Jason O'Neil | June 8, 2022
That is the question that every real estate agent should be asking themselves when they start working with new clients.
The answer is usually a list that extends further than an 8-foot pharmacy receipt including things like replacing the carpet, fixing the outdoor deck, updating the windows, finding a school for the kids, nailing down a moving company, locating the local grocery store, and so on until you can’t read the fine print.
But I’m here to tell you that of all the things on your home seller’s list, there are 3 that matter more than everything else.
That’s right, three.
Price. Timing. Security.
I find myself constantly reminding all involved of this one fact during a contract negotiation: The buyer wants to buy the house. The seller wants to sell the house. The buyer’s agent wants to sell the house. The seller’s agent wants to sell the house.
Everyone is moving toward the same goal!
If you are a real estate agent representing a home seller, focusing on these three things is certain to give your offer a leg up on the rest of the competition.
Let’s talk about why…
Price has to come first. If the home seller can’t live with the price, then you are never going to settle on a deal.
Price, for the sake of this discussion, includes all of the financial terms included in the purchase. While price includes a variety of items, generally, the offer price is the main driver in this situation.
Your client’s price is reflective of what they need from this deal, but before you can establish that price and understand their flexibility, you must know their priorities. Priorities determine where you will set the price and be willing to move up or down depending on offers.
All home sellers have different priorities, as such, it’s important to establish what ones stand at the top of the list for your client. Consider this example…
You are working with a client to sell their house and you’ve now received two offers:
Which one are you taking?
If your client’s priority is to not own two homes at once and needs time to get organized, then option number two might be the better choice even if they do not get the extra money.
Priority determines price, so ensure that you spend enough time asking your client what they prioritize that way when the offers start pouring in you know exactly what they are looking for.
Timing is the most important component in any real estate transaction because it determines if a sale will go through in the first place. If the timing is not right for your client or the buyer, chances are your deal is never going to see the light of day.
Timing is tough, especially with new clients because you’re learning about them on the fly. In a world driven by digital interactions, it’s hard to get a feel for who your client is and how this opportunity times itself up with the rest of what’s going on in their life.
That being said, there are ways to make sure that your client has done a thorough evaluation of their timing. Ask questions like:
These questions will help align all parties involved and keep everyone moving forward throughout the purchasing process. Armed with this knowledge, you can also be better prepared for things that come out of nowhere and try to mess up your home seller’s timing.
Everyone wants to feel secure in the home selling process, right? The last thing you want is to get into a situation where you feel uncertain about the person coming to buy your client’s home.
All great real estate agents do their diligence and spend time understanding who is on the other side of this selling equation. By knowing your potential home buyer you can help your client feel secure in their decision to sell or help avoid buyers who could lead to problems down the road.
Ask yourself these simple questions and you’ll start to get a good feel for who this buyer is.
The more secure the buyer is the more likely you are to see a transaction close.
Now that you know how much home sellers care about price, timing, and security, let’s walk through a typical phone call script that you can follow next time you’re on the phone with a potential buyer’s agent.
Buying Agent: Hello. I am calling about 1435 Sycamore Street. Look, my clients are interested but want to know, how motivated is the seller?
Jason: Thanks for calling! Look, we haven’t discussed much more than our listing price strategy, but I can tell you they are motivated enough to put a sign in their yard and allow home buyers to tour their property.
Buying Agent: I get it, but what are they looking for in an offer?
Jason: **grinning because I already know what to say and how I am going to lead this conversation**
“Look, there are three things that are important to the sellers: price, timing, and security.
“If the latter two are 100% good, they may have some room on price.”
Buyer Agent: That could work for us!
Jason: Tell me, how secure is your buyer? Are they getting a loan and if so, what is the approval status and who is the lender?
From there you can allow the conversation to lead itself where you will find out more information on the buyer and who they are. Once you’ve qualified them and worked with your clients to determine a timeline that works for both parties, it’s time to take that big next step forward and accept an offer!
Price, Timing, Security.
The minute you start focusing on things like the buyers wanting a carpet allowance, sellers want to get rid of the pool table, lender’s title insurance policy, and buyer’s home warranty(I have no idea why this becomes a sticking point, but it does and it shouldn’t) is when you move further away from a successful sale.
Remember, you are looking for timing that works for your client’s situation, a price that works for them, and a secure buyer who is likely to close.
When you keep it that simple, the offers will come. Be patient and be a practitioner by getting out there and meeting new people!
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