Weighing up your agent strategy

Property is your most valuable asset. So when the time comes to put it on the market, the most important of all decisions is how to approach the sales process.

By Steve Lowe

10-02-2020
Property is your most valuable asset. So when the time comes to put it on the market, the most important of all decisions is how to approach the sales process.
Most owners will choose an exclusive agent to execute the marketing plan and then finalise a price with the buyer. Others will consider seeking multiple agents to effectively compete against each other for the sale.

Theoretically, by casting your net wide you should entice competition between agents and may initially sound like an attractive option. The reality may be different. Agents tend to focus on properties for which they have exclusive rights to sell, as these offer a better chance of delivering revenue.

While the multiple agent theory suggests you will reach more prospective buyers, success is achieved only with a sales focus and repeated effort.

You can market the property yourself if you’ve taken the multiple agent path and, in truth, that’s most likely what would happen as those agents would be working on properties for which they have an exclusive agreement.

Remember, this is your most valuable asset and you risk playing fast and loose with it.

Here’s a breakdown of the issues to consider when deciding whether to select an exclusive agent or a strategy of listing with multiple agents.

Multiple Agent
- Agents encouraged to compete against each other for the sale
- A wider sales channel should attract more prospective buyers
- You will have to work with multiple agents and ensure your property is available to each of them on demand
- Smart buyers can play one agent off against the other to reduce the asking price on the basis the offer will be made through them only
- If different agents find multiple buyers, the pressure on you to accept their respective offers will be intense
- You can market the property yourself and not transgress any exclusive agent arrangement
- If you are unhappy, with a multiple agent strategy you don’t have to give notice. You can just move to a new real estate agency.

Exclusive Agent
- This is the preferred model of most agents and will ensure appropriate attention to the marketing of the property
- A higher price might be achieved as the exclusive agent will seek the best deal, not the quickest
- A strong working relationship can be formed between you and your agent. This will give you better control over the offers that you are willing to consider, thus strengthening your negotiating position.
- Your exclusive agent will take on the responsibility to help you prepare your property for sale – a factor that can improve your sale price substantially
- Inspections and open houses are more manageable with one agent
- Commission may be higher with an exclusive agent but then you get what you pay for.