by Neil Jenman
Reading time: apx 4 mins
If you want to sell a property for the best price, there is one secret you must never tell.
If you reveal this secret, it can cost you thousands of dollars.
No matter what your home is worth, nothing lowers its value more than telling this secret, especially to agents.
This secret is none of any agents’ business. In fact, it’s no one’s business but yours.
And yet, when you are selling your home, agents desperately want you to reveal this secret. To them, it’s the most important secret they need to discover. Some agents will ask you straight-up. Others will wait until you drop your guard. And then they will ask, almost in a harmless way, as if it’s the most normal thing in the world.
To you, this secret is not just private, it’s sacrosanct – that’s how you must treat it.
Incredibly, many times, agents don’t even need to ask this secret because sellers, especially if they are inexperienced, volunteer this secret, often within minutes of meeting agents.
By letting out this secret, sellers may think they are being smart or perhaps they think it will make them appear tough, but neither is the case.
First, if you reveal this secret, it will let the agents know you are green – and agents just love inexperienced sellers because they can manipulate them into doing things that experienced sellers seldom do – and second, revealing this secret gives the agent an incentive to sell your home for a lower price.
Agents don’t need to work so hard once sellers reveal this secret. Knowing this secret is like a passport to laziness.
So, what is this great secret?
It’s your bottom line, the lowest price you will accept.
What you want for your home is simple: You want the highest price in today’s market. To achieve this, you need an agent skilled at negotiation and you need to avoid methods that do not get the highest price – such as auction where the entire focus is upon your lowest price, known as “the reserve”.
Sellers must understand that most agents have one goal – to make a sale at any price. Whether your home sells for a high price or a low price can make a big difference to you. But not to the agents. They get a high commission no matter what the price.
Your goal, surely, is to get the highest possible price.
Well, know this: You will never get the highest price if you reveal your lowest price – even if you think your lowest price is a high price.
The specific price you are prepared to accept is your secret. The agents should not be asking you to tell them your lowest price; instead, they should be doing something that few agents do – discovering the buyers’ highest price.
Yet most agents never know the buyers’ highest price.
And that’s why most homes sell well below what buyers are willing to pay. Especially at auctions.
Think about it: When you bought your home, what price did you pay? How much more would you have paid?
Ask around. Speak to your friends and family. Ask two questions: How much did you pay for your home? How much would you have paid?
You see it all the time in the real estate world, the focus on the lowest price the sellers will accept rather than the highest price buyers will pay.
Gleeful headlines say: “Home sells at auction for one million dollars above reserve.” But what they don’t say is the truth: “Home sells for half a million dollars below what buyers were willing to pay.”
Sure, the buyers may have paid a million dollars above the sellers’ lowest price. But the agents – due to a combination of lack of care and sheer incompetence, not to mention their ethical betrayal of the sellers for whom they have a fiduciary duty to act in their best interests – have been focussing on the wrong price.
They have been doing what most agents do – focussing on the lowest price the sellers will accept. They should have been focussing on the highest price the buyers will pay.
So, what do you say when agents ask you how much you want for your property?
Just say, “We want to sell for the best price in today’s market. Please discover that price and then let us know. If we like it, we’ll sell. If we don’t like it, we’ll stay.”
Stay on that theme the whole time. The highest and best market price.
Your lowest price is your secret.
Tell the agent to leave you alone and to discover the best price buyers are willing to pay. If the agent is not prepared to do that, find a better agent.
Incompetent agents costs sellers thousands of dollars. Just make sure they are not costing you thousands of dollars.
Keep your lowest price to yourself and make the agents focus on the buyers’ highest price.
This will get you the highest price possible instead of the lowest price acceptable.
That’s your reward for keeping your secret.
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