Advice to homesellers: Don't "track" the agent when he is showing a client your home

If there is one practice among house sellers that time and again jeopardises a successful sale it is that of following the agent and the potential buyer from room to room and trying to supplement the information that the agent is supplying.

This was said recently by Anton du Plessis, CEO of Vineyard Estates.

“Personally,” he said, “I have no objection to being tracked by the homeowner and as agents have been known to overlook important points, I can understand sellers’ anxiety about these matters. However, it should always be remembered that a good agent will have run through the salient points of the home with the client before he arrives for the visit.

“In practice, experience shows that when the owner is present the client will not feel free to voice his objections and queries for fear of offending him. Furthermore, a nervous or inexperienced agent will be put off by the presence of the owner – the sale process depends on establishing a quiet, trustful relationship with the potential buyer and this is usually not possible if a third party is hovering about. There have even been occasions where a buyer has enthused about the property in front of the seller, only to mention to the agent afterwards that they disliked it.”

The presence of the seller, added du Plessis, can also give the impression that he or she is desperate to achieve a sale – which, of course, jeopardises the agent’s bargaining ability.

In the worst cases, added du Plessis, the seller will throw in comments which actually put the seller off. For example, he might say that his is one of the few houses in the area that has never been burgled, unwittingly implying that the precinct is riddled with criminals. Or he might say that since a former refurbishment no dry rot has been detected – implying that it might still be there.

Sometimes, said du Plessis, sellers come forward with information that actually deters the buyer.

“They have a tendency to oversupply the client with data which simply annoys and exhausts him. There is great value in handling an inspection quietly and without pressure.”

So, where should the seller be when his home is being viewed?

Du Plessis suggests that the owner should be busy with some activity that indicates how much he or she enjoys living there – even if it is only baking a cake, gardening or sitting on the verandah, reading a newspaper. The owner should be available at the start of the inspection to answer questions – but should not interfere thereafter.

“Our best sales have been achieved without the help of the client – after all, this is our business. If all those years selling homes have not taught us how to conduct an inspection visit, we should not be in real estate at all.”

Article by: