When you are in the valuation appointment with a potential vendor, what are you selling?
Some agents would say they are selling themselves; their ability to convince the person in front of them that they can sell their property for them, quicker, easier and for more money than their competitors can. They will draw upon every successful sale in the area to show precedent and credibility; they will bring out the glossy company brochure to demonstrate the highest levels of professionalism; and lastly, they will offer their services at a fee they hope she just cannot refuse.
“No, no!” other agents will cry. You’re not selling yourself: you’re selling the house. They will spend the precious hour of the valuation visit – or in their case, the ‘market appraisal’ – talking to the owner about their home. Waxing lyrical about the beautiful master suite (or the poky one) and the views over open countryside (or the gas works). After all, an Englishwoman’s home, and all that.
But it’s not about the house. Or your agency. It’s about them: the person sitting in front of you.
Imagine you have a giant spotlight, and you have three choices of where to shine it: you can shine it on yourself; your agency; on your skills and track record; motivated staff and shiny office; expensive – sorry – extensive advertising and slick marketing.
Or you can shine it on the house you’re sitting in; on the rooms, features, views, neighbourhood, amenities.
Your last choice is to shine it onto the homeowner: on their plans; their dreams and aspirations; their hopes and ideas. And that’s where you should be shining it.
The most important element to the valuation appointment for your homeowner, is them. You are just a necessary evil – sorry – the potential facilitator, of their moving plans. Remember too, that no one decides to move quickly. (Unless the bailiffs are at the front door whilst they’re sneaking out the back) As someone who has moved 41 times in her life, I can tell you that each and every one of those moves was carefully thought out, planned, and discussed at length with my family and friends. A first time seller may take several months to decide to move; a downsizer may take several years.
Behind every move, is a story. It’s a very personal story, and of the utmost importance to the potential client sitting in front of you. Despite sometimes strong evidence to the contrary, they are not interested in your fee and valuation, but only what it means to their moving plans. Talk about the house they have already fallen out of love with – the bricks and mortar – is a waste of time. Tell her all about how your agency was founded in 1801 and she’ll glaze over. But talk to her about her next chapter, and watch her eyes light up as she shares her thoughts and ideas, plans and hopes, and what this move will mean to her and her family. If she trusts that you are the best agent to act as her guide between this chapter and the next, she’ll instruct you.
Because it’s not about the house; it’s about her.
What to read next: The Single Most Important Question you can ask a Vendor
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