Being one of Barfoot & Thompson’s brightest stars, empathetic, genuine, determined and professional are just some of the words that describe Linda Galbraith and her strong work ethic.
Have these times been the most challenging during your time as an agent? No more than usual. After 28 years I’ve seen the extreme highs and the lows in the market. All business is challenging, real estate is no different, and the experienced agents just continue, regardless.
Tell our readers why you sell real estate?
Initially it was simply because I liked the idea of being self-employed, and felt with my commercial experience I would be suited to the business. Very quickly I also realised I loved the interaction and diversity of the people I got to meet on a daily basis. I like to think that my in-depth knowledge and understanding of the Auckland market brings value to those that engage me to sell their homes. After all these years I simply couldn’t imagine my life without real estate.
What are Barfoot’s values?
Barfoot prides itself on being a real estate company that is built on core values, accessible to all, while providing excellent support and service through its network of offices and agents. It is also very big on giving back to communities through philanthropic endeavours.
What are the advantages of working in a team?
The advantage of the Barfoot team is simply every agent has an equal opportunity to sell any listing. Which is an enormous benefit to vendors, a collective of approximately 1,500 agents working together to find the premium market price for your home.
Your love of property began when?
From a very early age, more about environmentreally, my grandmother was the matriarch and a majorinfluence. Granny’s home was our entire world as children, she had an interesting property, granddad built the home and granny decorated, she had some lovely pieces and the garden was always a changing canvas, of flower beds with larges lawns. Mum was an extension of granny, constantly changing interiors. I remember one day, when I left for the school, the sitting room was a taupe wallpaper, when I got home it had a feature wall in foil paper, large flowers, totally out there, but very chic for the time.
What is the best way to prepare a home for selling?
I’m big on individuality and the personality of a home, retaining that point of difference, which every home has. So, without labouring on the obvious, my advice is always present your home how you live not how you think others should see you.
Do you recommend home staging?
Absolutely, if the property is vacant, home staging is a must! Contents are an integral part of the package when presenting a home. Then there are those situations where vendors feel that their interiors just need a little lift, the homestagers can assist by repositioning furniture, subtracting and adding various items, or adding that extra punch with complementary items such as cushions, rugs, and art, just to give the finishing touch.
What has been your favourite selling experience?
They’re all unique, but there are two experiences I hold dear.A home in Mt Eden, the vendor lived in the house her entire life and sold the property when she was 94. She was in absolute disbelief at the sale price and the fact at the age of 94 she was a multi-millionaire. Needless to say, she celebrated with cocktails and a dinner at her favourite local restaurant.
The second was a cottage in Parnell, the vendor had lived in the property for 50 years, a single mother who had struggled, worked hard to ensure the security of her children’s future. Her one desire before she died was to visit India and if possible travel to other countries of interest and back to England to reunite with friends and family. When we sold her home she booked a trip to India and various other parts of the world she wanted to explore. She sent me a postcard from India to say thank you, she had made it!
What are the most important resources buyers should be using?
Digital tools are an ever increasing important aspect for researching real estate sales, trends and statistics. An experienced, knowledgeable agent is also invaluable as are your feet. Walk the streets of the areas you are interested to buy in, own them, understand the benefits and convenience of the location.