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A Change In The Conversation


When a market shifts from a sellers’ market to a stable market, and then eventually to a buyers’ market, during those transitions the conversations between salesperson and client change, or at least they should.

During the sellers’ market, when salespeople sold everything they listed, handling the issue of likely selling price wasn’t a priority. Even properties that were listed over market price eventually sold, because the market rose to meet the listed price.

I’ll say that again:

During sellers’ markets, the market often rose to meet the listed price.

In your area, however, times may have changed.

Prices may have levelled out, but in many areas they are falling, and fast. In this current market, the market is no longer rising to catch up to the listed price.

The opposite is the case:

Listed prices must now come down to meet the market.

So, if you want to continue making sales, your conversations with sellers must change.

Price needs more discussion during the listing presentation

Here are three things you might want to add to your listing presentation.

  1. Evidence. What properties similar to the one you are listing have sold recently? I’m talking about the last month. Older data may no longer be relevant.
  2. Digital Footprint. The internet has a long memory. Once a property is listed, it leaves a trail. Buyers can look at history of this property, including how long it has been on the market. Properties that remain on the market too long attract bargain hunters and low offers.
  3. Dangers of listing high and leaving it there. If market prices are falling, the longer a seller holds out for an unachievable price, the lower the price they will eventually receive. This makes sense: if the market falls by 5% over six months, sell now and you get 5% more than if you wait for six months.

Price needs more attention between listing and sale

It doesn’t serve salespeople well to avoid conversations with sellers whose properties are overpriced. You didn’t have to address the issue of overpricing during a sellers’ market, but you do now.

A change in attitude can help. If you find yourself dreading having a conversation with a seller about repositioning the price, change your attitude. Don’t look on this as delivering bad news. Never walk in thinking, ‘They’ll never reduce to that figure”. Instead, look at recommending a reposition of price as helping those sellers achieve their goals, to sell at the highest price in TODAY’S MARKET and to improve their lives. You are giving service, not delivering bad news. Also, you should have set your sellers up for price discussions during your listing presentation.

For many years I have said, It takes a skilled presenter to tell the truth in real estate and still win the business”. And a skilled presenter is what you must be in stable and in buyers’ markets.

Always remember that you are not responsible for the market; you are merely reporting on it to your sellers. Sellers need to be told the truth, but in such a way that they appreciate you for telling it, and not punish you for doing so. Diplomacy and tact must be coupled with the belief that you are telling them what they need to hear, and a determination to do what’s right for your clients.

Leaving clients sitting at the wrong price is not doing what is right for them.

Change the conversation and you will continue making sales.

Gary Pittard

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