Most agents pride themselves on having integrity and honesty. They are decent people doing the best they can for their clients. So why is it that when it comes to giving appraisals, so many feel the need to lie?

You might consider the ‘lie’ word a bit harsh, but sadly it’s true. A large proportion of agents knowingly tell a vendor they will sell the property for more than it’s worth. They justify it as being necessary to get the listing. “After all”, they say, “everyone else does it, so I have to too”.

Unfortunately, this is the beginning of their problems. An overpriced listing is difficult to sell. The vendor has to be ‘conditioned’ to ‘meet the market’ by more lies and half-truths. This takes time, leads to a great deal of stress and unhappiness, and accounts for much of the reputational problems of agents generally.

So what is the alternative? Firstly, if this is you, you need to recognise that you have a problem and that lying is not the answer. Secondly, you need a change of listing strategy that gets the vendor to work out the correct price of the property, rather than being told a figure. This is not as hard as you might think. Simply present a list of all the properties like theirs that have sold in ascending price order and get them to make the comparison. They will soon see the reality (and realise when other agents are misleading them). Thirdly, educate them that overpricing leads to them getting less money than they otherwise would when the property becomes stale and undesirable, and takes a lot more time and hassle. Finally, concentrate on how your efforts at presentation and marketing will enable them to achieve the maximum price in the shortest time.

For more details see my book, Sell for more, available through Harper Collins.

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Have you downloaded the pre-listings iPad app, rp.lister?
RP Lister allows Real Estate Agents to engage with vendors and combine local expertise with RP Data’s property information to win more listings.  The iPad app offers mobile access to all the tools you need to establish your credentials, present market comparisons and engage with vendors. Offering the power of RP Data’s property information and the flexibility to let you control the conversation, rp.lister helps agents present interactive property content to educate and inform vendors so they can confidently decide on an appropriate listing price for their property. Download the app for free as part of your RP Data subscription, visit the iTunes App Store http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/rp.lister/id444418897?mt=8