sellers: "Real Estate is a Relationship Business" - Not exactly... (A Rant) - 10/28/09 12:06 AM
We hear this all the time - heck, I say it all the time! "Real Estate is a Relationship Business" - meaning that the more people who know you and like you, the more real estate you'll sell. As opposed to the good old Numbers Game philosophy that the more people who throw away your monthly marketing postcards or ignore your newspaper advertising, the more real estate you will sell.
And of course, I believe that - at least the part about how the more people who know you and like you, the more real estate you'll sell.
But is real … (160 comments)

sellers: Adventures in Pricing - Historic Homes in Urban Neighborhoods - 10/25/09 12:03 AM
A few months ago (sheesh, almost six months already!) I stopped actively selling real estate. Oh, not to worry, I still keep my fingers in the pie and my toes in the water of the Denver real estate market, but I don't actually list or sell properties in my own name. However, being the control freak that I am, anyone who gets a referral from me can count on lots of - ahem - help from me, especially if they're working with someone from my precious Sphere of Influence. I'm sure my - ahem - help is very much appreciated.
Anyway, … (11 comments)

sellers: Ten Ways to Show Your Seller You Don't Care - 10/22/09 11:54 PM
Now that the listing agreement is signed and your FOR SALE sign is in the yard, you're done, right? Onto the next victim prospect to WOW with your fancy listing presentation and 132-point marketing plan! Of course, most of those 132 points are pretty much fluff & nonsense, but by the time you've overwhelmed the seller with your promises of Exceptional Service and Total Commitment, he probably won't notice.
No, he probably WON'T notice at the time, but he'll certainly notice later. The good news is that by then it's too late! He's committed to stuck with you! And you'll be damned if … (30 comments)

sellers: Sixteen Ways to Keep Your Seller Happy with You - 09/23/09 11:13 PM

What's the Number One Thing "they" say that homesellers complain about?
All together now...
Communication (or lack thereof) from their agent. And, having been on the other side of the For Sale sign a time or two, I can certainly second that emotion. But "communication" isn't just about calling every week to say "Hi, how're doin'?" No, it's also about keeping the seller informed on local market activity. On providing feedback from showings. On notifying him of new competing listings and recently closed sales. And, frankly, on making sure the seller knows exactly what his agent's been up to to … (17 comments)

sellers: Even If They Don't Complain... Sellers Notice - 09/22/09 11:17 PM
If the brochure box is empty... they notice
If their brochures still show the original price after two reductions... they notice
If their agent hasn't done in an Open House in six months (or ever)... they notice
If no feedback cometh after showings... they notice
If there haven't been any showings in a month... they notice
If their Craigslist ad hasn't been refreshed... they notice
If their agent hasn't updated them on market activity... they notice
If their online photos are from two seasons ago... they notice
If the only time they hear from their agent is when he calls to ask … (22 comments)

sellers: Start Your Engines... Appraiser Versus Real Estate Agent... Who's the better pricer? - 07/30/09 10:13 PM
Thanks, AR, for the  Gold Star yesterday on my blog entitled "Should You Price to Ward Off Appraisal Problems?" I didn't intend for the blog to generate a war between agents and appraisers, but sometimes these things take on a life of their own. Okay, well, "war" is a bit strong, but we did have a lively discussion.
So, let's continue it. What the heck.
However, being a Friday at the end of a long week, I'm feeling a little lazy, so I'm going to resurrect a conversation from last July on this very topic. To recap - I did an interview … (15 comments)

sellers: Should You Price to Ward off Appraisal Problems? - 07/29/09 03:01 AM
Sellers want more for their homes than the market is likely to pay. That's a fact; it's been a fact forever, during boom times and busts, and will continue to be a fact long after the Recession of 2009 is behind us.
Nothing wrong with it; it's human nature and we're all guilty of putting a higher value on our own precious stuff than anyone else is going to. But part of our job as listing agents is to gently persuade our seller clients that we need to price properly in order to get their home sold.
But should that "proper … (112 comments)

sellers: Okay, Miss Smarty-Pants, HOW do you get your sellers on board to get their home ready for market? - 07/03/09 12:18 AM
...and fun was had by all in this week's debate over pricing versus condition versus pricing AND condition. Did you miss it? It's good stuff - check it out at: Any Idiot Can Give Their House Away...
In the 150+ comments, the question was raised - "So, how do you convince a seller to put some effort into getting his or her house ready for market?" I'd made the claim that at least 90% of my sellers hire my stager and my handyman and almost all spend at least $1000 (of their own money!) prior to going on the market.
Am … (19 comments)

sellers: If Your Seller Authorized You to Spend $2,000... - 06/30/09 12:30 AM
I don't know about you, but I'm very much enjoying this debate on whether or not we listing agents can positively affect the market value of our listings. I believe we can. And frankly, I'm stunned at the amount of opposition to that notion.
Now, a disclaimer - I don't work in a distressed market, so I shall defer to those who do that they know more about selling homes in that environment. Fair enough. If you work mostly REO's and short sales, you are excused from this discussion. Although... well, I'll get to that in a sec.
For the rest of us... … (37 comments)

sellers: Any Idiot Can Give Their House Away...If Price is All that Matters - What do they need us for? - 06/28/09 11:41 PM
This is yet another follow-up to the topic of "Is Price Always the Best Answer to a Non-Selling Listing?" that I started last week. You can read more HERE and HERE.
Real estate agents are quite fond of the philosophy that "Price conquers all," meaning that if you price a listing low enough, it will sell regardless of the challenges the property presents.
Fair enough.
But I must ask. So what? Is that our job as professional real estate agents to simply recommend a price low enough that any piece of junk will sell?
Or, rather, is it to help our sellers get the … (160 comments)

sellers: STOP! Before You Reduce the Price... - 06/26/09 12:16 AM
Picking up from Wednesday's "If Your Listing Isn't Selling..."
So, if your listing isn't selling and you've agreed with me that perhaps price might not be the best solution, what else can you look at?
Well, it might be really simple. Have you checked access lately? Lockbox still there? Key still in it? Key still work in the lock (sticky locks kill showings)? Is the seller declining or restricting showings?
Have you previewed your listing lately? Does it still show well and smell good?
How's your MLS description? Is it dull ("3 bedroom/2 bath ranch in Woodbridge") or jazzy ("Mid-Century tri-level with … (23 comments)

sellers: When Your Listing Isn't Selling, What's the First Thing to Fix? All Together Now... - 06/24/09 01:31 AM
excerpted from my new book "If You're Not Having Fun Selling Real Estate, You're Not Doing it Right!"
When your listing hasn't sold, what's the first thing you look at? 
Nope. Not always. Not even most of the time.*
Many real estate agents claim that price cures all. And in a way, they're right. If you have a listing that shows poorly or is difficult to show or smells funny, there probably IS a price that will inspire buyers to overlook the clutter, access issues or eau du Chef Boyardee.
But is price the RIGHT answer? Again, not always. Not … (23 comments)

sellers: What if My Seller Asks for a 'Listing Exclusion?' - 05/31/09 01:09 PM
For those who haven't encountered a "listing exclusion" yet, it's simply a request from a seller that if a certain person or persons buy the home after it goes on the market, your listing commission won't apply. For example, perhaps the seller knows a guy at work who says he'd be interested in purchasing the house, but he's still thinking about it. Your seller doesn't want to wait for him to make up his mind to go on the market, but neither does he want to pay you if the guy actually ponies up. So, the seller asks you to "exclude" … (116 comments)

sellers: "How Can I Compete with a Minimum Service Real Estate Company?" - 04/21/09 03:38 AM
As many of you know, I'm hosting a free teleseminar this Wednesday on the topic of negotiating commissions. You can register for it here.
As agents are registering for the show, they're asking me lots of questions about their individual situations, which I don't mind at all! Keep ‘em coming!
I got a good one the other day from Melissa. Melissa finds herself competing against companies who provide minimal service for a minimal fee. Nothing wrong with that, mind you, it's a business model that has its place. But it can make it hard on those who offer full service for … (64 comments)

sellers: The Confident Rookie Series - SECRET EIGHT - Get Comfy with Your Commission - 04/15/09 12:36 AM

Most new agents are terrified about the prospect of discussing their commission with a potential seller. If this is the case for you, you're going to need to be 100% comfortable with the commission fee you're going to propose. If you aren't, you're dead meat. If you have concerns that you're overcharging for your value, it will be crystal clear to the seller prospect. In my first year, almost all of my listings were taken at a very low percentage because that's all I thought I was worth, due to my inexperience. As my experience and expertise grew, I became … (33 comments)

sellers: The Confident Rookie Series - SECRET SEVEN - Let Your Seller Prospect Talk! - 04/13/09 11:45 PM
New agents are always nervous before their first listing appointment. Probably before their second, third, tenth & twelve, too. It does get easier, I promise, but here are some tips for getting through those nerve-wracking firsts...
My absolute best advice to first-time listing appointment-ers is to LET THE SELLER DO MOST OF THE TALKING! Two reasons for this.
First, this seller has probably already endured two or three sales-pitches from other real estate agents who barely took a breath to let him talk. They very likely didn't express much of an interest in him and his situation - they just directed … (13 comments)

sellers: Should I try to enforce a 'pre-qualified buyers only' requirement on my listings? - 03/12/09 01:56 AM
QUESTION: "Should I try to enforce a "pre-qualified buyers only" requirement on my listings? If so, how?"
JA's ANSWER: Every once in awhile I'll hear an agent say that he (or she) restricts showings on his listings only to buyers who are already pre-qualified for the purchase price. His rationale is that it's inappropriate to inconvenience a seller by allowing showings to buyers who in all likelihood cannot or will not purchase the property.
I disagree - I think it's simply a matter of setting appropriate expectations with a seller. In 12 years, I have never had a seller ask me to … (82 comments)

sellers: Are You Willing to Trade $$$$ for a Guaranteed Paycheck? - 03/10/09 02:21 AM
I'm watching Jason Crouch's featured post today entitled: "How many other professionals work on contingency all the time?" The premise of the blog is to explore other compensation models that don't require us real estate-types to do so much work for free.
Good stuff.
However, what I don't see discussed (much) in the post or comments is an acknowledgement that part of the reason our fees are what they are is that we're paid on contingency AND THAT'S WORTH SOMETHING! Working on contingency is risky and is therefore entitled to a higher compensation structure.
If we remove the risk associated with our … (18 comments)

sellers: Pricing Your Listings RIGHT with a Persuasive CMA (a free panel discussion) - 01/15/09 11:33 PM
For Sale signs are cute, but they don't pay the bills. Gone are the days where having a listing was pretty much a guarantee of an eventual paycheck; in fact, in today's market, a listing may very well be more of a liability than an asset... if it's not priced right.
The first challenge in pricing right is to figure out what the heck the right price is. But even if you're convinced you know what the house will sell for, that's only half the battle. The other half is convincingly communicating your findings to a seller; especially if that seller … (64 comments)

sellers: Average "Days on Market?" Who CARES? - 01/06/09 11:40 PM
Why do we put such stock in the Average Days on Market (DOM) statistic in our MLS's? I suppose it might be meaningful if YOUR average DOM is much less than the overall DOM, but otherwise, I believe it's a totally meaningless number.
If I were to run a market analysis of all the 1920's Bungalows that have sold in my market (NW Denver) in the last three months... (okay, wait a sec, I'm going to do that right now... BRB).
Okay, I ran my analysis. Had to go back six months 'cause the last three have been kinda quiet around … (27 comments)

Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) Rainmaker large

Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn

Author of Sell with Soul

Pensacola Beach, FL

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