Tuesday, August 17, 2010

4 steps to a Price Reduction

So one of the biggest challenges my clients face is getting their listings priced right and sold. I imagine that is an issue we all have right now. The 4 steps I have listed here is a pretty good system to get the seller to adjust the price.

Here are some important points about working with sellers:

•Regular communication is a must. If you're not talking to them weekly, they will have less trust and rapport. They will be more resistant to taking your advice.
•Alternate your communication with email and phone. One week email with some kind of market information, even if nothing happened with their home. The next week call to speak to them.
•Motivation. Each time you call and speak to the seller, start your call talking about their motivation for moving. Motivation changes, sometimes it goes up, sometimes it goes down. The only way to find out what's happening is to ask. Just make sure their plans and time frame are the same. That way, they know you're paying attention and you're also reminding them of why they're selling.
•Accountability. When they hired you, you probably gave them a list or some idea of what you do to get the home sold. Don't let them assume you're doing everything. Tell them. When you email or call, let them know what activities you've done so they can see you're working. Since you're working and the home isn't selling, they will be less likely to blame you for it and more reasonable when you bring up the price.
•Use questions. Telling is not selling. Good selling is asking a series of questions to get the other person involved in the conversation. If all you're doing is calling them up and telling them what's happened and what they need to do, chances are they're not listening. Telling creates resistance. If you want them to see what's happening, they have to be educated on it. Asking questions gets them involved.

Here's the process.

•Email over in advance the information. Or, if face to face, take it with you.
•Make sure it's easy to read so they can follow along.
•Start off with their motivation.
•Once you ask the questions, shut up! Let them answer, no matter how long it takes.

You'll need the following information (already typed up for them to see)

•How many days has the home already been on the market?
•How many showings have we had?
•How many offers have there been?
•How many similar homes actually sold since you've been listed?

Now let's put it all together

"Hi Mr. Seller, it's Ilona with XYZ Realty, how are you? I'm calling about your home for sale, is this a good time? Great, do you have the information I emailed over handy? If not, can you grab it. Perfect. Now just to double check, you and your wife still need to move to _________ and you'd still like to be there by ____________, correct? Great. Let's review the information.

Based on what I sent you, how many days have we already been on the market? 75.....That's right. And in those 75 days, how many showings have we had? 5....Exactly. And of those 5 showings, how many offers did we receive? 0.....OUCH! No offers! Now Mr. Seller, how many similar homes actually SOLD since we've been listed? 5....Right. And looking at those properties, were their prices higher or lower than your current price? Lower. Exactly. So based on this, what do you think the market/buyers is/are telling us about your price? I guess it's too high. Right. So what price do you think we should use to get you on this SOLD list?"

It's important to let them tell you the price because then it becomes their idea. They usually won't argue with themselves. Now, if their price suggestion is too high...have them refer back to the SOLDS and ask, based on what we've seen is that price really going to get the job done? Go back over it until you've got them in agreement. If they won't agree, no problem, same exercise in 2 weeks! They'll get it eventually.

For more help with this, email me. I have some additional scripts.

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