Don't Let Barriers Drain Your Pool of Buyers

Education & Training with The Lones Group, Inc.

The Lones Group, Inc.

Don't Let Barriers Drain Your Pool of Buyers

There are many barriers to selling a home in today's competitive selling environment. The challenge for many agents is how to discuss those barriers without offending the client. Perhaps the home you are evaluating has a very strong cat urine odor or the seller has just told you that they expect you to be at every single showing. There are plenty of other barriers I am sure you have come across in your time as an agent.

Barriers can ultimately harm the final sales price of the property which will negatively affect the seller. This is a discussion that you need to learn how to master or you will be forced to deal with it down the road either in terms of price or marketing time. The later you have the conversation, the more difficult it will be.

There are many barrier discussions that you need to have with sellers. Here are some of the most common barrier discussions you need to master:

  • Pets at home during showing
  • Pet smells in the home
  • Restricted showing times
  • Seller demands showings be supervised by listing agent
  • Seller wants to be present for all showings
  • Seller wants to list at too high a price
  • Seller wants to reduce commission for the selling agent
  • Seller not wanting to have a key box
  • Seller not willing to correct the condition of the home

If you were a doctor and a patient came to you for help you wouldn't think twice about having an honest direct conversation about what they would need to do to get well. Perhaps they needed surgery and they didn't want it or were unaccepting of their diagnosis. Regardless, you would still have that honest conversation. You wouldn't tell them what they wanted to hear. You would tell them what they needed to hear.

Your sellers are no different. Sellers come to you for your professional expertise and they need your guidance to get top dollar for the sale of their home. Even though they may not like what you have to say, it is your professional responsibility to tell them the truth.

If a home has a strong cat urine smell you must address it upfront - not later, immediately!  If the seller decides they don't want to do anything about it then at least you have disclosed to them that it could affect their bottom line. If the seller says they don't want a sign in the yard, are you going to say that you will "try it" or will you be blunt and say that it isn't in their best interest?

If you wait to have these "barrier" discussions it could cost your sellers in both time and money…and YOU in time and money. When a seller doesn't correct barriers, it hurts their bottom line. Every barrier causes the buyer pool to drain which affects demand and ultimately price.

The seller expects the house to sell. When it doesn't, the home sits on the market and gets stale as the days on market continue to tick away. This sends out a red flag which causes buyers to wonder what is wrong with the home. There could be nothing wrong with the home; it might be a barrier the seller won't take care of.

Do you have a barrier problem with any of your listings right now? If so, don't be afraid to have honest  discussion with your sellers. Let them know that buyers don't want them home for showings. Tell them that restricted showing times will result in less showings and less potential offers. Don't be a YES agent, have a voice and use it!  Be upfront, honest and direct. When you walk into the home and it smells of cat urine, do not ignore it! Instead, address it! When your seller insists that they want to list for much higher than the market will bear don't just say yes. Take the time to show them why it is not in their best interest to do that.

You are the professional and you must be the one to have these direct honest conversations else the buyer pool will be drained.


By Denise Lones CSP, M.I.R.M., CDEI - The founding partner of The Lones Group, Denise Lones, brings nearly three decades of experience in the real estate industry. With agent/broker coaching, expertise in branding, lead generation, strategic marketing, business analysis, new home project planning, product development, Denise is nationally recognized as the source for all things real estate. With a passion for improvement, Denise has helped thousands of real estate agents, brokers, and managers build their business to unprecedented levels of success, while helping them maintain balance and quality of life.

The Lones Group, Inc.

This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Real Estate Best Practices
real estate coaching
working with sellers
reduced commission
real estate
denise lones
buyer pool
the lones group
zebra report
honest conversations
difficult conversations

Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Jim Patton
Aspire Home Real Estate 209-404-0816 - Modesto, CA
Realtor - Stanislaus ,Merced, San Joaquin Counties

That's a great list Denise Lones .  I have dealt with a few of those. No since waiting to have the conversation with the seller, do it right away. 

Oct 15, 2019 04:01 PM #1
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Denise- you make an excellent point. Agents are hired to provide their professional expertise so offer it. I remember one of my first consultations...they buyer (former agent) insisted on being present at all showings. 

Oct 15, 2019 07:25 PM #2
Anne Corbin
Long and Foster - Lake Anna - Spotsylvania, VA
Serving Lake Anna & Central Virginia

I have a client who is impatient. The average time to sell is 6 months but the seller always wants to pull the listing after a couple of months and rent the house instead. The current listing is not their first time doing this, either. They never get the house listed in the beginning of the busy season, so we are always late and they want to list for more than it is worth because they were builders and know what the house should sell for. I have sold 2 properties for them so I followed their decision to keep them happy. When I got listing 3, they left it on the market 2 months and then decided to rent. This year, I got listing 4 and I explained to them that they were going to have to pay an early termination fee if they pulled it off the market early. We just signed a listing extension through the end of the year and know they want to pull it off the market and rent it. Deja vu'!

I realize now that they have a pattern so I explained to them that they aren't being patient, they are listing at the wrong time of year and that they are overpriced to start with. Burn me one, burn me twice (almost) but you will not burn me three times. When this listing expires in December, you can bet that if they call me to list one of the two houses they still have I'm gonna lay everything on the line!!   

Oct 17, 2019 07:11 AM #3
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

It's a challenge when the home seller doesn't feel there is a need to present their home in the best possible light "But the market is so hot, this house will sell fast!".  Yes it's a lot of work to declutter, organize closets, clean clean clean and create some curb appeal (in addition to your points) but it's WORTH IT!

Oct 19, 2019 08:21 PM #4
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

This is a tough subject for some (maybe most) agents. It's not really that difficult to discuss these issues if you do it in a compassionate and tactful way.  Every homeowner wants to sell quickly and maximize their net return. 

Oct 31, 2019 04:21 PM #5
Mimi Foster
Falcon Property Solutions - Colorado Springs, CO
Voted Colorado Springs Best Realtor

Excellent post. I have a listing now - darling home, well below market value - can't give it away because of the cat urine smell. Tenant (who didn't have a cat, right?) can't figure out where the smell came from. We've had six vendors work on it (new carpet, Kilz, OdoBan, sanding hardwoods, etc., etc.). It's a disaster.

But all of your points are excellent. It's our job to inform them.

Nov 02, 2019 09:07 AM #6
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

Great point. The first home I ever listed had a lot of issues including cat smells, seller unwilling to leave during showings, etc. We did discuss these issues and she refused to change anything and the listing expired. I didn't pursue a second attempt. I learned to have those discussions up front.

Nov 04, 2019 06:13 AM #7
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Denise Lones

CSP, MIRM, CDEI - Real Estate Coaching & Branding
Ask Me Anything About Real Estate
Spam prevention

Additional Information