What Your Home Sellers May Not Know... but need to

Education & Training with Sell with Soul

Loreena Yeo wrote a blog from her hospital bed today that, as her writing often does, inspired me to put my own two pennies on paper.

A few weeks ago, my partner and I put a Charming Denver Bungalow on the market. Our seller is one smart cookie and he's sold several homes on his own. We didn't want to insult his intelligence by boring him with all the details of having a home on the market; we figured if he had a question about the process, he'd ask. Oops.

Well, now he's asking. In a rather annoyed tone of voice, as if he feels blind-sided by what is happening to him.

And I realize that no matter how smart, how experienced, how cooperative a seller may be, we can never assume that he has a clue what is about to happen to him. And more importantly, what his role will be in the home selling process.

It's our job to make sure that our sellers understand...
1. What it means to their lifestyles be On the Market (basically, it sucks)

2. What they should expect from us (particularly the frequency of communication)

3. What we are expecting from them (see below)

4. How showings and feedback work

5. Why I won't be attending most showings (the buyer has his own agent)

If your seller has to call you to ask these questions after the fact, he'll likely have that annoyed-tone-of-voice with you, too!

It's also our job to be upfront with our sellers, no matter how unpleasant what we have to say may be for either of us.

Topics such as:
1. Why they need to SCRAM for showings

2. Why they need to accept short-notice showings and allow a lockbox

3. Why the market will not overlook toothpaste spit in the sink or eau d'Chef Boyardee in the air

4. Why they need to be pleasant to buyer agents who show up early or late

5. Why it's not okay to have barking dogs locked up in the laundry room

When your home is on the market, you talk about the experience with everyone you know. Especially if you're confused by the process which will translate into dissatisfaction with your agent. But yet... aren't listing appointments long enough without adding in all of the above??? How do you handle this issue?

Copyright Jennifer Allan 2007



Posted by

It's Here!


The More Fun You Have Selling Real Estate, the More Real Estate You Will Sell! 
(True Story)
Order Your Here!









Comments (19)

Michael Delp
Mortgage Pro - Telford, PA
Being a Loan Officer, I work with buyers. A lot of this pertains to them as well. We can't assume they know how everything works. It does get a little embarrassing if you are too thorough in explaining things when your customer DOES understand, but the bottom line is they need to understand.
Sep 12, 2007 03:40 AM
Robert Hammerstein -201-315-8618
Christie's International Real Estate - Hillsdale, NJ
Bergen County NJ Real Estate
Appointments can last as long as the Seller needs them to in order to feel satisfied that they are informed.  However, every person grasps things in a different way.  The best way we've found is to just stay in touch often with our customers and clients.  Very good point to highlight.
Sep 12, 2007 03:53 AM
Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time
Jennifer when I meet with experienced Sellers I tell them that I'm going to just start talking about the process and ask them to stop me if they feel they already know something. They NEVER stop me. I agree completely it is our job to make sure our customer/clients know the process. In fact the majority of my listing presentation is talking about showing procedures, contract negotiations, inspections and getting to closing. My assumption is that I already have the listing so my job is now to educate. It also keeps the seller focused on the end result and not whether or not to hire me. I hire myself as soon as a potential seller calls me. Does that make sense?
Sep 12, 2007 05:36 AM
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

BB - Yeah... that's good... real good.  I love it. So you're saying that you don't do a lot of BB-Promotion - you take that time educating on the market and the process... yeah...

Michael - I know that I shut down after about half an hour, so it's hard for me to push people to listen to me any longer than that... My listing presentation itself is rather short, partly to give me time to talk about "what's next". Good point that it's the same in lending!

L&R - I wonder about asking our sellers if they would like to continue to chat about the process or if they would prefer a follow-up email...? Cause you're right - people "hear" in different ways. Might be nice to figure out the best way for each particular client to absorb the information.

Sep 12, 2007 05:52 AM
Monika McGillicuddy
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty - Hampstead, NH
Southern NH & the Seacoast Area


You can never assume anything in this business. Including if they "hear" what your saying. Excellent post!

Sep 12, 2007 06:16 AM
Loreena and Michael Yeo
3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co. - Prosper, TX
Real Estate Agents

This blog serves a good wake up call for me not to assume anything. It is always better to present more information than not enough. I completely agree to bring everything upfront and when the clients want to stop us and fast forward, that would be fine too.

Sometimes, it's us that has taken many things for granted because we do this too often. We just assume they would know.

Sep 12, 2007 06:20 AM
Birmingham Alabama Real Estate, Stephen Wolfe
LivingInBirmingham.com - Birmingham, AL
Great points... this can go in your advice to new agents list as well. If a client is not satisfied I find it can most often be our fault, or at least the fault of our industry, that, well... we created. Information and education are things all of our clients need whether they know it or not.
Sep 12, 2007 09:20 AM
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Stephen - great point. In fact, I'm working on an article about that very thing. When things go wrong, BLAME YOURSELF first!

Loreena - I was really surprised at the questions my client was asking. I just assumed that everyone understood this stuff. But, no, they don't...

Monika - I'd love to hear from a communication expert on how to communicate these things to different types of people! Wouldn't that be fun?

Sep 12, 2007 11:05 AM
David Slavin
Keller Williams Premier - Katy, TX
CDPE, ABR, SRES Keller Williams Premier
Even if they think they know how the selling process works, it makes it easier in the long run to just give them a refresher course.
Sep 12, 2007 02:18 PM
Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time
I feel a blog post coming on:)
Sep 13, 2007 08:23 AM
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Cool - waiting anxiously.

Sep 13, 2007 09:26 AM
Steve G. Snarzyk
Realty ONE Group - Trademark - Saint Peters, MO
Great post Jennifer, I know all of us have probably forgot to mention some of the things you listed with a listing we have taken.  I know I have.  Not once have I left an appointment and remembered something that I should have mentioned.
Sep 13, 2007 03:50 PM
Nick and Joslyn Solomon
Century 21 Moline Realty - Cambridge, MN
The Solomon Team - Century 21 Moline Realty, Inc.

I love this post.  I always try not to assume.  I even was like that when I was a waitress.  If someone gave me three dollars more than the total, I ALWAYS brought the change back and set it on the table.  I never wanted to assume that the change was for me.

I had someone ask me recently about why I had explained something that seemed so elementary.  I replied with "You know what assuming does..."

He grinned and said "Yep.  It makes an ass out of you and me."

Not that you are an ass, of course, but I do love that saying!

Sep 13, 2007 04:25 PM
Kaye Thomas
Real Estate West - Manhattan Beach, CA
e-PRO, Manhattan Beach CA
Jennifer.. nice post and very astute.. especially in today's market.. What ever someone thinks they know because they bought or sold 5 years ago.. it's completely different today and we need to continue their education about the current market..
Sep 13, 2007 05:41 PM
Lisa Heindel
Crescent City Living LLC - New Orleans, LA
New Orleans Real Estate Broker
Jennifer, you are so right!  We are dealing with people's lives and money - they need to understand what's going on and it's our obligation and duty to make that happen.
Sep 14, 2007 12:19 AM
Paula Henry
Home to Indy Team @ HomeSmart Realty Group - Avon, IN
Realtor - Indianapolis Real Estate - 317-605-4174
Jennifer - Excellent advice! I have done this before - assumed my client knew the process, both with buyers and sellers. I now take time to let them know every detail and provide a list of what they can expect in both my buyer and seller books. Still, I take time to go through the list, because I know not everyone will read the book. I like the idea of asking them to stop me if They feel they have a handle on the information I am sharing.
Sep 14, 2007 12:30 AM
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

When my seller started asking me the questions, it was a big aha moment. Crap! This was all stuff I usually tell people, but didn't with him because I figured he already knew. But of course he didn't! I could feel his frustration level building with every email and I'm sure he was also grousing about the whole thing with his co-workers. Ouch.

Paula - your CD is in the mail!

Sep 14, 2007 02:52 AM
John MacArthur
Century 21 Redwood - Washington, DC
Licensed Maryland/DC Realtor, Metro DC Homes

Jennifer - another lesson learned. of course, you are assuming that the agent has clue to begin with. : )


Sep 14, 2007 11:40 AM
Alexander- Slocum
Premiere Property Group, LLC - Vancouver Washington - Vancouver, WA
Realty Team- Vancouver WA Real Estate

Jennifer, you are so correct, we cannot assume even an "experience" seller knows the best protocol to follow.  Some of them even go so far as to say: "I just need it in the MLS and that's all that is necessary" and fail to value the very essential details necessary for a successful sale!


Feb 18, 2008 05:59 AM