AgentIndustry VoicesOpinion

Listing agents: Don’t ghost your sellers

First order of business: Don't list a home in the MLS, then take off on a two-week vacation with no alternative contacts.

In this seemingly never-ending inventory crisis, it’s tough on both sides of the transaction, whether you’re working to market property and manage the inevitable complicated journey to the contract, or you’re representing homebuyers in the quest to secure a deal It’s like the Hunger Games out there, and it can definitely seem like the odds are hardly ever in your favor. 

Here are a few techniques and tips to keep in mind as you go to battle. Just remember, you might be on the opposite side of the playing field next weekend, so keep it professional, play a clean game and most importantly, put your clients first, every time. 

When you’re the listing agent:

Please don’t list and ghost. No matter how much prep, effort and marketing you’ve put into your listing, it’s likely to sell quickly and for over-list price in this seller’s market, which is nothing to brag about. 

Looking to actually showcase your value as a real estate professional in this case? Show up. Be available. Answer your phone. 

Earn your commission. You’ve promised your clients that hiring you, a professional and experienced real estate professional, is worth every penny of difference – you’ll manage showings, showcase the property online to make sure it has the greatest possible reach, arrange for open houses to get as many buyers through as you can, and you’ll work, per your ethics training, to cooperate with other Realtors in order to protect their home’s value and potential. 

Answer phone calls, texts and emails in a timely manner. If you can’t manage or commit to this, then hire someone to help you, even if it’s just for this one listing. Keep that person looped in on the progress of the showing and offer period so that they can update interested buyers and their agents with up-to-date information, as dictated by your client. 

In the Broker Remarks, add something like:

“In order to reduce stress, provide the most timely, updated communication and properly serve our mutual clients, please contact Amazing Andrew Assistant with questions that cannot be addressed by downloading the provided documents. S/he can be reached via text or voice at 303-333-3003.” 

At the very least, keep your outgoing voicemail message updated with pertinent info:

“Hi! You’ve reached Rhonda Realtor with ABC Realty…if you’re calling about 123 Main Street, please note that we have received several amazing and thoughtfully written offers and the sellers will be reviewing in order of receipt at 10am on Sunday morning. If you have clients that are thinking about offering, keep in mind that the offers we have already received are well above list price, have waived inspection and appraisal, and are willing to honor the Seller’s request of a free 60-day rent-back.”

And, even if you’ve included an offer deadline, please don’t turn the listing active and then hop on a flight or take a weekend in the backcountry with no wifi. 

Organize offers into an easy-to-read spreadsheet. If you’re forwarding offers to your sellers in the format in which they are received, you’re doing it wrong. You’re also risking that your clients will accidentally sign the wrong offer unintentionally, which can really suck for all involved.

Before the house hits the market, explain to your clients that you’ll be entering offer terms into a shared spreadsheet which lays out the pertinent info and terms, so that they can easily determine which offer will best suit their situation.

These fields might include: offer date/time, acceptance date/time, sales price, contingencies/dates (inspection, appraisal, due diligence, title, closing), post-occupancy dates/terms, etc.

Please note: By not including buyer name/s, loan type, and any love letter contents, your seller will be less encumbered by unintentional bias, and able to review the offer terms in an inclusive manner. 

Finally, take the time to personally break the news to buyer agents whose clients didn’t win. By providing valuable feedback regarding why their offer wasn’t chosen, you’ll likely help them be more competitive on the next one…and you never know, maybe their buyers will want to go into a back-up position on your listing. 

No one should find out that their offer wasn’t accepted by seeing the status update to pending on the MLS. So not cool.

In a world filled with newbie agents, iBuyers, discount brokers, commission objections and most importantly, not enough homes to meet demand, it’s up to each of us to maintain a standard of excellence. It all rolls down from the listing agent, every time. Don’t apologize, just be better. 

Stacie Staub is founder and CEO of West + Main Homes in Colorado.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of RealTrends’ editorial department and its owners.

To contact the author of this story:
Stacie Staub at stacie@westandmainhomes.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Tracey Velt at tvelt@realtrends.com

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