Most sellers only sell a few homes in their whole lifetime so it’s no wonder that they may have questions about the process when they decide to list. And, if it’s been a decade or two since they last sold a home, they may be even more concerned about your plans to market it. After all, when they listed their last home, newspapers were doing well, the Internet was in its infancy and open houses were all the rage. The current real estate process looks much different: many newspapers are on life support, the Internet gives us access to a huge amount of information and, while open houses are still held, they’re not the most efficient use of time and energy. Here’s how to guide your sellers through the changing landscape of real estate.
Explain what’s changed. The way we search for information and communicate has changed dramatically over the past two decades. The invention and wide-spread use of the Internet gives us access to information that we wouldn’t have been able to access before. We can find out the value of our homes, see what the neighbor’s house sold for, find tips for home staging and much more. However, they may not know what to do with all of this information and may express concern if you suggest listing their home for less than what their neighbor sold his for. This is where your expertise as a local real estate agent comes in handy—you can explain what’s going on in the local market and address their concerns.
It’s not just sellers who have access to more information; buyers rely on the Web more now than ever before. In fact, more than 90% of buyers start their home searches online, according to NAR’s last Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. And, once they find a home they like, their next step is to contact a real estate agent to schedule a home showing.
Review your marketing plan. Homes are marketed differently now than they were in the past. Today, the Internet is king. A poorly-written listing description with too few or badly shot photos can repel potential buyers, even if the house is truly a gem. A well-written listing, complete with professional-quality photos, encourages buyers to find out more about the home.
Although open houses are still held, many real estate professionals rely on them less and instead enlist the use of technology, social media and the Web to market their listings. If these are part of your marketing plan, explain how you’ll use them to your sellers. Be sure to reassure them that you’re focused on marketing their home in the most effective and efficient way. Encourage them to ask questions and take the time to answer their questions and listen for their concerns.
Keep the lines of communication open. Good communication may prevent any potential misunderstandings. Keep your sellers in the loop with a weekly phone call, even if there hasn’t been any interest in their home that week. Doing so not only allays their fears and concerns, it also allows you to show your high level of professionalism.
Always remember your weekly check-in calls with Referral Maker® real estate CRM. Referral Maker makes it easy and fun to keep in touch with your sellers, buyers and all of your clients. In addition to providing you with a list of proactive lead generating activities, Referral Maker also lets you know when you’re due to call your active buyers and sellers. Visit Referral Maker for more information and to start your 30-day free trial.