All realtors know that sometimes, sellers get in their own way. For example, many sellers refuse to lower the price of their home, even when a lack of showings or interest is pointing in that direction. Some may resist staging, believing that their home is perfect just the way it is. When sellers get hung up on such issues, they delay the ultimate goal, which is to reach the closing table. What are some ways to help clients speed the process along? A recent article in Realtor magazine offers several methods to help sellers get unstuck.
- Show them where to get a second opinion. Provide your clients with referrals to professionals who can address their concerns. Sending your clients to professionals who can corroborate your advice will build trust, and sellers may be willing to take your suggestions and move forward. It also helps if you have a list of reliable painters and/or handymen.
- Present the math. When sellers struggle with decisions regarding how to price their home, present them with a market analysis. A simple Excel spreadsheet, where the seller can see assessed value, list price, sale price, price per square foot, days on the market, active, pending and sold listings in comparable areas. The numbers are there for the seller to see.
- Allow some time to reconsider. Whatever the seller’s issue, sometimes they just need to sleep on it. When it seems as though they have reached an impasse, it might be wise for the realtor to suggest they wait a bit and talk the next day. However, it’s important not to give the client too much time, especially when the seller is contemplating a counter offer to the buyer. As one realtor says, “Take an hour, talk to your spouse and get back to me.”
- Uncover underlying emotions. Although the seller may resist a buyer’s request with the vague argument that it’s “just the principle of the thing,” there may be a deeper reason – and it’s usually about money. It may be as simple as not wanting to replace a faucet on a tub or repair a drain in the kitchen. The realtor needs to reassure the seller that such a small matter is in the interest of the client to get fixed.
- Validate sellers’ fears. If a seller is hung up on the buyer’s decision to alter the property in a major way, such as replace a well-loved and carefully tended garden with a swimming pool and large wooden deck, don’t try to talk the seller out of their feelings. Just refocus their attention from the immediate hurdle so they can view the transaction as a whole. As one realtor says, “It’s a matter of figuring out how to change the energy and help them work through it.”