Could this be the Secret Recipe for listing more homes?

Services for Real Estate Pros with Marte Cliff Copywriting

As you know, there is no one magic pill that will make your real estate career successful. That takes a good mixture of skills, market knowledge, and dedication – together with effective and consistent marketing.

But there always are some things that can raise you a notch above your competition, and perhaps become that “secret recipe” or tipping point that makes you the “chosen one.”

Enthusiasm is one of those things.secret recipe

Your enthusiasm shows in everything you do – and lack of enthusiasm shows too.

I think back to a story a good friend told me…

She had decided it was time to sell her home on Mercer Island, so she called one of the top agencies in the area.

They sent an agent who met with her and went through the house shaking her head. It certainly was close to a well-traveled road. She could hear the traffic. The bedrooms were small too. She’d have to base her pricing recommendations on those facts, plus some other shortcomings she didn’t hesitate to mention.

The second agent (from a less well-known agency) came in and pointed out the positives – like being close to the road for an easy commute. She did eventually bring up a few negative points, but in the context of overcoming them or turning them into positives. Meanwhile, she thought it was a “wonderful” house.

Of course she got the listing, and my friend wasn’t disappointed. The agent’s enthusiasm carried through to her marketing, and the house sold quickly.

If you like the property, your enthusiasm makes it easier to sell.

When I was an agent it was always easier for me to sell homes on acreage and cabins in the woods – simply because I was drawn to them and actually felt enthusiastic about them. Houses in town were tougher, because I could never imagine wanting to live where I could look out a window at my neighbor’s house.

Other agents would feel just the opposite – who would want to live so far from everything?

My advice: Find something about each house that you can truly appreciate and feel enthusiastic about. Then convey that enthusiasm to the seller at your first meeting.

It might be nothing more than a bay window, a rock fireplace, or a sun-washed breakfast nook, but find something. In fact, find as many “somethings” as you can.

You can get back to the negatives and how to overcome them later.

What if there is nothing?

If there truly is nothing you can see about a listing that appeals to you, there are two possible scenarios, and two reactions.

In one case, the seller knows the place is a disaster, and is willing to price the house to sell to an investor who will fix it. You can feel enthusiastic about marketing “opportunity” to those investors.

In the other case, you simply don’t like the place and the seller wants top dollar. The seller will probably notice that and choose another agent. If not, it could still be in your best interests to walk away.

What if it’s the people you can’t stand?

Let someone else have the listing. You’ll be miserable doing business with them.


Image courtesy of everydayplus at

This article first appeared at


Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers 05/23/2017 06:03 AM
  2. Praful Thakkar 07/11/2017 04:00 AM
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Ann Nguyen
eXp Realty - Truckee, CA
Lake Tahoe Truckee Homes For Sale

This is so true. I showed a condo when the market was tanking and the condo was lovely. The sellers had done a lot of updates and decorated it very tastefully. I was impressed and complimented them. They ended up taking the condo off the market since they could not sell it for the price they wanted at that time. When they decided to sell a couple years later, they contacted me and asked me to be the listing agent. The market was still not that great but I was happy to market this lovely condo and got it sold quickly for the best price at that time.

May 23, 2017 07:36 AM #34
Dörte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Marte,

It is definitely easier to sell something that you personally like. To find out more about the property, I sometimes ask, what attacted the seller, when they bought. Hopefully, those features are still around.

May 23, 2017 09:14 AM #35
Rochelle Kretchmar
GenEquity Mortgage - Lewisville, TX
Simply Irresistible Staging

Totally Agree with your post!  You have to like the home you are listing or in my case staging.  My job is to see the best in every home and to let others see that as well.

May 23, 2017 11:56 AM #36
Stephen Arnold
HomeSmart Elite Group - Scottsdale, AZ

One can typically find at least a couple of good points to talk about with each home.  More often than not...I ask the seller to tell me the five greatest attributes of their home.  It just helps witht the property description and understanding why they purchased in the first place! Great blog post Marte!  

May 23, 2017 12:29 PM #37
Keller Williams Realty Partners SW - Cooper City, FL
Selling Broward County Homes with Passion!

Amen to this post! I have walked away from potential listings when the sellers wouldn't price realistically. Not easy to do but, in the long run, I didn't need the headache of an unsold listing or two and anxious sellers. 

May 23, 2017 12:33 PM #38
Richard Bazinet /MBA, CRS, ABR
AZuRE Team - Realty ONE Group - Scottsdale, AZ
Phoenix Scottsdale. Sellers, Buyers & Relocations

Very good advice Marte. Especially the last one. I have no hesitation to fire a listed client if necessary. I work in a no BS - no tolerance client zone.

May 23, 2017 12:37 PM #39
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Specializing in Brookside, Waldo, Prairie Village

Sound advice, especially the last few sentences.  I always say a few positive things but sometimes the negatives outweigh the positives and the sellers are in denial--or take suggested improvements as an insult or 'well, it's ok this way for us'  I want to scream--you are not the buyers!!

May 23, 2017 08:46 PM #41
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Marte Cliff - it is like building the relationship - find the positives and work on it!

Show what's good about the place and it becomes easy for the agent to sell the home.

I always want the seller to tell me what they love about their home - and it makes my task easy!

May 23, 2017 09:02 PM #42
James (Jim) Lawson, DBA LLC - Bonita Springs, FL
Broker Associate, RSPS, BPOR, HI & PE

This is an interesting topic Marte. Glad you brought it up. Homes with lots of positives and few minor negatives naturally elicit enthusiasm among buyers, sellers and agents. Other homes can be much more of a challenge, especially for agents.

May 23, 2017 10:34 PM #43
Rose Mary Justice
Synergy Realty Pros - Dandridge, TN
Synergy Realty Pros

You have to be enthusiastic about what you do-Sell homes.  If you do not show this to a seller you are out the door.  Find some great points about the house and plan to market those.  Pricing a home accordingly is key.  There are buyers out there for every home if we are willing to go the extra mile.  Whether it is a Great Home to live in or an investment fixer.  Thanks for the reminder.

May 24, 2017 05:14 AM #44
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

If your description is "nice home, nice yard, nice area... be happy here" it is ho hum. If the agent is not excited and promoting the features of the property and local area, the other end of the marketing signal won't be either. Passion, enthusiasm is contagious Marte Cliff ! Great points in your blog post as always!

May 25, 2017 02:29 AM #45
Nina Hollander
RE/MAX Executive | Charlotte, NC - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Good morning, Marte... I'm a big believer in "passing" on business and people, who do not enthuse me. Especially, people. If I can't get excited about working with my clients, I'd rather refer them.

May 25, 2017 04:19 AM #46
Peter Davies
Borawski Real Estate - Northampton, MA
Exceptional service, without exception...

Enthusiasm can be infectious, and to the same degree so can doubt... It is our job to vigorously represent our clients interests, if we don't believe in them we should refer them or politely walk away.

May 25, 2017 07:36 AM #47
Michael Ackerman
Zephyr Real Estate - San Francisco, CA
CRS, Top Producer, 19+ Years Experience!

Great post!

Sellers, Buyers and Agents are all individuals.  

Those of us who view the glass half full can immediately see the positive. Admittedly - there are a few homes I never wish to sell to my buyers.  I let them know, if we acknowledge the flaws now - remember - when we go to sell, the next buyer will see them too!   Honesty is the only policy.  

May 25, 2017 11:22 AM #48
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, 914-419-0270, - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

I totally agree. Enthusiasm and positivity can go a long way in obtaining a listing and getting it sold.

May 26, 2017 03:49 AM #49
Anna Hatridge
Goodson Realty - Farmington, MO
Missouri Realtor with Goodson Realty

I am excited every time a seller asked me to list their property.  Why?  Because they are asking me to represent them.  To me, that is a huge compliment.  I think you have written a post that is the perfect recipe for success.

May 27, 2017 07:08 AM #50
Mike Kelly,CRS,CIPS
The MJKelly Team - Santa Rosa, CA
"One of Sonoma County's Natural Resources"

I've had Realtors show one of my listings and get real enthusiastic and excited about the property. It's contageious and this carries over to the client. As an old grissly veteran of real estate for 38 years I don't get enthusiastic but more realistic about a house. Perhaps I should temper my "worldly" look with the energy and enthusiasm of the young Realtors.

May 31, 2017 11:06 AM #51
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Spot on advice Marte!  Selling requires a few skills, and enthusiasm for a product or service definitely helps to convey the positives to a buyer!  Love your post!

Jun 02, 2017 12:32 PM #52
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
"Franklin MA Homes"

Good morning, Marte Cliff ...when you like a property, that enthusiasm radiates.... If the property is a pain in the butt to sell and you would never live in it, that too shows....

Jul 11, 2017 04:14 AM #53
Dorie Dillard
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Marte Cliff ,

I'm so glad Praful Thakkar re-blogged this post. I've read it before but read it again because you are so right enthusiasm does radiate and sellers see it and know buyers will too!!

Jul 11, 2017 04:59 AM #54
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