Selling a home can be a rollercoaster experience for even the most seasoned real estate professional. Preparing your seller for the sales process will properly set their expectations for what is to come.
GROUND YOUR SELLER
Unless your seller is also an agent, chances are they lack a clear sense of the true value of their home. While many sellers may follow the market, it’s common for sellers to overvalue their homes, and then be disappointed when they realize their home isn’t worth what they hope. One of your most important jobs as a seller’s agent is to properly price the home. Supporting your number with comps and other evidence that you can present to the seller from the start will create a strong footing for success, and ground their expectations.
UNDERSTAND THE POWER DYNAMIC
Agents often talk about markets being a seller’s or buyer’s market, which is essentially a shorthand for understanding if demand outstrips supply (a market that therefore favors sellers) or vice versa (a market that favors buyers). This distinction is significant because it can help inform the bargaining power you and your seller will have in a real estate transaction. Explaining this to your seller will help set the context for the entire transaction.
BE THEIR ADVISOR AND ADVOCATE
As a seller’s agent, you represent the interests of your seller. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to agree with everything your seller wants. Your observations can make the difference between a successful sale and the property languishing on the market. Set out your concerns about the property at the outset in an empathetic but professional manner, and you’ll likely find your seller much more receptive to your observations.
UNDERSTAND MONEY MATTERS
What a home sells for may be significantly more than what your seller actually pockets. Fees, the extant mortgage and other elements will significantly impact what the seller receives from the sale. Be upfront about what your seller may end up paying. Unexpected surprises — like your commission — that the seller discovers at the closing table may sour an otherwise productive working relationship.
Expectation setting is the key for working with sellers and, by following these tips above, you can build a productive (and hopefully lucrative) relationship with them!