I sometimes ask myself how I can bring better value to my clients. There are lots of different elements in delivering good service but this one thing stands out. It is a skill that cannot be taught or learned and only comes with experience. It is the ability of when to say “YES”. What does this mean and why is it so important?
Major decisions are hard to make and to keep saying no is an easy way to avoid commitment. Reasons to decide not to do buy a property are easy to find. Deciding to commit to a major purchase makes the mind want to run for cover. Especially when many buyers are expecting to be shown something perfect and “just know” it’s the right place for them. This is the real estate equivalent of love at first sight.
Some clients come to me after they have been around the block a few times. Frustration and fatigue have set in and they now realise it is time to call in the cavalry. It is usually around six months after being outbid a couple of times, a loss or two at an auction, being gazumped, all of these things add up unhappy campers. It is time to try something different. Even people who have bought and sold a few times in the past can find the Northern Rivers property market daunting.
Having someone in your corner who you trust is a good step in making the right decision, at the right time. There is such a thing as a ‘rebound buy’. This is where you have just been burned by missing out on something you really wanted. Then you make the mistake of buying something not suitable just to get over it. This can be costly and a huge problem.
Buyers sometimes go down the rabbit hole of never-ending due diligence. Yes, there are lots of boxes to tick, and fear making a mistake is understandable. Contracts, mortgages, Pest and Building reports, zoning, and approvals are full of reasons to say no. It is easy to lose the spark, enthusiasm, or even the original reason for the purchase.
Procrastination can be more than just a problem of wasted time. In a strong market, like it often is in Byron Bay, prices can run away from you while you are sitting on your hands. More than once I have met clients who are trying to buy in with a limited budget. By the time they have got acquainted and comfortable with the market and their options, the market has gone past their ability to buy-in.
Not Your Friend
A novice buyer quickly realises that the smiling, helpful real estate agent is not exactly their next BFF. They are the selling agent and strictly working for the seller. If their attention is not on selling you this particular property, they are focused on getting a new listing. You would be surprised by the number of times I have heard new clients ask, “Why don’t Byron agents ever call me back?”
I am not saying that buyers do not get good service and attention from listing agents. Many of the ones I work with regularly are diligent, honest, hard-working people. But they have their sole client already. That is the vendor, it is not the buyer. This is the inbuilt conflict of interest that is inherent in the real estate process. A listing agent is working for, and being paid by the vendor, while at the same time serving the buyer. That is why a buyer’s agent is often crucial to making the game more equal.
A listing agent is all about getting you to say to yes to this particular listing. That is what they are being paid for and they are in the game of Sales. A buyer’s agent is in the game of Service. They will get paid regardless and it is their obligation and duty of care to get the best possible outcome for their client.
A Relationship of Trust
It gives me immense satisfaction when a client listens and appreciates my advice. It means I have developed a level of trust. There are many good reasons to use an experienced buyer’s agent. The best one is that, as a client, when you do say “YES” you have certainty that there will be no regrets.