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Ten Important Questions for Sellers

Please find below ten of the most important questions that should be considered when selling your home. Before you select an agent, it may be a good idea to have an agenda to help provide the meeting with structure and determine the most suitable agent for you. After all if you don’t have the best agent representing you, you can’t expect the best results.

1) REPUTATION: What do others say about the Agency and the sales consultant? What is the agent known for? Are they reachable? Would they cut corners to make a deal? Can you trust them with your house keys?

2) TRACK RECORD: How many sales have the sales agent made in the past 3 months, 6 months, 12 months and 5 years? You need your sales agent to be active in the current market. Sales made in years gone by do not qualify your agent to represent you in today’s market unless they are still highly active. Is the agent proven as a success over a sustained period?

3) CREDIBILITY: How many properties have the agent sold locally in the past 1-5 years? Where have they sold them? What type of properties? What do their clients say? Does the agent have written references?

4) SKILLS: What is the sales agent’s ‘Average Days on Market’? Can they close? How is their marketing skills and acumen?

5) APPROACH: How will buyers be found? How will the highest price be achieved? Does the agent understand the different types of buyers and how to achieve “Buyers highest price”.

6) AGENCY: Is the agency an active member of REIWA? What is the office/ agent personal conjunction policy?

7) SERVICE: How many written testimonials can the agent show dated in the past 12 months from satisfied clients? Do they show them on their website? (Check ours if you like).

8) RESOURCES: What are the internet capabilities of the agency? How many registered buyers does the agent have right now for the property? IS their website fast to load, attractive to buyers, easy to find?

9) RISK REVERSAL/ PEACE OF MIND: If you are not totally satisfied with the service, are you “stuck” with the agent or can you be released without penalty to appoint another agent? 

10) PROFESSIONAL AND ONGOING DEVELOPMENT: What professional training seminars has the agent attended in the past 12 months and what ongoing professional development have they undertaken to keep abreast on industry leading trends and techniques?

Only Clean Business

I met with an owner recently, and he asked me to appraise his home with the view to possibly selling in the future.

I said sure. I asked when the current listing with the current agent expired, as it had been on the internet for about the last 2 years. The owner looked at me puzzled, and said that the listing ran out 6 months ago.

I was adamant, and said "nope", it is plainly marketed for all to see on that company’s website.

The owner firmly told the other agent to “get it down” as he acknowledged that this was harming the value of his property as there was a perception that is was “A dead duck” or stale. He was right, it was.

Then it occurred to me I had seen this recently with several other agents, meaning that the habit of falsely advertising client listings without valid authorities was becoming common practice.

I saw in an agent window a listing recently where the owner absolutely did not authorize the listing which had expired 6 months earlier, and another time listed a block for auction which the previous agent authority expired 6 months earlier, yet the sign and internet was keep “up” for the agent benefit without a valid written authority to do so. Indeed my owner was amazed and surprised this was so. Our code of conduct is specific that agents shall not advertise properties without a valid written authority to do so.

Now I understand that there is a little known "grey area" where a listing can go on forever on a "non-exclusive" basis after it expires until a seller terminates it in writing. I get that. In all 3 cases above however, the sellers thought their listings had expired and did not know that the agents were continuing to market them. I don't think that is good business practice or ethics, AND we would never do it.

Conclusion: I am so grateful that I have adopted an old fashioned, old school mentality of “only clean business” where that behaviour would never be tolerated in our office. It would be dismissal for a sales agent and not negotiable for the office generally. Why would we need to have ghost or bogus listings on our books that the sellers did not know we had?

Only valid, written agreements for listing, marketing, advertising, showing or representing properties or not at all.

I do not for the life of me understand why any agent, and many of those above are long established, supposedly reputable ones, would do otherwise? It is easy to get an extension if the listing is legitimate.

If it is not in writing, then it doesn’t get marketed at Evolution. When the other becomes the norm, it is time for me to do something else for a living. I am content to remain boring and straight forward. Only clean business it is. Thanks and see you in the market place.

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