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When and Why Home Builders Should Help Sell Existing Homes

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When and Why Home Builders Should Help Sell Existing Homes

John Rymer closes his two-part series on dealing with house-to-sell customers. His advice: Step outside production builder boundaries and get involved in selling your customer’s existing home

By John Rymer September 30, 2007
This article first appeared in the PB October 2007 issue of Pro Builder.

Last month I discussed how to deal with customers who have an existing home to sell and gave you reasons why it's a great time to sell.

That was Part I. Part II of our discussion focuses on how and why every new home sales professional needs to become an expert who can accelerate existing-home sales at a fair price.

If you think this should be outside the role of a new home sales professional, think again. Consider the following:

  • More than 2/3 of customers report never having to sell an existing home in a buyer's market.
  • 82 percent of homeowners select the listing agent for their existing home based on a personal relationship rather than their professional accomplishments.

That's right, four out of five customers found their real-estate agent likely because "his wife works with my husband and he's a really nice guy."

It's easy to see why most customers with a home to sell are scared and receive bad advice on how to sell their home.

So let's draw a road map on how to maximize the sales price and accelerate the sale of a customer's existing home in a buyer's market.


5 Steps to Maximize a Home's Sales Price and Accelerate the Sale

Step No. 1: Demonstrate homes are selling in their neighborhood. Use MLS information to get an analysis on the average number of days on the market and a listing of homes recently sold in the home buyer's neighborhood. If you don't have access to MLS, partner with a real-estate agent who will do the legwork in return for potential referrals.

It takes time and the data may be disappointing, but better to begin with the facts so you can plan.

Step No. 2: Help home buyers find the right real-estate agent. Try first to refer a trusted top performer. If home buyers are reluctant to use your referral, make sure the real-estate agent they select is a top performer and tell them why it's important: they will never take a listing unless they feel confident it will sell within a reasonable amount of time. That's not so true among part-time and newbie agents.

Step No. 3: Give them a checklist to complete prior to listing their home. Shrubs overgrown? Too much furniture? Need paint? It's an easy list to provide.

Step No. 4: Make sure you and the customer receive agent feedback on every showing of their home. Positive and negative comments prepare you for the next showing.

Step No. 5: Discuss three-day pricing versus six-month pricing. Don't be shy. Customers need to understand the correlations between price and number of days to sell. A good rule to follow is that for every 5 percent you reduce the home's price, you cut in half the number of days it will be on the market.

Providing these useful tools will allow you to gain the customer's trust to take action now and move forward on the home they really want.

Author Information
John Rymer is the founder of New Home Knowledge, which offers sales training for new home builders and real-estate professionals. He can be reached at john@newhomeknowledge.com.



Road Map to Accelerating Sales

  • Demonstrate homes are selling in the neighborhood.
  • Help home buyers find the right real-estate agent.
  • Give them a checklist to complete prior to listing their home.
  • Make sure you and the customer receive agent feedback on every showing of their home.
  • Discuss three-day pricing versus six-month pricing.


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