How to respond to 5 common consumer misconceptions

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This post was previously published in January 2015 post from Texas Association of REALTORS®.

You’ve heard these all before, but have you come up with the right reply? Here’s some help with what to say the next time a consumer or client says …

“I could save money selling the house myself.”
Tell them FSBOs can linger on the market since they are often priced incorrectly, or the sellers lack information about improvements they could undertake to make the home more appealing. You have access to data to accurately price a home for the current market. And you know what buyers in your area are looking for in a home, so you can help sellers play up the features that make it attractive.

In addition, you can cast a wider marketing net than they can. And when there’s a lot of interest in a home, you may be able to sell at a higher price. There’s also the time it takes to market and show the property. Perhaps one of the most compelling reasons to use a Texas REALTOR® is to avoid legal issues. Don’t forget to mention your exclusive access to more than 100 forms for a variety of real estate transactions that help reduce their risk.

“Why should I sign a buyer’s representation agreement before I know how you’ll perform?”
Explain that a buyer’s representation agreement means the consumer is hiring you to work for him or her. Like other professionals they may hire, such as attorneys, a representation agreement outlines how you will work in the client's best interests and how the broker will be paid. Point out that the agreement can be in effect for any amount of time, even as short as a few hours. Be willing to let the prospect sign the agreement for a short period to see how it goes, and let him or her know you’re willing to amend the end date.

“Your commission is too high.”
Many consumers don’t realize all the services you provide. Detail the work that you do throughout the transaction, from marketing to negotiation to the follow-up work required to complete the deal. Show any successes you’ve had related to selling, whether it’s how fast you sell a property, how often your listings sell for asking price or higher, or that your listings sell for a higher percentage of asking price than the market average. Testimonials from past sellers can also help show you’re worth it.

“My house is worth more than your suggested sale price.”
Ask more questions to find out why they feel that way. They may believe their renovation investments should have a dollar-for-dollar return, or they may feel financial pressure to pay off debts. If it’s the former, you can show them the annual Cost vs. Value Report from NAR and Remodeling magazine for regional-specific information on the return on investment of certain renovations. If it’s the latter, tell them to put themselves in the buyers’ shoes. If they were a buyer, would they be willing to pay extra money for something worth a lower price because of the sellers’ personal situation? You could also agree to list the home at a higher price for a set period of time, then if there is no interest, lower it to your suggested price.

Always show sellers the data you used to come up with your suggested sale price, and remind them that personal feelings aren’t a factor in determining a price that the current market will accept.

“That’s such a lowball offer that I won’t even counter it.”
Let them know you can use the Seller’s Invitation to Buyer to Submit New Offer (TAR 1926) form, which allows them to outline what kind of offer they would like to see. Explain that sometimes details other than price can be appealing terms for a sale, like a fast closing. It’s better for the seller to spend a little time trying for terms he’d prefer than entertaining no offers at all.



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