Simon Cohen launches seller’s advocacy agency

Could seller’s advocates be the next big thing in real estate?

Top buyer’s agent Simon Cohen thinks so, which is why he’s launched COHEN SPACE. in conjunction with Julie Buchanan.

COHEN SPACE. is an independent, boutique seller’s advocacy agency that acts on behalf of vendors to help them navigate the real estate market with confidence.

The agency can help vendors every step of the way, from selecting a real estate agent to presenting the property for sale, organising repairs and renovations, ensuring the marketing is targeted and on point. 

Chief Executive Officer of the Cohen Group, Simon Cohen, said after 20 years buying and selling property, he saw the need for vendors to have a dedicated professional on their side to simplify what can be a complex process.

“Having helped clients purchase more than $7 billion worth of real estate, we know what it takes to sell a property and achieve the results you need, regardless of the market conditions,” he said.

“So, we’re taking that experience and launching a seller’s advocacy business.

“Selling your property, whether it’s your primary residence, an investment property or a property you’ve inherited is likely to be one of the largest and most stressful financial transactions of your life, so it makes sense to have someone independent of the real estate agent on your side throughout the entire process. 

“Real estate agents are working on behalf of both the seller and the buyer, so COHEN SPACE. is working solely for the seller and will provide unbiased, independent advice and guidance to get you the best possible price for your property.”

COHEN SPACE. sits alongside Mr Cohen’s other businesses Cohen Handler, Costi Cohen and Cohen Farquharson.

Director and co-founder of COHEN SPACE. Julie Buchanan joined forces with Mr Cohen in the agency with 35 years’ experience in the property market, including running SPACE. Property Advocates.

She said vendor advocacy was all about giving sellers the ability to sell their property with the confidence that no stone had been left unturned in the pursuit of achieving the best result.

“You can sell with confidence and sit back and relax knowing that you’ve done everything you can and that the price we get is the price the property deserves and is worth,” Ms Buchanan said.

Ms Buchanan said vendor advocacy was hugely popular in the US and while it’s less known in Australia, it is a service that seller’s are seeking more and more.

Services include property appraisals, presentation advice, coordinating trades, selecting an agent and a sales method, ensuring marketing is targeted, selecting the most suitable inspection times and even preparing the home for inspections.

Ms Buchanan said COHEN SPACE. Could also assist with negotiations and finalising the sale.

“Essentially, we look after the sellers on top of what the real estate agent does,” she said. 

“The world has come to a point where people want that kind of third party, unbiased support from someone who is a professional in the industry and who is there navigating what can be a tricky time.”

Ms Buchanan said it did not cost vendors more to use COHEN SPACE. with their flat fee coming directly from the commission the vendor pays the agent. 

“It’s an absolute flat fee and there’s no negotiation on that,” she said.

“We pick the agent that is right for that property and that vendor.”

Ms Buchanan said she’d also never experienced an agent attempting to bump up their commission to recover her fee, and she noted she knows what fair commissions are in the current market and what value her services added.

“It’s only slightly more than what they’d have to give in a referral fee anyway,” she said.

Ms Buchanan said vendor advocates also made real estate agents’ jobs simpler by helping coordinate the sale on the seller’s end.

One of her most successful campaigns was for a house in Longueville with a client that was selling the family home after 25 years. 

Ms Buchanan said that particular property required a $120,000 spend from the vendor for repainting, recarpeting, landscaping, professional styling and more, but that was more than recouped in the sale price. 

“We had the agents through initially and they said $7-7.5 million, we spent $120,000, with $20,000 of that on styling, and we sold it for $8.8 million,” she said.

Ms Buchanan said the vendors were in charge throughout every step of the sales process and COHEN SPACE. is there to provide as much or as little help and advice as they need.

She said any seller could use a vendor advocate but their services were particularly suited to elderly vendors who were selling the family home after many years, separating or divorcing vendors or when there were multiple sellers with a deceased estate.

“Selling can be an emotional time, and we can help anyone that needs a little more hand-holding,” Ms Buchanan said.

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Kylie Dulhunty

Kylie Dulhunty is the Editor at Elite Agent.