Thursday, September 7, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Property Point

One of the changes I’ve noticed in the way of the world is the growing trend for people to see things as either black or white, people as either good or bad. There’s no acceptance or awareness of nuance … you’re either “with us or agin’ us”.

It’s becoming a world without grey areas and some of the big issues of our time highlight what I mean.

Take climate change. If you do not totally embrace Australia’s net zero philosophy and agree 100 per cent with the government’s approach irrespective of any economic and social damage it may cause then you are a “climate change denier”.

You might support reducing emissions but believe energy security and affordability is a vital component of the transition. You might argue that we need to maintain the reliability of our network until renewables can effectively do the job … but that makes you a climate change denier because you are not with the program 100 per cent of the way.

The Voice to Parliament and Executive Government is another hot one.

The way the narrative is being presented, if you do not support the yes vote you are racist. You are either racist and voting no or not racist and voting yes.

In this new world there are only good guys and bad guys. You can’t possibly want indigenous people to be recognised and their lot to be improved and, yet, vote no to the voice because you are concerned about changing the constitution and the fact you do not understand how the voice is going to operate as a bureaucratic entity.

You might want more information, more certainty about how it will work, a better explanation of the legal and bureaucratic impact but in this world of good guys and bad guys you are racist and that’s why you’re voting no.

What does this adversarial world that lacks grey areas mean for real estate?

A listing agent like me works for the seller. The seller pays my commission and a central part of my legal and ethical obligations is that I do everything I can to get the best possible price for the seller.

Does that mean I don’t care about buyers? Do I think the buyer is an adversary, someone who has to be defeated for the sale to be considered successful? No, that would be ridiculous.

The real world is not one of adversarial conflict and extremes. The fact that I work for the seller does not mean I work against the buyer.

My first duty is absolutely to the sellers but to successfully negotiate a contract for them I need to keep the deal together … that means I need to understand and communicate the buyer’s concerns and reservations.

I need to be able to move between the buyer and seller so that the seller understands what is going on, what the obstructions might be to getting a deal done.

In a world that tries to create a simplified divide of friends/enemies, good guys/bad guys, republicans/monarchist, environmentalists/climate deniers, progressives/right-wing extremists, there is room for an agent to work all-in for a seller while creating a friendly, informative, respectful and engaging environment for the buyer.

In other news