Care, but not too much

Selling a property is not easy. Our job is to bring people together – sometimes in difficult circumstances. Industry legend John McGrath says, “As we all know, most people who are buying or selling real estate are going through some other major change or upheaval in their life – it could be divorce, it could be the birth of a new child, it could be some sort of a financial situation, positive or negative. We are the conduit that’s got to bring them together.”

John adds, “You’ve got to care to get the job done right, but if you get caught up in the drama of the situation and get too emotionally involved, then all of a sudden you’re no good to anyone. And at the end of the day, if the agent’s not there strongly guiding the sale in the right direction, recommending to clients and buyers how to best go forward, it’s probably not going to come together. It’s an agent’s job to guide them.”

John continues, “It really is important to take that control, and I hate it when agents talk about ‘conditioning’ the vendor, because, for me, that’s got a negative connotation to it. Beating their price down and their expectations is not what it’s all about. It’s about managing their expectations, because the reality is, most people who list a property typically want a little bit too much at the start. That’s just human nature; their neighbours have told them how much it’s worth. They’re optimistic and that’s their right. So let’s get realistic about it. You can really only manage that expectation by consistently delivering good quality information and delivering on your promises. That’s what it takes to give you a lot in the emotional bank account of integrity; that gives you a lot of credibility going forward.”

So if you’ve provided the outstanding service, and done everything in your power to bring the right buyers in, but hit a hurdle just before the finish line, that’s the time to cash in on all that credit you have built up.

Bill Kington from Love Realty believes that it is time to give it to a client straight. He says, “When they’ve got an offer and you just know they should be taking it – it’s a great offer in a difficult market and if they don’t sell it there’s just disaster ahead for them, and you’re lying awake thinking of all the reasons they should be selling it – well, get up and write all those points down in a letter to your client. Think of everything you can, hit them with it, and then shut up.”

I’m with John and Bill on this. If you’ve done an honest job, delivered every checklist, reported well, brought the buyers through, and marketed to the best of your ability, you should have no hesitation in sending a firm, strong letter explaining what the vendors need to do. Don’t be concerned about the repercussions of sending such a letter. If you are concerned, that is an indicator that you care too much about the emotions and feelings of the owner versus the property. This is the time to shift the focus from the owners to the property and say, ‘Let me do the right thing by your property’. In being firm like this you are not being heartless; you are doing the right thing by the owners as well.


Excerpt from Frameworks Book, by Lee Woodward