From Listed to SOLD - How to Sell Those Listings You Work So Hard to Get!

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Okay, So the Sign's in the Yard - What Next?

House

Your listing agreement is signed and you're heading out to install the lockbox and yard sign for your fabulous new listing! By this afternoon, the property will be entered into the MLS, and hopefully your fancy-schmantzy home brochures will be delivered by the end of the week.

Whew! You're done, right? Time to move onto the next listing prospect!

Well, that's up to you, but I don't recommend it.

Those first two weeks of a new listing provide a beautiful window of opportunity to knock the sox off your seller and cement your position as his or her all-time favorite real estate agent. Oh, and by knocking the sox off your new seller out of the gate, you'll buy yourself a little grace if, down the road, you unintentionally drop the ball (it happens)!

When you put a new listing on the market, strive to have contact with my seller every single day for the first week; and into the second week if possible. Remember, while listing another home may be just another day at the office for us, it's a monumental event for most home-sellers. They are watching your every move (or lack of movement) very closely - AND - commenting on those moves (or lack thereof) to their peers.

So, what can you do to knock some sox those precious first two weeks of a new listing?

  • Send the sellers a copy of the MLS listing and ask for their blessing
  • Send the sellers a draft of the home brochure and ask for their blessing
  • Schedule the first open house
  • Create and deliver your first State of the Market report
  • Deliver feedback from showings, if any
  • Send links to your online advertising (Your Virtual Tour, Craigslist, Postlets, Realtor.com, your blog, etc.).
  • Ask seller to distribute the virtual tour to his social network.
  • Drop off brochures
  • Do your Open House
  • Deliver feedback from Open House
  • Ask sellers how they feel the process is going so far
  • Preview any new competition and share your feedback
  • Call to check on brochures - do we need more yet?
  • Prepare a market report with the number of showings and virtual tour hits, along with an update on the status of the competition.

After the first two weeks, you can slow down your attention a bit, although of course, do continue to provide showing feedback and check on brochures and such. Every 2-3 weeks, send an updated market activity report, and at six weeks, prepare a full CMA and schedule a meeting with the sellers to discuss it.

If your seller feels you're being TOO attentive, he'll probably let you know, but I really doubt that will be a problem!

Any other ideas of reasons to contact a seller? Please share!

It's Here!

 

The More Fun You Have Selling Real Estate, the More Real Estate You Will Sell! 
(True Story)
Order Your Here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comment balloon 47 commentsJennifer Allan-Hagedorn • February 03 2010 06:42AM

Comments

Excellent advice Jennifer.  Communication is so important.

Posted by Mary Sitton Real Estate Team, Realtor® - Hendersonville, NC and WNC Area (Mary Sitton Real Estate Team -) over 10 years ago

More often than not, we have the listing in the MLS before my broker leaves the property.  It is on Showing Solutions, lockbox in place, and an email sent to the owners with the new listing so they have an opportunity to make suggestions.  Open house is scheduled at the same time.  Then I put it on the various websites and send the owners those links, too.  Doesn't matter if its a traditional sale or a short sale, they are all the same. 

We try to be the best at what we do.  Every advantage counts.  That's one of the reasons we are referred, I believe.

Posted by Suzanne McLaughlin, Sabinske & Associates, Realtor (Sabinske & Associates, Inc. (Albertville, St. Michael)) over 10 years ago

rather than overkill during the first couple of weeks, my team members put them on a system of what to expect.....feedback is given within 24 hours after a showing....weekend feedback is given on a monday morning, unless there's an offer.

Posted by Barbara Todaro, Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired ) over 10 years ago

Barbara - Expectations are good, especially if they're met or even exceeded! However, there ARE a lot of things to talk about in the first few weeks and many agents don't think to keep their sellers in the loop of what they're doing. Since those first two weeks are when the majority of our "work" is being done, it only makes sense, to me, to make sure our sellers know what we're up to.

Suzanne - Sounds as if you're doing it right!

Mary - Having had my own houses on the market with other agents thru the years, I can tell you that YES, communication is much appreciated and very seldom "over"-done!

Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) over 10 years ago

Great post and a great reminder of the things that in today's market are a must.

Posted by Diane Osowiecki, Greater Nashville Real Estate (Diane O and Friends - Benchmark Realty) over 10 years ago

One of your points about asking the seller to distribute the virtual tour to their social network is so good. All of them are good but this one wow . Light bulb in my head going off!!! Thanks

Posted by Charlie Ragonesi, Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros (AllMountainRealty.com) over 10 years ago

Hi Jennifer great post. I just listed a lake front lot and I actually do about the same thing for my lot listings. I send links to all the places I've advertised it, I send link to my blog post, the page on my website with their listing plus a viveo of the community it is in, the link to the ad on my company's website,the press release etc. etc. when you claim to have the best coverage they want to see it in action. We all have to go beyond what they expect to wow them!

Posted by Sally Morris, SOLD IS NEVER HAVING TO SAY YOU'RE SORRY (Greenwood Realty ( Greenwood SC )) over 10 years ago

Sally - awhile back, I listed my out-of-state house with an agent - after several months, I hadn't heard much of anything, so I got a little pi$$y and asked to terminate the listing early so I could rent it out. She got all indignant, insisting that she'd done "all this work" and spent "all this money" and it wasn't fair that I wanted to pull the listing. Uh, I had not seen ANYTHING she'd done - no advertising, no virtual tour, no brochures, no feedback, no showing history, no market data - NOTHING. So, even if she was doing all these things, it wasn't doing her any good with me anyway since I didn't know about it!

Charlie - Yep! And they can post it on Facebook and lots of other places!

Diane - Oh, how I wish they were a "must!"

Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) over 10 years ago

Jennifer, this is a great post and we all need reminded at times.  Sometimes we get in a "system" mode and forget the personal contact.  You've put it very well here.

Posted by Lisa Stafford, Broken Arrow OK Homes For Sale (Broken Arrow, Tulsa, McGraw Realtors) over 10 years ago

This is a great check list and fights the list and leave scenario that many in the industry are guilty of. I try to give my sellers as much information as possible. Well said!

Posted by Dick and Dixie Sells, Realtors, Tampa Bay Florida Homes For Sale (Sells Real Estate, LLC) over 10 years ago

Thanks for the kind words, Lisa & D&D!

 

 

Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) over 10 years ago

Hi Jennifer.  Nice list.

I must say I wish I would get an A+, but I don't...

Not quite.

Thanks for writing,

Ken

Posted by Ken Tracy, Helping clients buy and sell since 2005 (Coldwell Banker Residential) over 10 years ago

Great follow up system for new listings. I use those same tactics the first few weeks. As things slow down a little I start to feel guilty like I'm not paying enough attention to the house like I was the first few weeks.. Then you know what happens, IT SELLS! :)

Posted by Christopher Watters, Austin Realtor (512-829-8000) (Watters International Realty) over 10 years ago

I love your perspective, Jennifer. It is a BIG event for the home seller. They now sit on pins and needles, kind of feeling at the mercy of "The Market". Also, I like your advice about running the marketing material past the home owner. I've looked at so many listings online and have wondered, why would the home seller even put up with this???

Posted by Deena Cottingham, Home Stager & Photographer (GreenApple Staging & Images, Calgary Staging & Photography) over 10 years ago

Great advice.  I agree that sellers like to see activity right after listing.  In a lot of cases, they have spent a lot of effort preparing to put their home on the market (packing clutter, cleaning, etc.) and they want to see something happening.  When I take a listing, I always discuss the frequency and method of feedback that my sellers want, and then I stick to that.  The exception is that they need to know they will have a lot of contacts with me in the first week as everything gets setup.  I love the idea of sending them links to the different sites that show their home - I hadn't done that one.

Posted by Jill Schmidt over 10 years ago

 JA - Boy, that's an eye opener.  Many of the things we already do as a matter of course and yet we fail to communicate the activity to our principals.  I like the "deliver" approach to keep all parties abreast of the market and marketing.  I will upgrade my effort.  Thanks! 

Posted by Kevin J. May, Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida (Florida Supreme Realty) over 10 years ago

Jennifer, these are all great ideas! an open house is such a great opportunity to gather feed back on a house - I suggest having clip boards with a short survey for the Open House visitors to fill out, it gains written feed back, gets the potential buyer to interact and think about the house more than just a run through, and it gives the agent more of an opportunity to build a new relationship! 

Communication with our clients certainly is everything in the RE biz

Posted by Robert Rauf (HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ)) over 10 years ago

Loved this one, so I hit the Re-Blog Button...

Posted by Robert Rauf (HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ)) over 10 years ago

Great advice, Jenn. Like Ken, I wish I could say that I get an A+, but sadly, no...but I will one day, sooner than I possibly think....

Posted by William James Walton Sr., Greater Waterbury Real Estate (WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briotti Group) over 10 years ago

Some of this is very obvious, but then why doesn't it get done.  I love list and systematic approaches.  Thanks for the post.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Great list to follow, Jennifer. We've had clients tell us that even thought they know how hard the market is, they appreciate our monthly mail out and keeping them informed.

Posted by Lee & Carol Barbour, REALTORS, Mountain Living Team in Murphy NC and North GA (Murphy and Hayesville, NC; Hiawassee, Blairsville, Blue Ridge GA) over 10 years ago

Great list to follow up on I will have to use it as a check list for the future. to keep me on track with the people that hire me. One yesterday, One today, One last Saturday but those were in the works for a while. Appreciate your writing always something to add to my toolkit.

Posted by Clark Hitchcock, Realtor - Fraser Valley (Re/Max Nyda Realty Inc) over 10 years ago

Jennifer, I like how you keep the home seller involved all along. I think this is great customer service.

Posted by Birgit Anich, CT Home Stager Fairfield & New Haven County (Birgit Anich Staging & Interiors, 203.807.4040) over 10 years ago

thanks for the list- glad to see I am doing most of the right things!

Posted by Carol Lee, Realtor - Agoura, Oak Park, Westlake CA Homes (Dilbeck Real Estate) over 10 years ago

From the desk of David Dee,

Jennifer, very sound advice. Great open communication helps to reinforce the relationship and trust.

Posted by David Dee, Real Estate - San Gabriel Valley (L.A.) & N. Orang (RMX REALTY) over 10 years ago

DD - And without the communication, believe me, that trust is OUT THE WINDOW!

Carol - Yippeeee!

Birgit - Yeah, I do think our sellers deserve to know what we're up to... and shouldn't we WANT them to know?

Lee & Carol - absolutely - I don't think sellers will ever complain about getting too much information from their agent.

Clark - I'm so glad - thanks for letting me know it's helping you.

Gene - Ooooh, I love lists and checklists too!

William - Oh, I'm sure you're A+ material...

Robert - Thanks for the reblog!

Kevin - EXACTLY! I think I shall expand on that thought today...

Jill - Yeah, I get great feedback from sending it on - although sometimes my clients want to "improve" the wording...

Deena - LOL! I agree - and I have to wonder - are the sellers really THAT oblivious that they don't know or CARE what their MLS listing looks like?

Christopher - I always feel guilty when I haven't communicated in awhile... which is good... if I didn't feel guilty, I'd be less of an agent, right?

Ken - Go for that A+!!!

Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) over 10 years ago

Just posted a follow-up... http://activerain.com/blogsview/1473402/if-a-tree-falls-in-the-forest-and-no-one-hears-it-is-your-realtor-doing-his-job-

Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) over 10 years ago

This was really good, we do a lot of it already but incorporated the rest into the system.  We agree with Charlie, asking the Owners to send out the virtual tours etc through their contacts, great idea!   

Posted by Al & Peggy Cunningham, Brokers, Our Family Wants To Help Your Family! (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 10 years ago

Jennifer,

Glad I scrolled down and read this...there are some points of communication I had not thought of...and the time frame of the first two weeks is also very important....A big thank you....

Posted by Lori Churchill Cofer, Realtor - 509-330-0086 - Pullman, WA (Beasley Realty) over 10 years ago

Thanks Jen, Makes me feel good that everything you mentioned is what I'm already doing. My seller's get so bomobarded with emails of links of sites where I've listed their homes on, the MLS sheet, seeing the brochures and flyers delivered the next day, etc, that they hopefully will think I'm working 24/7 for them.  It is a full time job for me, and they need to know that I'm earning the commission that they are going to pay me.

Posted by Linda Jandura, Realtor, North Carolina Buyer & Seller Specialist (Raleigh Cary Realty) over 10 years ago

What a great list of things to do, expecially for those of in waiting (for our first listing!)  I like this style of customer service.

Posted by Lois Kubota, DRE#01865028 (Keller Williams, Walnut Creek, California, DRE#01865028) over 10 years ago

Jennifer,

Your ideas are really great. I try to comminicate often with my sellers. I have only had 1 who called and told me how she thought the remarks on the MLS should be worded. She was a nutcase, but that's beside the point. We should make our sellers feel involved, because they are the ones with the most at stake.

Posted by Ann Cordes, Home Ownership is Not a Distant Dream (Century 21 Randall Morris and Associates, Waco) over 10 years ago

Great list for listings!  Putting a sign in the yard and leaving it at that is not enough and a disservice to the seller!

Posted by Patricia Beck, Colorado Springs Realty (RE/MAX Properties, Inc., GRI, CDPE) over 10 years ago

Oooooh.   I like the clipboard idea for real sellers and short sales!!!!  Thanks.  It can make a huge difference when the sellers get feedback from potential buyers. 

Posted by Suzanne McLaughlin, Sabinske & Associates, Realtor (Sabinske & Associates, Inc. (Albertville, St. Michael)) over 10 years ago

Hi Jennifer, enjoyed the post. I have a 5 week program similar to this. It is so simple it does work.

Posted by Charles Stallions, 800-309-3414 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl. (Charles Stallions Real Estate Services ) over 10 years ago

Great job, Jennifer.  However, I feel like the seller will reluctantly watch the initial expectations dwindle to very little.  My philopsophy is to "start out how you're going to hold out".  I let my clients know they will hear from me every Tues or as often as needed with updates.  As someone said, meeting the expectation is great but exceeding it is better.  I haven't promised something I can't deliver.

Posted by Latonia Parks, Certified Military Relocation Expert (Top Bragg Realty, Fayetteville NC, Home of the 82d ABN DIV) over 10 years ago

Love this list!!  It's a great reminder for my new listings!!

Posted by John Basila (A Denver Home) over 10 years ago

One Step is Missing here.... You can get a Pre-listing Inspection and really knock their sox's off. Just think for a moment. This could show your clients that you are looking out for more than a commission in this transaction. You are looking out for them. Heading off any potential problems before the buyers inspectors shows up. A pre-listing inspection puts the home in a better selling position. And they usually sell for more with multiple offers...  Remember a proactive agent is a respected agent.  Read more about Pre-Listing Inspections here

Posted by David Salvato (David Home Inspection Service Home Inspector San Bernardino) over 10 years ago

Hi Jennifer,

Great advice!  I'm going to print this and keep it in my little Real Estate 'tips & advice' notebook as a checklist.  Thanks for sharing!

~ Vienna

Posted by Vienna Bello, Real Estate Sales, Rentals & Consulting, GRI, SFR (Liberty Realty, LLC) over 10 years ago

Never have I paid this much attention to a client in the first week. hank you for showing me how to improve myself!!

Posted by Sharon Harris, Realtor (Keller Williams Keystone Realty) over 10 years ago

Nice post. I have been using this strategy for awhile.  I have a detailed 30 day marketing plan that I take to the listing appointment and these are some of things in it.  I am not calling them everyday though. I understand your theory, not sure it is necessary to call them everyday though. I like the idea of having them giving information to their sphere. I think that they should be contacted with showing feeback the day of the showing and weekly internet activity reports.  I do a market evaluaton at the end of 30days,but 6weeks is good too. 

Posted by Sonja Thompson (Howard Hanna) over 10 years ago

Love your post as usual!  Thanks for the wonderful ideas.

Posted by Michelle Schwitters (Realty ONE Group, Inc.) over 10 years ago

Having a communication PLAN is a great idea and in the end makes our job easier.  Margaret C.

Posted by Margaret C. Taylor, St Marys/Calvert/Charles MD Real Estate Agent (Century 21 New Millennium MD) over 10 years ago

My thought is if it is something you would expect from someone else, it would be great if you were to do it for others....you know, the Golden Rule.  Great customer service stands out to everyone.

Posted by Latonia Parks, Certified Military Relocation Expert (Top Bragg Realty, Fayetteville NC, Home of the 82d ABN DIV) over 10 years ago

Good post, especially for a "newbie".  I will keep this in mind as I make my first listing.  Thanks.

Posted by Tina Parker (Prudential Gary Greene-Friendswood) over 10 years ago

Great advise... as ALWAYS.   Sellers greatly appreciate information and input.  The last thing they want to see is you dissappear.  I get complaints from Sellers with expired listings that the previous agent took terrible photos or that a feature wasn't photographed and the MLS description did not do their home justice.  I run everything inculding the photos and property descriptions by the owners and they love it.  Even if they make a few tweaks,  it doesn't bother me.  Although I invite all the neighbors to the open house, I also encourage the Sellers to invite their friends or relatives to the Open House to be a secret shopper if you will.   And if for some reason the Sellers are not satisfied with my service and I can't make them happy,  they are welcome to fire me.   So far, I have not been fired yet:-) 

,

Posted by Melanie Middien almost 9 years ago

We use Google Docs to give updated feedback to our sellers, every time there is any activity....booked showing, feedback from showing, open house activity, comments re anything. This works very well for out-of-town sellers who have had to move prior to selling....or rented for a couple of years during economic downturn....and now want to sell.

 

Posted by Ella Strong almost 9 years ago

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