Quite often, agents are called upon to give an estimate of price during a listing presentation. Most agents will prepare for the presentation by researching prices of similar homes that have recently sold. This is usually done in preparation for the listing appointment. Although this approach can be effective, it may not be the most efficient way to help the seller obtain the highest possible price.
How can the best possible price be determined when an agent hasn’t even had the opportunity to walk through the seller’s home? Once a home has been reviewed, does it make sense that an agent can immediately give an opinion of value, without giving careful thought to the seller’s entire situation? Yet, most agents don’t think twice about giving the seller an immediate recommendation as to what the price or price range should be.
A much better strategy for securing listings is to take a two-step approach to determining how best to meet the seller’s needs. Notice that the goal isn’t just to get the highest possible price, it’s to help the seller make the best possible decision based on their personal circumstances. Using a two-step approach gives an agent two distinct advantages over the competition:
- The agent is able to build a rapport with the seller and identify the seller’s motivations.
- The agent has time to do a comprehensive review of the true potential for the house as it relates to market conditions, after having a thorough understanding of benefits and drawbacks to the home.
Both of these goals are extremely important because they allow the agent to give much greater guidance to the seller. Consider the following persuasive argument that could be used by an agent using a two-step listing approach:
“Mr. and Mrs. Seller, some agents may feel comfortable coming into your home, taking a quick look around, and blurting out a recommendation as to what you should list your home for. I’m not comfortable using that approach. I recognize that your home is one of the single most important assets that you own. As such, it’s important that I take great care to insure that you receive the highest possible price for your home.”
“As your trusted advisor, I take a much more comprehensive approach. Now that I’ve seen your home, I would like to take some time to evaluate the ideal buyer for your home, and compare your home to those that have recently sold and are presently listed. I’m going to take great care to help you protect your investment by getting the best price, in the most reasonable time, with as little frustration as possible. After all, that is why you pay someone like me to represent you, isn’t it?”
“I take the opportunity to represent you very seriously. All I ask is one thing in return, that you don’t make a decision as to who you’re going to work with until we review my findings. Does that sound fair?”
Congratulations, you now have the opportunity to give great thought to your prospective seller’s situation, the market conditions, and price recommendations. Just as importantly, you now have the opportunity to give serious thought to how best you can close the seller on doing business with you. After all, that is what being a Trusted Real Estate Advisor and Great Salesman is all about. (Don’t forget, it takes a great salesman to best represent the seller.)