Trust is a word we use a lot in life, but what does it actually mean? According to the dictionary definition, trust is a firm belief in the reliability, truth or ability of someone or something.

In order to make good decisions, a vendor absolutely needs to be able to trust their agent. Many vendors make the fatal mistake of not doing so and end up playing a fatal game, where a lack of truth and transparency means the agent is left disempowered and unable to secure a sale at all.

But that’s not to say every vendor should trust any agent. As in every relationship, trust has to be earned. So how can vendors safely bring trust to the property equation?

Property is unlike almost any other commodity. In Australia particularly, there’s no formula that can be applied to effectively price any property. While we’re a country that’s quite obsessed with property, there’s no telling at the start of a marketing campaign exactly what buyers will be prepared to pay.

But precisely because of the difficulty in pricing a property, the initial decision about who to appoint should always be made based on who the vendor feels they can trust, well ahead of who might be promising the highest price or sharpest fee. That difficulty in pricing is also why auction is such a brilliant marketing technique – it’s transparent and gives every buyer a fair opportunity. A great process to trust in.

There’s one great pointer as to whether or not the vendor has made the right choice about their agent. A good agent will present the vendor with an overwhelming level of buyer feedback throughout the campaign. That should be one of their key objectives, to have as many people come through the property as possible and gain their opinion. The agent earns trust by providing that information.

What should the vendor do with the information? If they’re serious about selling, they should use it as the basis for a selling decision. Hoping that someone will come along who’s willing to pay a significantly higher price is not a strategy. Setting a reserve price that’s in line with market value is. That’s when competition on auction day may well deliver an above-market result. And that’s something you can definitely trust in.

All the best,
Gordon Macdonald