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How to Identify the Right Sellers and Close More Listings, From the Experts

How to identify the right sellers and get more listings

It’s the golden question of the century: How can residential real estate agents get more listings?

Realtors everywhere spend colossal amounts of time actively pursuing listings, but what if there was a way you could get some of that time back?

Here’s the trick – you have to actively avoid wasting time on sellers that won’t follow through and make sure to close on every listing that you have in your hands.

At New Venture Escrow, we partner with ambitious real estate moguls all over the state of California to help them improve their business models by making their escrow process easier and more transparent. Now, we’re asking some of our outstanding clients for their top tips on:

  • How to avoid wasting time on unrealistic buyers/sellers
  • How to not lose a prospective client once you’ve locked in an appointment

How to Weed Out and Avoid Sellers that Waste Your Time

We’ve all heard tales of notorious unrealistic sellers that leech onto realtors and feed off their time and energy. Often, they persist on overpricing, or never really had the intention to sell.

The result? They end up being a colossal waste of time that agents could have dedicated to taking care of their current clients.

We asked our experienced realtors if they’d ever dealt with unrealistic sellers, and how to identify them and cut them out before it’s too late. Here’s what they recommended.

1. Deliver Pre Listing Packages the Night Before an Appointment

Once you have an appointment to meet with a potential seller, it is imperative to be transparent up front.

“One thing about Harcourts is the philosophy of delivering the pre-listing package the night before so the client has a chance to look through it before the actual appointment,” Candy Vargas, from Harcourts Sand & Sea Properties claims.

Here are some tips for pre-listing packages:

  • Add three different price quotes
  • Highlight key features on the comps
  • Lay out all the information in a clear and organized manner for the presentation.  

“This way they already know where I’m coming from.”

With the pre-listing package in hand, sellers can already decide if they’re on the same page as you from the get-go. If so, they’re much more likely to follow through.

If not, then save yourself the trip and don’t even bother with the appointment.

Candy Vargas Harcourts Advantage

2. Calendar an Official Date to Revisit Sales Strategy

Billy Colestock of SoCal Lifestyle Realty, points out that a good way to measure if a seller is serious or not is by asking them if they are willing to make a strategic sales plan.

“If someone wants to price way over, and the sellers do not want to make a specific plan if the strategy isn’t working, I can tell it probably won’t work.”

Here’s the solution: Schedule a new strategy right into the calendar that requires sellers to reprice in 21 days if no movement is happening at their desired LP.  

The result? Expectations are transparent from the beginning and sellers are more likely to cooperate throughout the process.

3. Offer Alternatives to the Traditional Methods of Selling

Got a seller who is unsure of where to price their home?  The auction platform allows the market to determine the value!

Candy Vargas tells us she pitches Harcourts Exclusive Auction process to all her sellers and particularly to those that want to price high and chase the market down.  The Auction process is a completely transparent process that allows the reputation of the property to be preserved instead of just sitting on the markets for weeks at a high, unrealistic price, or having to make continuous price reductions leaving buyers asking themselves what is wrong with the home and finally making a lowball offer.

Bottom Line? Although unrealistically ambitious sellers can be a red flag, you should still offer options for sellers that have real intentions to sell their house.  This way, you can retain and better serve the client, ultimately saving time and reaching a compromise that works for both parties.

4. Refrain From “Buying” a Real Estate Listing

Jesse Salas of the Salas Group, puts it beautifully: “I never want to “buy” the listing.”  

The real estate industry never ceases to surprise Salas, stating that he has been shocked by what certain homes can sell for in the past few years.  

How do you avoid wasting time with the wrong client? By keeping expectations realistic.

“I never want to lose a listing over a price expectation, however, I need to be honest about what my real expectation is.”

Key takeaway? Don’t buy clients by promising them an unrealistic price. The transparency has to fall on both parties.

Jesse Salas Harcourts Prime Real Estate Agent

5. Avoid Meeting With Representatives of the Seller

Many realtors have encountered eager grandsons or nieces trying to sell properties on behalf of a relative, or have found themselves negotiating with folks who claim to be representing another party.

If you are skeptical about the intentions of the representatives and have never actually seen the face or heard the voice of the real owner of the property, insist on speaking to the owner before moving forward.

You might not even have a real listing prospect at the end of it, so make sure you’re conversing with credible sources.

How to Avoid Losing a Real Estate Listing

Once you’ve invested your time sifting through unrealistic sellers and you have a list of prospective appointments set, it’s time to do everything in your power not to lose the listing.

Again, your time is one of the most valuable resources you have. So we asked our realtors if they had any suggestions/tips on how to go through the sales process faster, and how to get a listing every time.

Here’s what they said.

1. Provide Extensive Value Up Front

Candy Vargas drives home the fact that establishing human rapport is extremely important, and a great way to gain the trust of prospective clients is by offering value up front.

This could include any of the following services:

  • A first-time seller’s guide free home valuation (comparative market analysis)
  • A free home valuation (CMA)
  • E-books or white papers on mortgage rates
  • Current market industry reports
  • Successful case studies and client testimonials

Candy uses New Venture Escrow’s VentureTrac App, an innovative mobile app that allows sellers to e-sign all of their documents, track their escrow process in real-time, and provide net sheets to her clients. That way, sellers can see proceeds right then and there.

Delivering any of these valuable resources at no cost to your prospective client will show that you genuinely care about their real estate experience and keeping them informed every step of the way.

2. Create a Digital Omnipresence

Be everywhere… All the time.

“This is a contact sport” confirms Billy Colestock. You don’t need to be physically knocking people over, but you do need to be great at getting the contacts and setting appointments.

How do you do it? Create an online omnipresence. Be everywhere, always. This gives clients a sense of security and reliability.

“With tech, we can do that. We can retarget, use social media, send video emails, be everywhere.”

This may sound laborious, and that’s because, frankly, it is.

Don’t have time to juggle several social media accounts, e-mail drips, and a blog? You can outsource your digital marketing presence to a freelancer. Realtors can find very reasonably priced freelancers with market experience on platforms like Upwork and Fiverr.

Doing it yourself? There’s no easy answer, but Jesse Salas tells us that having a positive mindset is what gets you through it.

“The process of prospecting doesn’t change, but you can change your mindset.”

Need more energy to push your limits and reach your online omnipresence? Check out serial-CEO Casey LeBlanc’s tips on how to optimize your energy in order to change your life and give you that extra push in your business.

Billy Colestock San Diego Realtor

3. Pregame Like a Professional by Studying Your Client

“If a seller is ready to meet with you, essentially you have the job,” Salas explains.

At this point, it’s time to get out of your own way. YOU are the only one who can lose this job. It’s all in the pregame.

“Not asking the right questions prior to the listing appointment can prolong the process, and not knowing what they want can be a problem. Realtors really need to speak the language of potential sellers and ask the right questions. Knowing your client will allow you to be able to win that listing.”

4. Send Personalized Details & E-mail Drips

How does Candy Vargas woo her clients? The answer is obvious: Candy!

“I send candy (get it?) and apple butter. I like to show people that I am thinking of them and take care of them.”

Jesse Salas opts for pre-listing packages, hand-written thank you cards and video texts.

Personalized e-mail drips also dramatically increase closing ratios. Send out weekly e-mail updates during the weeks prior to their appointment with listings in THEIR desired area.

The result? Sellers that have been apple-buttered up and have received personalized touches will ultimately feel more comfortable about giving you their listing.

Our Agents Stay Competitive with Tech-Forward, Transparent Escrow

At New Venture Escrow, we help real estate agents all over the state of California stay competitive with our one-of-a-kind escrow service and mobile app that protects sellers and allows them to monitor the biggest transaction of their lives every step of the way at just the press of a button.

Our agents consistently win over the heart of prospective sellers. Let us be your secret weapon, too.

Learn more about joining the New Venture Escrow family today and how we can help you stay competitive with our technology-driven escrow service.

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Max Bergstrom
Marketing Director at New Venture Escrow

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