Do homes sell themselves?

  • 27/08/11 Do homes sell themselves?

    Written by Sue Ellson

    If they are faultless and exceptional at the right price, yes! But as we saw on 'The Block' television program recently, extra publicity and a fancy renovation do not always work or pay dividends. Let’s look at the issues…

    As a relatively new Real Estate Agent’s Representative working in Melbourne, I have continued my personal tradition of attending informative networking events and the topic of ‘The Block’ came up and James asked me ‘do homes sell themselves?’ It was a great question as I have quickly learnt that real estate agents have a very bad reputation out there in the local community.

    So I started quoting an example of a property that was recently sold through O’Donoghues First National Real Estate in Camberwell.  The vendors were an elderly couple who had recently signed a contract to move into retirement accommodation and needed to sell their home quickly.  As they had been living there for more than 20 years and had been dealing with a number of recent difficulties, not surprisingly, they were very concerned about the stress and anxiety associated with selling their largest asset.  They also asked which repairs would need to be done before the first open for inspection and promptly organized their completion.

    This initial discussion lasted nearly two hours and we learnt a great deal about the features and benefits of their much loved home and were able to address some of the emotional issues related to this significant life transition. 

    A variety of quantitative and qualitative market data and local experience enabled us to establish an accurate market value for the property and explain this to the vendors.  As they did not want to host an auction, we prepared a very descriptive advertisement that was published online. 

    We attracted nine sets of interested buyers at the first open for inspection on a cold, rainy Saturday afternoon in August 2011.  Of these, six parties requested Section 32 statements.  Genuine interest was shown by two parties who requested a further open for inspection on the Wednesday.  The property was sold, to a real estate valuer (who obviously would know that the property was at the right price) on the Friday.

    This example clearly indicates the skills of a good quality real estate agent.  One who can understand the needs of the vendor, effectively guide them through the process, establish an accurate property market value, attract a genuine buyer who can afford to purchase the property and negotiate effectively to achieve a final price that meets the vendor’s expectations.

    A further analysis of the real estate industry shows that real estate agents must follow rules and regulations and continue to learn and grow through professional development.  Like so many other professions, we are now establishing profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, utilizing various applications on mobile phones and tablet computers and contributing to our local community in a variety of voluntary roles. 

    Real estate agents are often the only people who now visit people in their home and interact face to face with the community (as so many services are now online).  Honest and ethical real estate agents that know how to help people are a true asset in a busy world.

    If you are faced with the choice of selecting a real estate agent to help you sell your property, make sure that they have the current skills and expertise mentioned above, that you feel comfortable that you can work with them and that they will represent you effectively in all negotiations. Where possible, collect as much information as possible in writing before you sign an Exclusive Sales Agreement and ensure that they have the local knowledge, contacts, resources and experience that will help attract the right buyers to your property. 

    Like any good professional, it is the quality of the outcome that counts, not the number of people that have been involved.  When the process goes smoothly, a vendor will be left feeling that the house simply sold itself, which is an excellent final result.  A real estate professional can help highlight the best points and provide solutions for the 'worst' features and finally sell the property.


    For your own free market appraisal and further information, please contact O’Donoghues First National Real Estate in Camberwell +61398823303 or