Choosing a real estate agent? Beware the ‘buyer pool’ myth

When it comes to choosing a real estate agent to sell your home, it can be difficult to know where to start. Real estate agents use a range of marketing strategies to encourage vendors to list homes through them, and it can sometimes be  hard to make an informed decision.

One of the most commonly used strategies is when larger agencies state that you should list with them because they have a bigger ‘buyer pool’ than other, smaller agencies.

In this article, I’m going to reveal the truth about the ‘buyer pool’ myth and show you why you should ignore this tactic when choosing a real estate agent.  The same buyer pool is available to all agencies, both large and small.  It’s got everything to do with marketing skills and nothing to do with the size of the team.

Competition for listings

When the market was more buoyant a year or two ago, real estate agents, big and small, had more than enough sellers to go around. However, in recent times, the market has tightened, meaning winning listings has become more competitive.

As with everything, when the market tightens, lower fees become attractive to many vendors. Larger agencies are often constrained by overheads which mean that they have less flexibility when it comes to fees. Smaller agencies can often offer a more competitive fee structure which potential house sellers find appealing.

To try to counter this, some of the larger real estate agencies have relied on a tactic known as the “buyer pool” strategy.

Using the ‘buyer pool’ as a sales strategy

So, what is the ‘buyer pool’? This term simply refers to the number of people looking to buy a home in each specific market at any given time. Your home will appeal to a buyer pool who are looking for the same features of your home such as property type, location and price range.

You’ll hear some of the larger real estate agencies claim that because they have a bigger brand and a bigger team, they have a bigger pool of buyers. They’ll try to sell their services to you using this strategy, stating that you should list your home with them to gain access to that pool of buyers.

This tactic is designed to trigger the fear of missing out – “if you don’t list your property with us, you’ll miss out on all these buyers”.

The truth about the ‘buyer pool’

So, who has the most buyers? The short answer is no-one.

Buyers aren’t locked into an exclusive contract with any one real estate agency, they don’t sign a contract stating that they will only buy a home listed by that agency. Real estate agents don’t own buyers – house hunters aren’t required to be loyal to real estate agents and are free to look at property listings from any agency they choose.

Buyers will look at and buy a home that meets their criteria, regardless of which agency it’s listed with.

All agencies have access to the same pool of buyers.  It’s how they attract these buyers to your property that makes all the difference.  It’s all about marketing, enthusiasm and skill.  If an agent has these qualities, then the buyers will find him or her.

What you should look for when choosing a real estate agent

If you’re ready to sell your home and are looking for an agent, the number one priority is to choose an agent who will work to get the best deal for you and maximise your investment.

Also, it pays to remember you’re entering a professional relationship, so you need to choose an agent you feel comfortable with and can relate to.

Personal referrals from family members, work colleagues or friends are a great way of selecting the right agent for you. Ask around and see what they say about their real estate experiences.

If you have a property you’d like to sell, or if you have any questions, give me a call. I’m happy to meet with you for a no obligation chat to discuss listing your property.

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