Assume your clients are fluent in the latest real estate tech and social media. Assume they stay up all night searching for comparable pricing, tax consequences, mortgage interest rates, you name it. BUT, do NOT assume your clients are fluent in the process of selling a house. Selling their house is what they want and need you to do.
Remember that, according to research by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), 92% of ALL real estate consumers (regardless of how fluent and savvy these buyers and sellers may be in tech and social media) “hire” real estate agents to execute their real estate goals.
So, how do you differentiate yourself from the competition to make your seller’s experience worthwhile? Provide exceptional customer service on top of the latest, fastest, easiest to use tech and social media they consider to be givens on your end.
Here is a list of services you might provide to your sellers to help make their selling experience with you worthwhile:
- More than a to-do list for preparing their house for sale, give your sellers a list of your trusted vendors and resources who can help them get those tasks done efficiently and well. Also, attach a timeline to that to-do list so those tasks are completed prior to any prospective buyer or buyer’s agent seeing the property.
- Prepare a thorough comparable market analysis of the property so the seller sees in black in white (just like every prospective buyer, buyer’s agent, appraiser will) the correct and current facts, pricings, figures, statistics, days on the market, etc. Reality pricing trumps aspirational pricing in this 2019 housing market. This is HUGELY important!!!
- Prepare an outline of ALL selling expenses. Make sure the sellers know ALL the things they may be responsible (by state law and/or norm) to pay for. Include such things as closing costs, repair costs, HOA transfer fees, etc.
- Make sure ALL relevant documents are reviewed and explained. Include the seller’s disclosure, the listing agreement that spells out the responsibilities of the sellers AND the brokers, the floor plans, the upgrades and improvements, the warranties, etc.
- Prepare a fact sheet about the offer process. Include purchase agreements, addenda, contingencies, inspections, appraisals, sellers’ responsibilities concerning maintenance and utilities, etc. NOTHING is TOO BASIC regardless of how many times a seller has bought/sold a home.
- Give your sellers a marketing timeline. Despite no one being able to predict how long it takes to sell a home, bring your sellers back to the CMA, the amount of competing inventory, time of year, etc. Remind your sellers that online views do NOT translate into showings or sales.
- Have a specific plan of sharing feedback (phone calls, texting, emails) about the house from prospective buyers and agents. Hearing “bad” news that can be improved upon is better for the seller to hear than hearing no news at all.
- Create a list of do’s and don’ts for sellers during the showing process. Include things like clean/sparkling/ice free outside steps, house and garden, no valuables or jewelry or prescription drugs on view, everyone (seller, children, pets) out of the house during showing, optimum showing days/times.
On top of all of these things, mention to your sellers that flexibility is tantamount when selling a house. They wouldn’t want to miss a sale to a relocating buyer who is on a tight schedule and just flew in to look just because the sellers didn’t leave the house “show ready” before they went to work in the morning.