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4 tips for managing seller’s expectations in a shifting market

Communication is key in a shifting market.

The housing market is on still on pace amid a flurry of macroeconomic factors, including rising interest rates, inflation, stock-market fluctuations, higher home prices,  and limited supply.

While there’s still healthy competition for homes, it’s important in the current environment for real estate agents to communicate market changes to their sellers in real time! Here are four tips for agents to help manage seller expectations in today’s market.

Communicate current market conditions

In a dynamic market, it’s imperative that real estate agents have open and ongoing communication with their sellers about current market conditions. Real estate agents must communicate timely feedback from buyers and the marketplace to their clients, and sellers must be willing to act and react quickly to market information. This is a not a market for sellers to sit back and wait or try to test the market.

Convey buyer traffic pacing

Agents should advise sellers about the pacing of buyer showings and inquiries to set expectations. Normally, the buyers who see a home within the first one-to-six weeks of it being listed are the hottest prospects. However, some sellers believe that a high volume of buyer showings right out of the gate indicates that there will be an endless line of interested buyers.

In fact, the buyers who arrive within the first few weeks are normally the readiest to purchase and may have recently lost out on another property. The buyers who view a home after six weeks of it being listed are usually new to their home search and less likely to act quickly. Agents should convey to sellers that time is of the essence.

Put your best foot forward day one

As the market shifts and multiple offers are subsiding, agents must ensure their sellers understand the importance of making a good first impression. Before a house is listed on the market, sellers should add a fresh coat of paint to the exterior or interior as needed, replace old furniture, have the home staged, declutter, clean out closets, organize, and get the home ready for showings. The first buyer showing may be the actual buyer, so the home must look its best. In today’s market, each showing is important both from a prospective buyer standpoint or at the very least, to garner valuable feedback.

Provide clear-eyed advice

In a changing real estate market, real estate professionals must tap into their experience to provide clear-eyed advice to sellers. While it may be easier to simply sugar coat the truth, agents must guide clients with facts and market reactions. I suggest being more like a doctor with the best bedside manner possible to provide the unvarnished truth for the benefit of your seller!

Stan Ponte is a Senior Global Real Estate Advisor and Associate Broker with Sotheby’s International Realty – East Side Manhattan Brokerage.

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