You’ve got a hot lead on a listing, but who wants to work? It’s more relaxing to hang around the office complaining because you don’t make any money. With that in mind, here are 6 easy and foolproof ways to make sure you lose a listing!
No, I know you don’t really want to lose a listing – so do the opposite of what I’m about to tell you.
First, show up late.
Keep those people waiting at least 20 minutes – that will show them that you’re the one in control. You are a busy, in-demand agent who is being kind enough to make a little time for them. And… your time is more important than theirs, so they should have to wait for you.
This is an extremely effective way to lose a listing.
Second, if you’re determined to lose the listing, ignore the sellers when they talk.
You know best, so tell them how things are.
This is especially true this year, when the market could be changing drastically. Redfin recently advised that sellers should do the minimum to get their homes ready for sale and concentrate on getting on the market quickly. That sounds good to you – the quicker it gets on the market, the quicker it sells, and the quicker you collect your commission.
So forget that they may have heard the old advice about having a pre-inspection, repairing things, cleaning, staging, etc. in order to command the highest possible price. Your goal is to get that house on the market immediately, so push them to list now whether they feel ready or not.
#3: Grab the easiest comps for your market analysis, even if they’re a year old.
Sure, prices have risen since then, but they may be going back down soon, so what’s the difference. You do want to do what’s easy, don’t you?
And while you’re at it, don’t bother with silly adjustments for things like the 4th bedroom or the guest house. No one cares about those things.
If you’re dealing with an estate and several siblings are involved, suggest a different price to each of them, depending upon what you think they want to hear. It’s an effective way to get them all arguing, so you can step in later and dictate the price YOU want. It’s also an effective way to prove your incompetence so you’ll be sure to lose the listing.
Four: Should your listing prospects wish to discuss your commission, refuse.
You charge what you charge, no matter the price of the home. You don’t negotiate for any reason, and you don’t explain why your fee is your fee. Take it or leave it. Let them know in no uncertain terms that you don’t care if you lose a listing.
Five: Communicate YOUR way. If it’s not their preference, you’ll be sure to lose the listing.
Don’t bother asking if your prospects prefer phone, email, text, or even FAX messages. Just do it your way. If they don’t like it, too bad.
And while you’re at it, feel free to contact them at all hours of the day or night.
If they leave their ringers on during the night, and your call or text message awakens them at 2 a.m., so what? If they work nights and don’t want calls before afternoon, go ahead and call at 10 a.m. You work on your schedule, not theirs.
If it bothers them, that’s their problem, not yours.
And lastly, if you want to lose a listing, assume that you already have it.
Never mind that the sellers haven’t signed a listing agreement, filled out a property disclosure, or made the house ready for sale. Just assume that you have it and act accordingly.
Go ahead and post a picture, address, and price on your social media pages. If you tell people that the listing will be live by the weekend, the sellers will have no choice but to allow you to show the house by then.
When you do NOT want to lose the listing…
Show up on time…
…looking calm, cool, and collected, and having done your research about the house.
Listen to your prospects.
First you need to know your prospect’s goals. So ask questions and really listen to the answers.
- Are they set on a certain price – no matter how long it takes to sell? (And if so, is it realistic? If not, you might NOT want to get this listing.)
- Do they want/need to sell quickly? If so, are they willing to sell below market value if that’s what it takes?
- Do they want to get the best possible price in a reasonable amount of time? And if so, are they willing to do the work to present the house at its best?
Advise them, but remember that it’s their house, so they make the decisions. (And if you can’t live with those decisions, do walk away.)
Take your time with the market analysis.
Use the best, most recent comps possible in your market analysis. Take time to make sensible adjustments. Do explain that the market is in flux right now, so your price recommendation today might be different than your recommendation a month from now.
If your prospects want to discuss your commission, be polite.
You and your agency might have different commission scales for different situations. If so, tell them about it. If you absolutely cannot reduce your commission for any reason, explain it politely.
Ask how and when they wish to communicate, then respect their wishes.
Some people prefer email, some prefer phone calls, and others are hooked on texting. Learn their preferences and follow them.
And… if you‘re in the habit of leaving voice or text messages in the middle of the night, ask if that’s acceptable. Some people leave their phones turned on all night in case of emergencies, and they will NOT want you to wake them at 2 a.m.
Don’t assume anything.
Especially don’t assume that you have the listing until after the paperwork has been fully executed.
Jumping the gun could be the event that causes you to lose a listing, so just don’t do it. Besides that, telling everyone you have the listing when you don’t will make you look foolish among your peers when it shows up on MLS under someone else’s name.
Send a thank you note after the listing presentation…
If you walk away with the listing – wonderful. Send a note of thanks.
If they want to think about it, or if they’ve got other agents to interview, get that note in the mail before the work-day ends! It just might be that little added touch that sways the sellers in your direction.
If you don’t know what to say, use one of the letters in this set of Thank You Notes.
There may be some listings you simply don’t want…
The sellers may be people you’ve found difficult in the past. They may be unwilling to even make the beds and do the dishes, but will expect top dollar for their house. They may insist on talking politics every time you see them. They may send up red flags by talking trash about every agent they’ve ever dealt with.
There can be all sorts of reasons why you don’t want to get involved. If so, don’t use these ways to lose a listing. They could damage your reputation when the sellers start talking about you.
Instead, politely turn it down. You can say you’re not the right person for this listing, but you’d be happy to refer them to someone else. But whatever you do, don’t offer any excuses!