Feedback can turn a stale listing into a paycheck

Real Estate Broker/Owner with RE/MAX Action Real Estate

Your listing isn't selling.  Trust me you are not alone.  However, your clients really "need" to sell and you feel frustrated - what can you do?

The answer is simple - give your sellers regular feedback on showings and on changes in the market. 

Calling for feedback from showings is the key to getting any home sold - particularly a home that is for sale in a down market.  Your clients need to know what buyers are thinking about their home.  If you don't call for feedback from each and every agent who shows your listings, you are missing a great opportunity. 

So what do you ask?  Ask simple questions:

  • Did your clients like the house?
  • What were their favorite features of the house?
  • What did they dislike about the home?
  • Is this a home they may be interested in buying?
  • What would it take to make them interested in buying this home?
  • How do you (the agent) feel about our price?
  • Are there any suggestions you (the agent) have to improving this listing?
  • But don't stop there.  If the buyers have no interest in your listing, then what do they like?
  • Are they interested in making an offer on another house?
  • What is their time frame for buying?

Besides feedback on actual showings, you also want to update your clients on the market around them.  I suggest that you email them weekly the following information:

  • New listings that have come on the market during the week that are comparable to their home
  • Homes that have pended in their area and price range
  • Any price reductions on comparable homes
  • Homes that have expired or been withdrawn from the market

None of us can manufacture buyers.  If a property is not selling but you are getting showings, the feedback will generally help you get a price reduction or help you convince your sellers to make needed changes to their home.

If you are not getting any showings, market updates will not only "CYA" but will help get price reductions.  If other homes are selling, compare those homes to your listing and explain the differences to your clients.  Be somewhat analytical about the differences.  Maybe the homes that are selling have more square footage, a lower price, newer features or have an additional room.

If nothing is selling in the market, your clients need to know that too.  Not only will that take the burden off you, but it might help you get a price reduction.  If they really have to sell, and there are other homes that are better options, then a price reduction is in line.

Motivated sellers don't want to languish in the market.  They want to sell.  Give them the information that they need about past showings and current market happenings.  If you do that you'll have a client who is comfortable with your performance.  Get price reductions when necessary and keep your clients in the loop.  If you don't keep your sellers informed, your listing will soon expire and another more experienced agent (or more lucky agent) will get it sold and get paid.

Comments (5)

Brenda & David Wakeman
Russell Realty - Strongsville, OH

Giving your Sellers feedback is easier said than done.  We find that more and more Realtors, and I use that term loosely, don't bother to give feedback, even after it has been requested numerous times.  We use both email requests and telephone calls and it seems that even when you do reach them, they can't remember the details of the property.  If they can't keep track of the features and issues with the property, how do they expect their buyers to remember.  We always take notes on each home shown and the provide feedback within about 24 hrs.  It's the professional thing to do.

As for regular updates on the market, this is an absolute must.  The seller must know what is going on or risk losing thousands of dollars by not making adjustments quickly.  That being said, sometimes the seller just doesn't get it and they end up not getting sold and/or losing money because they wanted to test the market.

Oct 12, 2007 08:34 AM
Don Stern
Realty Executives South Louisiana - Baton Rouge, LA
Greater Baton Rouge Real Estate

Gary, thanks for the tips and the reminder.  I schedule a recurring "to-do" in in my contact manager for each of my listings to remind me to provide feedback.  It's just too easy to let this bit of customer service go for other priorities.

Oct 12, 2007 08:37 AM
Gary Duda
RE/MAX Action Real Estate - Richmond, VA

It's true other Realtors won't always give feedback but documenting for your clients that you have made the calls/emails/faxes is still imperative.


Oct 12, 2007 09:53 AM
The All Pro Team
EXIT Realty Leaders - Crystal River, FL
Gary, I always give feedback when I show property and I always request it when my properties are shown. I call my sellers on Friday afternoon and give them their weekly update.  I tell them the feedback then and also tell them that agent x has yet to get back to me.  They can figure out for themselves who the professionals are!
Oct 12, 2007 02:52 PM
Nicky Dou
Colliers - Fayetteville, AR
The BEST REAL ESTATE AGENT in Northwest Arkansas

My company uses Showing desk and I have been impressed by the number of people that automatically respond to these systems. I prefer email anyway!!!

Apr 13, 2009 05:28 AM