“I’d say agents should be wary of time traps, vendors which are totally unrealistic,” Angus Raine, CEO of Raine and Horne, told Real Estate Business.
“'Time traps' are sales which take up six to eight weeks to sell. Agents will not be earning any commission in this time, [and] they should be working on homes which are realistic and sellable.”
“A lot of agents, particularly younger agents, don’t like giving vendors bad news. But good agents know the bad news is not their fault if they have marketed the property correctly.
“Agents need to honest and upfront with their clients and realise that it is not their fault that the vendor wants X [price], but the buyer wants Y.”
Mr Raine said while agents should choose their vendors wisely, he noted that the gap between vendors’ and buyers’ price expectations was beginning to narrow.
“In the last couple of years we have seen vendor and buyer expectations at odds, and it takes six to eight months for their expectations to meet,” he said.
“We are just starting to see this occur now as days on market have reduced considerably in the last six months. What this means is vendors are starting to meet the expectations of the market, and not the other way around.”
He said agents should be relying more on property and economic-based statistics, both local and international, to help quantify a property’s price.
Century 21 Australia general manager Paul Mylott told vendors in his most recent blog that, in uncertain markets, it’s particularly important that they choose an agent that “will be frank and honest with you.”
“I have no doubt that when pitching for your business, less credible agents will give you positive information regarding price expectations and the like, that may not necessarily be reflective of the true state of affairs.
“However, it could very well be what you want to hear, and thus it is tempting to believe them.
“Good agents will refrain from over-exaggerating the positive state of the market to obtain your listing. While you may not like to hear it at the time, receiving an honest assessment about market conditions from the beginning should help to make your selling process a lot easier to handle.
“As a vendor you will also need to trust your agent to guide you through the price reduction process; that is, if your property has not yet sold, lowering its price to a level that meets buyers’ expectations.
“Believe me, this won’t be an easy conversation for your agent to have with you, however a good agent will approach you respectfully and should display an understanding of your situation.
"They know you don’t want to hear that your expected price may not be attainable, and will attempt to deliver the disappointing news in a truthful way.”