Wouldn’t it be great if an agent turned up to your home and told you the exact percentage of what you’re going to get from them in these areas? Good decisions come from good information…..
So how do you go about working out the person in front of you and what does each area actually mean?
Sales = About them. Persuasion. Nudging you towards the aims and targets of themselves.
Service = Convenience and comfort. Making you feel safe and looked after.
Advice = About you. Discussion. Advising as to the best way (their view) forward for yourself.
As a seller, what are you looking for from an agent? You will subconsciously or consciously value each area differently. There is no right or wrong, just differences. The times I see people in a situation they don’t want to be in is when they thought they were getting X and they got Y.
Let me run through a scenario I see all the time.
Agent meets vendor. Vendor feels agent is giving advice whereby agent is selling to them (trying to win the instruction).
House goes on at too high a price based on ‘advice’ received.
House doesn’t sell after 6 months and seller is truly fed up and blames the advice of the agent.
This can similarly work the other way too. Seller believes agent is selling when they are in fact giving good advice. It gets tricky.
So how do you make the correct decision for yourself? Ask LOADS of questions. Qualify, probe and question the agent.
I see loads of articles such as ‘*The 5 Key Questions To Ask An Estate Agent!’
Almost always, one of those questions is: “Do you have buyers on your books for this type of property?”
In itself not a terrible question, but what info are you really going to get?
Remember, agents do this all day.
Let’s play this conversation out….
Seller “Do you have buyers on your books for this type of house?”
Agent “Yes absolutely.”
This is typically how this question will be answered by a salesman. So how do you qualify it? Ask a follow up question.
Seller “Amazing, can you think of any specifically off the top of your head?”
This question takes a step towards reality and you will learn a lot by how it is answered. So, let’s look at a typical answer.
Agent “I’ve got a few that I’d want to speak to that I think would like it. I’ve got one in mind that the house would really suit.”
Seller “Are they ready to buy? What budget do they have? How did you meet them?”
You’re now taking the agent down a route where you’re going to get a really good feel about them. How can they not answer it? You’ll find they will either back away with vague answers (they were simply selling) or they will now start getting more specific (You’ll start teetering into advice territory).
If you have a list of questions, you should also have a list of follow up questions to that question. Aim for 3-5 and you’ll get a really good feel for things.
One last example of a question I get asked A LOT.
“How do you advertise?” Great first question, but I know the owner is asking because they feel they should, rather than any other reason. Or another agent has mentioned how amazing XYZ Doodah Advertising is………..
“Online, newspaper, our window, network blah blah blah”
“Where do most of your enquiries come from for this type of property?”
The agent probably has absolutely no idea, but you should get a slick answer. The key to getting the truth is to get past the slick response. So qualify again with another question.
“So do you feel that is the most important route to finding a buyer?” Another simple yes/no question, but the follow up is the real question.
“Can you show me how you research and document these things?”
The agent won’t have been asked this. It’s not trying to catch them out as such. Even the nicest agent has a certain percentage of sales patter in them. It’s just a case of you as a seller knowing what you’re getting. Some agents will be honest enough and say they don’t know.
Any questions please do ask.