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Not warning clients of a rebounding market may kill a deal

The conversation between a client and a Realtor is dramatically different in a depressed market than a rebounding market, and not adjusting accordingly can cost an agent the deal.

Darwin’s theory

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” ~Darwin

Years of struggle have grooved today’s habits and practices. These grooved habits will wreck us if we don’t adapt to a rebounding real estate market.

While attending Prudential’s national convention, I listened to smiling real estate agents share stories of multiple offers, brisk sales and thinning inventory. I’m seeing it every day on Facebook, aren’t you? I practice in The Woodlands, TX and it’s definitely a seller’s market.

Hopefully the recovery tide is rising in your market as well.  It’s exciting to see, but we must beware. In a rebounding real estate market, the slow-to-know and slower-to-respond often crash and burn. Even worse, their selling clients crash and burn as well.

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Rebounding real estate markets require new conversations, expectations and explanations, and new habits for a new market.

How to avoid a rebound wreck

You check the mirror, adjust yourself, grab your tools and head for the front door.

You and your sellers wrestle. Begrudgingly lower for them, and at a handful higher than the your detailed analysis, you reach a truce compromise and settle on a price. All ends well, everyone’s happy, holding hands and humming kumbaya, followed by a chorus of We Are The World. Life is good, the real estate biz is fun.

You dash to the computer, upload, and click submit.

Boom goes the dynamite!  Two offers in twenty-four hours, one at full price! Whee! You do a happy dance, snatch up your phone to share the sweet news with your sellers. Their phone rings. Ut-oh. In a red flash, you realize that your sellers’ reaction may mismatch yours. You forgot the talk. Instead of giddy and gleeful, you are now glum and bummed. Instead of gratitude and atta-girl, fear, doubt, and apprehension are likely reactions. Why? Because fear of loss is natural and normal.

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The talk is vital

Without proper preparation and education the sellers will naturally think:

If my home sold in a day AND multiple offers are rolling in, we must have under priced!  My agent sweet talked me into a lower price than I wanted, just so they sell it fast and collect a fast commission. I fear I’ve left money on the table. I’m getting screwed and losing money. I’m not happy. In fact, the more I dwell and stew on it think about it, I’m pissed! No way I’m selling at this low price. Either I’m going to raise my price or my agent can cut their commission!!!!!” 

Who can blame the seller?  Without proper preparation and counsel, a disappointing outcome is the most likely and natural outcome.

We can avoid this negative experience and wrecked outcome if we address the benefits of a fast sale during the listing appointment. Use your own words, but here is an example of the conversation I would have sometime between agreeing on listing a price and leaving. The exact timing is subject to your good judgement.

“Ok Mary and John, I’m gonna run to my computer and upload all the information into our MLS system.  When I hit the Submit button, all that internet exposure we talked about explodes into action.

If we’re fortunate, a qualified buyer or two is out there lurking and poised to pounce on a cool house like yours the moment it appears onto the market.

There’s an unsatisfied pool of qualified buyers who have viewed every active listing that could possibly meet their criteria and none of the properties available to them are suitable.  

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These qualified, educated (they’ve seen, evaluated and dismissed everything on the market) and  motivated (by their delayed purchase timeline and because they’re human, they’re also motivated by the Fear Of Loss) buyers are prepared to make an offer the moment a new listing matching their criteria tumbles on the market.

The realities of supply and demand, especially in a rebounding market work to our benefit, sometimes leading to the best of both worlds, the best offers (price, terms and timing) and a fast sale.  

Wouldn’t it be a blessing and a minor miracle if we could get your home sold at your price and your terms the first day we’re on the market?  It’d be great if we could eliminate all the hassles of cleaning up and clearing out for showing after showing at all hours of the day, day-after-day and weekends. We could avoid all inconvenience of showings and move on the down the road, fast, simple and satisfied?”  I would pause right here and wait for an affirmative verbal response.

After they verbally agree, I’d end by saying something like, “Let’s cross our fingers, I’ll do my best to make it happen!”

After a conversation similar to this, when offers roll in (hopefully) quickly, because we’ve discussed the possibility and benefits of a fast sale with favorable terms, our phone call will unfold with the likelihood of a successful outcome and a positive experience for everyone involved.

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The phone conversation might go something like this (use your own words, this isn’t a scrip, just an example):

I dial and John picks up:

” Hi John, this is Ken Brand calling, did I catch you at a good time?

Sure Ken? 

I’m calling with awesome news, John. Remember how yesterday we were saying how awesome it would be if we could eliminate all the hassles associated with showings and get your property sold FAST at the price and terms you wanted?  

Yeah, what’s up?  

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We’re in luck, your awesome house and my marketing worked like magic, we generated two offers, one full price and one at $___,___.  When’s a good time to get you and Mary together to review all the details, secure preferred terms and get you two on your way to the closing table and to new beginnings?”

How your clients receive and perceive the good news will be massively improved if you’ve taken the time and care to discuss and mutually agree on their desired and possible outcomes before they happen, instead of after.

This wouldn’t work in a depressed market

In a depressed real estate market this conversation was unnecessary and might set false expectations. In a rebounding real estate market this conversation is necessary and prepares everyone to evaluate and appreciate the benefits of a fast sale with favorable terms.

That’s it, try it and let me know how it goes.

Cheers and thanks for reading.

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Written By

Ken Brand - Prudential Gary Greene, Realtors. I’ve proudly worn a Realtor tattoo for over 10,957+ days, practicing our craft in San Diego, Austin, Aspen and now, The Woodlands, TX. As a life long learner, I’ve studied, read, written, taught, observed and participated in spectacular face plant failures and giddy inducing triumphs. I invite you to read my blog posts here at Agent Genius and On the lighter side, you can follow my folly on Twitter and Facebook. Of course, you’re always to welcome to take the shortcut and call: 832-797-1779.



  1. Steve Norris

    March 17, 2012 at 1:02 am

    Used to always have the talk years ago and haven’t needed it until now. Wish I would have read this 2 weeks ago, so I didn’t have to remind myself of the need to have this conversation as part of the listing process again after having a seller concerned over a fast sale. My fault and totally avoidable.

    • Ken Brand

      March 17, 2012 at 7:15 pm

      Yeah, I’ve been there more than once Steve. Always learning. Cheers.

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