Real Estate Agents… Learn the Art of Seller Counselling

9 Seller Counselling Tips

real estate agents seller counselling tipsIn the early 90’s when I first started in the real estate business it seemed like every seller counselling session I had for the first five years of my career was about Mr. And Mrs. Seller paying too much, needing too much or wanting too much.

N.A.R. reports that around 80% of people don’t use the same real estate agent more than once because they never hear from their agent again after the sale or after giving the agent their listing.

Another common reason we hear is “We felt our real estate agent really didn’t do that much for us.”

When we are getting paid a large sum of money for our services, isn’t it fair for the seller to expect some kind of advisement and service throughout the process before, during and after?

Seller Counselling… Top Tips of Advisement and Service During Their Home Sale

  • Establish a plan – clearly set out for the seller the level of communication they can expect from you throughout the process. Then exceed that expectation. Kill them with communication.
  • Don’t focus on their price, rather focus on the 5-6-7 technique to help you and your client determine what their hot button for selling truly is. All of us are motivated by either pain or pleasure. How many of us have asked our sellers a minimum of 7 deep questions to find out their true desire for moving? It is always about something they are running to or running from and they consistently need to be reminded of that pain or pleasure button. That is how we “move them” to want to sell and not choosing to stay.
  • When nothing is happening, this is the time we communicate even more! How many of us have nothing to say and therefore just choose not to communicate with our seller? There is always something to say… you just need to find it.
  • Prepare and educate the seller in advance of the paradigm shift in virtual showing vs. the physical showing in today’s market. With the use of modern technology we are able to qualify even better than before and allow the buyer to virtually tour your home and not have to waste your time with so many physical showings to find the right buyer. Saves you from them getting upset about having fewer than expected showings.
  • Show them your system for pre qualifying the prospect. I truly believe they hire us to market to cooperating agents who have the buyers and qualify them and qualify any other buyer before they enter the seller’s home. I would show the seller a list of questions I would ask to prospective agents and buyers qualifying them prior to viewing their home.
  • Have them come in weekly, bi weekly or worse case scenario 3 weeks and sit down to discuss online activity like website traffic. Share with them all the marketing that has taken place in the past and what is planned moving forward in the future. Discuss sign calls, ad calls and any other leads that have been generated on their home from your marketing efforts.
  • Review a classic sales tool from my mentor Floyd Wickman called the Saleability Checklist. Every week share with your seller a creative idea or two that they could possibly implement to help their listing become more saleable other than lowering their price from this fantastic checklist. They hired you to be the creative marketing expert and dropping their price is not what they had in mind. For example, suggest to them a technique from the list called a “Dutch Auction” where you would agree to create a market buzz by pre signing price reductions for every week for an agreed upon amount until the home is sold. Buyers become interested in the listing watching the price drop week after week until finally a buyer pulls the trigger before they feel it sells to someone else first. Although a Dutch Auction involves asking the seller for a price reduction, this technique at least is actual creative marketing that can create a buzz and interest around a property. If explained properly this can offer the seller hope and get them excited again, whereas simply telling them to drop their price is frustrating and discouraging. (Click on this link to download a copy the Floyd Wickman Saleability Checklist)
  • Take the seller and play the game my mentor David Knox taught me “The price is right”. You tell them you are picking them up for a ride and that you are buying coffee and dessert. Drive them by the 3 most recent sales similar to theirs and read them the feature sheet and show them interior photos but don’t tell them the sale price and let them guess the final sale price for each. Then take them to preview the top 3 homes for sale that compete directly with theirs and again don’t let them know the asking price until you come back to the car. After the 6 homes and the price is right game then go for coffee and desert and discuss how they feel their home compares to what they just saw.
  • My final tip is to review all this information and really deliver value to the seller in all your seller counselling sessions during the listing period. I always ask them these very important questions…
    1) What do you think we should be doing different?
    2) What should we be doing next, moving forward?
    3) What are we waiting for and why are we not doing anything about it?
    I then pull out 2 forms and a pen. One paper is a price reduction form and the other a listing cancellation form. I explain to them that I cannot afford to disappoint them and fail them at selling their home and I need them to either reduce their price or release me of my responsibility of selling their home.

I hope you find these tips and the checklist incredibly helpful with your seller counselling in 2014 and begin to sell more homes and not just list more homes. We are in the business of selling homes and not just listing them and you want to be known for the selling.

Strength and courage,

Wade