By Jill Griffin
Now that most of the country has officially pulled itself out of the housing recession, we are once again seeing sellers open their minds to selling their home and moving into a new one. Juggling the two deals can be intimidating and stressful. The timing, due diligence, and chaos of scheduling movers; the gap between closing dates, and ultimately, the sellers inheriting the risk of living without a home for some period of time. Figuring out how to ease your sellers’ minds could result in a double sale for you. This is why it is essential as real estate agents that we understand how to guide our sellers through the dual transaction.
Here are my tips:
Never downplay your clients’ fears and emotions. This is the first way to lose the sale, (and your clients for that matter). Some agents feel as though downplaying their clients’ emotions will ease fears, but this just isn’t true. Your clients don’t want to hear that their real estate agent thinks worries are irrelevant and unnecessary. Let your sellers know that what they are feeling is normal, natural, justified, and that the process is imperfect and stressful. Then explain that you, as their trusted real estate professional, can help them through it. If you empathize with them and not against them, they will connect with you immediately.
Take the time to sit down with your clients and go through the entire process from beginning to end. When you meet with your clients, show them the places in the process where potential problems may arise. I like to highlight inspections/appraisals on the current home as well as inspections/appraisals on the new home. Use a calendar if necessary. Explain to them how the dates and deadlines will work when juggling the contract on their current home and the contract on their new home. If you take the time to help them understand the timeline and show them where the stress triggers could be, the fear of the unknown suddenly disappears. The key is to diminish their anxiety while also helping them come up with a “Plan B” in case, for instance, their current home sells a few weeks before they can move into their new home.
Set expectations. Some sellers think that list price equals the sales price and they will rely on those exact proceeds (equity) for the purchase of the down payment on their new home. Always go through the worst case scenario(s) with them. Let them know that you are going to overestimate the costs of selling and underestimate the sales price. Therefore, when the time comes to take their proceeds to the bank, they won’t be disappointed and angry with you; they will be relieved that they are taking away “more” than the worst case scenario that you showed them.
Most importantly, remember to make your clients feel confident that they will get through these transactions with the least amount of stress possible because every step of the way, you’ll be by their side!
JILL GRIFFIN is an agent at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Real Estate of the Rockies in Denver, CO, who says she knew she wanted to be a real estate agent since the age of 6. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.