Keep sales agents on side


My property search diary from Location Location Location Australia Season 3 | Episode 5 – Search for family home in Hobart.

Before coming on the show Sarah and Scott had found it difficult to work out how to handle selling agents.  They had made an offer on a property that went nowhere. They were prepared to increase but they didn’t know how to progress when the agent clearly didn’t take them seriously. Lazy or disinterested agents are difficult to deal with. They weren’t even sure their offer had been presented to the vendor.

Buyers often make a mistake of using the asking price as the starting point for negotiations instead of first working out what the market value of the property is. If you know what it is worth and make a really low offer that goes nowhere you can have confidence to increase your offer.  But if you have no idea what it is really worth you may fall into the trap of thinking “I don’t want to compete with myself”.  You are not competing with yourself if you are nowhere near market value!  The agent and owner will simply wait till another buyer is found who will pay market price.  Which is what happened in this case.

And then some agents can be very annoying, unhelpful and frankly unlikeable. So the temptation for a buyer to say “stuff them” is very real. You have to overcome this if you want to buy the property.

Couples need to be on the same page.

The other issue is that all briefs need development.  Sarah and Scott came to us with what seemed like a comprehensive brief where they were both firmly on the same page. But there were some subtle differences in what each of them wanted, which made it hard for them to come to a point of decision. They were lucky that Hobart real estate was moving as fast as houses in other capital cities! Instead they did have the luxury of time.

I always find it interesting to test whether there really are no differences between a couple.  Because often you cannot buy a property until those differences are uncovered.  They have to be identified and acknowledged before compromises can be agreed upon.  Couples who are scared to disagree often float around making no commitments.

So I was glad that the houses we showed Sarah and Scott were able to put a spotlight on the way in which their tastes were polarized. Once the deal breakers for each partner were on the table and discussed at length, they were able to work out which compromises they could both live with. This is why it is important for both partners to be actively involved in the property search.