by Rob Wicker
In a slow market, some agents reach a point where they are reluctant to take any more listings. Listings are thought of as a burden–you have to spend time and money now, and any possible commissions are months away.
Most agents are focused on finding buyers. But let’s not forget that listings are still the best way to connect with serious homebuyers. For example, only 3% of homebuyers go online to find an agent. They go online to see listings. So if you do not have a major listing presence on the bigger websites, you’re probably not going to be found.
I understand, however, that you don’t want to take any old listing. Who wants to work with an unmotivated seller? By asking the right questions, you can determine the seller’s degree of motivation. “Why did you decide to sell now?” should reveal how motivated the sellers really are. If there is an important reason behind the move, the sellers are obviously going to be a lot more realistic about the listing price.
These days, a lot of people are interested in moving because their dream house is within reach. Smart sellers know that even though they may not get what they want on their current residence, they’ll be able to more than make up the difference when they negotiate for a more expensive home. So they’re motivated.
A survey conducted by Homes & Land showed that, not surprisingly, an agent’s marketing plan is a critical factor in the listing decision. Our advertisers tell us that showing sellers the Homes & Land package–with print, online, mobile and social media tools–gives them an edge when they’re competing for a listing that they really want.
The moral of the story is, use questions to qualify home sellers, include a strong marketing package in your listing presentation, and you’ll take the kind of listings that can help you survive and thrive, even in a slow market.