Earlier this week we did a show in the SWS Virtual Studio called "Listed to Sold: Beyond the Old 3P's" where we discussed various strategies to getting listings SOLD so that our sellers can move on with their lives and we can enjoy a well-DESERVED paycheck. I say well-DESERVED because the premise of the show was that you can (and should) go way above and beyond the "Old 3P's" (Put a Sign in the Yard, Put it on the MLS, Pray) if your goal is to be the Best Listing Agent You Know (and I truly hope that IS your goal!).
At the end of the show, I surveyed the audience to see what tip or tips they found the most valuable toward reaching that lofty goal, and here's what they told me:
Favorit-est Tip #1 (by far): Make your seller a partner in the pricing process. Show up with a detailed CMA along with clear summary pages, but don't include your suggested price. Go over the data with your seller and then ask them to sit on it overnight with a promise to call them in the morning to discuss.
Favorit-est Tip #2: Price is not always the best solution to a non-selling listing. Sure, recommending a price reduction is an EASY solution, but is it the best? Unless you're just grossly overpriced (and that shouldn't be the case, right?), there is probably something else that is keeping your listing from selling. And you can almost always fix the problem much less expensively than you can price for it.
Favorit-est Tip #3: Explain the two types of seller's regret.
Favorit-est Tip #4: Don't overpromise and under-deliver in your marketing. If your listing has a substandard feature - e.g. a rickety garage - consider being upfront about the issue in your marketing so buyers aren't disappointed. In the example of a crummy garage, consider removing all mention of the garage in the MLS and let buyers be pleasantly surprised by the large storage building in the back yard!
Favorit-est Tip #5: Approach difficult conversations with your seller with a positive attitude "as if" you know they are going to be willing to consider your advice and suggestions.
If you'd like to hear the whole show, the recording is available in the SWS Bookstore for purchase or you can join Club SWS and get access to all SWS teleseminars shows since 2010! Or, just join the SWS mailing list and be notified of all upcoming shows which are free to attend live.