A very well respected national real estate trainer sent out an email last night promoting his new training course regarding techniques for REALTORS® to keep home sellers happy. My first thought when seeing the email was to delete it, because I know the simple solution to this age-old problem.
But then I actually went back to my "deleted items" folder and restored the message because I knew it would help me make a simple point about how most real estate agents conduct their business versus the techniques and processes that we use to sell homes here at Joe Manausa Real Estate in Tallahassee.
Not only did I recover the email, but I actually went to his site and watched the video on how to keep home sellers happy. I was expecting a lot of garbage that I knew rookie REALTORS would love to hear, but instead it was filled with the kind of wisdom that cannot help real estate agents who have unhappy home sellers.
My experience has taught me that unhappy home sellers are unhappy for one reason (and one reason only). Their home is not sold. Now this unhappiness can manifest in many ways and these unhappy sellers might say things like "my house isn't being shown," or "I never hear from my agent," or "she didn't do an open house this weekend," or one of many other complaints. But the reality is that the home seller just wants the house sold and they do not understand why it is not sold.
His solution was preemptive, thus it was not about making unhappy sellers happy, rather it was about keeping sellers happy from the onset. And this cannot be done if you do not understand the current housing market inside and out, or if you are willing to mislead a home seller as to the value of their home.
Many agents will tell the home seller anything in order to get a listing. In fact, 64% of home sellers hire the first agent they meet, so providing that they like the proposed outcome, that agent will automatically get the listing (in other words, if the seller likes the price, the agent is hired). But this is the very reason that home sellers should not discuss home value until they are certain that the real estate agent (and the real estate company) are the best available in their local market (see this article on determining the best agent to sell your home).
We know that roughly 60% of homes listed last year failed to sell, so we know there is a lot of potential for unhappy home sellers. The real estate graph below is something we use to track the home sales success rate, and right now it is not very good. Sellers who choose to just work "with anyone" are going to end up frustrated and unhappy, when a better solution for selling a home is available.
My Thoughts On How To Keep Home Sellers Happy
Here are some of the rules that we use at Joe Manausa Real Estate to keep home sellers happy.
- We Only work with home sellers who are motivated (they MUST sell their homes) - The average home seller in Tallahassee has lost over $50,000 in equity since 2007, so they are most likely not going to be very happy to begin with. But the market is what it is, and we can help motivated home sellers sell their homes fast and move on with their lives. Our key is to deny service to home sellers who are not truly motivated. The graph above shows that the market is very competitive, and only those who have to sell will find success in the real estate market in 2011.
- Know the truth and tell the truth - As simple as this sounds, this is the biggest qualifier between what we do and what most real estate agents say they do. We know the market. And we tell the truth about it. With thousands of people who subscribe to our Tallahassee real estate newsletter, we are recognized as the most up-to-date, market tracking office in Tallahassee. Because of this, we can guide sellers more accurately (and thus more timely) than can most of our competition.
- Communicate with the sellers on a weekly (or more) basis - This is a crucial benefit for our home sellers. The #1 complaint against REALTORS stems from a lack of communication, and that will not occur with our office. We work as a team so that our home sellers have more than just 1 point of contact. We provide regular feedback, as well as market updates and selling guidance during the entire period of the sale.
Check Out An Overview Of Our Progressive Marketing Plan
If you are a motivated home seller (or you know somebody who needs to sell their home), take a look at the brief video that distinguishes our Progressive Marketing Plan from the typical real estate agent's plan to sell a home. The knowledge that you gain could equate to tens of thousands of dollars saved in this very difficult real estate market where 60% of home sellers will fail to sell their home!
Joe Manausa, MBA is a 26 year veteran of real estate brokerage in Tallahassee, Florida and has owned and managed his own company since 1992. He is a daily blogger with content that focuses on real estate analytics and providing his clients with a tactical advantage in today's challenging market.