Monday, 5 October 2015

Sweet home project 2 – selling an apartment (choosing an agent)

In the story of Sweet home project 1, I wrote about how I bought my old St Kilda East apartment. Today I will write about how we sold it. 

When I bought it, I didn’t expect to have to sell it so soon (I was there for less than 5 years!) so I was a bit sad, but I knew that was for something more positive. We really needed extra space for our little baby. We didn’t know anything about selling our apartment, so we just popped in one of the nearest real estate agent (let’s say agent A) and asked. We didn’t have an appointment or anything, but the guy there just made time for us anyway (it was 5 mins before 5pm-just before they were closing) and he told us that he would come to our apartment to have a look the next morning.

 He came to our apartment with his assistant next day. He prepared a nice looking booklet which had all the information about the selling history from our apartment and neighborhood. We didn’t have any experience with an agent, so we were very impressed. One disappointing thing was that he estimated our apartment a bit cheaper than we expected, but we thought he’s being honest. He was not pushy and that made us comfortable. He just left us to decide what we want to do. We really liked that approach. 

We nearly decided to use this agent A, but just in case, we went to see another agent (agent B), one that looked pretty popular in the area and located right next to the station. They came to our apartment soon after we contacted them.   
They brought a booklet similar to the agent A, so we found that this was the standard these days. As soon as they came in, they spotted the good parts of our apartment and looked impressed. They were a bit younger than the agent A and more “salesman” types of people, but looked enthusiastic. The fee was cheaper than agent A and estimated our place a bit higher. They wanted to get this business, so they even offered the lower fee. 

If you were in this situation, which agent would you choose? Agent A still looked genuine to us and I thought Paul was leaning toward it. But for me, the fact that the agent B really liked our apartment was quite big. It’s our favourite place and I wanted to tell all the potential buyers how wonderful that place was, but we couldn't be there at the inspections, so the agent had to be our representative. 

Agent A was nice and kind, but he didn’t really try to sell themselves to us - I wondered "How can they sell our place to someone else?"

We wanted to sell our apartment before winter (we thought that less buyers would be around in the cold weather!), so we decided to attend their auctions on the weekend and make the final decision...but unfortunately two agents’ auctions were scheduled on the same time. Paul knew that I was leaning toward the agent B, so he suggested that we’d go to the agent B auction and we asked Paul’s parents to go to the other auction. 

 In the end, we chose the agent B. At the auction, we’re impressed by how they handled all the potential buyers. They had many staff there and during the auction, they were all attentive. At the end they succeeded in getting a bit higher bid from the second highest bidder, so therefore they pushed the price up. 
 At the auction that Paul’s parents went, agent A couldn’t sell the place. Paul’s parents were a bit surprised that the agent didn’t talk to them at all (and didn’t even ask their contact.) Maybe the agent thought they were just neighbours, but still they could be potential buyers. 

It was pretty easy decision in the end. So we picked the agent. What’s next? I will write about how we sold the apartment next time!


With love ,


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