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Home Seller Horror Stories: 3 Things NOT to Do as an Agent

October 29 2015

This is second in a pair of articles that looks at the DON'Ts of dealing with consumers. Part 1 explored what not to do with buyers, and Part 2 below recommends what not to do with sellers:

shutterstock 279503429 674x450Selling a house can be as emotional as buying a house. This was your client's home; they have most likely created many memories here and leaving may be bittersweet. Just as it is your job to help your clients while purchasing a home, it is your job to provide support and guidance throughout the selling process.

We spoke to a few home sellers about their horror stories and this is what they said scared them away from an agent:

1. Don't be a critic.

You've landed a new client, but their home looks like an episode of Hoarders. This house needs more than staging if the seller hopes to get top dollar. However, even if the home is a disaster zone, remember that sellers take criticism of their home to heart.

This situation calls for the right positioning. Instead of critique — "This home needs a serious clean," or "Dusty rose went out in the '90s" — try constructive, positive wording. Try, "I know a terrific cleaning service and I can get you a discounted rate." Or, "I know a professional stager who can help you create a colour scheme today's buyers love." If you want to persuade, emphasize the bottom-line importance of these efforts and always focus on the clients' best interests.

2. Don't dominate.

Setting the selling price is a challenge, but you're a pro. With your knowledge and expertise, you probably know the right list price to the penny. However, setting the price is the first negotiation you face, and sellers listing with you will want to give input. Show them the research you've done but make sure they feel listened to.

Active listening involves listening with all senses. You need to listen and – more importantly – be SEEN as listening. Maintain eye contact, nod your head and smile, ask questions and encourage them to continue. These cues put the person at ease, making them more open to your input and guidance.

3. Don't neglect the details.

Sellers want to see their home in the spotlight. They're proud of it and believe it's the best house out there (even if you know better). By neglecting to amplify its great features in your listing, or neglecting to put the home in the best light, you risk damage to the relationship.

If a seller's home is completely picture challenged, remember, it's all about the angles. We all have a good side, and so does a home.

(Well, maybe not ALL homes have a good side. Check out these completely unflattering real estate photos.)

To view the original article, visit the Lone Wolf blogLone Wolf blog.