Why Real Estate? My Six Lessons!
LESSON NUMBER ONE: HELP OUT WHEREVER POSSIBLE
I can recall the excitement and trepidation when my wife and I made our very first offer on a home. We read the entire 10 page Sale and Purchase Agreement. We had seen enough of “Fair Go” to realise we had to read the fine print. The agent didn’t offer any help, but could easily have explained that the “General Terms of Sale” were there to protect both buyer and seller and could have at least offered to run it past our solicitor.
LESSON NUMBER TWO: NEGOTIATING SKILLS AND KNOWING YOUR CLIENT ARE PARAMOUNT
When we bought our next home, after returning from abroad, we found the agent to be an extremely ruthless negotiator, we certainly felt we had paid top dollar. His negotiating skills were first class, he knew we had fallen in love with the home and that we had to own it.
LESSON NUMBER THREE: ENERGY, ENTHUSIASM AND A CAN-DO ATTITUDE CAN CARRY YOU A LONG WAY
The home was certainly in need of a makeover and I was excited at the prospect of doing this, although I had never done anything like that before. I was also excited by the potential that the home offered, so not to be deterred, I got stuck in, read books and talked with people to learn what to do and how to do it. The end result was something I was really proud of.
LESSON NUMBER FOUR: HONESTY IS FREE
I kept receiving offers of free-market appraisals from the local agents and decided to see what they thought of the property. I had an idea of what the home was worth but was also interested in what the “experts” had to say. We had always intended to return to New Zealand so I was keeping my eye on the market. I was amazed at the huge price ranges these so-called “experts” were giving me. It became pretty obvious that most of these experts were trying to buy my listing and hadn’t done their homework. A couple had real market knowledge and it was apparent that these were the real area specialists.
LESSON NUMBER FIVE: THE CHEAPEST IS NOT NECESSARILY THE BEST
When we decided to sell, we asked the agent we had bought the property through to represent us, even though he was the most expensive. We thought because he worked so hard to get top dollar from us when we were buying, then he’d probably do the same for us now that we were selling. After the second open home, he produced an offer that exceeded our expectations by $30,000, we were blown away.
LESSON NUMBER SIX: REMEMBER WHO PAYS YOUR COMMISSION AND WHO YOU WORK FOR
When we arrived back in New Zealand we went to many open homes. I was shocked by the level of service given by agents here and surprised at how many of them were willing to divulge private and confidential information about their client. There were a number of them who were willing to give away information about their clients, that effectively reduced their strength at the negotiating table, some even indicated what the vendors lowest price was!