I’m not exactly sure why the world believes that selling real estate is a glamorous job. It’s true that many agents have fancy cars and some attend wine and cheese parties and tour beautiful luxury homes. However, there is a lot more to real estate than just topping off with a glass of merlot.
Setting the Tone for a Smooth Transaction
It takes more than just that glass of merlot to set the tone for a smooth transaction. Since so many things can run amok with respect to a home purchase or sale, I’ve found it best to explain that a real estate agent is like a pilot. It’s the pilot’s job to get you to your destination safely and to avoid as much turbulence as possible. The same with the agent—we look to protect our clients from themselves and also to manage any turbulence that may come up along the way. Having worked with thousands of agents and having participated in thousands of transactions, I’ve found that real estate is always a learning experience and each transaction is like a brand new adventure.
Huge Mistakes Made by Listing Agents
Here are the 5 biggest mistakes made by listing agents, and what you can do to resolve them.
- Taking an overpriced listing. Everyone wants to have a full sales pipeline, and the best way to do that is to add lots of listings in your portfolio. But, what about the seller that wants to list his or her home for $200,000 over value just because he has an emotional attachment to the property? Do you take the listing or not? While it is tempting to take a listing, the best course of action is to focus on properties that you can actually sell. This means that if you cannot develop a written price reduction plan during the life of the listing, then taking the listing may not be in your best interest.
- Embarrassing and unprofessional photography. Not only do the listing photos showcase the best features of the property for all to see, but they are also an online showcase of your abilities as a listing agent. As such, it’s best (unless you take awesome photos yourself) to hire a professional photographer to take the pictures. If the listing is at a lower price point, hire the photographer to take a smaller quantity. Of course, there are obvious hurdles when the seller is not cooperative and the place looks like a pigsty, and these will be difficult to overcome no matter what photographer you hire.
- Not answering and returning phone calls. While I certainly understand that everyone is busy, I’ve made it my creed to always return every call and respond to every email in a timely manner. You never know which phone call will lead to a new listing, a new referral or even a new friend or loved one. You can set yourself apart from the bulk of your competition by answering every call each day.
- Responding to offers too quickly. If there is one thing that I’ve learned over the years, it is that the real estate transaction is something that happens slowly and deliberately. If you rush to accept an offer, you may not have thought through the details. Also, you never know what additional offers may come in the following day. Take your time and have a good heart-to-heart with the sellers in order to assure that all the terms are satisfactory before rushing to acceptance.
- Inability to manage the drama. There’s nothing worse than the second listing agent hearing bad stuff about the first one. Often times, this happens when the first agent didn’t set expectations accordingly. In my neck of the woods and with all those new lending guidelines, it’s tough to calculate the closing date with 100% certainty. That’s why we always tell our clients that the property will close within 5 days of the closing date. Then, nobody is mad if the deal doesn’t close exactly as specified. It’s those sorts of minute tweaks to the messaging that can make a huge difference and leave you with a much better relationship with your clients. If you anticipate the drama and handle it through your regular scripting, everyone will be much happier with your service.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
If you want to get lots of transactions close, you cannot sweat the small stuff. You cannot worry about whether the buyer dropped off his pay stub or get the required item notarized. And, you cannot fixate on the few drops of water coming from the hose bib outside. Focus on identifying more prospective home sellers, and use the tips provided to constantly sharpen your saw.