We are fortunate to work in such an affluent, established, and sophisticated real estate market as Stonnington.

Our clients are well educated, savvy, have excellent market knowledge, and most have experience buying and selling.

Likewise, the calibre of real estate agents in Stonnington is amongst the highest in Australia, if not the world.

The stakes are high, as are the rewards for successful operators.

It is a highly competitive environment in a low turnover market.

Take the family home market in Malvern, for example. Many owners hold their property for decades, and are fully entrenched in the local community, having relationships with multiple agents.

Listings are especially tight now, and we are often competing with two or three other agents to win a listing.

Selecting an agent can be challenging. You don’t really know what you’re getting until after you’ve engaged the agent. Much is promised, and not always delivered.

We all come across as professional and friendly, say lovely things about your home, suggest a similar strategy – a four weekend auction campaign, digital advertising on REA and Domain, styling and professional photos, etc.

It can be hard to differentiate.

It often comes down to likability, trust, and track record… All important things.

You need to like and trust your agent, and they should have a proven record of selling (a majority) of similar properties in the area – so that they have the best relationships with and access to the most relevant buyers for your home.

Fees are important but usually not the main deciding factor.

A small proportion of sellers will select the cheapest agent, but this is a risky move. Like any service, you get what you pay for.

The different between a well-executed campaign and poorly run one can mean hundreds of thousands of dollars on the sale price. Or the difference between selling and not selling.

Unfortunately, we do occasionally miss business for being perceived to be too conservative on value.

Vendors are humans, and humans like to hear what they want to hear. And generally, this means they want to hear an optimistic, or dare I say, inflated valuation.

This creates a grey area that some agents can exploit.

Rationally, you should select the best agent for the job, not the one who tells you the price you want to hear.

Yet many, many vendors fall into this trap, which is understandable.

“This agent thinks we can get $3,000,000. They believe in the property. They are more enthusiastic.”

Sometimes agents get value wrong and unwittingly over promise.

Other agents (not us), intentionally sell too much hope by promising a high price, assuming that once they get control of the listing, they can ‘condition’ their vendors into lowering their price expectations.

This borders on unethical and is not the way we want to operate our business.

We much prefer to under promise, and over deliver.

A sales campaign is a large investment in time, money, and emotion.

We always want our vendors to understand and be comfortable with their ‘base’ case scenario before committing themselves to an on market campaign.

The stakes are even higher when buying first and needing to sell after.

Fortunately, our properties usually sell for a lot more than what we advise on value.

It’s a win-win when this happens.

This is why, regardless of what other agents are doing, we will continue to provide our clients with the right advice, even if this means we miss out on the occasional listing.

If you’d like a realistic, conservative opinion on what your place could be worth in the current market, please let me know.

Feature Property: 22 Barkly Avenue, Armadale

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