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Bryce Holdaway Blog post by Bryce Holdaway

Four Ways to Make A Real Estate Agent’s Day

When you’re engaging with a real estate agent, their job is to negotiate with you and try to extract as much information out of you as they can. So that they can ultimately get a good outcome for their client who is the seller, generally at the buyer’s expense by trying to get that extra money out of you. So for today’s How to Session, I thought we’d have a fun way at looking at four ways you can do to actually put a smile on the real estate agent’s face when it comes to negotiation.

And the first one is – Tell them what your budget is. Sometimes this is not an obvious question that they make. They may ask you something in a way that backs you into a corner. So, for example, they may say, the vendor’s expectations of this property are $850,000+. Can you afford that? And that might evoke an ego response from the buyer because it’s quite a public display of your sense of status and your sense of net wealth. And so you might just say, yeah I can afford that. But ultimately it’s not worth it; you don’t want to pay that. So a better way to respond to such a question is instead of saying yes I can, you just say, “Hey look, I’m actually prepared to pay what the research says it’s worth.” And it suggests that you’re ready to buy at the right price, whatever it takes, you may be able to be in a position to actually buy it. But it won’t back you into a corner when it comes to negotiating. So the first thing you shouldn’t do, it sounds obvious, but make sure you don’t tell the agent your top budget.

The second thing you can do to put a smile on their face is, just tell them how motivated you are to buy this property because that really takes away the negotiating power away from you. I always think of that with my kids in the morning. I need them to have their breakfast, first I need to get them to brush their teeth, make their bed, and I need them to put their clothes on. But unless I find out what their motivation is, I generally can’t get any leverage on them. But as soon as I tell them, “Hey look, I put your favourite TV show on”, and it’s amazing how much they wake up and do exactly what they do. It’s kind of a bit like that when you’ve told the agent, I’ve sold already, I’ve already enrolled kids in the school around the corner, or my sister lives straight across the road. Effectively they’re finding out what your motivation is, which ultimately the agent who’s worth their soul, will lock onto that and your negotiating skills are diminished from doing that. Much like my kids! If they want to watch the telly, they’ve got to do all of these other things first in order to be able to do that. The agent needs to be able to fulfil the fact that you’ve already sold, you’ve already enrolled them into school. You must actually buy this property. Again, that’s something you can do to put a smile on their face.

The other thing I suggest you do is to tell them you’re fed up with the process. Tell them you’ve missed heaps of properties, tell them that you’re totally over with the process and that you just want to buy no matter what. Because I can tell you from experience as a buyer’s agent, I’ve had so many times when a selling agent has told me that “Bryce, you’re up against another buyer who’s missed out on heaps of properties and they’re actually really fed up with the buying process. To be honest, I think they’re going to pay whatever it takes to buy this property.” And so then I have to think, that’s a pretty motivated buyer but the agent has got them exactly where they want them. They know that they’ll just get some competition, feed that underneath so they can ultimately pay a bigger price. So tell them you’re fed up, and that’s another way to put a smile on their face.

And of course, the final way that I suggest you make a real estate agent’s day is to tell them that you absolutely love the property. Put your heart on your sleeve, talk about the positives in front of them, and make sure that they know without a shadow of a doubt that you really love that property. But of course, you shouldn’t try and tamper that. Talk about the property once you’ve left when you’re in the car talking to your partner and that’s the time to really let your emotions show. But if you play your hand in front of the agent, your negotiating power has gone out of the window. A little tip from me is, beware of taking your kids along. You may have a really good game face but the really experienced agents will say to you, “Why don’t you check out the property?” and will strike up a conversation with the kids. They’ll ask them some questions because kids will keep their barriers down and inadvertently won’t realise that they’re giving away some great information.

So there are a few tips as I’ve mentioned to make the agent’s day. Tell them what your top budget is, tell them how motivated you are to buy this property, tell them that you’re absolutely fed up with the process and that you absolutely love the property; because those are the reasons that you will end up paying more money for the property. And of course, gives the agent a big hand up in the negotiation process. But it’s always important to remember, that the real estate agent doesn’t work for you, they work for their client who is the seller. So make sure that you go into any negotiation armed with this crucial information, and if you make sure that you look for any of these derailers to your position, chances are you could negotiate a really good deal on your next property.

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