In my experience real estate agents typically fall into one of two categories – “deal doers” and “process people”.
The first, and most common, are the deal doers. These are agents who jump to action when they have a buyer on the hook. They won’t let a deal pass them buy. They are opportunistic and often charismatic. They thrive on a sale and know that the only way they get paid is to sell, sell, sell, and they never lose sight of this.
These agents are able to understand their vendor’s motivation and are able to find out their bottom line. They are very focused on managing their vendors price expectations (otherwise known as conditioning) so that they can get a deal together in a timely fashion once they have identified a buyer.
The more skilled agents in this category will be very charming and persuasive and you will want to buy from them, even if the property they are handling isn’t ideally suited to your needs.
The less skilled “deal doer” agents will resort to playing games and being a bit liberal with the truth. So you are unlikely to trust these guys as much and will probably not want to buy from them unless they happen to be selling a property that really suits you.
Regardless of their skill level, a quick sale is a good sale in their eyes. So negotiate hard and decisively, preferably with a signed contract and a walk-away price.
The second group of real estate agent are process oriented and much less focused on getting a deal across the line, often lacking the necessary negotiation skills and nearly always inadequate when it comes to reading people and their buying signals. Often inexperienced (although some dinosaur agents can be like this too), they will be lead by their owners, who generally don’t know how to negotiate either. They couldn’t manage their way out of a wet paper bag so the chances of them having their vendor’s price expectations under control are close to nil. Not only that, but quite often they haven’t even worked out that without covering this crucial base they are less likely to get a sale. And they don’t have the skills to close the gap between a buyer at a low price and a vendor at a high one. Quite often we come across these agents presiding over an overpriced property, where they don’t even realize the price is too high and they have a level of arrogance about buyers who they seem to perceive are simply being cheap.
Typically these people follow a very rigid step by step process and aren’t able to roll with the punches. They don’t think on their feet and won’t know how to handle a curve ball. C follows B follows A and don’t get the order wrong! So now is not the time to get creative with your offer and try to negotiate on things like inclusions, settlement periods and lease-back arrangements. Whatever you do, don’t confuse these poor souls!
Generally those who are the worst negotiators will give you the least information. They don’t know how to use information to get an outcome. So buyers get frustrated with them and sometimes even give up in disgust. Or they dig their heels in and nobody gets anywhere.
These are the sorts of agents you have to give a low offer to as they won’t know how to present a decent offer to their vendor. By starting off at a figure less than you are prepared to go to you will be conditioning the vendor (because we know the agent hasn’t been) and allowing our friend to look like he is negotiating. So when you finally get to the point of submitting your final offer, the vendor is better prepared to recognize it for what it is and hopefully accept it.
You might get the feeling that I don’t like dealing with these “box ticker” agents. And you would be right. But we always keep our eye on the prize and act accordingly in our negotiations.
Published:- 11 November, 2011
Please note: Good Deeds buyers tips are intended to be of a general nature. Please contact us for advice that is specific to your individual circumstances. You may also need to get advice from other professionals such as an accountant, mortgage broker, financial planner or solicitor.