Seller leads are always the holy grail of real estate – but it’s easy to just view these mythical creatures as names and emails, phone number you can call, or worst, potential commission checks. Taking time to understand the seller’s experience can make you more effective in your pitch – and help you land more deals!
The truth is, real estate agents do a bang-up job of informing consumers about how to buy a first home. Almost every agent’s site has information about the process and there’s even more available from non-real estate sites.
Sadly, the same can’t be said for first-time seller advice. Because of this, these clients are filled with anxiety and have plenty of questions they may too embarrassed to ask.
Most of all, they’re scared
Of course they are. After all, most of your listing clients don’t really know you, yet they’re putting their largest financial investment in your hands. That’s some pretty scary stuff.
Yet so many agents run through a listing presentation that may sound Greek to the consumer, hand them a contract and a pen with which to sign it and breeze out with a wave and a mumble about the MLS, a sign and a lockbox.
If you were aware of their fears, what would you do to help your clients overcome them?
Let’s take a look at three of the biggies and some solutions you can employ to put their minds at ease. Master these and you’ll be speaking the language of your seller leads!
1. I don’t understand how the process works
If you’ve ever had surgery you know that the doctor, or his nurse, walked you through the process beforehand. They didn’t use medical jargon and welcomed your questions about the procedure.
“Preoperative procedures are designed to improve the outcome of the surgery, decrease the risk for complications, and make the surgery as safe and effective as possible,” according to the pros at healthcommunities.com.
The same should be said for the pre-listing procedure. Make it a point to explain the process and you’ll improve the outcome of the sale, decrease the risk of complications and make the process as smooth and effective as possible.
Whether you put it in writing and slap it up on your website or in your listing presentation, or plan on doing a verbal walk-through, the procedure is a win-win for both your clients and your customer service reputation.
There’s more to counselling your listing clients than talking about curb appeal, staging and recommended repairs. Walk them through the process, in its entirety:
- Show them how you determine a home’s market value
- Explain the importance of pricing the home appropriately out of the gate
- Share your opinion of which pool of buyers their home will appeal to and the importance of staging it for those buyers
- Describe the MLS – what it is, how it works
- Explain the lockbox’s operation
- Explain your process, step-by-step, from the time they sign the listing agreement until closing. Yes, include the small stuff. “When I leave here I’ll go back to my office and open a file for your home. Then, I’ll call the sign company and request the for-sale sign be placed in your front yard. I’ll contact the photographer to take photos of the home, write the listing description for the MLS … “.
Keep going until you’ve covered every single thing you will do for the client
Not only will it put their minds at ease to know the steps of the process but it cements the fact that you truly are worth the money they’re paying you.
Then, get into what’s expected of them. Keep the home clean, be flexible with showings, etc.
Wrap it up with a step-by-step description of what happens from the time they accept an offer to closing. Explain contract jargon, such as escrow, earnest money deposit, contingency and comps.
2. I’m nervous
Put yourself in your listing clients’ shoes and imagine the anxiety they’re suffering. What if the home doesn’t sell? What if I don’t make enough money from the sale? What if this house doesn’t sell before I close on my new home?
If they listen to the agent-bashers online they’re also nervous that you will suggest a low price just to get a quick sale.
Meet that one head-on by explaining the CMA process and how it compares to the appraiser’s evaluation. If you have a high list-price to sale-price ratio, by all means, let them know.
Be the problem solver – earn the right to convert seller leads
If they’re both buying and selling, explain the pros and cons and what might go wrong. If they’re nervous about how much equity they have, help them find out the exact figure.
3. How do I know these strangers in my home won’t steal from me?
First-time sellers only have one point of reference when it comes to who will be touring their home: themselves, when they were buyers. They remember peeking into drawers, opening closets and cupboards. And, their interest was most likely innocent.
Yet, not everyone’s is
Experienced agents understand this fear and know how to deal with it. New agents, on the other hand, may either not understand how common this fear is, or think their clients are being overly paranoid.
All listing clients, first-timers or otherwise, should be reminded that thefts do happen and recommend that they lock up their valuables, weapons and prescription medications.
Agents wear a lot of hats –marketers, negotiators, bloggers, hand-holders and problem-solvers among them. Add psychologist to the mix.
Keep an eye on the clients during your listing presentation to determine if they are anxious. If so, take the time to help them relax into the process.
If you’re lucky, seller leads turn into sellers. Use these tips to make sure you’re ready to support them through the process.
It’s the bedrock of customer service.
Owner & Operator,
The Elite Group
Largest Home Inspection Company in North America
Best Selling Author “Secrets Of Top Producing Real Estate Agents: And How To Duplicate Their Success.”