Once you secure a highly coveted listing, the last thing you want to do is blow your chances at securing a hot offer. But making one of these mistakes could sink your sale. Find out how to avoid these all-too-common listing pitfalls and the smart staging, photo and marketing tips to turn it all around.
Blame Instagram filters for making everyone with a smartphone consider themselves a budding Annie Leibovitz. But when it comes to listing photos, resist the urge to snap a few pics with your phone and call it a day. Photos are everything when it comes to making a first impression on potential buyers, so hire professionals to take sharp, high-resolution listing photos from multiple, flattering angles.
And remember to look out for the little things that may be major buyer turn-offs. The dishes in the sink, an open toilet lid, a stray ashtray or even the household pets lounging in the living room often sneak into photos and can signal a red flag for buyers. Instead, learn the five photos that may help set your listing apart and capture the attention of to buyers—and how to capture them.
Photos may not lie, but listing copy certainly can. You might think that a little exaggeration is a harmless way to get buyers in the door, but your white lies will instantly be evident when it comes time to show, and your newly-alienated buyers will turn right back around. When you lose trust, you lose a potential sale. continue reading
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, they say. What they don’t say is that prevention is also less painful, less costly and more efficient, especially when it comes to preventing the deal-destroying misconceptions and decision traps that plague hot market home buyers.
Often, the only ‘cures’ for these house hunt ailments involve letting the market educate your buyer client, as it does when they lose one or more “dream homes” before they are able to fully absorb and align their strategies to your advice. This cure not only costs them properties, it can cost them money if home values are increasing in your market. Plus, it certainly costs you hours and hours of your most precious business asset: your time.
So let’s circle back to prevention. There are five critical categories of preventive messages you can—and should—deliver to your buyer clients before you even kick off their house hunts.
Buyers come to the house hunting process full of questions, wonder, and often even some level of disbelief in their ability to actually become home owners. The process seems overwhelming and full of uncertainty, even in the calmest of markets. And the more the market heats up, the more difficult home buying seems to be. continue reading
Moving buyer prospects isn’t magic. Whether you’re trying to sway them off the fence or convince them that you’re the right agent to help them close, nothing ever beats the facts.
Use these four data points to shock your buyers into becoming real estate believers and getting serious about closing the deal:
Even in this post-crisis era, for most, a home purchase is about more than just securing a place to live. It’s an investment. Make sure you use this interest point in your counseling and explain that those who wait to buy waste their returns.
The Data Download:
The fact is nationally and in many locales, asking price climbs are slowing down. Recently the Trulia Price Monitor showed asking prices climbed 7.4% in November year-over-year. This is a serious drop from a 10.3% climb during the previous year. That means moments of indecision could have a high-cost in equity. Use your local median home price to come up with a hard figure of the money your prospects may lose if there’s another drop. continue reading
Customer confusion is all too common in customer service—especially in real estate. The harsh reality is that we don’t live in a world where we all mean what we say. Sometimes, to give the best client experience you have to jump the high-hurdle of learning to “speak their language” even when they aren’t great at communicating.
Here is a list of ways to make sure doubletalk doesn’t kill your deal and tips to help you get to the bottom of what your clients actually want and need.
The power to Google is a very real one. Anything you are going to discuss with clients can (usually) be found online. Go the extra mile during or after every chat to find a reference point for the things you discussed and send it in a follow up. This ensures both you and your clients can make sure the “apples” you’re thinking about aren’t actually “pears” to your clients. continue reading
Happy New…clients to be aware of. The New Year means a new flood of real estate hopefuls looking to buy, sell, or just waste your time.
Your ability to sift and spot the signs of 2015’s most risky prospects will make or break your business success this year. When you spot these prospects think twice, just say no, or at least proceed with extreme caution.
The only thing worse than a know-it-all is one who’s using yesterday’s news. Asking prices were up seven percent last November, the Fed is closing in on an interest rate hike, and a client who can’t take the time to listen to your advice won’t be able to close in this year’s fast-changing markets.
It’s a great testament to your reputation when friends and family want to work with you. But, it’s not always the best decision to accept the offer. If you think the worst-case transaction scenario would ruin the relationship, refer the client to someone you trust. continue reading
Individual buyers in the investment market have largely been squeezed out by institutional money in recent years – a trend that is not in the best interest of the industry in the long run. The number of first-time homebuyers is also way down, as an overall percentage of the market. Yet owner-occupied deals are more stable – and less likely to result in default, all other things being equal – than investment deals.
Owner-occupants are an important stabilizing element in the real estate market, and first-time buyers are a critical part of that demographic. But while the historical percentage of first-time buyers should normally be around 40 percent, that number has plummeted to 29 percent.
And so, despite the market traumas of 2008 to 2012, much of the real estate industry is now eager to restore individual owner-occupants as the backbone of the real estate market. Here’s some information to help new buyers take the plunge. continue reading
Sometimes, even the most well-intentioned sellers forget that the point of marketing and staging their home is to impress as many potential buyers as possible. One wrong move can lower the sale price, or even worse, prevent a sale at all. Make sure your sellers are serious contenders by helping them steer clear of these somewhat surprising buyer turnoffs this fall.
Buyers stalk properties online and off, checking obsessively for price reductions and the like. But buyer-side home stalking is unobtrusive to sellers. On the other hand, buyers can feel stifled in their ability to fully explore or verbally process their impressions of a ƒhome when the seller hangs out inside the home while it’s being shown.
What Sellers Need to Know:
Prospective buyers may not feel comfortable talking openly with their co-buyers or agents with the homeowner there, and may not open doors and drawers in front of the seller—potentially missing some of the home’s best features. Sure, a homeowner knows what makes the home shine and can answer questions, but so can a great agent. Trust him or her to communicate what makes the home special.
Sometimes it’s the little things that sellers think won’t matter that can block an offer. Of course, when inventory is low, sellers may have a better chance of snagging an offer despite design snafus, but when the home buying season slows, it’s in a seller’s best interest to heed the advice of their agent and get their home in tip-top shape. And nothing—nothing!—is a more hated design choice than weird, wacky wallpaper. continue reading
We’ve all had them. You might have one now. That seller who takes your comps, cross-references them on Trulia, adds in seven more, and builds out a spreadsheet—complete with formulas—then wants you to get them into each of the properties so she can point out the comps’ outdated paint colors, inferior appliance brands or other reasons she thinks she should get double the price for her home. The buyer who sees 45 houses before deciding they want a condo, then sees 50 of those before revealing that his palm-reader and rabbit jointly hold final decision-making power.
Okay, I might be exaggerating the factual scenarios (a tad). But in the life of an agent, three things are inevitable: death, taxes and high maintenance clients. Some are both high maintenance and unreasonable, and these folks can become a massive hemorrhage of time, gas and energy. It’s also demotivating and frustrating to work with high maintenance clients who are beyond pleasing. continue reading
Real estate agents by nature don’t deal well with change. When it comes to teaching our clients about how to do an online search for real estate, we feel like crawling under a rock and getting in the fetal position because it’s scary to think they could look up a house on their own.
You mean they don’t need us to see what’s on the market any more? It’s 2014, folks. Let’s teach our clients the right way to search for homes online and it might actually make our job easier. Don’t worry; they’ll still need you for many other things like, oh, I don’t know, unlocking the front door so they can actually see it.
One of the biggest hurdles companies are trying to figure out, no matter what they sell, is how to appeal to Gen Y. Gen Y, also referred to as Millennials, is defined as anyone born between 1982 and 1993. According to a recent article on Inc.com, “Gen Y’s annual spending will amount to approximately $2.45 trillion, escalating to $3.39 trillion by 2018—significantly eclipsing Baby Boomers in spending power.”
Now do you understand why companies are competing for their attention? Millennials understand the power of computers and they don’t want/need to rely on a business or, in this case, a real estate agent, for everything. This is why they often look on their own at first, and when it’s convenient for them, we step in. Should we cater to this as agents? Hint: The answer is YES.
A housing transaction, at the most fundamental level, includes one person who wants to sell and one person who wants to buy. Once the terms are agreed upon, voilà! . . . win-win.
However, if the seller is miserable with the final terms or feels like they had to settle for a lowball offer, the deal is likely to unravel or turn ugly. And if it does fall through, that causes aggravation and costs valuable time and money for everyone involved. continue reading