4 Challenging Visitors
You Get at Open Houses
When you invite the public to view your listings,
some visitors will be coy about their reasons for being
there. Shannon Ensor, GRI, of Sky Realty in Austin,
Texas, offers tips for recognizing the types of visitors
you may meet and how to tap into their needs.
He shies away from interacting with you, hoping you’ll leave him
alone while he looks around. He doesn’t stay for long and tries to
leave without giving you his name or contact information.
How to handle him: Give him space and notice whether he lingers
over a particular home feature. Approach him to ask his impressions and how the home compares to others he’s seen. Let him
steer the conversation, and when he sees you’re not trying to corner
him with a sales pitch, he’ll open up.
The ‘Negative Nancy’
She doesn’t hide her feelings and mentions everything she hates
about the home within earshot of other, more open-minded visitors.
How to handle her: Turn the conversation around, and ask her
what she would do differently. You’ll find out what adjustments
could make the home work for her—or else learn what other listings
to send her way.
He discusses his real estate needs and provides an email address.
The conversation seemed to go well, but you have suspicions that he
gave you nonsensical contact information.
How to handle him: When you’re conversing, pick up on something
he wants or needs, such as school ratings or certain local amenities.
When you offer to email more information, ask if he’s provided the
best address to reach him on the sign-in sheet. Now that you’re
offering something of value to him, he’ll say, “Actually, send that to
this email address…” His concern was to avoid inbox overload.
The Looky Loo
She says she’s just browsing to see what homes on the market look
like, but she’s not in the market to buy.
How to handle her: Ask how your open house compares to her
current home, and listen for the items she says her home is lacking.
Offer to send her listings that have features she’d want—even
What Sellers Need to
if simply for design inspiration in case she’s thinking of
renovating—and potentially a free consultation with a
lender so she can discuss the financial practicality
of remodeling vs. buying a new home. She
could even be a future seller.
Know About Comps
The sales price of nearby homes is only part of
the equation. Be sure sellers understand the other
factors that affect comparable reports.
Location within the neighborhood. If your seller’s home is in a
part of the neighborhood that borders a highway, train tracks, or an
industrial area, it’ll likely fetch a lower price. Make sure you pull comps
of homes in similar locations to explain pricing to sellers.
The home’s lot. Hilly terrain can affect the usability of a home’s
lot. A lot on a steep slope may be far less usable than an identically
sized adjacent lot that’s flatter, says Todd Gibbons of William Pitt
Sotheby’s International in Westport, Conn.
Renovations. Home owners who have done home-improvement
projects typically get a higher price for their property. Find out
which properties in the neighborhood have undergone renovations
and how much they sold for, so you can suggest to your seller what
projects are likely to boost their home’s sales price.
New construction. In some markets, land costs have dropped,
making a newly built home less expensive. Sellers need to know how
competition from the new-home segment could affect their own
pricing. In the Chicago suburbs, where Michael LaFido of Marketing
Luxury Group works, building a house similar in size to an existing
property costs 20 percent less today than before the recession. Pull
comps from local builders to show sellers the potential impact on
their home’s value.
The difference between listing price and sales price. Many
sellers will go online to see listing prices for other homes in their
neighborhood and ask you to price their house accordingly. You
need to explain that listing prices reflect what sellers are asking,
not what buyers are willing to pay. That’s why sold inventory
is more reliable for determining the realistic price of
your seller’s home than the asking price of proper-
ties currently on the market.
OTHER SOURCES: MARIA AZUAJE, BERKSHIRE
HATHAWAY HOMESERVICES FLORIDA
ANN MARIE CLEMEN TS,
AH WD, e-PRO, KELLER
WILLIAMS CAPI TOL
KEEP IT ETHICAL
With prices rising and interest rates
low, multiple offers are common in many
markets. Here’s the right way to handle them:
First, present all offers as objectively and quickly as
possible. Second, if you are asked about other offers by
a buyer or cooperating broker and if the seller has given you
approval, disclose their existence and their source. Third, if you are
acting as the buyer representative, let the buyer know that the seller
might not treat the offer as confidential unless required to do so by
law, regulation, or a legal agreement.
REALTORMAG. REALTOR.ORG REALTOR® JULY/AUGUST 2016 27