How can agents connect with potential sellers?

May 29, 2018

There aren't a lot of sellers getting into the market these days, but it may be possible for agents to identify potential leads among current homeowners with a few simple tips. Being able to bring more current owners into the market will not only be a great way to get clients, but also helps loosen up what is likely to be a fairly restricted local market in most parts of the country.

Perhaps the most important thing for real estate professionals to understand about the market today is that there may be plenty of people who would otherwise want to sell their homes, but they have certain trepidations about doing so because of the conditions in the market, according to nationally syndicated finance columnist Kenneth Harney. Among the biggest obstacles most often cited by current owners - and which agents will have to be able to deal with as they try to win more selling clients - is that they're concerned with finding an affordable replacement for their current home, particularly if they're trading down in size.

Overcoming contingencies
Along similar lines, it's worth noting that many potential sellers may also be dealing with issues related to having to sell their homes before they can go shopping for a new one, and that might not be as easily overcome, especially in busy markets. After all, owners who are putting their properties up for sale likely have numerous bidders, giving them more power to be choosy with the bidders they select. That could lead to them filtering out contingency bids, almost sight unseen, on the basis that there are motivated buyers coming to them with no contingencies.

Making the connection
With these concerns in mind, it's vital for agents to present themselves as problem solvers in this regard, relying on years of experience to help determine how best to deal with sellers who may have certain concerns. Consequently, agents also need to be able to deal with other sellers and determine just how motivated they are to get into the market, according to real estate expert Ross Kaplan. Many potential selling clients are motivated to sell but may be waiting for the right moment to actually do so, which is materially different from being unsure about whether selling is right for them.

Being able to differentiate between these two types of potential selling clients - and a few others, such as those who say they may be interested in selling but are currently not especially so - will help to inform how hard agents should pursue these possible leads. Again, a lot of this effort will be informed by past experience in the industry, even if today's market doesn't much resemble those they might have dealt with in the past.

In general, it's a good idea for agents to get as much information about potential clients as they can beforehand, as a means of ensuring they're following through on solid leads and typically devoting their time in ways that will help them maximize their business prospects going forward in the spring shopping season.