April 23, 2011

You Told Me More in an Hour...

You Told Me More in an Hour...

I've been working the expired listing market pretty heavy the last six months or so, and I've met with many sellers that have been unsuccessful in getting their property sold. In the Hickory NC real estate market, like most other markets around the United States, it's a bit tougher market to sell a property and, as a seller, you have to be fully aware of this and prepared to do what you need to in order to give your property the best chance to sell in a reasonable time frame.

And what I've found is that, at least with the expired sellers I've spoken with, their previous agent(s) didn't do a good job of providing the necessary info the sellers needed.

After my presentation (if you want to call it that. I just ask the seller a few questions, actually listen to the answers and then suggest a course of action.), I ask the seller, "What do you think?"

The answer that I've gotten the most was a very similar one to this: "Well, to be honest, you've told us more in an hour than my other agent did in six months. We definitely need to review the options that you've laid out for us."

When I hear this, I feel both elated and sad. Happy because I've obviously hit a good chord with these people. Whether they list with me or not, they know that I was truthful and honest with my advice. Sad because I tend to hear this so much, which means that the other agents didn't give the same information, which, to me, is the basic info that the seller needs.

Scout's Honor from Wikipedia
So, what am I doing that apparently some other agents aren't when they originally got the listing?

I'm giving the seller the truth. The truth about everything. The market, the house, the repairs needed. You name it, they get it. I rarely ask "how much were you thinking of pricing it for" because it doesn't matter what the seller wants, only what the market will bear. I'm the expert. I tell them that information. It's up to the seller to decide if they want to use it.

Brutal honesty is tough, both for the agent and seller. Many sellers don't want to hear the truth about their property and may even be offended by it. However, if I'm going to be hired by a seller, the end goal is to actually sell the property. Like it or not, they need the truth.

I stay in contact with my sellers. The biggest complaint from expireds is that they never heard from their agent after they signed the listing contract. Since the property usually wasn't priced right to begin with, you'd think that they'd at least call the sellers up asking for a price reduction! I'm honest with them about staying in touch. No, I won't call you every Friday at 5. I will however, send you email/text updates and call you periodically (usually at least once every 2 weeks, minimum) to give you an update.

AGENTS: If you're one of those agents that think it's better to get the listing, then "work" on the sellers to lower price, fix the house, etc, take this as a wake up call. It's not! Sellers want and need the truth upfront. It's better for all involved.

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