In the current real estate market where properties sometimes spend more time on the market than a seller and their agent would hope, there is one thing that I find to be the most important aspect of maintaining a positive relationship with a seller and that is open and frequent communication.
Two of my sellers who previously had other agents representing their property have recently shared with me that those agents never called or emailed them after a showing or an open house. Now think about that for a moment. If you’ve ever sold a home, you understand that your hopes, aspirations and future plans can all be put on hold until you procure a buyer for your property. That said, it makes perfect sense that you would want to know how each and every showing is going with the home. Here are just a few things that I and my colleagues try to do to manage our seller’s expectations and keep them informed throughout the marketing process:
- Call the seller as you’re walking out the door of the open house: Whether 50 people or no one showed up, the feedback is imperative to help you and your seller to stay aligned regarding marketing strategy and intended outcome.
- Call the seller as soon as you leave an appointment: Again, all feedback is important and helps both you and the seller gauge the market.
- Don’t sugarcoat the feedback: Too many agents feel that it is their responsibility to tell the seller how wonderful their home is and keep the seller sheltered from nasty comments about their home. Your job is to sell the home and if 10 people say they can’t stand the bathroom renovation then the seller needs to know.
- Keep a log of showings and feedback: I must confess that this is something that I’m not always on top of but when I do keep these lists, it is very effective in effecting change in marketing strategy.
- Ask how often: If you want to know how frequently a seller wants to hear from you, ASK. Perhaps your seller wants to give you the keys and not hear from you until the closing. if so, good for you. More often, they will expect regular updates but make sure you know what THEY mean by "regular" as your definitions may vary.
- Don’t Hide!: The kiss of death for a listing agent is to avoid contact with a seller. They aren’t trying to annoy you, pester you, or make your life miserable. they just want to sell their home and they want to know what your doing to make that happen. If you want to make sure that a seller doesn’t sign an extension when your exclusive expires, then don’t talk to them through the process.
These are some of the things that I and many of my colleagues make great efforts to do as part of the service that we believe is expected of us. If you constantly feel like your seller is a "pain in the neck," consider the check that they have to write to you when the transaction closes. That should make frequent communication much more palatable.