Identifying value over fees

Often as consumers we prioritise price over quality and then we get disappointed when the result is unsatisfactory. We then undoubtedly have to opt for quality second time round, paying twice for the same desired outcome, resulting in a far more expensive exercise than was necessary.

Ever heard the saying; “you get what you pay for”?  It could never be more true than its application to real estate. Many property sellers often make the mistake of selecting the “cheapest” agent, thinking it will save them money. When in actual fact it costs far more in the end.

Just selling your property is one thing, but if you want to maximize your asset and get the best result in the market, then you need to do something different. You need the quality on your side.

This is what I’ve learnt in over 25 years of real estate: The better the marketing and selling strategies the more buyer interest you get.  The stronger the buyer interest, the more the buyers compete.  When the buyers compete they make their best offers and you sell for the most the market will pay. The economics are simple. A “cheaper” agent simply does not have the capacity, infrastructure, and budget to compete with an agent with a marketing team, specialists in different property sectors, and community entrenched relationships.

Surely what counts at the end of the day isn’t what agent fees you pay – it’s what you net “in your pocket” after fees.  So the agent that is the “cheapest” and sells low will net you less than the agent who charges more but has the marketing and selling strategies to sell for much more, thus netting you the maximum.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that the agent with the highest fee will get you the best result.  As with everything in life, context applies. You still need to determine what you are getting for the fee.  What is the marketing plan?  How will buyers be attracted to the product?  What strategies will be employed to get the buyers to compete against each other?

As I’ve always advised – research and understanding is paramount. You need convincing proof that your agent has the answers.  I’d suggest you need them in writing.  In fact, why not ask that the agent undertakings in terms of marketing, service, and strategies are in writing and part of the sole mandate.  That way you get what you’re promised.

Remember, if you pay peanuts you get monkeys.  If you pay a professional to do a professional job you get what you pay for – a great result that maximizes your net return.  You deserve nothing less. This is an investment after all.


Steve Caradoc-Davies

Harcourts Platinum Principal

Cell: 083 447 1419


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