Problem-Solving with Soul: The Favorit-est Tips!

Education & Training with Sell with Soul


Did a little teleseminar show last week in the SWS Virtual Studio called "Problem-Solving with Soul" where Blake Farley and I shared various tips and strategies for becoming a Master Problem-Solver. We first focused on strategies to head off problems before they occur and then moved onto ways to solve those darn problems that you weren't able to head off in the first place. 

At the end of the program, we asked the audience for their feedback on which tips were the most brilliantly insightful, and here's what they told us:

Favorit-est Tip #1: Learn to Love a Checklist - at least half of the items on a good transaction-related checklist will probably have come from problems on past transactions you should have seen coming, but oops, didn't, and paid the price one way or another. Every busy (or hoping-to-be-busy) real estate agent should have and use transaction checklists for their New Listings, Listing-Under-Contract and Buyers-Under-Contract. You can see examples of the ones I used in the Sell with Soul VIP Lounge here:

Favorit-est Tip #2: Encourage sellers to remove any personal property from the home that they don't intend to include in the sale before going on the market (appliances in use excepted). If the buyer sees that awesome swing-set in the back yard... or that gorgeous butcher block island... or those towel racks hand-carved in Africa... and is then told "No, you can't have those," you will see the buyer shut down before your very eyes, get mad at the house (and seller) and take his purchase offer and earnest money deposit elsewhere...

Favorit-est Tip #3: Prepare your client for the realities of a real estate transaction and set reasonable expectations. Don't promise your client anything you can't deliver on; in fact, it's not the worst idea in the world to OVERpromise problems (!) so that when they don't occur (or occur in a lower octane than you warned about), the seller will be pleased. For example, tell your seller that it's possible they'll only have 15 minutes notice for showings so that when they get two hours, they'll be thrilled! 

Favorit-est Tip #4: Ask yourself if you can throw money at a problem to make it go away -- and do the math! It's amazing what agents and their clients will bicker over without doing the math first. Sometimes it's far easier to just open your checkbook to solve a problem than it is to spend hours trying to get someone else to step up. However, never open your checkbook to PUT a sale together; only use it to KEEP a sale together

Other tips: Realize that not all problems are yours to solve, realize that not all problems should be solved, celebrate every learning experience and be sure to add items to your checklists, never close on a Friday.

All SWS teleseminars are free to attend live - to see what's on tap in June, just visit the SWS Calendar of Events! 

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Pat & Steve Pribisko
Keller Williams Greater Cleveland West - Westlake, OH

Jennifer: I like your tip #3--under promise and over perform.

Jun 02, 2013 11:40 PM #1
Brad MacKenzie
Brad MacKenzie - Duxbury, MA
Turning Houses into Homes on the South Shore

Check, check and check! Good list. Thinking about opening my checkbook makes me shudder: am I the one buying your house?

Jun 03, 2013 02:31 AM #2
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Tip one is my most important tip and I use it in all aspects of my daily life

Jun 03, 2013 01:16 PM #3
Edward & Celia Maddox
The Celtic Connection Realty - Queen Creek, AZ

Some very good tips for owners to keep things under control. Thanks for sharing.

Jun 04, 2013 02:17 AM #4
Melanie Narducci
Hillscape Properties, Inc. - San Francisco, CA
Your San FranciscoBay Area Real Estate Expert
Great blog, Jennifer, thanks for these useful tips. I once had a buyer balk on a million dollar sale when the seller took a pottery barn hutch worth about $200.
Jun 04, 2013 02:29 AM #5
Cooper Jacobs
Looking For A Seattle Realtor? COOPERJACOBS.COM - Seattle, WA
Real Estate Brokers - Seattle

We too believe in the notion to under promise and over deliver. The things you write about here are a good reminder that organization and diligence are very important to succeed at what we are doing with real estate transaction. 

Smart BLOG Jennifer. Thank you.

Jun 04, 2013 04:21 AM #6
Ronald DiLalla
Century 21 Discovery DRE 01813824 - Anaheim, CA
No. Orange Cty Real Estate

Hi Jennifer,  great tips..Thanks for sharing with us in AR

Jun 04, 2013 04:50 AM #8
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Jennifer- this is an excellent list.  The first three are like prep work, as you said. to ward off or anticipate problems but #4 is just perfect, especially "never open your checkbook to put a sale together; only use it to keep a sale together."  

Jun 04, 2013 05:37 AM #9
Mike Warfel
Mike & Rita Warfel Real Estate LLC - Avoca, MI
Associate Broker

good tips Thank You

Jun 04, 2013 07:19 AM #10
Jimmy Faulkner
Florida. Homes Realty & Mortgage - Wantagh, NY
The Best Of St. Augustine

Being a good agent requires problem solving before the problems arise. Making the home very saleable without overselling is important. Letting people know the real expenses is a very important item. HONESTY works.

Jun 04, 2013 08:07 AM #11
Wayne and Jean Marie Zuhl
Samsel & Associates - Clark, NJ
The Last Names You'll Ever Need in Real Estate

Jennifer, thanks for another wonderful post filled with great tips!

Jun 04, 2013 09:31 AM #12
Charlotte Luxury Real Estate
Keller Williams - Ballantyne Area - Charlotte, NC
Eli Magids

Thanks for the tips Jennifer! Take down the chandelier BEFORE it becomes an issue!


Jun 04, 2013 10:34 AM #13
MichelleCherie Carr Crowe Just Call...408-252-8900
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

Great tips and how wonderful to put a program like this together.

Jun 04, 2013 03:05 PM #14
Eric Michael
Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI - Livonia, MI
Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519

Jennifer, I like all of the tips! The one I need to work on the most is the "other tips." I have a bad habit of making a lot of the problems my issues to solve.

Jun 05, 2013 10:48 AM #15
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Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn

Author of Sell with Soul
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