What Just Happened?


You have an opportunity for a great listing. You get your stats and presentation together, you dress for success and your listing presentation is killer…and the homeowners decide to sell FSBO. What just happened?

You hear it over and over again — listing inventory is low. So why, when you finally get a listing appointment, would you keep pounding that point home with statements like “We need listings,” “You’ll be lucky if your house is on the market one day” or “you will probably get offers for more than the list price”? Why would the seller think they need anyone to market their home? After hearing all about the listing shortage, they think all they need to do is plop a sign in the yard.

So if you’re guilty of saying those things, stop! We need to lead with our strengths, not our weaknesses. Only about 10% of FSBOs sell on their own, but 90% still need a great agent. You need to prove your value at your listing appointment, not unintentionally convince them FSBO is the way to go.

Setting unrealistic expectations

Your rhetoric may make the seller think they can ask any price for their home and are guaranteed to get that price or even more. We see some houses sell that were not priced for conditions, and there is always a compelling reason for that — like location, location, location. Price does matter. For the most part, a house needs to be priced accordingly to excite buyers. Plus, there is a limit to what buyers can and will pay for a home. Your expertise in discerning a property’s market value is priceless.

Another unrealistic expectation is that, since there are so few listings, anything goes — the seller doesn’t need to do any updates or decluttering. However, normal buyers do not have the vision of the home makeover stars — most buyers can only see what they can see. Alternatively, just because HGTV shows huge makeovers with big profit does not mean every update will make the sales price increase. You are the expert — you know what needs to be done in order for the seller to get the best price for their home. That is an advantage homeowners don’t receive when they decide to sell FSBO.

Time for a paradigm shift

Think about the words you use in your conversations on a daily basis, and especially in your listing presentations. Instead of saying, “We are short on listings in this price range,try “Homes like yours are positioned to sell quickly.” Instead of “Houses sell as fast as we can get them on the market,try “The market is brisk.” Check yourself every time you are tempted to fall into the “We are desperate for listings” dialogue.

You provide true, unparalleled value and the best tools and resources in the marketplace. Being a great realtor goes beyond putting a sign in the yard and putting the house in Listing Alert and MLS. There is so much that happens after the contract has been written and agreed upon. In fact, that is where your true value comes into play. Remember to share all the things you do behind the scenes.

So on your next listing appointment, think about positive rephrasing. Your words have power, and they may determine if that property becomes your listing.

Written by Kathryn Clark
Franchise Director
ReeceNichols Alliance, Inc