a home and can afford the sellers’ price, they will buy the home – without the need for sellers to drop tens (or hundreds) of thousands of dollars.
The best agents rarely force sellers down in price. They qualify buyers and talk them up. After all, when a buyer can afford a home, what’s more important – their money or their happiness?
The best buyers will pay the right price, regardless of the market – if you are using one of the best agents.
The best agents thrive in a boom or a gloom. They don’t use the market as an excuse for their incompetence.
So, the first way to get a great price for your home – and avoid being talked down in price by a lazy agent – is to FIND THE BEST AGENT.
STEP 2: REJECT AUCTION.
A public auction is the worst way to sell a home at any time. But, in a “cooling” market, trying to sell by auction is ridiculous.
Agents who tell sellers that auctions are the best way to sell – especially in a “softening market” are either incompetent or dishonest. Or both. There can be no other excuse for what happens at almost every auction – homes are massively under-sold.
I have just written a new book called 88 REASONS WHY YOU MUST NEVER SELL YOUR HOME BY AUCTION. It will be released around mid-April. You can buy an advanced copy now at our website by clicking here. All profits will go towards domestic violence.
I do not want to earn a cent from this book. But I do want you, the sellers, to earn tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars more for your homes. I want you to avoid the foolishness of selling by auction. Get the book and see how it’s done. Unlike the agents, I’ll give you a guarantee: Pay nothing unless you discover how to save thousands. Or millions.
Recently, I helped a farmer sell his Northern Territory cattle station. He had signed-up for auction. I sent him the manuscript of my book – and told him: “Show your stupid agent.” Okay, I was stirred up. It makes me “wild” to see good people lose massive amounts of money.
Thankfully, for him, he cancelled the auction and sold as I suggested.
He got an extra $17 million. Yes, you read it right. $17 million more, all because he followed the advice in my new book. Get the book. It’s $20 including postage/handling. Free for nurses and paramedics.
No matter what, please remember: Auction is never the best way to sell. The laziest and worst agents recommend auction.
The agent who auctioned the home that Suzie bought put a sticker on the Sale Board which said, “Another Sold!”.
It would have been more truthful to say, “Another UNDER-SOLD!”.
If you choose – or get conned – to sell by public auction, you will likely massively under-sell your home.
STEP 3: STAY STRONG.
The third step to get the best price is to be strong. Stand up for yourself. Do not let agents bully you. Never let them push you down in price, especially if they have not done any work.
And “work” does not mean placing ads on the internet and sitting at an open-for-inspection for 30 minutes a week for three weeks. That’s so lazy. A trained seal could do the same.
No, “work” means WORK.
It means agents follow-up buyers – not with mass emails but with personal calls.
There are four stages in any sales process. The first is TTP. It stands for Talking to People. The best agents contact people. The worst (lazy) agents sit and wait for buyers to show up.
If no (or few) buyers turn up, agents tell sellers, “You’ll have to drop your price because the market is falling.”
The agents may tell you that it’s a weak market.
Strong sellers will reply: “You’re weak. Get off your backside and do something you clearly haven’t been doing – call the hundreds of buyers who have contacted your agency in the past few months.”
Don’t you dare drop your price unless the agent has done lots of hard work. Drop the agent, but don’t drop your price.
If you have a beautiful home, tell the agent to find a buyer who loves your home and who can afford a great price.
And always remember this: Sellers and agents have different agendas.
Your agenda is to sell your home for the best price. The agents’ agenda is to sell your home – at any price.
The sellers who stay strongest the longest get the best price.
Granted, the market may be tougher in many areas. But the first thing most agents are now doing is telling sellers to lower their prices. Or telling sellers to be “realistic”.
Is it realistic to reward a lazy agent by dropping your price tens (or hundreds) of thousands of dollars? Of course not.
It’s more “realistic” to tell an agent that now is the time – in these so-called “tough times” – to start doing something unfamiliar to most agents. Work.
Dropping your price should be your last resort, the final straw. Before that happens, you may need to drop a few agents.
Remember, if you have a lovely home, buyers will love it. If they want it, they can pay for it. That’s exactly what Suzie was willing to do. Fortunately, for her, the agent “selling” the home was lazy and stupid. He advised the sellers to use public auction. So, Suzie saved hundreds of thousands of dollars.
And the sellers under-sold by hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Don’t let this happen to you when you are selling.
Don’t become a victim of the boom-bust blues.
Follow these three steps – Find a good agent; don’t auction and stay strong – and you’ll get the best price for your home.
A boom price in a gloom time.
To quote Dire Straits again: “That’s the way you do it”.
FOOTNOTE: If you need help to find the best agents to work hard to get you the best price, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1800 1800 18.
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