When you’re buying or selling a property there’s usually a lot at stake.
After all, homes and investment properties are usually the largest assets most people own. So the sales negotiation can come with a lot of pressure and stress.
On the one hand, sellers want to achieve a good price. On the other, buyers don’t want to overpay.
While the two main methods to sell real estate are private treaty or auction they don’t suit everybody. Many buyers are scared of the intensity of an auction situation and worry about the lack of transparency in a private treaty sale.
So when Altitude’s Mike Brady found out about another way to sell, he started testing it out.
Meet Mike Brady
Mike Brady is an agent and auctioneer with over 40 years of real estate experience. Working in the regional NSW town of Gunnedah for many years, he recently moved to Lake Macquarie for a lifestyle change and joined our Warners Bay office.
Mike has been successfully using an online tool called Openn Negotiation as a way to sell real estate. In fact, he has sold so many properties using Openn Negotiation that he was awarded the top agent in NSW using the platform.
I recently spoke to Mike to find out more about why he thinks vendors should consider using the platform to sell their home.
Mike, we were so excited to have you join our team. We’re also keen to find out more about how you’ve been using Openn Negotiation to sell properties. Can you tell us a bit about how it works?
Openn Negotiation is an online sales tool. It’s essentially an online bidding platform, that works like a cross between an auction and a private treaty sale.
Buyers need to qualify (be pre-approved for finance) and register, then they can make an online bid for a property, a little like an auction. They’re kept updated on other bids along the way. Sellers can set a reserve price and watch the bids come in.
As a real estate agent I still play a vital role, working with both buyers and sellers to finalise or close the deal. Unlike a traditional auction which has its standard terms and conditions, if the buyer or seller wants to settle in a shorter or longer time frame or pay a different amount of a deposit, they can negotiate. So it’s very flexible.
It’s had some very great publicity recently. The actor Sam Neill sold his Double Bay property for $3.6 million using Openn Negotiation. It has already proven itself in the real estate market, having been used in Western Australia for over four years and in NSW for more than two-and-a-half years.
You’re a very experienced agent and an auctioneer too. So it’s really interesting to me that you’ve adopted this new technology. What are the benefits of Openn Negotiation?
Unlike a traditional auction, Openn Negotiation is a very low-pressure method of selling. It offers complete transparency to the buyer and flexibility to the seller. Both parties have total freedom and the time to think and consider their next move.
Instead of treating all buyers like cattle or sheep, they’re treated more individually. Buyers and sellers don’t feel tricked or pressured – anyone can increase their price or withdraw at any time. Communication is part and parcel of the experience.
It also widens the pool of prospective buyers by allowing buyers who may not have unconditional approval the ability to bid, subject to finance.
We provide the buyer with everything they need to make an informed choice – from pest and building inspection reports to contracts. But it’s more transparent than a private treaty sale because it’s all on the table. Buyers know the price they have to beat and as long as they are on top they have the first right to negotiate.
As the whole process is conducted online, you can bid from anywhere – your own home, workplace, interstate or even overseas. You can be sitting in the safety and comfort of your own home, with your loved ones around you, and make an offer. Buyers have time to consider their next move.
The property can also sell at any time, so often properties sell faster using this method. But there’s still total transparency as anyone who has registered will be notified and kept informed. People can also register to observe the bidding process.
In my mind, it combines the best of private treaty and auction, into a new sales method.
It’s the perfect sales tool for these times, with a pandemic that has required us to pivot to do things differently too, right?
It certainly is perfect for a pandemic but interestingly it’s not COVID-19 that led me to use it. I started using Openn Negotiation several years ago and have sold over 35 properties in Gunnedah, Newcastle and Lake Macquarie using it.
I actually used it a lot when I was working in Gunnedah because there were a lot of shift workers and people who were time-poor. It increased the flexibility these buyers and sellers had, and the timing wasn’t an issue. It’s interesting how popular this technology was in a drought-ridden country town and how relevant and useful it was for that market.
Are there any situations when you wouldn’t recommend using it as a sales tool?
There are situations where an auction or private treaty may be preferred by the sellers, but there’s no reason not to try this method.
I have had the opportunity to sell diverse properties this way – commercial, industrial, great houses on terrible streets, terrible properties on great streets, and amazing properties with huge buyer interest. But with all of the sales, it’s all about transparency and I’ve found that buyers seem to respect the process and the full disclosure.
The app and website are super intuitive to use. I’ve even used this to sell properties with buyers and sellers in their eighties. I’ve also found it’s a system that results in many happy reviews from buyers and sellers – even when people miss out.
It’s a fair and transparent system that takes the best of private treaties and auctions and brings them into the modern world so that people can transact in a safe way. In my experience, properties sell quicker, with less fuss and less stress on the owner.
I think it’s an exciting method for sellers to consider. The results speak for themselves.
If you’re interested in making Lake Macquarie or Newcastle the location of your first home, contact our team today.