Winning a listing is always exciting because many Realtors® see them as the bread and butter of real estate. However, you can end up putting in a lot of extra time if you’re working with a first-time seller. You certainly don’t need to shy away from these listings, but it does help to have a plan. Here are some ways you can help a first-time home seller through the process.
Help Them Handle Emotional Attachment
A first-time seller is parting ways with a home that has hosted a huge part of his or her life. While people move apartments frequently, many homebuyers forge a special emotional attachment to their first home.
The longer the seller has lived in the home, and the more that has happened there, the stronger the emotions are likely to be. Here are some things you should be prepared to handle:
- A desire to price the home higher than the market
- Wavering about whether they should sell right now
- A tendency to leave their collections and knick-knacks out during showings
- Resistance to changing the home in accord with buyer requests
You aren’t in real estate to be a therapist, but with a first-time home seller, you will need to do a little hand-holding. Encouraging them to let go of their emotional connection and helping them look forward to their new home is step one.
Provide Clear Expectations & Frequent Communication
First-time homebuyers are nervous and don’t know what to expect. They will assume that most showings are serious buyers and that open houses will lead to offers in a few days. If this does not happen, they may become frustrated or even re-think the listing entirely.
By helping them understand exactly what will happen and what likely timelines will be, you can calm their nerves. Ask them how often they would like updates, and if they want to hear from you even if nothing has changed. Provide the communication they are looking for, and they will be thrilled with your service. A happy seller means more referrals and more listings!
Even Previous Sellers Can Feel Like Newbies
If it has been 20 years since a homeowner last moved, they are likely to feel incredibly uncertain and out of place. Even though they have sold a home in the past, the market conditions and marketing techniques have changed dramatically.
Reassurance is a valuable tool for this type of home seller. Let them know that you are an expert in all the new marketing avenues and that you know exactly how to position their home for a quick sale. Remind them that people’s basic needs don’t change even when technology does and that the perfect buyer is out there. You just have new ways of reaching them.
No matter who you’re helping sell a home, it’s a competitive marketplace out there. Your goal isn’t just to find a buyer, it’s to find a serious, qualified buyer whose offer will hold up through closing. That’s the expertise you bring, and by providing that service, you’ll be sure to delight new and experienced sellers alike.
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