Project manager Linda Daniel recently invited three agents to her home to discuss selling it. We caught up with her to get a flavour of the experience- and to see where she felt there could be improvements.
“We chose the agents based on their reputation, their proximity to us, and our previous experience with one of them.
We weren’t exactly sure what we were looking for in an agent, but we wanted someone who could give us a realistic valuation and who we felt confident could sell our house for the best price.”
Before the appointment
“Before the appointments, all three agents offered us pretty much the same information via email and text, with only one calling the day before to confirm the appointment.”
At the market appraisal:
“Agent 1 stood out from the outset with their friendly and personable nature. They took off their shoes at the door and were very complimentary and enthusiastic about our home. They had come prepared with a tablet, which they used to show us comparables and parts of their website that they thought would be of interest to us. This showed that they were the most prepared for the meeting, and the digital aspect of their pitch meant they had the flexibility to tailor what they showed us to what we wanted to talk about.
Agent 2 was perfectly professional but came across as a little pushy. It seemed like they were after a quick decision, and that we weren’t their priority. Their fee was a little higher than agent 1, and when we let them know as much, they instantly knocked the fee down to match. This gave the impression that this agent wasn’t a particularly strong negotiator and that they weren’t confident that their own service was worth paying extra for.
Agent 3 impressed with the same level of professionalism and personability as agent 1. The thing that set them apart was that although they had the highest fee, they confidently conveyed that they were worth it and explained the reasons why in detail to me.
However, I met with agent 3 on my own, and as we had already met one agent that we really liked, it was hard for me to convince my husband we should switch to a more expensive agent. They hadn’t left anything with me apart from some printed comparables, so I had nothing to show my husband to convince him they were best.”
“Agent 1 followed up every couple of days for over a week and had a continual dialogue around our decision-making. They encouraged us to shop around, which made them seem very confident in the knowledge they were the best. They also called to tell me about a property coming to market that we may be interested in.
Agent 2 followed up the following day and told us about a property we might like. However, their follow-ups became fewer and further between, and the emails that came through seemed automated, not personal.
Agent 3 didn’t follow up at all!”
“In the end, we went with agent 1 as they impressed us the most overall. They came the most prepared, and they were able to point us to the relevant stats and reviews on their website which set them apart. They followed up regularly and seemed genuinely interested in our business, so we gave it to them. We feel confident that they will sell our home for the best price, and we’re looking forward to working with them.”
This interview with a vendor provides some insights and considerations for estate agents. First, the agents who impressed the most were personable, professional, and came prepared with digital tools and relevant information to show the vendor. Following up regularly and showing a genuine interest in the vendor’s business can also make a positive impression. However, pushy behaviour and being too focused on fees can be a turn-off. Finally, it’s important for agents to leave behind some materials or information that vendors can use to convince their partners or family members of the agent’s value, especially if they were not present at the meeting.
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