Honesty and the (preforeclosure) Listening Appointment

Services for Real Estate Pros with S.P.O.C.H. a 501c3 Charitable NP

Honesty is a two way street.  Be honest with your Client, and the Client will want to be honest with you... however painful that may be. 

I was speaking with a broker today who was interested in developing a comprehensive marketing strategy designed to increase the number of preforeclosure listings his office generated. I reminded him it wasn't so much the number of listings that mattered, but the number of listings that went into contract, and sold mattered much more. Personally, Id rather see 3 properly prequalified listings taken in and then close per month... instead of 10 or 20 taken in, and allowed to languish on the market unsold. Transactions that die on the vine don't benefit anyone!  In my opinion, a properly prequalified listing is one in which the agent knows how much is owed, and the status of the foreclosure... meaning how much time is left to sell before a Sheriff's Sale,  Trustee Sale, or some other forced foreclosure sale.  A prequalified listing includes the seller's realization to reasonable expectations...

"How can an agent properly prequalify a listing candidate on the first appointment?" he asked.

The broker or broker's agent implementing a preforeclosure marketing campaign should already know a preforeclosure situation exists.  By asking the tough questions early in the process, the broker or broker's agent will begin the all-important gathering of information. 

If the homeowner mentions the foreclosure, great!  Without any change in demeanor, the agent should matter of factly state that in order to be able to assess the severity of the situation, and to provide the professional service which they deserve, he or she will need to review correspondence the homeowner has received from the foreclosing lender.  If the homeowner doesn't mention the foreclosure,

1) Why are you selling?  (then be quiet and let them talk....) 

2) Are there any time constraints I should know about? (then be quiet, and let them talk)

3) May we now calculate your equity?  (do the calculations on a lined yellow pad in pencil...right out in the open)

The responses (or non-answers) to these three questions will unlock the door to a dialogue, and set the stage for a successful listing agreement. 

The homeowners want to share their story.  If you rush them through "their time" they'll think you don't understand, and certainly don't care.  And they won't do business with you.  So, listen carefully.

Once the prospective seller is confident in your knowledge, experience, compassion, and ability to help them thru what might be the most trying time of their lives.... they'll provide the additional or revised information you'll need to help them prepare for the events to come. 

I've been providing preforeclosure counseling to distressed homeowners for 20+ years.  I welcome you to consider our non profit organization a resource to enable distressed homeowners a comprehensive understanding of their non foreclosure alternatives, and the vital role their real estate agent can play in a viable, non foreclosure alternative.  www.SPOCH.org

To learn about developing a preforeclosure listing machine for your office, write "listing machine" in the subject box:  info@spoch.org    preforeclosure listing bootcamp


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