Real Estate Agents often square off against resolute homeowners who have their own ideas about pricing their home, but a truly great agent has the qualities to embody the “Coach, Not Close” attitude.
We’ve all met sellers who are determined to get a certain amount for their home, even when it isn’t supported by the market. But how do you respond when they insult you and call you a terrible agent when you tell them you won’t be able to sell their home for that much?
TIP: Here’s a great article about “5 Ways Homeowners Price Their Home Too High” by Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky Real Estate.
One of our Power Agents® experienced this firsthand recently. Her sellers were determined to get $1.8 million for their home, and she tried to explain that no matter what they listed their home at, the home is worth only what the buyer will pay, and no buyer would be willing to pay $1.8 mil for their home currently because the market just isn’t supporting that price. She went on to say that it was equally likely that nobody would even come to look at their home if it were listed at that price because it was just too high, and there were other, better homes for that same price!
The sellers became defensive (not surprising) and told her that they would only hire an agent who could sell it for that price, and if she couldn’t, she must be a terrible agent.
TIP: Check out this related blog, “How a Seller Can Sabotage Their Own Listing”
Being Coachable…and Reasonable!
This agent was at a loss for how to respond, but the truth is, this is an important concept. If I had been in her shoes, I might have just said, “You want $1.8 million? Well, why don’t you just ask $2.5 mil?” When those dollar signs pop into their eyes and they ask, “$2.5 mil? Really??”, I would have responded with, “Yeah, sure. You might as well, because your not going to get either price, so if you are going to go big, you might as well go really big!”
Now, I say that in jest, but this is the concept that I want to point out. Before you can coach a seller, the seller has to be coachable. The seller needs to be willing to hear what you have to say before your wisdom can be effective. They need to believe that you know what you’re talking about before you talk about it, otherwise they’re just trying to hire an agent based solely on who will promise to sell their home for the price they dictate.
As agents, we know that homeowners should never hire an agent based on price alone, it should be based on the skills of the agent and their ability to market properties. Now, how do you KNOW an agent is skilled at marketing properties? You talk about marketing properties! You don’t talk about price; that has nothing to do with it.
What Makes an Agent Great?
Here is some dialogue that you can use when talking to a homeowner that needs to understand what a good agent really is:
“A good agent is an agent that knows how to take a product and get buyers to want to come see the product. How they do that is through exposure. It’s college level Marketing 101, and anyone that knows marketing will tell you that to get the highest possible price, you need as many buyers wanting the property as possible. How do you get those buyers? You need to expose them to the property. How do you expose them to the property?
With marketing tools. The more marketing tools you have, the better exposure you get, and the more exposure, the more buyers you get driving the price upwards. It all starts with the marketing tools, and how the tools are used. Let me share with you how I do what I do, and then you can decide whether or not I’m a good agent. If you don’t think I’m a good agent after that conversation, anything I have to say about the price isn’t going to mean a darn thing.”
The Biggest Homeowner Mistake
One of the biggest errors homeowners make is they say, “I’m going to hire an agent based on the price I demand for my home. If they can’t get it, I will hire someone who will.”
TIP: Here’s an article by Homelight that outlines some telltale signs of a bad agent.
Like this Power Agent® already said, “I’m not going to be the one paying this price, the buyers are paying this price.” If the homeowner responds with “Well, if you can’t get me that price, you’re not a good agent,” you can respond with this dialogue:
“So, you’re telling me that only good salespeople can convince other people to pay more than what something is worth? Well, let me ask you a question. When have you dealt, Mr. and Mrs. Hunna Hunna, with a good salesperson that convinced you to overspend on something? Can you tell me when that was? No, you probably can’t, because it’s probably never happened to you. You would be insulted, because you’re smarter than that!”
“Being a good salesperson doesn’t mean you convince somebody to overpay for something. A good salesperson gives good advice and good coaching, which is what I’m trying to do with you right now to show you, Mr. and Mrs. Hunna Hunna, you’re making a bad decision trying to hire an agent based on price that you are telling me I need to get for you.”
“See, if I didn’t care about you and just wanted your listing, I would just say Sure! Let’s list it for $1.8, why not? Sign here, please. Now, why would I do that? I’m going to waste your time, I’m going to waste my time, and in fact, that would hurt you, and do you want to know why? Because real estate is like bread. A loaf of bread sits on a shelf, and if it isn’t bought by someone, it gets stale. Then nobody wants to buy it, and management is forced to slash the price, or they throw it in the garbage.
If you house sits on the market too long, it gets stale. People are going to see your house just sitting there, week after week, month after month, and then the serious buyers with millions of dollars are going to say? “That house is a horrible house. Nobody wants it, and I’m not going to buy it because then I’ll have to own a house that nobody likes.” All that advertising and staying on the market a long time actually hurts you, it doesn’t help you. So, that is why I wouldn’t take your listing, then lie to you and say sure, let’s list it at that price.”
Phew! That was a long dialogue, but it handles multiple objections all at once.
TIP: Check out this related article, “Pricing: Why A Seller Should Never Let Their Listing Grow Stale”
It always comes back to serving, not selling…coaching, not closing. It’s about honesty and integrity, and when we can demonstrate all of those things, our potential clients will know that we are the type of agent who will look out for them, even if they aren’t our client (yet!).
Are you ready to start taking things to the Next Level®? If you don’t already know what you need to do to get to your next level, we can help!
Power Agents®, for more strategies and tools for handling all the objections from buyers and sellers, check out the amazing content in the Objection Handling tab in the Classroom. Whether you need a boost of confidence or empowering dialogues, we are here to help you get the skills you need to be the go-to agent for the buyers and sellers in your farm area.
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