God Bless 'em, sellers just want to help. They have lots of opinions on how their homes should be marketed, advertised and promoted to agents and buyers, and they LUV sharing those opinions with us. And of course, they expect us to agree with their opinions and implement their ideas immediately!
And sometimes they're right. Hey, our sellers are intelligent human beings, and at times, they have great ideas we'd never thought of.
But sometimes, um, they don't. No disrespect to homesellers around the world, but we DO (or should) know more about selling houses than they do. We DO (or should) know what works and what doesn't work.
Now, truth be told, there are things we do simply because they make our sellers happy and there's nothing wrong with that. In fact, there's a lot right about it. And many of these things we do primarily promote ourselves more so than the property, and again, that's just fine. Open houses, color brochures, single-domain websites, Craigslist postings and virtual tours might fall under one or both of these categories.
But what about ineffective marketing that is expensive or time-consuming? How can you tell your seller "no" without sounding cheap, lazy or disrespectful?
Before I answer that burning question, here are some examples* of marketing I "refuse" to do:
- Enhanced Realtor.com listings
- Broker open houses
- Magazine advertising
- Newspaper advertising
- Talking House sign riders
- Flyer distribution to neighborhood
- Flyer distribution to real estate offices
- .... feel free to add your own
*If, in your market, any of these marketing approaches actually work, please do them - don't accept what I say as gospel. In some markets, broker opens are effective. In resort markets, magazine advertising might be worthwhile. Know your market and adjust my advice accordingly.
So, how do I respectfully say "Just Say No" to a seller's suggestion?
"Well, Joe, here's the thing. I want to sell your house as much as you do, so if I thought a particular marketing venue would work, I'd be all over it."
Very simple. It reminds the seller that you're on the same team, with a common goal of getting the home sold. And it's true! If you believed that having an enhanced Realtor.com profile would sell the house, you'd do it, right? If you thought that advertising the listing in the newspaper would bring in buyers, you'd advertise in the newspaper all day long, wouldn't you?
Of course, you certainly may do any and all advertising suggested by your seller; nothing I'm saying here advises against it. Doing these activities certainly won't hurt the chances of the home selling, but if you want to say "no" and haven't figured out how, give this a try. If said calmly, confidently and non-defensively, the seller will usually understand and agree!