NOTE: September 15, 2023, The following
Nugget was written in May of 2007 and was written when I was the Broker for
Keller Williams Realty® therefore, there are references to Keller Williams
Realty® within this Nugget. The lesson
of this Nugget not only applies to real estate sales, it applies to sales of
all types and companies of all type including other real estate companies. IT ALSO APPLIES TO ALL HOMEOWNERS OR HOMEBUYERS! Don’t
discount the lesson because of my affiliation with Keller Williams Realty® because
of where I was at the time I wrote this Nugget.
True life lessons are timeless and apply to everyone!
Article by: Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, May 5, 2007
I do not believe in
coincidences! Things happen for a
reason. Yesterday I was watching the
NASCAR race at
Besser described the Indy Car as a machine with thousands of parts that have to work precisely otherwise the driver could lose valuable seconds and when you lose seconds, you lose the race. He went on to say that listing a home is no different than winning the Indy 500.
The seller is the car owner. The driver is the listing agent. Everything else involved are the parts and
team. If you want to open your seller’s
eyes, ask the seller to imagine that he or she is the owner of a Keller
Williams Red top-of-the-line Indy Car.
Then ask the seller if he or she wants to win the 2007
There is no difference in listing a home. Does the owner want to win? Remember, second place is the first loser. In order for the owner to win there must be an effective strategy in play. They made the first correct choice in interviewing you (the driver). But what else must be in play to win the race and not finish second, third or worst, last? As Besser pointed out in Chapter 10, everything has to be as close to perfect as possible to finish first and that includes but is not limited to:
- The property condition MUST reflect the price
- The property condition MUST be in its best condition BEFORE the first buyer sees it
- The property MUST be priced to sell and in a buyer’s market that means lower than the seller thinks it should be
- The front of the home and the yard MUST be impeccable and inviting
- When buyers leave the property, you want them to remember good things about the home not the items needing repairs, “That home smelled like fresh baked apple pie.” Much better than, “That was the home that had the rotted out front doorway.”
- Every one sells the features; you want to sell the benefits.
- You want to assume that the showing agents does not know what he or she is doing and so you create a display at every feature and benefit by using “benefit cards” large enough to be seen. If the showing agent is unfamiliar with the property the best features and benefits will go undetected – create attractions for the buyer to self-discover them
- Here is a Big AHA from Chapter 10 of Besser’s book, create feature and benefit sheets without your company logo and name all over them. Why would a showing agent from another company want to give your feature sheets to their buyers if your name and company and contact numbers are all over them? Would you?
- Did I say the property must be priced right?
- The property NEEDS a Home Warranty Program (if the seller does not want to pay for one, you should consider paying for one for the buyer from the closing proceeds.)
- If the home inspection is the number one reason a purchase agreement fails to close and it is, then why would a seller not want to get the home inspected BEFORE the buyers see it and then either fix the discrepancies or price it accordingly?
- Offer more commissions to a coop agent than the competition. A buyer’s market is NOT the time to reduce your commission; on the contrary. You must offer even MORE commission to coop agents to attract them and their buyers to YOUR listings.
- If you believe in the 80/20 rule, then only 20 percent of the board’s membership would be considered as “sellers of real estate” at a high level. In a board of 600 agents, that means only 120 are probably working with buyers. Do you know who they are? Do you market your properly priced listings with great terms and better than average coop commissions to them? If not, why not? They most likely have buyers! You should know who (REALTORS) in your market area are the ones that consistently sell real estate!
- Most agents will not talk to sellers about properly pricing their property (that obviously does not apply to you) but in most cases they would prefer to take the overpriced listing than lose the listing. Then week after week they become reluctant to call the seller to explain why the property is not being shown or sold. Why is the property not being shown or sold; surprise – it is because of the agent who failed to take the initiative to tell the seller the truth and then back up what they say with facts. “Do you want me to tell you the truth or do you want me to tell you what you want to hear?”
- Think outside the box, be creative. You cannot sell a property if no one sees it. How do you get agents and buyers into your listings? Remember, “Dumb luck” is not an effective strategy. Have a plan!
In a buyer’s market where there
are far more sellers than qualified buyers, why would YOU want to hire an agent who has so little belief in self that
they are so willing to cut their commissions in order to take a listing? Think about the Indy 500. Why would a car owner take on a driver who
could not navigate the oval without keeping his or her foot to the floor on the
accelerator? They would not, so why
would you if you were the seller? Are
you a winner or are you an also ran (second place or worse)? There were 43 cars that started the race in
Okay race fans, think about
Most agents (not you of course) would not think twice about declining to get into the seat of an Indy Car that did not have seat belts and other safety gear – it would be suicide. Yet they would take a listing that is not market ready and then hope that it sells. Dr. John Maxwell said, “Hope is not an effective strategy.”
Tony DiCello said, “you cannot grow your business in a seller’s market; you can only grow your business in a buyer’s market.” Why? Because in a seller’s market everyone is in the real estate business and listings and sales come your way whether you want them or not. But in a buyer’s market, more people typically get out of the business and the discounters fade into non-existence. It is the agents who focus on the basics of the business that grows their business. Then when the market shifts as it most assuredly will, those agents are positioned to soar with the eagles. As Gary Keller said, “You don’t see eagles swimming in a duck pond.” (Or something like that.)
If your sellers fail to be realistic regarding placing their property on the market, I am suggesting that you would be better off declining the listing and moving on to sellers who want to sell their properties and do whatever is necessary to get them into “selling condition.” If you are not being honest with your sellers, I would suggest that you are not upholding your fiduciary responsibilities to them. If you over price the listing you KNOW it will not sell – is that being honest with your sellers? If you offer less than a competitive coop commission, you KNOW other agents will show other properties first. Is that being honest with your sellers? If you don’t make suggestions to get the property into its best “selling condition”, are you being honest with your sellers? Are you telling your sellers what they want to hear or are you being honest? One only need remember the Keller Williams Realty WI4C2TS where the “T” means: Trust starts with honesty! Do you want me to tell you what you want to hear, or do you want me to tell you the truth? That one sentence should be your NORTH like the NORTH on a compass of life.