When deciding who to hire to help sell their property, many people believe that some real estate agents have access to more buyers than others. And since every seller wants a buyer at the best price, it makes sense to list with the agent who appears to have the most buyers. If they have more buyers, surely they have a better chance of selling our property? Or even better – getting multiple buyers fighting each other to pay us a premium?
On the face of it, this seems logical. The problem is, it’s based on a false premise.
To make matters more misleading, this falsehood is constantly reinforced by the industry.
You see, the way our industry is traditionally set up, getting your listing is the real ‘sale’ for real estate salespeople. No listing = No chance of selling it = No BIG commission.
Salespeople know many consumers believe the ‘more buyers’ myth, so obviously an easy way to increase our chances of winning your listing, is to play on that falsehood…
“We’ve got the biggest team, have the most listings, do the most advertising, hold the most open homes, have the biggest market share etc … therefore we’ve got the most buyers on our books… which is why you’d be crazy to list with anybody else… You don’t want to miss out on all our buyers do you?… sign here.”
But the truth is: Every agent has access to exactly the same buyers. Because buyers are attracted to your property – not the agent.
Sure, in the old days it was different. Back then, most properties were on the market as ‘Open Listings’ – meaning every agent could take a buyer through the same property.
There was much higher levels of stock (more properties available for buyers to sift through), and real estate advertising was limited to office windows, signs and one weekly print publication. Not all available listings were advertised each week, so buyers had to either drive around endlessly looking for signs or wait a whole week to discover new listings.
On top of all that, there was also very limited intel available about each individual property.
In a way, agents were middlemen. The gatekeepers of property information. We alone had knowledge of all the listings and critical property data. If buyers wanted access, they needed the help of a salesperson.
Real estate was also more of a matchmaking service. For salespeople, it was about building relationships with buyers, getting to know them, what they want, don’t want… helping them narrow the options down and matching them to the right home.
Buyers were therefore more loyal and agent relationship focussed. They tended to find a salesperson they liked and stuck with them – only looking at what that agent arranged to show them. Of course this also caused much frustration for buyers. One of their biggest complaints was agents wasting their time showing properties nothing like what they wanted.
So yes, one could argue that in the old days buyers were attracted to good agents.
But we don’t live in that world anymore. It’s changed. Significantly.
That phenomena called ‘the internet’ has made information readily available in seconds. With a few taps on their device buyers can identify, in real time, almost every property for sale matching their basic needs. Along with all the intimate details of each listing (more photo’s, video walkthroughs, market history, floor area, land area, recent neighbouring sales etc etc).
They no longer need a salesperson to tell them what is available. They don’t have to rely on a salespersons questionable property intel, and they don’t have to waste countless hours seeing houses nothing like what they want.
They can do their own market research and sorting much more efficiently, narrowing their options down to the handful of suitable properties, then arranging to view only those.
Further, because most properties are now listed exclusively (by one company), the buyers have to look at each home with whichever agent happens to have it on their books. Chances are, each of them will be listed with a different agent (or company).
So for buyers the focus has shifted from:
Finding a salesperson (to help them find a house)…
Finding the right house (who cares who the salesperson is).
In fact many buyers want as little contact as possible with pushy salespeople.
To fully grasp the significance of this shift, and what it means for you as a seller, just put yourself in a genuine buyers shoes.
Let’s say you have a favourite real estate agent, maybe a trusted friend or family member you’d really like to purchase through. The problem is, they don’t have every property on their books, so you still need to keep an eye on the rest of the market.
Your friend is trying really hard but just hasn’t come up with the right property. In the meantime, it comes onto the market with a different agent, one you don’t know from a bar of soap. The property looks perfect for your family, is in the ideal location and it’s within your budget.
The question is:
Are you going to ignore it? Are you going to refuse to view, what appears to be your ideal home, just because it’s not listed with your pet agent?
Of course not, because getting the right home for yourself and your family, is more important than who you happen to buy it from.
So what does all this mean for you, as a seller?
Once you understand that like bees to a honey pot: Buyers are attracted to your property not the agent…
Once you understand that buyers just want the best property they can find and couldn’t care less who you are on the market with….
You realise that any genuine buyers in the market, looking for a property like yours, are going to view it regardless of who’s sign is on the fence.
Therefore the fact of the matter is: There are exactly the same amount of buyers in the market for your property regardless of which agent you engage. Any agents who claim otherwise are either deliberately misleading you or a dinosaur.
So as a seller, this means the role of your agent has also changed.
From ‘finding you a buyer’…
To helping you maximise your net sale proceeds. Which has nothing to do with how many buyers we claim to have.
Remember: Buyers are attracted to your property – not the agent.
Maximising your net is about helping you avoid costly mistakes. It’s about getting your pre-market preparation, pricing, strategy, smart marketing and negotiations right (to ensure you leverage the maximum price from your property).
At the same time it’s also about helping you keep your selling costs to a minimum…
Highest Sale Price LESS Lowest Fees = Most left in your pocket.
So here’s the big takeaway: If you want to sell your property, rather than asking:
“Which agent has the most buyers?”…
You may be wiser to ask yourself:
“Which agent do you want representing you when those buyers are viewing and negotiating to buy your property?”
In other words:
Which agent do you believe will best protect your interests, maximise your selling price and minimise your selling expenses, leaving the most possible in your hand?