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Selling Secrets

Selecting a salesperson

Does your accountant, solicitor or family doctor have the keys to your home?

Many sellers give the keys to their home an hour or so after meeting the salesperson for the first time.

Selecting a salesperson is not easy and should not be taken too lightly. Remember you may be selling your most valuable asset.

There is generally plenty of ‘smoke and mirrors’ at play in most sales industries. If this wasn’t the case, there would be no need for the raft of laws that are in place, from Government Departments like our Office of Fair Trading around this country.

When you begin to speak with different agents, you quickly realize that on the surface they are nearly all the same. The commissions they charge are nearly identical to each other and the marketing services offered are very similar.

So how do you select the right agent who will work for you, not the buyer?

Many sellers may select an agent by the HIGHEST price appraised by a salesperson for the property. In some cases, an agent may be selected based on how LOW their commission rate is.

All agents know pricing kills their prospects of obtaining the listing. They know they will be selected on either the price given to the seller, or the rate of commission to be charged. Very rarely do sellers do the research to find a truly skilled agent for work for them.

So, how do you know if the agent you are speaking to is going to give you a realistic selling price? First and foremost, do the research into the property’s price range yourself….

Doing your own research

It is best for you to conduct your own research before you invite agents into your home for an appraisal after you have a good idea into its selling zone. There are several websites that provide current information including http://www.myrp.com.au for a local search on your home and surrounding suburb as well as http://www.realestate.com.au/sold for the latest sold properties in your area.

Here is how you use www.realestate.com.au to determine the selling range for your home:

  1. Type your property’s suburb into the search field (ie. ASPLEY)
  2. Then click ontotheSOLD tab just above the tip of Cape York on the map of Australia. This will bring you to the yellow sold properties page for ASPLEY.
  3. Underneath the search field, you will notice ‘drop down’ tabs which can refine your search. Click on PROPERTY TYPE and select the property type that describes your property. Then select the MINIMUM BEDS and MAXIMUM BEDS also based on your property. Lastly, select the MINIMUM PRICE and MAXIMUM PRICE that you think your property falls into.
  4. Click on SEARCH. Once your searched properties appear, you can refine your search further and click on SORT BY at the top of the search results.

The result is a price range of similar homes that have sold in your area, in the price range that you think your property will fall into! Your search for the right salesperson just got easier, by eliminating the overpricing and/or underpricing agents.

If you do come across a really outrageous price from an agent during an appraisal, question the agent based on your findings. If they can’t provide a straight answer, they may be either inexperienced or out of touch with what is happening in the market place. Then it’s time for you to continue looking for the right agent for you…

Shopping around for a salesperson

Here are a few tips on how to spot a good salesperson:

  1. On time to the listing presentation appointment (a good start)
  2. Good presentation and how they walk up your driveway (self-pride, confidence and enthusiasm)
  3. Shows genuine interest in you and your home without being over the top (false expression is a sure sign of smoke and mirrors to come)
  4. Doesn’t constantly prattle on and brag about themselves and the number of sales they have made (who wants to hear about how good someone thinks they have been in the past? They are as only as good as their last sale)
  5. Doesn’t constantly talk about how many buyers they have (every agency has the same number of buyers if they promote the property on internet sites including reiiq.com realestate.com.au and domain.com.au)
  6. Doesn’t constantly talk about one particular marketing or pricing method as being the ‘bee’s knees’ to finding buyers (every home is different and in a different location, thus requiring a different marketing and pricing approach)

It’s a great idea for you to attend Open Homes similar to your property. It’s a great way to check out salespeople without them knowing that you are about to sell. Try to be there at the start of the Open Home to see how many potential buyers turn up. This will give you a good indication as to the current market conditions for homes in your price range.

Now the biggie…

Look for a proven track record in marketing and sales. This can be hard to detect, as most salespeople hide behind past office results and not their own individual endeavors or sales.

Ask for a full list of homes and testimonials that they have sold by them in the recent past. Then request if it’s possible for you to call a couple of these past sellers for testimonials to check them out for yourself.

Possible questions to ask the testimonial writer

  • Did you feel the salesperson to be honest in every aspect of the sale process?
  • Did they give you the right advice about how to market and advertise your home?
  • Did you feel confident with him/her?
  • How much did you have to drop in price to sell your home?
  • Was the salesperson always on time for buyer appointments and open homes?
  • Did you receive constant feedback about the sales progress?
  • Did you feel the salesperson was on your side when negotiating the price with the buyer or on the buyer’s side?
  • Was there the same enthusiasm at the end of the sale as at the listing interview?

If you want to find a good mechanic, you ask around. Do the same for a sales agent.

IMPORTANT: If you want the very best price for one of your most valuable assets, it is worth going through the selection process and looking for a salesperson who is a genuine professional.