When sellers are looking to move their home quickly, some may be tempted to turn to an instant home-purchasing program. While these offers may look like quick fixes on the outside, there are often hidden aspects that make them less than ideal choices in the long run.
As an agent, you know programs like this are not the best choice for sellers—but how do you convince your clients that you’re better for the job? Thanks to your experience, you’re able to better ascertain a buyer’s ability to afford a property, negotiate in the seller’s best interest and know how to close a deal. Here are three concerns sellers may have, and what you can do to give them the confidence boost to stay with you.
1. Undervaluing the Home
Sellers want top dollar for their homes. Programs that provide an ideal listing price, such as Zestimate, can often be off by as much as 5 percent. When you consider that the average U.S. home sells for around $220,000, a 5-percent margin of error could end up costing sellers about $11,000. In the long run, it’s better for them to go through an agent who is experienced in home pricing.
In order to demonstrate this to your potential clients, it’s important to come to them with solid numbers and information on how you arrived at that price. Before you suggest your listing price, ask your clients what they believe their home is worth. Ask them why and how they arrived at this figure. Remind them that tools like Zestimate offer a starting point, but don’t take into consideration comparable homes on the market, recent upgrades, etc. This can help them accurately predict the value of their home.
2. Sellers Still Have the Upper Hand
Right now, most sellers don’t need to accept quick, lowball offers. While the market is starting to shift, there is still a limited inventory of homes for sale. While some instant buyer programs try to show sellers that they’re losing money by not quickly selling their home, they don’t acknowledge that sellers are paying off more of their mortgage and earning equity. In fact, their mortgage is more likely to be far less expensive than rental payments.
If clients are pushing for a quick sale rather than going through an agent, show them the burden of renting versus remaining in their current home until a buyer comes through. Remind them that, if they’re patient (and if you priced the home well), they’ll earn more from selling through you. Don’t be afraid to compare the pricing they’re getting from an instant purchasing program with your own pricing and show them the discrepancies.
3. Consider Who Benefits Most
When sellers work with an agent, the sale is mutually beneficial: The agent works to get the best deal for their client in exchange for commission and a positive review. However, in an instant home-purchasing program, the buyer’s goal is to get the house for the best possible price and sell it for more. Companies like this want to make a profit regardless of the effect on the seller.
If sellers are trying to sidestep an agent’s commission by going through a quick buyout, remind them that not only will they likely be getting a lower offer on their home, but these companies still charge a fee. In the end, they will probably lose more money than if they worked with an agent the whole time. If clients still fight you on commission, remind them that, as an experienced real estate professional, you have the ability to put a listing in front of multiple agents whose job it is to find homes for their clients. Most importantly, show them statistics that prove agents get better prices, and that the commission sellers pay is worth it in the end.
Winning over iBuyer sellers might be a challenge, but the benefits of showing them why they should sell their home with an agent are worth the effort. If you want to add even more traction to those listings, consider Homes.com’s City Sponsor Ads. These ads connect you with active buyers searching for a home online by prominently displaying your listings among the first search results in your city. Contact us today to check availability near you!
Mark Mathis is vice president of Sales for Homes.com. For more information, please visit marketing.homes.com.