Some sellers are still hesitating on moving forward with the selling process in large part due to two key reasons. Safety and they don't know where they're going to move next.
When COVID started back in March most of us were on top of it. We had the health questionnaire and protocols in place for buyers and sellers. We were really clear with buyers and sellers about how we were keeping them safe. But as time has passed and the real estate market has ramped up the message has faded. We don't see as many agents having those conversations and especially not having conversations in their marketing.
Now is the time to dive back and start talking about safety and protocols. Keep marketing around safety in your social media, in your flyers, in your campaigns, and on your website. Lay it out for your buyers and sellers. Show potential sellers with photos and video that what you are doing to keep them safe during showing. Show yourself with opening doors, widows, and closets so people don't have to touch as many things. Take pictures of yourself wiping down surfaces. Show yourself during showings wearing masks, gloves, and in some cases booties.
Most importantly show success and proof of life despite COVID. Let clients know the market is busy and you are selling homes. Give people permission to buy and sell!
The second thing holding sellers back is the hesitation around inventory itself. With inventory, it's a self fulfilling prophecy. Sellers look at the market and they say, "I don't see another house I could buy so I'll just stay where I'm at."
When you begin talking to anybody who's considering selling their house start by treating them instantly as a buyer before you treat them as a seller. Talk to them about what they want in their next home. What's does their next home look like? Build a search parameter for the client in the MLS and begin feeding them listings. If nothing else they will start to see a stream of listings that are coming on the market on a daily basis.
Next talk to them about how you're going to leave no stone unturned. This conversation is essential. Let them know you won't just rely on the MLS data feed. You will go way deeper than that. You are willing to go out and talk to people in the neighborhoods that they're most interested in. You are willing to talk to For Sale by Owners and Expired Listings, and you are willing to network with other REALTORS to identify "coming soon" listings.
Put them in a position to feel more comfortable. Then offer some tactical advice:
1) They could rent before they purchase their next home. This will take all the pressure off of finding their next home immediately. The downside is they're moving twice.
2) They could secure a bridge loan. If they have enough equity in their current house, they may be able to tap their equity and buy their next house without selling their current home first.
3) Write an offer on their next home contingent on them selling. This is not ideal in our current market because you're competing with so many other buyers but it could be the stepping stone to creating a client relationship.
4) Make the home sale subject to finding the seller a suitable replacement property. When does the search begin? Before you receive an offer!
You can help sellers off the fence with the right marketing and right conversations!
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