Selling houses Australia: The real estate agent said what?!
I love it when my run at the gym coincides with Selling Houses Australia on TV. Yesterday the show focussed on a couple who had been trying to sell their house on and off for 7 years!
Obviously they had used just about every agent in the neighbourhood over the years.
I always love the part in the show when Andrew Winter (the host, and a fellow Pom) asks a few well aimed questions of the real estate agent along the lines of ‘what have you been playing at?’
This conversation was no exception and went something like this:
Andrew Winter: ‘You’ve just told me that you think the price is too high. Have you discussed this with your client?”
Andrew Winter: “You’ve also just admitted to me that you think the house is a bit ‘grannyish’ and dated. Have you spoken to your client about what they need to change in terms of presentation to appeal to their market of first time buyers?”
Agent: (pulling a horrified face) “I don’t get involved in those types of conversation. My role is to sell whatever package my clients bring to me”
Well I now know that it IS possible to shake my head in disbelief and run at the same time!
This is what upsets me so much about the above exchange:
- If an agent ‘just’ sells the badly presented package that their clients give them the only way to sell is to set a low price or gradually lower the price. This wastes everyone’s time and money
- The lack of pride, motivation, innovation, big picture thinking, responsibility, everything! that this agent is showing
- The client didn’t know how important it was to present her house to attract her audience. She’d lived there for years and was blind to the changes required. She needed some strong advice lovingly given at the start of the process. She’s not the expert, her agent is supposed to be the expert and is doing her a huge disservice and losing her hard earned equity in the process.
- Selling houses is not just about price – it’s about presentation, promotion and persistence too.
This is turning into a bit of a rant but it upsets me as I know it doesn’t have to be this way. There are agents who won’t list without staging and I’m lucky to work with some of them. My concern is the remaining 97% Some will be like the agent above, others will give some advice or ‘lip service’ to staging. The rest are probably a bit ambivalent about the whole thing.
So, if you are an agent reading this and you want to know more about how presenting a house to sell (home staging) can help a house sell quickly for the best price and with the least stress all round then read my other blogs below or give me a call.
If your house is about to list or you’ve been on the market for a while (hopefully not 7 years!) without a sale then ask your agent what you need to do or give me a call. I will look at your property objectively and give you some great advice to get it sold.
And finally, if you’re wondering if the house on TV sold, I don’t know – It was an hour program and I wasn’t planning on running that long! However, I did see the big reveal and for a $5k investment the ‘after’ pictures were a world apart from ‘before’
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I’m Imogen Brown, a home stager based in the Western suburbs of Brisbane. You can contact me on 0432 994 056 or through my website