Trying to hide or dull down the real reason you’re approaching them won’t do you any favours. They hear excuses like, “We don’t have to sell, we’re selling because we want to make top dollar,” all the time and know that in most cases it isn’t true.
You’d be significantly better off telling them the truth. Instead try approaching them more directly with things like “I’m selling our house as we are moving to Wellington in 3 months and I’d like to meet you,” or “Our house is too big and I’d like an appraisal because I’m thinking of selling.”
By being honest and direct you’ll be able to avoid misunderstandings and ensure the agent is aware of key timelines and requirements they will need to work to. This communication method will also help to foster a relationship of mutual respect. Remember, you probably live in the same location as this agent and you want to be able to hold your head high knowing you’ve conducted business fairly, as opposed to running for cover every time you see them in the supermarket.
The second thing you need to do is layout out your ground rules. Strictly speaking these aren’t rules as such, but more the process that you want them to follow until the agent is engaged. Remember they don’t do their job until you engage them, so it’s important that you structure the ‘dating process’ clearly and carefully.
Here’s a good example of how you’re initial call could go. “Hi Jeff, it’s Sue from 19 Brown Street, I was given your details from My Top Agent. I would like to invite you to our property to have an introductory meeting and then if that meeting goes well, get you to come back in 3 days’ time to gives us a pitch on how you would market our property and where you see its value in the market. Just so you know we are meeting two other agents, but we want to be fair and give you all an equal opportunity. Either way you will know within a week if you have the job or not. Is that acceptable to you?”
A call like this gives a clear process, cuts straight to the point and all top agents will respect you for being up front.
HOT TIP: Believe it or not, what you are really doing is creating ‘demand’ for your property between the agents. This example is what you want your agent to do for you once they’re hired. It’s important to see how they operate under these terms. If they say no, then pat yourself on the back, as they may have too much work on, and can’t be bothered pitching. It’s better to find out their commitment levels after your first call rather than to wait 3 to 4 weeks into a marketing campaign only to find out they’re too busy…