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!
- Notify him as soon as the listing hits the MLS and send him a copy of the listing
- Send him links to all your online advertising (Realtor.com, Craigslist, Postlets, Active Rain, your own blog, etc.)
- Send him a copy of the home brochure before it goes to print and ask for feedback
- Make sure he knows when home brochures will be delivered
- Schedule an open house right away (yes, you must do an open house)
- Call after the first showing(s) to see if he has any questions about the process
- Pursue and deliver feedback, especially in the first month
- If you do any print advertising, send the seller copies (including Just Listed cards)
- Send him a "state of the market" report showing all the competing listings. Update this report every two or three weeks
- Call periodically to find out if he's running low on brochures (if it's impractical to keep the box full, just remove it.)
- 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)
- Schedule an appointment to review the latest market activity
- Preview any new competition and provide feedback to your seller
- Refresh your Craigslist ads and send the seller a link
- Ensure that your photos are in season
- 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!
RELATED BLOG: Get Good... or Get OUT!
Subscribe to my Selling Your Listings blog