Industry Insights

What it means to ‘condition with control’

I’m often reminded by other real estate agents, and many stalwarts of the industry, that success in real estate comes from telling vendors what they want to hear, if only because it generates the likelihood of another listing. Honesty, like integrity, is for real estate dreamers — ideal but unrealistic.

In the world of real estate, property listings is the holy grail of all real estate agents  —  not sales. Huh? Any and every property will sell eventually, but at what price is up to prospective buyers and a good negotiator, too.

It’s undisputed; the more listings an agent accumulates, the greater their opportunities to meet sales, like the potential to earn more income. It’s simple economics. But for its simplicity, one thing often gets in the way of securing a new listing, and that’s nailing the vendor’s price expectations at the appraisal meeting. Despite all the comparison data (for sale and sold), that’s now available online to anyone who’s interested in selling or buying property, most if not all vendors hold back, saying, “that’s why we called a real estate agent”, but in reality, their price expectations are anything but real. And outside capital cities, and in regional areas such as Albury and Wodonga, initial price expectations are mostly unattainable, due to lack of competition because of the geographic size of the market or demographics or local trends. Which brings me to ask, ‘what it means to condition with control’?

Simply put, in real estate industry terms, ‘condition with control’ means getting the vendor’s signature under an exclusive agreement, then create (sometimes manufacture) reasons or excuses to re-negotiate (read strong-arm) with a vendor to the agent’s way of thinking to get the sale across the line. Most commonly, an agent will discount the vendor’s ‘hope to get’ price by 10%, then ‘condition’ a further 10%, until the first or next offer seems too good to refuse. Failing to ‘condition with control’, is career suicide. But what for the vendor?

As a vendor, you’ll get asked by almost all real estate agents, your motivation for listing your property for sale — divorce or hardship, or similar. It’s a tactic used by real estate agents to determine how likely and desperate you are to realise a sale, but more the point, it gives the real estate agent an indication to how quickly they’ll see their commission. Your motivation is irrelevant. A better real estate agent will ask:

Do you have a time-frame in mind?
Have you seen other properties like yours or similar on the market for sale or recently sold?
Have you sold other properties?<
How would you like to market your property?
Who is your buyer?
What price would you like to achieve?
Are you speaking with other agents?<
What are you looking for in an agent?

No doubt, my words have set the cat among the pigeons, which is why I prefer to work as an independent owner-operator, albeit with a small collaborative team behind the scenes. I find great joy and satisfaction helping property hunters and purchasers realise their dreams, whether as an owner-occupier or investor, for the freedom and financial security that property ownership offers.

PostScript Since writing this post, Luke Chiodo has left the employment of a ‘yellow-square’ franchised business, where conditioning vendors is also business-as-usual.