We all know that sellers hear what they want to hear and believe what they want to believe when it comes to how market conditions will impact the sale of their home. They believe their home is special and people will be knocking on the door with full price offers within days of hitting the market.
When that doesn’t happen who do they blame? The agent, of course!
In our joy of having taken a new listing, we are often overly reassuring and optimistic when they ask: “Do you think this is a good price, do you think it will sell for this price and sell quickly?”
Be careful what you say, as they will not forget it and it will be used against you in the future if you discover that it’s not the right price and the market is not responding.
Once the listing is signed and back in your hand, spend another 10-20 minutes in the setting-the-expectation conversation. This could be one of the most important segments of your appointment, so don’t skip it!
Caution: If you are doing net sheets for them, do not under any circumstance do a net sheet at the listing price. Instead, suggest that it might be best if you do one at what could be the worst case scenario, the lowest potential price a buyer might come in at, knowing that while that’s not a number they would accept it will at least provide a baseline to start at when calculating a counter offer number.
Also in this setting-the-expectation conversation, you want to be sure to let them know how and how often you will be communicating with them. They will be happier and easier to deal with if there is a plan that they can depend on.
Be sure to under promise and over deliver, not the other way around. Keep your commitments and be patient, this is a very stressful time for them. The more often they hear from you, the more cooperative and calm they are likely to be.
Also, because negotiations in the coming months or years may be a bit more challenging, you may want to set up the expectation that when there is an offer to review, they come to your office, giving you the home court advantage! Or meet them via Zoom with all parties present.
Setting Seller Expectations Once You Have Accepted an Offer
Once there is an acceptable offer on the table and the property is now moving to pending status, be sure to spend some time with your seller to prepare them for what lies ahead.
It is wise to review contingency removal dates and the flow of the transaction, as it has likely been a long time since they have sold a home, or maybe even the first time they have ever sold a home.
Don’t drop the ball on your weekly seller service calls, keep them informed, and don’t share drama, just the facts! Be the calm, cool head in the deal.
Be patient as this is a stressful time and buying and selling on top of it all may cause them to be emotional and erratic. You need to be a master negotiator and always the calm, cool head in the deal.
If you want more guidance on how to grow your luxury real estate practice, you can learn more about the Institute’s training options here.