Harcourts Canterbury

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  • Do I need a real estate agent?

    Short answer is no, you have the option to sell privately, the reason to have an agent is simply because having the middleman/woman so to speak, is conducive to getting a deal done.

    Some people have successfully sold privately, but typically when buyers are viewing privately they feel uncomfortable providing negative feedback or justifying why they see value at a different level from the owner. How can they diplomatically say, “You want how much for this house?, you have to be kidding, I hate the colour choices I will offer $x less”.

    Typically people don’t like to offend ( and everyone takes offence if their home is criticised), so they just say “..I will think on it and get back to you” and that’s the end of the discussion.

    As a person selling it is also hard and seen as a sign you are desperate if you have to ring someone back to say “What did you think? Do you want to buy?” Whereas that is expected from a sales consultant.

    Anecdotal evidence points to the fact that where private sales have been done it has usually been a good deal for the buyer, that’s why strong confident buyers love dealing privately.

  • Why are so many properties unpriced now?

    Quite simply because pricing is not an accurate science; every home is different in its size, layout, décor, condition and a myriad of other factors. The appeal of these individual properties varies from person to person, equally the individual’s ability to pay varies.

    So we can end up with buyers all looking at a particular property differently. We could have what we call in the industry a “ Bank imposed” buyer who quite simply has an upper limit they can’t go over, so are always looking to buy the best they possibly can, for the money they have.  

    Then there are the buyers who may have the money to buy a particular home, but they want to change décor, or re carpet, or have a reason they won’t offer full price and are looking to buy for a certain figure, so they can make changes and stay within their budget. Then there is the buyer who has the money, loves the house and is prepared to pay whatever they need to secure the house.  When you consider these three scenarios you can see that they will all have different values in mind.  

    You see this played out everyday when people look to buy any used item on Trademe, someone always ends up offering an extra $1 than the other buyers who have reached their perceived value.


  • Why do you guys love auction so much?

    If you read the question above you will see that for any property there are potentially a range of buyers who would be prepared to offer a range of prices depending on where they see value. Quite simply Auction allows a property owner the opportunity to collect all these potential buyers into one space, see what they are prepared to pay, and then the owner can make a simple decision, is it enough?

    If it is they sell, if it’s not they don’t sell.

    Once again think about what happens everyday with any Trademe online auction. So it is with a property auction, it is simple, it is transparent, and most of all the potential buyers can see exactly who they are competing with. Here at Harcourts we believe it is the best and fairest way to sell for all parties.

  • Some auctions still don't sell, why not?

    Everyone thinks that Auction is all about the “15 minutes of fame” in the auction room. It’s not, when the auction process is done well it is a full process, where by the property is presented to the buyers, the very keenest buyers might possibly try to purchase early with a “pre auction offer”, others will wait to see what happens on the day then act, and some times if there are simply no cash buyers at this point of time for the home it will be then be the opportunity for conditional buyers to purchase afterwards. We describe auction as a 3 stage process, and all three stages give the owners of the property, a greater chance of achieving a sale and the sales statistics show this.

    I heard Auction described in the simplest terms recently, like this; think of Air New Zealand boarding a plane. They invite the Koru members and Gold points passengers to board first, after that they invite the rest of the plane to board, yet everyone gets to the destination at the same time. The same with Auction - we invite the cash buyers to bid & buy first, and if there is not enough interest then we open it up to everyone straight afterwards.

  • Should I wait until the property has passed in?

    If you are in a cash position, and you like the home, then bid on the home, do not let it “pass in”, because then you will be potentially involved in a blind “multi offer“ type process with any conditional buyers waiting in the wings.

    While the Auction is live and underway any person prepared to bid has a real first chance to purchase, either by bidding against other parties or if you are the only bidder by showing the auctioneer you are prepared to purchase by placing a bid. The auctioneer will then likely “pause” the Auction if you are the only bidder and you will get a chance to negotiate with the owner, if you can reach an agreement you have the chance to buy, if the owner wants more than you are prepared to pay, the property will pass in. But at least you will get a chance by bidding to indicate your interest. Afterwards the property is typically available for all other parties to also express their interest.

  • Why do auctions sometimes call out a vendor bid?

    The best way to describe and think of a vendor bid is to consider it a counter offer from the owner. What the auctioneer is saying by placing a vendor bid is, "…thanks for the bid, but it's not enough to buy the property", the owner is essentially prepared to keep the property and buy it back them self. 

    In a “regular negotiation” if you make a low offer on a contract the owner simply makes a counter offer, you then can either accept it or make another counter offer back, and you both go back and forth till you reach agreement, or not as the case may be. In an auction this counter offer is effectively the vendor bid, the good part however is that typically the auctioneer only places Vendor bids to a level well below the nominated reserve, they call this the “run to” figure, below this run to level there is no chance of a buyer purchasing, above this level the owner is at least prepared to have a chat, if bidding doesn’t reach the reserve price.

  • Why does commission vary so much between companies?

    My suggestion would be to read this article hopefully it will help answer this question.

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