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.