John Rymer - New Home Knowledge

October 01, 2007
Professional Builder Magazine

When and Why Home Builders Should Help Sell Existing Homes

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.

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.

Here are 5 steps:

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.

In the News

Stephen R. Toth
Chief Operating Officer
Novare Realty
Atlanta, Georgia
"The New Home Knowledge training program really appeals to a new generation of sales people as well as a new generation of customer. It does away with the old "textbook" solutions and gives our agents a real word view of how to engage customers when they are shopping for a new home. "