My Dear Home Seller; What's Your Plan B?

By
Education & Training with Sell with Soul

I recently had a listing expire after three months on the market. Nothing has sold in my client's sadneighborhood for almost a year, so it wasn't a big surprise. We gave it a shot and it didn't work out for us. No biggie. She was prepared for the possibility and has no hard feelings toward me.

But that's not an accident. I always prepare my sellers for the chance that their home won't sell, despite our best efforts (by "our," I mean mine and my seller's joint efforts to prepare and present a great product to market). I don't make a big deal about it and I certainly don't lecture them or otherwise insult their intelligence; I just ask a simple question:

"What will you do if the house doesn't sell?"

Then I shut up.

If the seller doesn't have to sell (and I'm happy to take those listings if they're reasonable on price), then I've planted the seed that I/we don't control the market and if the house doesn't sell, it might be beyond our/my control. If the seller does need to sell, it forces them to think about the unthinkable - that they'll own a house they don't want and can't afford.  The next thing you know, they're asking me what they need to do to ensure that doesn't happen. Suddenly, I'M THE EXPERT and they'll listen to me!

It also works beautifully for sellers who want to test the market at their price. A similar approach - "What if the house doesn't sell at that price? Will you be okay with that?" often works wonders in getting the seller to really think about what he's doing.

I don't consider myself a salesperson; I consider myself an advisor. Therefore, I don't try to convince my sellers that I can "sell" their homes. With the above words, I am relieved of the personal responsibility of selling a house that, for whatever reason, may not be sellable today. 

For the record, my listings are always priced well, always staged and always easy to show. That's my job - to help my seller prepare and present their home to market in the best possible light.

That's all I can do.

 

  

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Rainmaker
95,714
Michael Sahlman
www.HomesForVIPs.com - Keller Williams Realty - Miami Beach, FL
e-PRO - Miami Beach Florida Luxury Homes

Enjoyed your post. I like your approach.

Jul 07, 2008 11:14 AM #17
Rainmaker
227,002
Michelle Finnamore
Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket - Vaughan, ON
Preparing your property for sale

You are my dream agent. Wish I could work with you.

You understand that you are only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to marketing a home for sale and do everything in your expertise to make it happen for the client. Kudos to you.

 

Jul 07, 2008 01:22 PM #18
Rainmaker
142,685
Cristal Drake
Prudential California Realty - Fullerton, CA
Realtor - Fullerton Real Estate

Great approach! I love your style and you are doing just about all you can do!  Your sellers couldn't ask for more!

Jul 07, 2008 05:39 PM #19
Rainer
63,553
Greg Fox
Realty World Wichita - Wichita, KS
Techy Broker in Wichita Kansas

Good post!!  The next bit of advice I give:  Know what your bottom dollar is - I don't need to know, but you should have an idea BEFORE an offer comes in. 

Jul 08, 2008 03:54 AM #20
Rainer
11,432
Jon Michael
DeGeorge Realty LLC - Long Branch, NJ

Good post, it is very important to go over contingiency plans with clients for the event their property doesn't seem to sell.  No one likes to fail, but if you know there is a shot that you could fai it doesn't sting as much for sure.l

Jul 08, 2008 05:00 AM #21
Rainer
42,659
Mandi Perkins
Pioneer Title Agency - Pinetop Lakeside, AZ

Thanks for the great post! This will definitely be a new addition to my listing presentation (my next one is in about an hour).

Jul 08, 2008 05:55 AM #22
Rainmaker
235,005
Patricia Beck
RE/MAX Properties, Inc., GRI, CDPE - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Realty

Great approach, it makes sellers think about how serious pricing correctly is in this market.

Jul 09, 2008 03:43 AM #23
Rainer
13,409
Nathan Cook
BCR (Brazosland Classic Realty) - College Station, TX

Great suggestion for a line to get sellers to think about what they are doing price wise!

Jul 09, 2008 09:49 AM #24
Rainer
42,659
Mandi Perkins
Pioneer Title Agency - Pinetop Lakeside, AZ

As a follow up from the other day...I did use this line and got the seller to agree to a reasonable price. They wanted to list it for $40K higher then I did! Again thanks for the great advice!

Jul 09, 2008 11:14 AM #25
Rainmaker
484,282
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Mandi - that is SO COOL! Thanks for sharing!!!! Go, you!

Nathan & Patricia - it works like a charm...

Jon Michael - Yep!

Greg - I'm not sure sellers know their bottom dollar until they see it in writing... I know when I sell, I don't!

Cristal... aw, shucks.

Michelle... wow - thank you...

 

Jul 09, 2008 12:59 PM #26
Rainer
43,037
Thomas Hargreaves
TriStar Financial Services - Eugene, OR

Jennifer,  great advice.  I always try to get my clients thinking about a plan B.  In this current mortgage meltdown I also am putting together a Plan B for myself.  Everyone should have several choices set aside.  As an example the recent NBA Draft..  coaches and owners had their target of who they wanted on their team, but what if someone got to them sooner, they all had to be thinking of alternative selections.   just my thoughts on the Plan B Question

Jul 10, 2008 08:16 AM #27
Rainmaker
113,519
Florida Private Golf Communities
Golf Life Properties, LLC - Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Finding Home Never Felt Better!

Jennifer, asking about a Plan B is always a great way to determine how motivated they are and how aggressive the pricing should be in a market like this.  Fortunately, we also list short & long term rentals and are able to offer than as an option. BTW, I own Sell with Soul I...its a great book!

Jul 11, 2008 11:38 AM #28
Rainmaker
484,282
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Thanks Nichika!

Thomas - great point...

 

Jul 12, 2008 01:10 AM #29
Rainmaker
163,666
Suzanne Sands
Pavao Real Estate - Somerset, MA
Somerset MA Real Estate

Hi Jennifer,

I like your approach, I actually used this question yesterday on a listing appointment. It really helps to determine  their motivation for selling. I didn't take the listing because they really didn't want to nor could afford to sell in this market. :)

Jul 12, 2008 01:35 AM #30
Rainmaker
484,282
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Suzanne - that's great! Congratulations! (seriously)

Jul 12, 2008 01:37 AM #31
Rainer
78,168
David Slavin
Keller Williams Premier - Katy, TX
CDPE, ABR, SRES Keller Williams Premier

Great post!  I think it is important in today's market to ask this to our sellers and I will start asking this important question.

Jul 12, 2008 05:32 AM #32
Rainmaker
254,432
Robert Machado
HomePointe Property Management, CRMC - Sacramento, CA
CPM MPM - Property Manager and Property Management

Keep communicating and let the client know every week or so what is happening and what needs to happen to sell the property.  The client needs to know what the agent knows so they can react to the current market.

Jul 14, 2008 05:26 PM #33
Rainmaker
139,420
Kay Bennett
First Realty Company - Cookeville, TN
Your Best Cookeville Area Agent!

enjoyed your post alot thank you so much

Jul 15, 2008 04:03 AM #34
Rainmaker
139,420
Kay Bennett
First Realty Company - Cookeville, TN
Your Best Cookeville Area Agent!

enjoyed your post alot thank you so much

Jul 15, 2008 04:03 AM #35
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Aug 11, 2011 02:18 AM #36
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Rainmaker
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Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn

Author of Sell with Soul
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