The seller of a property takes away just two things from the transaction – a cheque and memories. The agent’s role is making the cheque as big as possible. Hopefully the selling experience with their agent delivers on the plus side of the seller’s memory ledger as well.
Clearly the agents’ role is looking after the owner’s interests and that is primarily getting the highest possible price for the property in a reasonable timeframe. Does this mean they are working against the buyer? Well, no. Clearly, the owner needs a buyer. Additionally, because of the price benefits achieved via competition, it’s preferable to have multiple potential buyers. So, it makes sense to be working for the buyers too, just not in one important thing – the money.
This is actually fine. I’ve never met an owner occupier who will buy a property just because it’s cheap. The vast majority of investors think the same way.
So, what do buyers want, if it’s not primarily a low price? It turns out to be something very simple – they want the Right Property. A good agent gets this. You can work hard and ethically for both parties without a conflict of interest.
One of my greatest disappointments in real estate is seeing a buyer not end up getting the property they should have bought. Sometimes they self-sabotage, being too cautious, procrastinating, not digging deep enough or listening to the advice of well-meaning family and friends. Even worse, they experience a pushy real estate agent and are confused about why there is so much pressure. Sadly, they can spend years ahead regretting the one that got away.
I don’t want people to buy the wrong property and I especially don’t want them to not buy the right property. I will often use these words to them. “If this is the right property for you, we have to make sure you have the best opportunity to buy it. If it’s not, let’s stop discussing it right now and focus on finding something better. If it turns out another person is prepared pay more for the property, then we can walk away knowing we did everything we could. No regrets. OK, here’s what we have to do to secure your new home …….”
This can help them to realise that they should move ahead swiftly and confidently and stretch to pay a bit extra, knowing that the future is kind to the buying price. I like to think there are many happy home owners out there who took this advice and bought the right property, for them.