Why listening is a Realtor’s most critical skill.

Recently, I had an interesting reminder that asking the right questions and listening to your clients needs is paramount in every real estate transaction. It’s easy to get caught up in what’s “the norm” and forget to ask some very important questions each time a buyer or seller gets started.

The story goes like this: a client of mine called me and said that he may have a neighbor that needs to list their home. I said I could be at the house that afternoon, so I did some quick research on the property and headed out to meet the prospective Sellers. Unfortunately, I was meeting a few siblings to discuss selling their parent’s home, since their father had recently passed away. I walked through the home with them, gave recommendations on what needed to be done to the home to make it market ready, and we filled out the listing paperwork and set a timeline to get the home on the market. Interestingly, here were my Sellers top priorities:

  1. Sell the home “As-Is”
  2. Sell the home quickly
  3. Receive an offer with the least amount of hassles or potential road blocks

Note one thing: Nowhere in those priorities was price discussed as a priority. Was it important? Sure, but selling quickly with few speed-bumps was much more important that selling the home for the absolute highest price. The home was in great shape, but needed considerable cosmetic updating and the Sellers did not have the time or desire to tackle the updates. Additionally, several of the siblings lived out of the area, so handling potential issues that arose would have been exponentially more difficult, especially given their busy schedules.

After marketing the home for about 10 days, we dropped the price once and received two offers. One was for list price with several contingencies and one was a cash sale, with no contingencies, but it was significantly less than the other offer. To many people, this is an obvious choice – take the higher offer and maximize your profit! To others, they would have to weigh the risk of the higher offer with the security of the cash offer. Wow! What a delightful dilemma.

To my Sellers, this was an easy choice. A cash sale, closing in a week, with no contingencies was ideal and they were extremely pleased to sell the home and move on. This brought up a powerful reminder for me that I wanted to share with you: It’s not always about price. Also, transparent communication from all parties is needed in every transaction, whether you are the Seller, Buyer, or Agent. It’s critical that I ask each of my Sellers, “What are your goals for this sale?”, “What are the most important factors to you for selling your home?”, and simply “Why are you selling the home?” Finding out what’s important to my clients and finding out their “Why” will allow me to help them achieve the best possible result and help them market the property the most effectively! It’s just as important on the buying side. Finding out every critical want and need is so important for me and other agents. This way we can ensure we provide our clients with the best possible service and experience while buying a home. So, my request to all potential Buyers and Sellers out there is simple: Make sure you communicate what is important to you, so you and your agent are always on the same page!

I hope you guys enjoyed this week’s blog and are able to share this information and put it into practice. Have a great week and if you are thinking of buying or selling in the near future, please reach out to me!

~ Tim Nelson, RE/MAX Affiliates | 715-529-0239 | tim.nelson.properties@gmail.com

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