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How much is my Property Worth? {continued from part one}


Selling Your Property For The Highest Possible Price

This article is a continuation of a slightly jaundice view of real estate industry and some tips on how to get the most out of it. The article prescribes managing your real estate agent (realtor) as opposed to adopting a passive role. It also suggest you do your own research rather than relying on what the agents chooses to tell you. We hope this article is helpful and regret if any offence is taken. Either way, please get in touch with us and let us know your views and experiences. The nature of Word of Web is to listen.

Your options

Without wishing to state the obvious you have three options:
1. Use an agent (onus on the first word)
2. Sell Privately (worry here is that it will be private – i.e. potential buyers won’t know you are selling)
3. Don’t sell


I’ll assume you’ve gone for option one. Option two is a story of its own.

a. Do your homework. You work out how much your property is likely to sell for before you start talking to agents and don’t be fooled when they tell you they can get more. Trust your own judgment. Worst that will probably happen is you will be pleasantly surprised.

b. Seek recommendations and interview lots of agents.

c. During the interview aim for facts rather than opinions. How many [number] how much [a number] recommendation [written] etc and keep it short – don’t let them ‘befriend’ you.

d. My favourite. The final question of the interview should be ‘what is your job/role?” The answer is not ‘to sell your property’. The answer you want to hear is to ‘sell your property for highest possible price’, goes without saying? If only. More on this latter.

e. Agree of a clear time frame, approach and reporting back on success or otherwise. Get names, not just numbers, of people who have inspected your property.

f. Ensure, both before you sign up and after, that they speak to potential buyers. It is often an emotional business buying a home, interest expressed in your potential buyers views and opinions is value to you in itself let along the fact that personal contact by an agent may lead to an offer.

g. F again basically. This is probably where a lot of agents fall down. If you look at it from who pays, you are not really the agents true client, your ultimate buyers is. It Is their money that will fill the agents bank account not yours (you just get less for your property). Ringing dozens possibly hundreds of people, who often don’t want to talk to them is hard work. Where as speaking to you and putting in big advertisements is much easier. You need to ensure your agent directs his/her efforts in the most effective way.

h. Not F again! Aren’t agents the experts? Real Estate agents are experts in getting you to sign their contracts. The rest is, as once described by an agent in print “facilitating the negotiation process by bringing buyers and sellers closer together” which is not the same thing as selling your property for the highest possible price. One once suggested I take a potential buyer out for a drink so we could agree on a number. The job of the agent should be to get you the highest possible price and you may need to remind them of this fact from time to time.

Back To The Highest Possible Price

As any economics student will tell you the highest possible price is not necessarily the highest possible return or profit. This is certainly true for estate agents. The more living rooms they can sit in to sign up sales contracts the more commission they stand (sit?) to make. The more time spent negotiating with, and chasing, buyers is time that could be spent picking up properties to sell before some other agent (with a less demanding client than you) beats them to it.

Agents thrive on turnover not price

Put it this way. That extra $10,000 you are after is probably only worth $200 to the agent and might mean, if you are unsuccessful, that they get nothing at all. All that work and no pay. Worse case you will be disappointed and might wonder if you have overpriced your property but, at the end of the day, you’ll still have your home and you’ll still get your monthly pay cheque. Your agent, on the other hand, certainly won’t get the latter and might even lose the former if this became a trend. Agents thrive on turnover not price.


Real estate agents are not bad people. It’s not an easy job staying positive in a sea of disinterest, cynicism and occasionally, outright hostility. Your individual agent did not set up the industry nor are they responsible for human nature. They are simply trying to make a living like everybody else. The trick is get them selling for you – not to you. If you can manage that your chances of selling for the highest possible price are greatly enhanced.


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