HOW YOU CAN SELL WELL DESPITE COVID-19
by Neil Jenman
This sounds like a joke, but it’s true: Three Sydney real estate agents decided to play a round of golf last weekend. When they met, they were in a good mood. Smiles, back-slaps and hand-shakes (despite the warnings) all-around.
“Nice to see you again, Bob.”
“How you are doing, Luke?”
“Glad you could make it, Abdul.”
Four hours later, at the clubhouse, there wasn’t a smile to be seen. They looked like they were having a ‘pity-party’ – staring into their drinks, barely saying a word.
Well, the biggest among them – (“Big Bob”), who had a commanding presence – had convinced the others that the sky was falling in.
“I’ve seen it all before,” he said, “I was in banking. I was in the recessions. I saw what happened after 9-11. I was there for the GFC in ’08. I can tell you now, the market is stuffed. Prices are going to crash, and they won’t come back for at least four years.”
There’s an old-saying, “Misery loves company”, so these agents spent the rest of the day together. One didn’t even bother going to work on Monday.
Meanwhile, in another part of Australia, far away from the influence of these three misery-men, a real estate agent called Jenayah Hampton was casting her eyes over the half-dozen sales she’d made in the past couple of weeks.
Suddenly she realised something: Most had been sold for more than expected – by the agent and the delighted sellers. No misery here, thought Jenayah as she prepared to coach her team on how to do more work on-line or using video or ‘Google Meet’.
As for her office being in trouble because the world is in trouble, Jenayah just answered, “All people have to live somewhere – and mostly it’s in houses and we agents are in the business of houses and there will always be some people who still need to sell.”
But what about those headlines saying real estate is going to crash? Or the economist who said prices are going to fall “at least 5 per cent, maybe as much as 20 percent”? Surely, as a homeowner, you’d be silly to sell now.
Jenayah’s answer was so simple and so obvious: “Now, more than ever, home-owners with a strong need to sell are going to need an agent who’s skilled at getting good prices. Our team are trained in a subject most agents know little about – negotiation. I believe our business will increase in the weeks ahead because sellers are getting fussy about which agent they choose. They realise the value of agents who are skilled negotiators.”
But there is another point that sellers need in their agents right now – enthusiasm.
Okay, granted, there has never been so much bad news as there is right now. And yes, we are right to take maximum precautions over our health – and care about the health of others.
But, surely, not everything is bad?
The last time there was a major world pandemic – and, let’s hope, despite the dire predictions, Covid-19 doesn’t get that bad – was in the 1918-1919 Spanish Flu Pandemic. If you know anything about history, you will know what followed that world disaster – the “Roaring 20s”.
If there is one thing this virus crisis should teach us, it’s this: Nothing lasts forever, whether it be good or bad.
Maybe good times, to a large extent, are over – but only for a while. Does it not seem reasonable that if a virus causes widespread fear and a fall in confidence, that a vaccine – or the end of the virus in someway – will cause the opposite: excitement and a return to confidence?
And, when confidence does come back – as it will – there are likely to be many people who will regret missing the chance to buy a nice home at more reasonable price. Not a bargain, but, maybe, a more reasonable price.
You see, if you’re a home-buyer, your chances of “stealing” a beautiful home at a massively reduced price will be slim to non-existent, especially when homes are listed for sale with the best agents, those with high negotiation skills and high enthusiasm.
Here are some reasons why (and how) home sellers can sell for a good price in these bad times:
As already mentioned, it’s more important than ever that you find an agent who’s both enthusiastic and a skilled negotiator.
If the pundits are right and prices do drop by up to 20 per cent, then surely the faster you get your home on the market, the more chance you have of avoiding the worst of the [maybe] price falls.
Always remember, putting your home for sale is not the same as selling your home. If you can’t get the price you want, you can just choose not to sell.
Right now, many home-sellers are withdrawing their homes from sale for no other reason than fear of the future or fear of being offered a low price. Or, they have met one of those negative agents who play golf when they should be selling real estate.
So, in many areas, because of homes being withdrawn, there are less homes for sale now. When supply goes down, prices usually go up – not down.
The stock market has fallen by about a third in the past four weeks. When share prices go down, the rule is simple: real estate prices often go up.
So, if you want to sell your home now, during these most terrible of times, it need not all be gloom and doom.
If you own a good home in a good area and you find a very good agent, chances are you can still get a very good price.
Why not give it a try?
What’s the worst that can happen? You’ll decide not to sell which will be the same as if you didn’t try to sell – no difference, no loss.
What’s the best that can happen? You may achieve what the sellers who have chosen enthusiastic skilled negotiators are achieving – a higher price despite the virus scare.
It’s not all doom and gloom. But if you give up without trying, how can you ever do well?
So, again, the message if you’re keen to sell now is: Give it a try.
You may get some great news – and won’t that be a change from all bad news around today?!