Elite AgentOPINION

How to list properties sight-unseen during Christmas

The festive season is upon us. And while the real estate market would usually wind down as everyone enjoys some relaxing time off, the past two years have shown us that even without in-person inspections, properties can be sold. 

Usually, this time of year is written off by many agents, buyers and sellers, but it doesn’t have to be.

By being innovative, smart and unique, any and every agent can successfully list and sell properties no matter what season it is. 

The last seven properties I have listed have been over the phone, sight-unseen.

Despite being out of lockdown, technology can be and should be utilised to gain listings.

Simply speaking, when you have a listing presentation that is driven by process and strategy, as opposed to driven by price, there is no longer the need for an in-person presentation.

The listing appointment is geared around how you will get the highest possible price, rather than comparable sales.

It’s no longer about price alone, but the strategy behind achieving that price. 

Vendors should be choosing an agent based on negotiation strategy.

After all, what promise is a price if you can’t achieve it?

Remember, the market determines the price under the strength of competition.

An agent can waltz in and promise a number, but at the end of the day, if they can’t get that number, they’re of no use. 

December and January have the potential to be bumper months for agents who are ready to leverage their time through the use of technology.

The properties that I have listed, sight-unseen, have all followed the same strategy.

When someone calls and wants to book an appraisal, we schedule a phone appointment.

It’s important to make sure all the decision makers are on the phone and that they can all hear you. 

Prior to the phone appointment, I recommend sending a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) that will give vendors the demographics of the area.

This includes all the properties that have sold within a six-month period within a one kilometre circular radius of their property. 

When it comes to the phone consult, take 10 to 15 minutes to discuss the vendor’s plans.

Find out where they are moving to, what they want in an agent, their previous selling and purchasing experiences, and if there’s anything that needs to be done to the property.

This will help ascertain a timeline moving forward.

It’s during this time that vendors may discuss their concerns, giving you a good opportunity to deal with them.

Think of it like a doctor/patient situation.

Identify the concerns (symptoms) and prescribe the right advice (medication).

Once this discussion has happened, you can discuss how to move forward.

Cover the different marketing methods, the different sales methods and give them advice on what you would suggest.

Go through what needs to happen between now and the property going onto the market and agree on the timeline.

But remember to emphasise that things are flexible.

During this time, also take them through the fee structure.

Cover all the basics like marketing and advertising costs and percentages. 

And then, close the deal.

If they want to move forward, send an email immediately following the phone call with the required authorities. 

Right now, there is no need for an in-person presentation. People are accepting of technology.

When I use this method, the first time I see the property is when I receive marketing photos.

Recently, I sold a property for $185,000 above reserve.

I didn’t see it until the first in-person inspection. 

At the end of the day, people want a streamlined, stress-free property sale process.

By doing things over the phone, it eases the transition a bit more.

There is no big hoopla.

Of course, when necessary, go and see the property in person, however, if you can articulate everything you need to discuss over the phone, via Zoom or over FaceTime, doing things remotely can actually mean you’re being much more effective with your time. 

Many agents continue to do onsite appraisals simply because that is what has been done for years.

But that’s not the way of the world anymore.

When it comes to properties, the market determines price.

Not me.

All I need to prove is how I’m going to get that price and what strategies I’m going to implement.

And then, I need to follow through. 

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Adam Flynn

Adam Flynn is the State Director of Coronis Group Victoria.