Many places fail to sell when they are first listed. What can you do? Perhaps an analogy might help.

Think of the Property Sale as a sick patient and you as the doctor. The first thing you have to do is find out what is wrong. And for this to work, you have to step back and examine the patient objectively.

The most common illnesses are over-pricing, poor presentation, and poor marketing. The cure depends on the condition.  

If you have a bad case of over-pricing you need to act quickly. The longer the patient suffers, the quicker it declines. The vendor must be made to realise that there are a limited number of buyers. Once they are exhausted, finding new ones becomes harder and harder even if they do adjust their expectations.

Poor presentation is another common ailment. Like a bad case of acne, it tends to put others off. They have trouble looking past the surface to see the inner beauty. They tend to vastly over-estimate the cost of the treatment; it needs an ointment but they are costing in plastic surgery. And this comes at the vendor’s expense. You are not doing your vendors any favours telling them to ‘list it as is’ when the paint is peeling, the gutters have holes, and the place is a mess.

The easiest illness to cure is poor marketing. Is this your fault? Are you being too lazy to think about the property and write an advert targeted to its likeliest buyers? Or is the vendor being too stingy to market it properly?

At the end of the day, the patient will only get better if you are honest with the vendor and yourself. The vendor needs to be part of the healing process and understand that he or she will get the best return from a healthy patient. You need to put in the effort to help them understand.

Dr Gil Davis is now a university lecturer. For twenty five years, he was one of Australia’s top-selling real estate agents. He wrote Sell for more, available through Harper Collins.

Noted from the editor:

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