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Pick Me. Second.


Recently I have been the agent that gets the opportunity to list and sell, after the first agent has had their 90 days of not selling the home.

Why the seller chose their first agent is always interesting. It usually boils down to; 

I liked him/her the most and I thought all agents were the same (they are not). 

We sold with them before (in a far flung suburb, so no local knowledge).

They gave me the best “quote” (this one is a classic as good agents are marketers not valuers, and shouldn’t be crystal ball gazing pie in the sky sale prices – particularly in the current environment).

They were cheaper (the ultimate in false economy! If the agent is not “better” then cheaper matters not at all).

Selling the second time ‘round is a difficult position for all involved.  As an active local agent I am happy to pick up the pieces and solve the problem, but the marketing and conversations are next level.  From a sales person’s perspective it is like fighting with one hand tied behind your back. To win you must make every punch count.

Buyers can pick up cached versions of the previous marketing campaign.  We can’t pretend the previous campaign didn’t exist.

Getting it right the first time ‘round is so important as the buyers in the market place make snap decisions. Qualified buyers are absorbing market data, calling local agents for their feedback and trawling through the various online real estate portals. They are informed.  There are no wood ducks waiting for your poorly marketed, over priced listing.

Fortunately it is definitely possible to sell the second time ‘round and there are a host of strategies to deal with buyers in this situation. To be, fair it is just as important how an agent deals with the sellers the second time ‘round as well.

The first sale failure will be as much a communication breakdown between seller and agent.  

Did the agent effectively explain strategy? 

Did the agent explain timelines for executing changes to marketing if the property does not sell? 

Did the agent make contingency provisions in the marketing spend for a late stage marketing push? 

Were the agent and the seller on the same page on all of the above (and more) before the Listing Authority was signed and the seller’s money committed?

Invariably the first agent will blame the client if there is no sale. 

“I got them a great offer, for this market!” 

Well clearly the seller didn’t see it that way.  What didn’t they understand about the market that the agent did? The agent is the professional and their job is to provide a clear and accurate prism for the truth of current market activity to be viewed through. They are Tenzing Norgay leading the seller to their Sold Everest. Without the correct guidance the prospect of a deal will die along the way.

Clearly I see real estate sales as a consultative process.  The Seller and Buyers understanding is paramount. This ongoing discussion around the process creates trust and comfort for all parties, and ultimately a result.

As a famous anonymous Australian fireside philosopher once said, and I paraphrase, “we are not here to copulate with spiders”. This translates to, “we are here to do a job, so let’s do it and do it properly!”.

I am happy to be the second agent.  I am much happier to be the first. It means we get a chance to do the job of selling the home for the highest possible price.

Do it right. Do it the first time.

Derek Baston

Vic Park Life

White picket fences and backyards with mulberry trees. Apartments and town houses and villas and everything in-between. It’s got a bit of everything.

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