How to stop the
biggest liar winning
Given that an agent’s chances of winning your listing increases dramatically if they are overly optimistic about the price, it’s plausible that some unscrupulous agents basically flat out lie.
When asked to price a property, a real estate agent has the opportunity to impress the owner and obtain the listing and one of the oldest, albeit unethical, tricks in the book is overpricing properties to obtain the listing.
This is more likely to occur from an untrained agent that lacks marketing and negotiation skills and therefore the only way to impress the home seller is to promise the highest believable price possible. They lie to get the business.
Internally, these agents are trained to gain the listing at any price then proceed to ‘condition’ the sellers into reducing the price from there. A common catchcry they tell the seller is ‘we tried but the market is telling us it’s not worth it’. This often leaves the home seller confused and wondering where all that positivity at the listing presentation went.
However by this time it’s too late for the seller as they have signed a lengthy agreement they can’t escape from leaving them stuck with that agent who eventually sells their home for a price much less than expected.
An agent’s real job is to report on the market and provide a clear strategy on how to achieve the best price.
To avoid allowing the biggest liar to win your business home sellers can take a few key steps to avoid this happening;
Step 1 – Ask the agent to SHOW examples on how they reached the figure via credible sources. Every agent worth their salt will have access to data showing comparable sales in the area and the best agents will be able to show their own recent comparable sales in the area.
Step 2 – Home sellers should avoid signing lengthy agreements with agents that they can’t easily be released from. They are unnecessary and don’t allow you to sack the agent if you are not happy with their service. Avoid using an agent that has notice periods (i.e. 30 or 60 days) to cancel their agreement.
Step 3 – If you want to know the true value of your home call a licensed valuer that is familiar with the local market. You will receive a written report showing how the value was reached. Forget the myth that valuers are conservative. What valuers aim to be is accurate and they don’t have a vested interest in your property, therefore the figure they quote you is impartial. A valuer will price a property with the mindset of what this property will definitely sell for right now.
Step 4 – Perhaps most importantly, DON’T SIGN ANYTHING with any agent without getting a written
guarantee that if the price they quote is not achieved you pay nothing. Sounds easy, transparent and honest. And that’s the way it should be.
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