How to Compete in a Sellers Market

Today’s Market has shifted and the majority of the country is experiencing what we call a Sellers Market, where the inventory levels are low and the buyer demands are higher than normal.

So many real estate agents are now struggling with the challenge of how to compete in this “Seller’s Market” so this week we look at some of the ways in which we are able to adapt to the current market trend.

Let’s start with what the biggest challenge we are facing when market conditions shift and that is the challenge of managing the buyer’s expectations and doing this right up front in your buyer interview process. It is critical we advise with our buyer what is happening to the inventory levels and what is happening with the buyer’s market demands.

What is the #1 thing a buyer hires us to ensure for them?

Making sure they don’t pay too much or more than they should for the home they are buying.

So why do we allow so many of our buyer’s to just write any old offer at any old price?

On the other hand if we upset the listing agent and the seller where they now don’t care how much you and your buyer will pay, they just don’t want you to have the home now or you’re paying way more than you should for offending them all.

Solution… “Show and sell me” and “don’t just tell me”, the buyer has been in the driver seat in some of our markets for many years so you just telling them what is happening with supply and demand is not enough.

Take the time to show the numbers and statistics and even better the graphs and visuals for the buyer to see and feel what is happening with the inventory levels, average days on market, absorption rates, average listing to sale price percentages, full price and above asking price sales and in some cases multiple offer scenarios.

Pull off some listings that are excellent examples to demonstrate the facts showing they are in a seller’s market and what does that mean for them. They need to understand the days of low balling offers and taking your time to make a decision have come and gone and they need to be strategic and quicker than they were before.

Without being pushy, explain what we call “Murphy’s Law” that “Mr. and Mrs. Buyer this home you see today and go home to think about tonight may be the same home that another buyer saw yesterday and will buy today.”

Another great strategy in this type of a market is to have all the financing in place before you even begin looking, never mind begin writing offers on homes.   Make it a rule that a buyer would take the time to meet with my preferred lender in advance to ensure we had no surprises and no disappointments; we all know the highest cause for collapsed sales is always because of financing.

I encourage us all to take the time to sit with the buyer and determine whether we are buying a “home” or a “deal”?

“You know what Mr. and Mrs. Buyer? There is a difference in what we are paying and what we are getting when buying a “home” or buying a ”deal”. It is our job to determine if they want a home or a deal, Right?!

In some of our market areas and some of the price ranges we may be experiencing extreme competition for the better homes and the possibility of multiple offers arise and taking the time to educate the buyer on some of the strategies to winning with these offers.

Present all offers in person face to face with the seller and the listing agent when in multiple offers whenever possible.

Ensure the buyer attends the offer presentation and show the seller they are there, serious and ready to act.

Make the deposit on the offer as large and enticing to the seller as possible.

Be flexible with your dates, offer to have seller rent back or take time to find another suitable property.

Be sure to leave your acceptance time on your offers fairly quick as to not allow the seller to play the competing bids against each other or to allow more time for other offers to come into play.

If possible do all your due diligence including the property inspection prior to writing and presenting the offer.

You may even offer to pay the sellers closing costs or (if applicable) have the buyer offer to throw in the use of their recreation property or time share property to the seller to add incentive to your offer as well.

This may sound corny but stats say your odds increase 9% by writing a letter to the seller for your agent or their agent to present to them about how owning their house would affect your buyers lives, maybe even attach a photo of your buyers and work at tugging on the seller’s heart strings.

Gone are the days where we would take the time without breaching our fiduciary duty and ask the fellow listing agent a few excellent questions to prepare a cleaner and better offer for our buyer.

Questions like… what comparable did they use to determine their asking price and why not exchange the listing agents comps and your comps for your buyer in advance of writing and presenting an offer?

How many showings?

How many offers?

Advise you of another offer?

Preferred dates?

Inclusions and exclusions?

Have they found another home?

What is more important to the seller? Terms? Price? Both?

Keep the offer and conditions as clean as possible.

The final and most important tip in a Seller’s Market is not making offers with a buyer who has a property to sell first. Get the buyer’s home under contract before you even attempt to compete in a market where there is competing buyers and low inventory levels.

I trust some of these strategies will allow you to compete at a higher level in seller markets.


How do I schedule more real estate appointments?

We all know in real estate communication is everything and how we feel on the inside is what is coming out to people on the outside through your words, tone and energy. We all want the client to feel good when we communicate with them so it starts by us feeling good ourselves! You can’t be a lean mean appointment setting machine if you are someone who is sad, angry, depressed or totally stressed out on the inside because that is coming out in some way on the outside to the people you are communicating with.

So get right on the inside so you can be right on the outside and really attract, engage and make people feel good and feel like you are someone they really need to get together with! Let’s give you some more tips on becoming that appointment setting machine.

1. Know your customers pain and know their problems.

Examples: market conditions, past purchasing experiences. There are only two things in our lives that “move” people to take action and that is the avoidance of pain and the desire of pleasure. What are the buyers and sellers challenges? Fears? Frustrations? When you begin to share with the client about their pain they feel you really understand them and feel like you are in tune with them and want to connect with you and hear the solutions you can offer them.

2. Know your dialogues.

If you want to be good then you have to practice! The most in demand type of training in our industry today is role playing but it is the kind of training that is avoided the most and not practiced at all in our industry. So many agents say “I hate scripts” “I don’t want to sound canned” Sorry but these are the same agents who don’t do high volume and are not great communicators in the industry and this just makes it easier on the rest of us. When you know what to say and how to say it, you can be more in tune to your customers’ needs.

3. Get to the point!

Example “I’m calling today to schedule an appointment…” I love the line “Why sell with blah blah blah when you can sell with blah?” or “If you don’t ask and get to the point then you don’t get!” So many times we find ourselves talking too much about “nothing” and actually forget to ask for the order or get to the point of the conversation. Have the courage to ask for the appointment and get to the point sooner than later. My favorite technique is the alternate choice close when you give the client two options for setting a time. “Would tomorrow at 2 pm be good or Friday at 1pm be better for you?”

4. Stand up when you are making appointments and keep your hands free of objects including when you are on the phone (use a head set). Your body controls your tonality and your emotional state. It is amazing when you stand and your hands are free and open what it does for you and your energy levels. People are
engaged by your energy, passion and excitement and want to connect with you when you have that kind of enthusiasm. Standing keeps your body, breathing and mental state at a peak level and has a huge impact on your conversion rate for appointments.

5. On the phone = 20% effective sensory communication. You need to remember when you talk you are only engaging in one sense out of five. It is critical you speak clearly and slowly and be on point throughout the discussion. This is so important because you don’t have the non-verbal communication components now which make up the majority of communicating. They can’t see your body language, facial expressions, eye contact and hand gestures over the phone. All you have is your voice, tone and inflections to get the message across when trying to convert the appointment.

6. Get the fear out of the way with these 3 questions: For a lot of us it is uncomfortable talking to someone we just met so knowing what to ask and let them do the majority of the talking makes this part so much easier. Here are three excellent and engaging more dialog questions to get you past the fear and awkwardness of converting sales appointments.

1) What’s the worst case scenario?
2) What’s the most likely scenario?
3) What’s the best case scenario?

In addition to getting better at sales appointment conversion you also have to make sure you have the best environment possible for making those appointment calls so here are some great tips for creating the right environment for converting more appointments.

1. Appointment Tracker – Visual. Make it visual; think big appointment calendar.

2. Appointment Setting Shrine. Use a foam presentation board. Put pictures of your family, how much money you want to make, and even a mirror.

3. Eliminate All Distractions. Things like the voicemail light, messy desk, or having the Internet open in front of you can be distracting.

4. Stand Up Vs. Sit. You sound more confident on the phone when you are standing up versus sitting down.

5. Music. Find your favorites that work best for you.

6. Plant. Having a plant in your office can help improve your mood.

7. Get a good headset! Wireless Plantronics headset works great.

When you put together all these steps you can’t help but get better on appointment setting and remember, by removing the client’s fear it is easier for them to take action and for you to set appointments.

Here are some action steps for you to put this into reality.

1. Review this content daily.
2. Get your environment set for making appointments.
3. Practice the communication tips above.
4. Set those appointments!

Are you ready to take your appointment setting to the next level?