The No. 1 goal of a listing appointment is to obtain the listing. As late summer/early fall approaches, it’s a challenging time due to sellers having unrealistic expectations. They’re looking at comparable properties that recently sold, but were listed in the spring or early winter when there was much less inventory. Whether it involves price or showing accommodations, it’s important to have these conversations upfront.
If you’re not setting expectations from the start, you could lose the sale later. This year, rising interest rates further exacerbate this problem. Here are a few tips on how you can set expectations correctly, get the listing and have a smooth sale:
- Start by sharing market statistics and describing how the market is different. You’ll be revealing your potential value and a timeline of the sale in a more precise way for your sellers.
- When going over price, have the seller give you a figure first so that you don’t become associated with a number. If it doesn’t sell for that amount, the only person they can blame is themselves.
Another great thing to mention to your sellers is the 21-day rule. Explain to them that within 21 days of listing a home, you/they will know if the price is right or not because one of three things will happen:
- The listing could get a lot of activity and an offer, or potentially more than one. Rather than over-promise, it’s essential to plant that seed of potential for high activity. Remind sellers to be more accommodating with showings, and let them know that every buyer matters.
- There could be few showings and light traffic at open houses. What would you do if 10 people saw the home and eight told you the price was too high? Share this info with the seller to help them recognize that it’s priced too high.
- What if nobody shows up, yet all other listings get activity? This would undoubtedly tell us that the property is priced too high. Remind the seller that you’re not testing the marketing; the only thing being tested is the price. Perhaps you’re setting deadlines too soon, especially when there are no offers in place, and it’s scaring away potential buyers. Or maybe you’re disclosing things too soon (e.g., subject to preferred closing date).
Depending on your seller’s motivation, ask them the following question: “If plan A is to list at that price, that’s okay, but what if we realize it’s priced too high? What is Plan B?”
I hope you can see how these discussions are better off being had in the beginning. Not everything that you list will sell as it has in prior months. You don’t want to waste your time and have an aggravated seller on your hands. Sometimes, they’ll be more motivated the second time around and more willing to listen to you and your recommendations. In this quickly changing market, you must get back to the fundamentals, because if you don’t, you’ll likely regret it.
Dave Karoly is vice president of sales at Lamacchia Realty. For more information, visit www.lamacchiarealty.com.