Four Wild Ideas to Help You List and Sell

Posted by Joel pate in Uncategorized. Tagged:

Idea #1: Help sellers gauge the true demand for homes in their price range.  Clarify how many actual buyers are active.

When dealing with listing prospects, share information about the number of buyers in various price ranges.  This sets you apart from the competition and provides the seller with important market information.

First, do your homework.  Divide the specific market area you serve into specific price ranges or price bands.  For instance, under $100,000 might be one price band, from $100,000 to $124,999 might be another, from $125,000 to $150,000 might be the third, and so on.  The price bands which you select will be determined, of course, by the market you serve.

Next, research the number of closed transactions per price band in the last six months.  Divide the total number of closings in each price band by six.  The resulting number is the average number of buyers per month in each price band.  Put this data in chart form showing number of buyers per price band.  You can also calculate number of buyers based on pending statistics for a more current look at the market activity.

Show sellers the actual number of buyers in a specific price range and talk about the number of properties competing for those buyers.  This information can make your sellers more realistic about market activity, price and selling time.  Using the “number of buyers per month” terminology rather than “number of sales” is a more powerful way to explain level of demand to a seller.

Idea #2: Ask Sellers to “Tour” Their Own Homes

Holding a successful open house is a joint project.  You depend on the sellers to have the house in super showing condition, and the seller relies on you to generate traffic, qualify prospects, sell the neighborhood and highlight the home’s special features.  Help your sellers do their part by lending your expertise in preparing the house for showing.

First, suggest that your sellers look at their home from a buyer’s perspective and actually role-play as home shoppers.  This exercise will help them be objective about their home’s marketability and identify flaws that need fixing.

Start by having your clients approach the front of their home to size up curb appeal.  You may want to facilitate the process by giving them a checklist of items to consider; a room-by-room inventory helps you to focus your sellers’ attention on problem areas in a way that doesn’t offend them.  They ask themselves the questions — and provide their own answers!

For instance: Are painted surfaces clean and in good condition?  Does the roof need repair?  Have thermal windows lost their seal and turned cloudy?  Are screens or storm windows in good repair?  Do gutters need cleaning or other maintenance?  Is landscaping and fencing well maintained and attractive?  Are there weeds in sidewalk seams?  Are sidewalks and porches clean?  Can the front entry be made more appealing with a seasonal wreath or potted flowers?

As your homeowners enter their home, have them think about a prospect’s first impression.  Does the house seem bright and spacious?  Is it neat?  Are there noticeable pet or other odors?  (You may need to provide input on odors; sellers usually grow used to the way their house smells.)  Do carpets and window coverings need cleaning?  And don’t forget to include backyard, garage and basement in your sellers’ assessment.

Viewing their home as if they were perspective buyers helps sellers take a fresh look at their property and lets you guide them easily through the process of deciding what needs to be done to bring the house up to tiptop marketing condition.

Idea #3: Enlist the children’s help to keep your listings looking spiffy.  Sign them up for your “Neat Kids Club.”

Have you ever had a listing or shown a home where the children’s rooms looked like a whirlwind had blown through — toys in a jumble or dirty gym clothes hanging from the room’s light fixture?

Here’s an idea to encourage the small children who live in your just-listed properties to clean up their act and help you sell the house.

Initiate a Neat Kids Club.  Explain to the whole family how essential it is that the house be neat and clean in order to show well.  Then let the children know how important it is that they do their part.  Ask them to join the club.  In return for their commitment to keep their rooms tidy, present them with a Neat Kid certificate (make these on your computer).

Then every couple of weeks until the home sells, send the kids a funny thank you card, or other small thank-you item.  Let the kids know they’re important in helping sell the house, and they’ll be neat kids.  (Parents will appreciate this, too, and view it as added value service!)

Idea #4: Develop a sweet technique for clearer communication with buyers.

Ask prospective buyers, “What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?”  You probably know the old technique of giving a carton of ice cream to prospects who visit your open house.  This sends them scurrying home to put the ice cream in the freezer rather than going on to meet other agents at other open houses.  A top sales associate in the Buffalo (NY) area has developed another ice-cream related technique which he says gives him specific feedback about how well his buyer prospects like the homes he shows them.

He asks his prospects, “What’s your favorite ice-cream flavor?”  If, for instance, they tell him, “maple walnut,” he says, “As we look at houses, I want you to tell me how close each house is to maple walnut.”  Houses they’re not impressed with become “plain vanilla” while one they like a bit better becomes “maple, but with no walnuts.”  Until, Eureka!  They find the “maple walnut” house.

“The ice cream analogy makes it easier to get meaningful feedback,” says the top producer who originated the ice cream approach.  ”Making a game of it seems to reduce the pressure and open up communication.”


By: Laurie Moore-Moore,



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