Feature article

Vendors likely to choose the ‘safe’ option as they go to sell

They won't be taking any risks on who's getting their house listing. Here's how to ensure you make it on their shortlist

In the Trade Me State of the Nation Property Report, Head of Classifieds, Alan Clark said he believed there would be a flight to a ‘safer’ option in agents this spring/summer, and next year, by vendors.

They won't be taking any risks on who they give their house listing to, as the property market enjoys a cautious recovery, he predicted.

“Homeowners will be looking for an agent who’s seen as that respected expert in their suburb, who can navigate the still choppy waters, target the right buyers, manage price expectations and make the deal happen,” he says.

According to the State of the Nation Property Report, 28% of our audience is thinking of selling within the next two years. And these vendors in-waiting will have some help when choosing their listing agent thanks to a new product launch from Trade Me Property – Premium Agent Plus, designed to build trust between agents and provide homeowners preparing to sell with a quick way to request an appraisal.

Of course, there are other ways an agent can ensure they make it on a vendor’s shortlist.

Highlight your team support

Top sales person at Bayleys Metro in Dunedin, Alice Munro, confirms she’s getting more detailed questions from vendors about the process of selling when she’s pitching for business. It helps if you’re an experienced agent who’s not desperate for the sale, who’s seeing multiple buyers every weekend, she says.

“Vendors like to see the market share of the company, there’s comfort in numbers,” she says.

At her Dunedin Bayleys office they really push the team way of working when talking to vendors, she says.

“In a market that’s a bit more volatile there’s power in numbers,” she says. There are 30 other agents at Bayleys Metro working in the background, doing viewings and this helps with competition. Having a big, known brand like Bayleys is also helpful in a market like Dunedin, which is attracting quite a lot of out-of-town buyer inquiry, she adds.

If the buyer is from another part of Aotearoa New Zealand, they’re more likely to Google the main real estate companies that they know from their own town, says Alice.

Stay engaged after the contract is signed

UP Real Estate agent and Pt Chevalier specialist David Simons, who partners with Jennifer Temm-Munns, says that when pitching for a listing, he’ll talk about the importance of staying very engaged with buyers during the due diligence process in the current market.

“As people negotiate contracts, there is often a 10-day period when buyers can change their minds. It’s about helping them with that process,” he says. And no matter how unflawed a property, there will always be an issue, it just depends on the scale of it, he adds.

“Back in the day, you’d be able to sit back and watch, now you have to inject yourself into the equation.asking buyers,’Is there anything happening that I can help with?’

It might be title issues or an absence of code compliance consent, for instance.

“At the moment, we have to sort it out and explain it to the purchaser and vendor,” says the UP agent. He spent hours at the council last week to help get the deal through on one home, and that’s what an agent has to be prepared to do.

If you aren’t an experienced agent yet what can you do?

If you’re not at the top sales agent level but want to do good business in the coming months, Craig Lowe, head of Wellington agency, Lowe & Co, says the best thing you can do to build up an impressive track record is by working on a high performance team.

Join an agency which has a good reputation for training, and a brand that’s both known for being high quality and local, he suggests.

A good agent should also be listening to the concerns of their vendors, says Chris Robinson, an Island Bay, Wellington specialist at Tommy’s Real Estate.

He’s found that vendors have been seeking reassurance that there really are buyers actively on the market.

Sharing data from trusted sources can help. But Chris says some have been shy to launch their property onto the market, only to find it hasn’t been snatched up, so he’s worked with them to sell their homes off-market in a few cases.

“They don’t want the aftermath of “why hasn’t our house sold?” he says. “We’ve had four homes in the last six weeks sell without going on the open market. Each of those has had multiple offers so the buyers are definitely there.”

Do your due diligence on the buyers for your seller

For James Burry, a partner at Ray White Royal Oak with Rohan Thompson, the best way to win a new listing is through referrals.

“It’s like restaurants, most people are searching for a review. It affects all levels of commerce, people are relying on third party references,” he says.

One quality which wins James good references from sellers, is that he builds a profile on each interested buyer and shares this with the property owners, updating them on a daily basis.

“It’s about giving owners a true account of what's happening and who’s coming through the home. What is their budget, why are they trying to buy a home, have they missed out on other properties?”