CAN WE PLEASE SHARE A STORY WITH YOU?
This really happened, and it’s what led Peter and Karen into creating their own real estate agency . . .
‘Before I was in real estate, we’d been living in Melbourne for a couple of years. I was the International Trading Manager (unprocessed wool department) for Dalgety.
We owned a lovely 100-year-old Edwardian terrace in the inner-city suburb of Richmond. We didn’t think selling it would be difficult but wanted it sold quickly to fit in with our plans. We also needed to get as much money from the sale as possible, so getting ‘The LOVE Price’ was important to us. We arranged to interview three agents all on the same day because we were in a hurry.
The first agent we met with was very nice. He had a look around our house. Said all the right things. Gave us a sale price estimate. Showed us his impressive results. Told us how he’d plan to sell our home (which was a typical one-size-fits-all plan) and left.
The second agent, well actually there were two of them this time, arrived shortly after the last guy. These guys were sharp. They arrived exactly at the same time and right on time in separate matching black BMWs. I thought they were cool. They had a look around our house. Said all the right things. Gave us a sales estimate. Showed us their impressive results. Told us how they’d sell our home (i.e. gave us a sausage machine one-size-fits-all plan) and left.
Minutes later the third agent arrived. He was very nice. Had a nice car too. Had a look around our house. Said all the right things. Then he did something the others didn’t… He asked us, “Why are you REALLY selling?”
So we explained to him all about the wool market crash and how that had affected us. We told him how we were starting a new business back in Brisbane and needed the funds from the sale for seed capital. We told him that we really needed to get it sold quickly to make our move easy.
He then asked more questions. He asked questions about our goals, our concerns, our fears and any perceived roadblocks or challenges we were anticipating with the sale. I think I did all the talking. This guy was more like a doctor than a salesperson. He made it easy for me to open up. His approach felt natural and caring.
The first big concern I shared was around the time-line of the sale. We had to be in Brisbane in 12 weeks’ time come what may. Getting it sold and the sale settled before we moved back to Brisbane was important to us.
“That’s a very tight schedule” he said. “If it’s the usual 60 day settlement, you’ll need to start marketing this now.”
I asked, “What do you mean now, do you mean this week?”
“Yes,” was his blunt reply.
“Oh crap,” I thought.
Checking his diary, he worked out a schedule on the spot for the sale. He advised when the first open home would happen and when the first newspaper ad would appear (this was pre-internet days). He set out a timeline for when all the other ads and opens would occur. He booked a date for a pre-auction meeting. He scheduled the day and time of the auction and the expected settlement date.
“It’s ok, we can do the first open home this coming Saturday, with the auction on the 4th weekend. That’ll mean if it’s a sixty-day settlement, you’ll have the money from the sale the week prior to your move back home,” he said.
“Phew.” That was a big relief to know he could get it all done and dusted before we moved back home.
“Any other concerns?” he asked. “Well, I’m worried about how the front of our house looks. Paint’s falling off. It looks terrible. I wanted to get it painted before we do the first open home but I just can’t see how I can get it done in time,” I answered. “Do you think we need to paint it?” I asked.
“Well, street appeal is a big thing in Richmond and the front of your home doesn’t do justice to all the renovations you’ve done inside. For those looking for a renovated terrace, it could be a turn-off,” he said.
Our agent (notice how I just called him ‘our’ agent, that’s because at about this point in the conversation I was starting to feel like he was already working for us and not just selling to us) said, “Let me call my painter.”
He pulled out his phone and called his painter. We could hear their entire conversation, “Yep that’s right Tim, we just need you to paint the front of the terrace. It’s really not a big area to paint. So just to confirm, if Peter and Karen have the paint ready for you, your team will be here at 8.00am in the morning, you can do that? Great, and you think it’ll take just a day, yeah? Awesome. Just hold a second Tim, I’ll ask Karen and Peter if that’s ok.”
With that he pulled his phone from his ear and asked Karen and I, “We can get the front of your home painted tomorrow so it’ll look fantastic for our first open home this Saturday, you just need to supply the paint and if you can do that I’ll look after the painter’s bill. That’ll mean we can get an ad booked for this Saturday’s open. Are you ok with that?”
What do you reckon we said?
“Yes, let’s do it.”
We signed the agency agreement and our newly appointed agent left us feeling relieved and excited about the sale. The house got painted the next day. Not only did they paint the front of the house as they said they would, but they also painted our fence which we weren’t expecting them to do. It looked fantastic. We felt happy and confident we’d chosen the best agent that suited our needs.
I’m certain it’s obvious to you why we chose this agent over the others. It was obvious to us at the time. The third agent made it really easy to choose him. Why? He listened to us, understood what we wanted, understood our motivation and because of that, was able to prescribe a great, customised solution.
So it helps when your agent asks great questions. It also helps if you’re 100% clear on what you want and what you don’t want.’ ~ From Peter Hutton’s book ‘The Love Price’
Hope you enjoyed our story, and that it demonstrated our philosophy when you decide to sell with us.