By David Knox | July 2021

Right now, homes are receiving multiple offers, selling quickly and for more than asking price. It is most natural for sellers to question whether you are still worth your fee in this fast moving market. I would make the case that you are more worth it now than ever. Fast markets are not easier for you, they are more difficult. The sellers need a professional, and they can actually afford you now.

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It is most natural for sellers to question whether you are still worth your fee in this fast moving market. I would make the case that you are more worth it now than ever.

Sellers’ belief that you may not be worth your fee is founded in the perception that all you do is open the door, show the house, secure an offer and get paid. But there is so much more.

MARKETING

First of all, although the market time is shorter, there are just as many, and probably way more showings to manage than in a “normal” market. You’ll be managing the showings, communicating with coop agents and providing more progress reports.

They also believe that marketing is no longer required so they’ll save money on that. You can turn that belief on its head in the following way. Tell the owners that your advanced marketing and photography help your sellers outperform others in a normal market. That same holds true in a hot seller’s market.

Begin by asking if they really need to sell their home in only a few days. Probably not. Then suggest that they actually slow down and take their time. Offer to do the same pre-marketing preparation that you’ve always done; home staging, exterior maintenance, HDR photos, proper promotion, etc.

Tell them that you want to build excitement the way auction houses do for paintings, cars and other items. Apple Inc. does this for their new offerings and upgrades. They tease with what may be released then have an event to reveal it all. Show your sellers you’d like to do the same for them.

Pricing is just as important in a hot market. Sellers need advice on a price that will attract even more offers and a higher price. This will help them see that you are worth your fee in this market.

Encourage them to get a pre-listing inspection to make it easier for a buyer to waive theirs.

NEGOTIATING

Any of you who have dealt with multiple offers know, you’re working harder now than ever. Explain to the sellers that attracting offers may not be the most difficult part, but deciding which one to except is. Explain the penalty for rushing to accept an offer that ends up with issues and can’t close. Help them see the value of taking a good situation and making it even better.

Help them see the value of taking a good situation and making it even better.

Say to them: “Mr. and Mrs. Seller, in these times it is even more important to have an experienced professional agent manage the sale, negotiation and closing of your home. We will probably have multiple offers, so the critical decision is choosing the one that is not only the best, by your definition, but the one that has the likelihood of actually closing. We have to select the offer, finish the negotiation, manage the financing, deal with inspections, address a possible low appraisal and complete the close of escrow. Even if the inspection and appraisal is waived by the buyers, we must still deal with all the other factors.”

Help them decide what a “best” offer would be by leading them through a multiple offer checklist to review all the variables. Certainly price is of major importance, but they must also consider financing, earnest money, inclusions, closing date, possession date and contingencies that they will accept.

MANAGING

The final and most important area of your value is to manage the transaction from contract to close of escrow. Describe to the sellers that you will deal with financing, appraisal, inspection, contingencies and problems. You will have to communicate with the selling agent, the lender, appraiser, inspector and a host of other people that are involved along the way. Every step must be completed for the sellers to receive their final equity check.

Finally, in addition to being worth your fee, sellers can afford a professional now. Say: “…I appreciate that our fee is a significant expense in a home sale, but given your increase equity and higher sale price, this is a time when you can both afford and need a proven professional.”

You are worth your fee.

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