Perception vs reality

As real estate agents we get asked to meet with property owners to discuss their future plans on a daily basis. I enjoy this immensely because not only do I feel we are very well qualified to assist them, but I am fascinated with the psychological process that potential vendors put themselves through when deciding to sell their major asset.

The conversations start differently depending on whether they know us as past clients or whether they are meeting with us for the first time. If they have been a past client they are much more open about discussing their needs and preferred outcome, whereas as a new client, we need to earn their trust before they will be completely open about their situation.

Regardless, the common element in both these conversations is that they are trying to determine if the perception they have in their minds about their future plans, match the reality of what is likely to occur. As you may expect, we see a very wide range of different perceptions with these being coloured by their circumstance and past experience, but the psychological process is usually quite similar.

In the main we witness three things occurring. Potential vendors often want to appear not desperate to sell or in need of selling. They would like to sell, but do not need to. Secondly, they want know if their expectation on the value of their property matches the market and how they can exceed market value. Finally and most importantly if you, as an estate agent, are worthy of being appointed to handle the sale of their major asset and achieve or exceed their desired outcomes.

With this in mind we focus on three things during our initial meeting. Firstly we actively listen to the vendor to understand their needs. It sounds simple but it is surprisingly uncommon. Secondly provide them with a good overview of the market and an analysis of the likely value of their property based on current evidence. We also work through any of their perceptions that may not be accurate or they need more information on. Lastly, we do our best to provide a clear way forward. Knowledge is power and clarity is strength, and you need both of them to have the most successful outcome possible.

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