When we sell our house, we want to celebrate. We expect to. And so we should! It’s an exciting time! But what happens when our house sells and, instead of excitement, we have fear or anger or sadness?
It happens more than you think.
Selling a home is not always Plan A. Desperation or necessity often motivate a sale. Divorce, death, financial crisis, illness, there are so many reasons – and most of them rate high on the Stress Scale. (Unfortunately this makes sellers vulnerable to the unscrupulous, be they vendors or agents.) This is life-change time, and often not in a happy way. It’s difficult to close a chapter and begin a new one when crisis is turning the page.
It can be downright terrifying!
If you’re a home seller wondering why you’re not excited your house just sold, don’t worry. You’re normal.
It’s okay to feel stress and to grieve the past – the loss of what was.
If you’re a Real Estate agent wondering why your client is acting weird – maybe even lashing out – relax. It’s probably not you (unless you’re one of those unscrupulous ones…) Grief unfolds in a hundred unpredictable ways. Don’t take it personal. Acknowledge their situation or feelings, express concern and listen with compassion.
How did someone encourage you most when you were highly stressed or grieving?
I’d love to hear them in the comments!
I have been a single mom.
I know how hard it is to be solely responsible for vehicle repairs and meals, home maintenance and homework, parenting and bread-winning. I know the awkwardness of Fathers’ Day celebrations all around a fatherless home. Holidays get lonely when custody is shared, and one always feels out-of-place among all the other two-parent families at the park. I get it.
That’s why what I saw blew me away.
I had helped her through the selling process, and loved chatting with her. New to the single-parent life, she was embarking on the journey in her new home. My heart hurt, knowing the struggles that lie ahead of her. With the house sold, it was time to move. Have you ever moved alone? Or hired a moving company on a single income? Everything is difficult and complicated when we’re alone. The difficult chapter was beginning.
That’s when her friends noticed how difficult this was for her, and did something about it. They pooled resources to hire movers to help her. I can’t imagine anything more loving than to acknowledge need – to understand and recognize it – and then to serve in that. Who does that? (And for the often ignored single mom?)
I was completely blessed to be a part of that process – to help her how I could out of my own experience, and also to watch others love and serve each other. Seeing people’s happiness is my own happiness. Her friends didn’t just help her when they saw a need and worked to meet it. I was moved and encouraged. And now you’re reading about it and maybe you’re encouraged too.
We never know how far our invisible acts of kindness reach, but we know one thing- it’s farther than we think.
I adored watching my client fall in love with a house. She gazed lovingly at the polished hardwood like it was a newborn. She caressed glass drawer pulls. Every room she entered evoked some kind of sigh. I didn’t have to ‘sell her’ on the house. She was in love and couldn’t wait to live there.
Ten showings before that, if I would have tried to reason her into buying another house, she might have gone along with it. There were other houses that met her requirements. They were okay. But they didn’t have that feel – they weren’t for her. So we kept looking, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I am not a salesperson – not the way one thinks of a salesperson anyway, ready to flash a smile and wink someone into buying my wares. That kind of selling is about me; my smile, my sale, my powers of persuasion.
No. Life is a people thing- ‘other people’. The greats say it all the time because it’s true. Besides, if I would focus on the sale even at the cost of pressuring my client, we would both miss the joy of that discovery. She would miss the joy of falling in love with that perfect-for-her house, and I would miss the joy of watching.
“Happiness doesn’t result from what we get,
but from what we give.”
*caution: sarcastic humour ahead*
Your client needs to buy from you. Or sell through you. The important thing to remember is that it’s about you, the salesperson. Unfortunately, clients are a necessary and often troublesome cog in the money machine that is sales. But take heart – there are ways to ensure the cog operates at maximum efficiency.
5 Ways To Force A Sale
Guilt is a powerful motivator and must be capitalized on. Tell your client just how much time and money you already spent on this deal. Tell them sales have been slow and you need the money. Or tell them how you would like to visit your dying grandmother, but this appointment is more important. Pour it on thick. They owe you.
Applying pressure is about keeping the client in a reactive state. Control is power. Be available for only short appointments, most of which must happen immediately or not at all. Don’t just say you have another offer, wave a folder in their face which you swear contains another offer. Point to the couple who just left. Create a sense of urgency – and quickly!
Manipulation is more of an art than a science. It requires that you know your client well but care nothing for them. They have told you so much – maybe even confided in you. Use that. Twist their hearts desires against them until you get that sale. Offend their pride so the only option for them to save face is to buy from you. Puff up their pride so the only option for them to maintain face is to buy. See what I did there?
Feelings can quickly become the enemy of an easy sale. The illogical desires for an ‘ideal’ yard, or ‘perfect’ home can throw a wrench into any seller’s process. Get back your control over the situation by returning to logic. No on can disagree with what makes sense. As a bonus, anything can seem logical if you say it right. Mind over matter as they say.
Sell the future. Whole industries are built on this principle. National debt climbs ever higher because it’s what people want. They want the future. So sell it to them. Promise them that once they see their children playing in the yard, this will feel like home. Once they get furniture moved in, it won’t feel so small. They’ll see. Help them understand that you can see them in this house and that’s what matters.
There are countless ways and markets in which to apply these concepts.
How about you – have you pressured anyone today?
Don’t you think you should?
I recently had the pleasure of showing a house to a wonderfully happy couple. As we toured the house, she was clearly imagining herself already living there. He, on the other hand, was not quite ready to picture himself in this house.
I’ve got to pause here to tell you how beautiful this couple was. And I mean more than how they looked. I’m talking about the way their hands secretly brushed against each other as they sauntered down the hall. I love the way their mouths hinted a smirk when their eyes met. They had been married for years, and were madly in love. I adore that.
Okay, back to our tour of the house. We finally wandered our way to the master suite which featured a gorgeous ensuite. While she was inspecting the jet tub, he stood in the middle of the bedroom checking out the baseboards. As soon as he turned his eyes toward the ensuite – where his wife was – his mouth dropped open. All he could say was, “whoa”. She must have struck quite a pose. I guess he was suddenly able to imagine himself in the house, because they made an offer that day.
I love how comfortable with themselves and each other they were. I don’t know what exactly happened there, but I’m glad they were able to find the perfect house for them. One they could see themselves in for years to come.
Enjoy the tub you two!
“Please keep your eyes open for a property for us; we’re looking!” Have you ever made this request to a Real Estate Agent? If you have, then you have probably also noticed that the response is minimal.
You might get added to an automatic email list suited to your criteria, but agents won’t go out and hunt hard for your ideal property. Ever wondered why agents don’t jump at the bit to meet such a request? The reason might surprise you; it’s commitment.
For an agent to ‘keep a look-out’ requires a commitment on their part; they must invest their time and effort, with no promise of benefit for them.
The requester receives the benefit of the hard work and knowledge, and then often happily skips away to sign up with another agent instead.
Would YOU want to work for free so someone else could get paid? Few do.
What if you could have a Real Estate at your beck and call, dedicated to relentlessly search until that perfect-for-you property is found?
That’s exactly what a Buyer Agent does. You can request an agent to work on your behalf only, so their interests do not conflict with yours. It’s easy too.
Find an ABR Accredited Buyer Representative. These are agents specially trained, qualified and experienced to understand and serve buyers. These are agents who have gone the extra mile to raise the bar for themselves, and give their buyers the highest quality service possible. There are only two Accredited Buyer Representatives in the Steinbach area. I am one, and Al Peterson (with Royal LePage Riverbend Realty) is the other.
I’m passionate about people – whether my clients or not – being treated with dignity and integrity. That’s why I can’t stop telling you about how this all works, and what you can do about it.
If you find this helpful, please share on Facebook or follow this blog. I’ll keep ‘em coming. I can’t stop.
I want you to be served, not sold, by your agent.