Is that ‘motivated seller’ really just a ‘motivated agent’?

Written by Stonehouse

Kim Franklin, Principal Agent. Writer of the Blog and guides here at Stonehouse. For more, check out our people or give us a call.

30 March 2020

Selling your home? Let’s not make it too personal.

It’s not right to use a vendor’s personal circumstances as a means of selling a house.

Divorce, financial difficulties, poor health, whatever the reason for selling, they are the vendor’s reasons and should not be put out into the world. They should not be used as a marketing tool. It seems many agents will disagree with us.

It is common practice to make the listing all about the seller and what is going on in their lives, instead of the property.

The tell-tale signs are in phrases like “Separation Dictates Immediate Sale!” or “Urgent Sale – Vendor Already Relocated”. Yes, those sorts of slogans are on the more extreme end but are often found when marketing a property. More commonplace slogans like “Motivated Vendor” or “All Offers Considered” have the same devastating outcome by giving away the vendor’s position.

They indicate that personal issues are being exploited to promote a quick sale, and we’re dead set against it for the following reasons:

  • Ethically and morally it is not ok to broadcast a vendor’s personal issues to make a quick sale.
  • It can adversely affect the sale price.
  • It takes the focus off the property itself and places it on the vendor.
  • It’s actually none of the purchaser’s business why the house is for sale.
  • It’s lazy.

Every buyer wants the best deal, and if they get a whiff of desperation from you through your agent, how do you think they’ll react? While they might have sympathy for the personal circumstances that force you to sell your home, they’re not going to pay over the odds to do you a favour. Instead, they’ll seek to take advantage of the situation and make an offer well short of what your property
deserves. When you’re faced with having to choose from a host of mediocre offers, you’re never going to get the price your property deserves. Purchasers are savvier and have access to more information than ever before. Many use the leverage of what the agent says against the vendor knowing the agent won’t get paid if their offer isn’t accepted.

In real life, that “motivated seller” is more likely to be a “motivated agent”.

They might be anxious to offload the listing because they know if they don’t sell it, they don’t get paid! The commission payable on $500,000.00 is a lot more than the commission paid on $0. If the property is worth more, their motivation to sell doesn’t increase as much as their motivation to not have the property withdrawn. They want to sell before the vendor asks another agent to take on the listing, no matter the price.

The last thing you want to show is desperation. That’s why we never play the sympathy card on behalf of our clients. We think it’s vital to always show confidence in the selling power of the property instead of hanging out some sort of begging bowl. Besides, we’d never want to let the world know about a client’s personal situation. We’re in the business of selling houses, not peddling misery.

Many agents are just too lazy to persevere and get a fair price. Is that the sort of agent you want working for you?

The next time you read a listing with words like “motivated seller” or “all offers considered”, think about who is actually the motivated one, or who is the one open to all offers. It might be the agent themselves. If that’s the case, they’re not the sort of person you want on your team when it’s time to sell.

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