New Service – Full Seller Advocacy


The market has changed and so have we at James Advocates.

When 67% of homes are not selling at an auction.

When you spend $30,000 on advertising for a failed auction and all that’s achieved is

you’ve told everybody what your home is not worth.

When the market has changed but your selling agent hasn’t, isn’t it time to think differently, lest you get the same failed result.

Which agent is best?

  • He rings me all the time, he says he is my friend, but will he have the time to follow up my buyer?
  • Auction or private sale, does off-market work?
  • The agents say the market is OK, but is it? I see a lot of pass-ins!

At James Buyer Advocates we listened to our clients and we have set up an expanded James Seller Advocates as well.

Whilst buyer advocacy is and will remain the major part of our business, our roles in selling advocacy and architectural advocacy have increased, as clients wanting to engage in a more managed process, begin to look for more professional strategic advice, rather than just a glossy submission with a standard response.

Buyer advocates also have to respond to the changing markets or else they are not maximising their clients’ buyer positions. For instance in this market if you are not into seller advocacy as well, then possibly you are weakening your other clients’ buying positions in terms of , stock access and knowledge.

Is this your selling agent’s routine?

  • Monday – makes 100 mind numbing phone calls to OFI visitors
  • Tuesday – rings and texts 100 prospects for more jobs (not yours)
  • Wednesday – goes to meetings, marketing, photos, training etc x 10 (nine are not yours)
  • Thursday – Open for Inspections x 10 (nine are not yours)
  • Friday – Pre Auction meetings (on the hour, every hour)
  • Saturday – Auctions and Opens
  • Evenings – out several times a week

Hard working, but when does your selling agent have quality time to think about you?

In this market you need more than hard working, keen for your business, cut commission types – you need smart and experienced!

Why? Because you won’t maximise your position unless you’re Captain Lucky and even if you are, why not be Captain Lucky & Smart.

Below is from our September 1st Market News – click here for full report.

  • We covered 10 auctions in Bayside – we saw 3 bidders in total.
  • We covered 13 auctions in Stonnington and if you take out the 2 volcanoes there were 5 bidders at the other 11 auctions.
  • In Boroondara we covered 12 auctions and 9 of them had no bidders at all.

But in that same week we at James we were involved in:

  1. Bought – Off-market buying advocacy in Kew over $6million (Walter Dodich – Kay and Burton),
  2. Bought – Off-market buying advocacy in Brighton over $3million (Nick Johnstone – Nick Johnstone)
  3. Sold – Before close EOI selling advocacy in Balwyn over $4million (Tim Picken – Kay and Burton)
  4. Sold – EOI selling advocacy in Toorak over $6million (Michael Gibson – Kay and Burton)
  5. Missed – Under the Hammer, buying advocacy in Armadale over $3million (Fraser Cahill – )

3 of these 5 were or will be combination buying/selling engagements – meaning our clients have engaged us to help them buy and then manage the sell or vice-versa.

4 of these 5 were not at auction.



Graph Legend Sep 1 James Market News: Ducks – No Bidders    Lones – 1 bidder    Norms 2 or 3 bidders and Volcanoes 4 plus bidders

That is why selling is no longer just hard work and platitudes and cut commissions – it also needs to be smart!

Historically with James Buyer Advocacy – we have always bought homes for mainly Homebuyers and to lesser extent, for family investors and of clients – over a 1000 fact.

Our buyer services are offered in 3 levels; DIY, BESPOKE such as only or FULL SERVICE: find, price and either on or off-market.

Until this current market downturn, our selling advocacy had been a low key simple “add-on” service of agent selection, where we helped our buying clients select the right selling agent to market the sale of their home. Unremarkably, we called that a BUY/SELL service and around half our clients buy and sell through this service.

This agent selection service was effectively a free service, as the winning agent would pay a fee from their commission to be donated on their behalf to a charity such as Launch Housing or Plaster House – over $500,000 has gone to charity via this service since 2006 – but that is another story at if you’re interested.

We still provide that simple agent selection service and a donation is still made to charity, however in response to this market we have added a full seller advocacy service for our clients.

Seller advocacy full service  – our role has expanded dramatically, to not only involve the agent selection service but also an ongoing advisory/management role during the marketing agent’s listing period.

Some of our selling advocacy management roles

as opposed to sales marketing that we have performed this year;

  1. Assessment of agents’ submissions – an assessment with an experienced eye.
  2. Fee negotiation – a lot more than the fee itself.
  3. Discussions of reserves in an effective manner.
  4. How to change marketing agents if appropriate and limit the downside – how to run two agents at once if also appropriate.
  5. What is a price seller v a home seller and the risks v rewards.
  6. How to look at price but also actually selling and what processes can be set up to minimize the risk.
  7. Marketing costs – especially if all the paid advertising is doing is telling people what you home is NOT WORTH.
  8. Holdings one’s when the going gets a little rough. A little one-on-one coaching.
  9. What presentation efforts work and what don’t. Sometimes you do need to spend – but usually nothing like what you think it will cost.
  10. How you can negotiate with your agent and then in turn with your buyer, in an effective manner and NO, that doesn’t mean shouting louder.
  11. How to motivate your agent effectively and we don’t think commission incentives are at the top of the list.
  12. And more ……………like Agentspeak – when an agent says or does something, what on the balance of probabilities does that really mean?
  1. And leverage – this is such a misunderstood (or not even thought about) concept that effects a lot more sales than sellers think.
  2. And Strategy – What’s that, what’s a strategy?
  3. And NOT actually selling now – holding till a better time. Huh, never heard that one before.
  4. How to run a buyer shopper to test the OFI – not that we find you need to on the agents we suggest.*

*The agents we suggest are the ones we see day-in and day-out performing well in the marketplace and they are excellent marketers.

However, in this market, we have found it’s also about management rather than just marketing alone and it’s increasingly about outcomes more so than just transacting. Anybody can still transact, if the price is low enough.


A 60/90 days auction still has its place – but so does a 12/12 (months) private sale and settlement terms.


Marketing agents are still a key ingredient in your sale and we’ve always been a believer in the 80/20 – meaning 20% of agents do 80% of the good business however with 20% of the market gone … the good business is now almost 100% from that 20% of agents.

Client Stories


In many cases, the agent fees cover the cost of our services

So, in that case, it is free, meaning no additional charge.

Where you want more than just selecting the agent, there can be a fee and we would discuss prior to any agreement and that could also be on a no success / no fee basis.

Where you engage us to manage your selling process and buying process – we can structure a fee deal that suits you.


We understand there is a conflict issue if we have a buyer, but that is handled very transparently and effectively in this situation.

We act for the buyer and deal with your selected agent and no fees from you the seller go to us – it’s simple and in this market, a good buyer is a positive.

We understand this is an advertorial – but it’s an in- and increasing service to manage price, to manage stress, to manage the whole buy and sell process for those that see a benefit(s).

As well, we feel it has also strengthened the quality of our buyer advocacy work in the current on and off-market spheres.

Advocacy (management) and agency (marketing), as opposed to agency alone, is an alternative and new way to consider when buying, selling or renovating/building your next home in this new and challenging market.

We have bought over a thousand homes and been involved in selling hundreds – so we know what works and what doesn’t.

Homes we have bought and many re have resold through James Seller Advocacy

Homes we have bought through James Buyer Advocacy and a number we have resold through James Seller Advocacy

Gina and I really love what we do on the buying side and now these last few years the selling management side has proved equally exciting and challenging.

For an initial no-obligation coffee or chat

Call Gina on 0457 835 255 or Mal 0408 107 988

  • Which agents
  • When is a good time to sell
  • What is the off-market really doing
  • Should I touch up, renovate or hold
  • Agents commissions how much, how do incentives work and …..
  • Does marketing actually work?

Thinking, strategy and the quality of the questions with smarts, experience and ethics are now key in this changed market.


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0457 835 255


0408 107 988