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the pitfalls of using an open listing to sell your property

The pitfalls of using an open listing to sell your property when many agency hands don’t make light work


So you’ve decided to sell your condo or house in Chiang Mai. Naturally, you want a speedy result and the best price in line with prevailing market conditions. With a glut of licenced property concerns throughout the city and no shortage of wannabe sales agents (from the pizza delivery boy to the neighbour’s cat) eager to try and achieve some extra money on the side, you’d be forgiven for thinking that marketing your property through a pool of agencies and freelancers would maximise the chances of it selling. However, at Perfect Homes, our decade or so as a trusted and respected local name in residential real estate has taught us that adopting a so-called open listing (sometimes dubbed a multi-agency or general listing) to sell your Chiang Mai condo or house is seldom a favourable or profitable approach for the vendor:

Why? Well:

with a small army of individuals battling for the sale, it turns into a sprint to the finish line and securing the optimum price is often of little or no consequence.


the moment a prospective buyer has made an offer, the agent won’t be interested in trying to achieve a better price for fear of forfeiting the sale to a competitor; unsurprisingly, agents often bring considerable pressure to bear on the vendor to accept the initial offer.


working on commission alone, no sensible agent would be willing to commit sufficient time, effort and, especially, financial resources with the ever-present threat they’ll be outdone by a rival—so their endeavours to sell the property tend to be passive and fleeting at most.

by engaging multiple agencies simultaneously, no one party has specific responsibility to look after the property or deliver an effective, personal service to the vendor.


with no single point of contact, communication is usually chaotic, often leaving the vendor completely in the dark as to what’s going on.


since agents rarely devote much, if any, of their advertising budget without a high chance of success, a sales property listed openly doesn’t actually benefit from anywhere near as extensive a marketing reach or as targeted a publicity campaign.

marketing standards and expertise differ dramatically between agencies with the very real danger that the property won’t be represented consistently, accurately or in full. And, crucially, its saleability is seriously jeopardised without professional advice to identify a fair market price and to properly stage the condo or house ahead of advertising.


with the incentive of a guaranteed fee, an exclusive right-to-sell agreement between a ‘sole agent’ and a vendor will always take priority; a property simply distributed amongst a mass of agents is likely to languish unsold and, as a result, create the impression of it being overpriced or fundamentally flawed in some way.


having to hand over sets of keys and, if appropriate, give out building access codes to those you don’t know creates an obvious security risk.


with the intention of tempting potential buyers, agents routinely quote the lowest price possible and, once this figure is out in the open, there’s no scope whatsoever for negotiation.


in the absence of a mandate to maintain the asking price or the agent is not skilled in negotiation, the vendor is susceptible to being undercut by a considerable margin.


vendors who authorise the showing of multiple listings for the same property are understandably perceived as either not aware of market conditions or else desperate to sell and this is an open invitation for the price to be manipulated.


property inspections by would-be buyers are frequently haphazard, cursory or carried out with scant, if any, warning and, should the condo or house still be occupied, intrusive.


unless agreed in advance, vendors may well be obliged to pay the agreed fee twice when two agents each claim a part in closing the deal; or fees may be contested by several agents with the vendor having to arbitrate between them.


at the heart of Asian culture is the powerful urge to ‘save face’ so an agent consenting to a reduced final price from a buyer or siding with the vendor on an otherwise unrealistic market valuation for their property are just two of the customary habits amongst local agents to avoid damaging their own or another’s dignity, honour, influence, reputation or social standing.


What problems have you encountered using an open listing to sell your property in Chiang Mai? We’re listening! Please add your comments and thoughts below!

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