Sixteen Ways to Keep Your Seller Happy with You

Education & Training with Sell with Soul


What's the Number One Thing "they" say that homesellers complain about?

All together now...

Communication (or lack thereof) from their agent. And, having been on the other side of the For Sale sign a time or two, I can certainly second that emotion. But "communication" isn't just about calling every week to say "Hi, how're doin'?" No, it's also about keeping the seller informed on local market activity. On providing feedback from showings. On notifying him of new competing listings and recently closed sales. And, frankly, on making sure the seller knows exactly what his agent's been up to to promote his home!

If the only time a listing agent contacts a seller is to ask for a price reduction or a listing extension, well, I can pretty much guarantee that seller is less than tickled with his agent. And that agent deserves every bit of his seller's discontent! Oh, the seller may not complain to his agent, but I'll bet he's not keeping quiet around the coffee machine!

The good news is that keeping a seller happy isn't that hard. They just wanna know what's going on and that their agent cares. Is that too much to ask?

Here are sixteen things you can do to keep your seller happy with you. And a happy-with-you seller just might be a great source of future business!

  1. Notify him as soon as the listing hits the MLS and send him a copy of the listing
  2. Send him links to all your online advertising (, Craigslist, Postlets, Active Rain, your own blog, etc.)
  3. Send him a copy of the home brochure before it goes to print and ask for feedback
  4. Make sure he knows when home brochures will be delivered
  5. Schedule an open house right away (yes, you must do an open house)
  6. Call after the first showing(s) to see if he has any questions about the process
  7. Pursue and deliver feedback, especially in the first month
  8. If you do any print advertising, send the seller copies (including Just Listed cards)
  9. Send him a "state of the market" report showing all the competing listings. Update this report every two or three weeks
  10. Call periodically to find out if he's running low on brochures (if it's impractical to keep the box full, just remove it.)
  11. Be sure to provide feedback after open houses (if someone else does your open houses for you, be sure to follow up with them afterwards)
  12. Schedule an appointment to review the latest market activity
  13. Preview any new competition and provide feedback to your seller
  14. Refresh your Craigslist ads and send the seller a link
  15. Ensure that your photos are in season
  16. Ask for feedback on how you're doing

How many of these items do you already do? If you do at least 50% of them, you're blowing away your competition. Sad, isn't it? The last few times I've had my own properties listed, my agents did ZERO of these activities. ZERO... Zero.

A happy seller is a cooperative seller. An unhappy seller is not, and will likely become more and more uncooperative as time goes by. You pick!

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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Mirela Monte 09/26/2009 09:29 PM
  2. Sandy Childs 09/29/2009 04:50 PM
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Toronto, ON

Jennifer - Your list of communication ideas is very straightforward for listing agents to follow.  It is amazing that so many agents don't understand that communication is very important in real estate and is an easy way to retain business and earn referrals.

Sep 23, 2009 11:17 PM #1
Leslie Helm
Tennessee Recreational Properties - Jamestown, TN
Real Estate For Trail Riders

Hi, Jennifer. Another great post....when do you sleep? I did a "Curb Appeal" post a few weeks ago about how keeping my signs weed whacked is part of MY curb appeal. We've had ALOT of rain lately and the grass and weeds have really grown up around my signs. I think I'll email my "Before" and "After" pix to my sellers this morning to keep them "updated" on my efforts. Thanks for the inspiration!

Sep 23, 2009 11:23 PM #2
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Leslie - Thanks! I like your new photo. I'm amazed at how little agents do once their sign is in the yard - do they not care or do they not know any better?

Marc - Every real estate agent should list his house with someone else - and he'll figure out pretty quickly how important communication is!

Sep 24, 2009 12:07 AM #3
Mike Mitchell
Real Living Kee Realty - Saint Clair Shores, MI

Jen, I like this series you're doing. This is a great list! I would honestly say I do almost all of those, except for number 12 and 16. That's a good idea-  12.  Schedule an appointment to review the latest market activity

Great post Jen! Thanks for sharing.

Sep 24, 2009 12:36 AM #4
Charlie Ragonesi - Big Canoe, GA
Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros

This is a really good post and all who list should read it. At the end of the day everything you are talking about is not that hard to do and the rewards as you point out are many

Sep 24, 2009 12:36 AM #5
Robin Rogers
Robin Rogers, Silverbridge Realty, San Antonio, Texas - San Antonio, TX
CRS, TRC, MRP - Real Estate Investment Adviser

I have to do an open house? NOOoooo!

I'm amazed that some agents don't even send the link to the MLS to their clients to review when they list the house.



Sep 24, 2009 12:41 AM #6
Tami Vroma
West Michigan Real Estate Specialist-Five Star Real Estate - Grand Haven, MI
Realtor, Grand Rapids MI Real Estate

Great post Jennifer.  Why is communicating so hard for so many people!!!  I do a lot of the things on your list!  I don't do brochures and I don't do open houses-I know we disagree on that one but your list is awesome!

Sep 24, 2009 12:54 AM #7
Missy Caulk
Missy Caulk TEAM - Ann Arbor, MI
Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate

Yep we send our sellers EVERY piece of marketing materials and everytime craigslist is updated.

We don't do open houses or I should say very often, just aren't fruitful here but every market is different.


Sep 24, 2009 01:09 AM #8
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Tami - I can't figure it out why so many agents don't think it's important! Even if they don't "want" to, don't they realize that the seller needs to hear from them?

Robin - I once listed my house and was told it would go on the market on a Wednesday. I waited and waited to see the listing, but got nothing. Finally on Monday, my agent returned my calls and said she'd gone out of town for the weekend and hadn't put it on yet, but she'd get to it "today or tomorrow."

Charlie - I once had 40 listings and was still able to do all these things! No, they aren't hard and even if they were - they should be done!

Mike - I tell my sellers that we'll get back together at six weeks to review the market activity. In the meantime, I update them every two weeks with a fairly simple market update showing new competition, listings newly under contract and recent closings. Seems like information they'd want, doesn't it?

Sep 24, 2009 01:10 AM #9
Julia Odom
Select Realty Professionals - Chattanooga, TN
Chattanooga Homes for Sale

I don't work with sellers (I take buyer leads from an REO agent in my office) but I've been considering branching out. Bookmarking this for future reference.

Sep 24, 2009 02:23 AM #10
Matthew Naumann
Exit Realty Charleston Group - Goose Creek, SC
Goose Creek, SC Real Estate Agent

Hello Jennifer,

Great post, a love your tips for keeping a seller happy.

Thanks for sharing,

Matt Naumann

Sep 24, 2009 07:56 AM #11
Kevin J. May
Florida Supreme Realty - Hobe Sound, FL
Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida

Hi Jennifer,  that was excellent, like getting 3 blogs in one.  Did you have to be so direct though, I think I got a little bruised from your bashing.  Fabulous!   

Sep 24, 2009 09:50 AM #12
Robert Vegas Bob Swetz
Realty ONE Group - Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Henderson Homes for Sale

Hello Jennifer and powerful writing once again young lady and I really enjoy reading your work!

VB ;o)

Sep 24, 2009 06:33 PM #13
Sharon Senger
tcDocs - Seattle, WA
Licensed Transaction Coordinator


This is a great "To Do List" and should be in every agents marketing plan.  Hopefully after reading your post it will be added.

Great post as always!


Sep 25, 2009 03:23 AM #14
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate


I agree with Sharon what a great list to add to agents marketing plans! Wonderful "seller pleasing" tips!

Sep 25, 2009 07:18 AM #15
Sandy Childs
Keller Williams Realty - Spartanburg, SC
Realtor - Spartanburg, SC

Jennifer: This is a great list ~ thanks for sharing it with us. I'm not sure about doing the open house ~ a really good virtual tour works for me.

Sep 29, 2009 04:50 PM #16
Rita Minion
O'Brien Realty - Solomons, MD

Hi Jennifer,

Great tips for keeping a seller happy!  Thank you for your post!



Oct 03, 2009 03:05 PM #17
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