For years real estate agents have been very effective at convincing vendors that they have special talents that gives them an edge when it comes to selling your home.
They promote the idea that somehow, they can negotiate better, are superior at running Open Inspections, have long lists of potential buyers and that only a real estate agent can get the best price for your home. None of these claims are true, there are no ‘special talents’ to selling real estate, it is simply the law of supply and demand, someone wants to sell and someone wants to buy, it’s that simple.
Selling real estate is not rocket science; it requires a pragmatic approach and attention to detail and presentation. It is about openness and transparency, two attributes that are very scarce in the real estate industry.
Many real estate agents are living in the past, promoting myths that they think will keep them in work. In fact; perpetuating this myth is only serving to alienate their clients and is destroying the business they love, yes love! Most real estate agents are in love with their perceived abilities, this is what drives them and what helps to keep these myths alive.
This is the really confusing thing about the real estate industry. It attracts personable, bubbly types who really should know better because they act like they really love their work. They say they value their clients, however they continually promote the myths and use deception, which is in fact having the opposite effect on their clients who are often left feeling let down, ripped off and deceived. Roy Morgan conducted research into 27 professions and the public’s view of them, real estate agents were number 26 on the list for trustworthiness. Great indicator for entrusting your greatest asset to!
How many times have you been at a social function or a dinner party where you have heard someone say; I really love my real estate agent? I certainly haven’t heard this one; most people complain about the agent selling their home. You mostly hear horror stories about calls not returned and lack of communication, unrealistic price expectations and price corrections; overall the whole sales process has been a negative and frustrating experience.
The classic examples of myths real estate agents promote is “I can get you more for your home than my competitor down the road” and this one; “I have buyers waiting for a property just like this one”. Have you ever heard any of these? I have, many times, and they are simply …lies, lies, and more lies!
Selling your own home is something that most people can do effortlessly, it is much like hosting a BBQ, drinks or a dinner party. You clean up, you tidy the garden, you put all of your old junk away or take it to the dump and you greet your guests with a warm smile. This may sound over simplified to some people and it certainly will horrify and dismay any real estate agents who are reading this, however, if you “chunk it down” selling a property is a very straightforward exercise.
One thing that I have observed over the years that I have been buying and selling real estate is that real estate agencies have never really moved with the times, nothing has changed. The way real estate is sold today in 2017 is no different to how it was sold in 1965! The only thing that has really changed, and changed radically is the way we can all find properties for sale on the Internet. We can view the property details, see it from the street view and instantly calculate our repayment level if we want to buy it.
In 1965 the only way to sell or find a property for sale was through your local newspaper, it was full of ads for real estate. Empires and fortunes have been built on revenue from real estate ads; companies such as News Ltd, Fairfax and many others owe much of their financial success to real estate advertising.
This situation provides a real opportunity to develop a much more efficient way of selling houses, particularly if you think for a moment about the absurdity of some of the traditional real estate industry sales practices!
If you are selling your home, you contract the services of a real estate agent who in many cases is a total stranger to you. You then set about preparing your house for sale spending a significant amount of time and money on cleaning, painting and repairs.
Once it is ready you agree to the real estate agent conducting Open Inspections of your property. This in itself is a bit strange as you are allowing a total stranger who possesses no knowledge at all about your house to show other total strangers through it, promoting it for sale.
You get up early on inspection days, you clean and tidy up. If you have a pool, you vacuum it. You rake the leaves and mow the lawn. You put fresh flowers around your house and you light some candles.
Then the real estate agent arrives 5 minutes before the open inspection and insists that you, your children and your dog, go and hide in the local park, or at the shopping center, whilst the agent shows total strangers through “your” house!
These strangers, many who are out looking for a new home have myriads of questions about your property. They have probably spent hours researching the local area and other properties for sale around your area. They have looked at the photos of your house, the floor plan and read the description many times. They have discussed your house with their partner, their kids, aunty Mable and possibly their dog. The more serious these people are about buying your house, the more questions they have.
For some reason, they really liked the look of your property amongst the myriad of others they reviewed on the net and so here they are in “your” house asking questions that only you can answer.
These questions however, are being directed to a person, who has never slept a night in your house, cooked in your kitchen, showered in your bathroom or planted a tree in your garden! It is a bit of a “Weird” concept don’t you think?
The very person who can answer all of their questions; and who can “really” sell the property’s best features to them, is hiding around the corner.
What is it about vendor’s behaviors that are so scary to real estate agents? Are vendors all so uneducated, so rude, and so badly behaved that they must NEVER be let near a buyer? According to the real estate industry they shouldn’t even be on the same premises when buyers are present. Have you never wondered why this is?
What would be wrong with the vendors sitting in their garden in the sun reading a book? Washing their car, sweeping the verandah or simply playing catch with their kids in the yard? This would save an amazing amount of time and also it would save a lot of inconvenience and frustration caused by a third party being the proxy conductor of a back and forth question and answer game.
All of these questions make you think that there must be a more effective way of selling your property. Think for a moment about car sales; 15-20 years ago, if you wanted to sell your car you either traded it in on another one or you asked a dealer to sell it on your behalf. Most times you only received a fraction of what it was worth. Some brave souls put an ad in the newspaper and hoped someone would see it.
Today anyone who wants to sell their car, takes a few photos on their phone clicks on to CarSales.com uploads the photos and Voila they have a sale. The buyer could be from anywhere in the country. Sometimes you don’t even meet them.
That is progress; car dealers don’t sit around hoping that private individuals will bring their cars in and sell them for a pittance any more. They’ve moved on, adjusted to the new paradigm. Many left the business however many set up new ways of selling cars and thrived building great businesses.
Selling your own home without an agent is now another new paradigm, agents are superfluous to the process, in fact all they can do is relieve you of your hard-earned money and extend your time on market whilst they convince you that the unrealistic price they talked you into to get your listing is not going to be achievable. There is a way to sell your home in a way that is more effective, and you could even make it fun.
You may already be thinking: but how could I do that? How could selling my home be fun? Am I a masochist? What about the word stress!
Try it, you will find that buyers love talking directly with vendors, they see it as refreshing and saves them a great deal of time, making their purchase easier. And don’t believe the agent spin about ‘buyers getting a better deal with vendors if an agent is not handling the sale’ this is another myth. If one was to believe this, it would lead to a conclusion that all buyers are smarter than vendors, buyers can negotiate, vendors can’t, it is simply not realistic to even consider this concept.
The days of myth and misconception created by the real estate industry are well and truly over. You can sell your own home and save thousands of dollars, it’s easier than you think