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How to Create a Seller Safety Plan


An informed strategy based on RDM will help you cover all your bases and face uncertainty powered by information and adaptation. There is no uncertainty when you include ThriveDx in your plans for the future. Check out our classes so you can upskill and give yourself and your community a 

A lot of real estate press focuses on your safety, but what about your sellers?  You and your sellers need to stay safe during showings – no exceptions. By sharing your concerns for seller safety, you can boost your reputation and the industry’s. 

Here we go!



Medications

A medicine cabinet can be a jackpot for the wrong type of open house guest. Prescription medication can be easily stolen, as bathrooms are not generally locked during a showing. 

Ask your sellers to put medications in their handbags to keep everyone safe. 

Knife blocks 

A kitchen is the heart of a home. A knife block may seem innocent enough to leave out. However, a potential thief may incorporate the knife block into their robbery plans. There isn’t really anything you can do as a real estate agent if a guest with a knife wants to leave with a priceless painting or a new television.

Photos 

Family photos may be displayed if the sellers are still living on the property. It can be cute to see the whole family in matching outfits; it can also be dangerous. 

Remove all photos to protect the identity and privacy of children currently living in the home. 

Private tours

Getting a glimpse into someone’s home is something criminals love to do. They can take the open invitation a For Sale sign can give to case the property. Advise sellers to refuse anyone who asks for an on-the-spot private tour. You never know. 

Craigslist scams

A popular scam is to post a home for sale on Craigslist with someone posing as the owner. The pictures can be uploaded or posted from an open house. Victims are asked to wire a downpayment or rental payment to the scammer.

Watch out for guests taking excessive photos of the property. They may be trying to pretend they live there. 

Locks

Every lock should be double checked following a showing or an open house. Don’t forget window locks! A crook can discreetly unlock a window and come back later.



Protect sellers

One of the first things you can do to protect your sellers, and yourself, for that matter, is talk to every seller about who they are allowing into their homes.

So much goes into making a showing and open house safe. You have so much to do as a real estate agent. Focus on your connections, not your marketing by grabbing your book of templates to repeat your success every time you write. 

How Buyers Can Work with the Listing Agent

Sellers have a team of people working on their side. This includes the listing agent, who is responsible for getting the home ready to sell and marketing it to potential buyers. 

If you want to make an effective offer on a property, it’s important to contact the listing agent and get as much information as possible about the seller’s needs and wishes. 

What does a listing agent do?

The listing agent is responsible for preparing the home for sale, which includes tasks such as staging, taking photos and writing the property description. They will also create marketing materials and list the property on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

In addition, the listing agent will hold open houses and showings, and they will negotiate with buyers who are interested in making an offer on the property.

As you can see, the listing agent plays a vital role in selling a home. Therefore, it’s important to establish a good working relationship with them from the start. Here are some tips on how to do that:

Be upfront about your needs and wants with the buyer agent

One of the best ways to build rapport with the listing agent is to be upfront about your needs and wants. The buyer’s agent  can get a better understanding of what you’re looking for in a property and they can narrow down their search to homes that fit your criteria.

In addition, the listing agent will be able to provide you with more detailed information about their property, which will save you time in the long run.

Ask questions

Another great way to build a relationship with the listing agent is to ask lots of questions. This shows that you’re interested in the property and that you want to make sure all of your bases are covered before making an offer.

Asking questions also shows that you’re willing to listen to the listing agent’s advice, which is something they will appreciate.

Be responsive

Another important thing to remember when working with the listing agent is to be responsive. This means returning their calls and emails in a timely manner and being available to view the property when viewings are scheduled. If you’re not responsive, it will give the impression that you’re not interested in the property or that you’re not serious about making an offer.

What does the listing agent know?

The listing agent has a lot of information about the property that you’re interested in, so it’s important to take advantage of that. They know things such as how long the property has been on the market, what the seller’s motivation is for selling, and what kind of offers have been made on the property in the past.

In addition, the listing agent will be able to tell you if there are any issues with the property that you should be aware of before making an offer.

Keep in mind that the listing agent is working for the seller, so they may not share all of this information with you unless you ask. That’s why it’s important to ask lots of questions and get as much information as possible before making an offer on a property.

What should you expect from the listing agent?

As we mentioned above, the listing agent is working for the seller, so their ultimate goal is to sell the property for the highest price possible. However, they also have a duty to disclose all material facts about the property to potential buyers.

You can expect them to be honest with you about things like any issues with the property or what kind of offers have been made in the past. They should return your calls and emails in a timely manner and they should be available to answer questions.

How to make an effective offer on a property 

In order to make an effective offer on a property, you need to have a good understanding of the seller’s needs and wants. The best way to get this information is to talk directly with the listing agent. They will be able to tell you things like how long the property has been on the market, what the seller’s motivation is for selling, and what offers have been made in the past.

It’s important to have a clear understanding of your own needs and wants before making an offer. This way, you can be sure that you’re only making offers on properties that fit your criteria.

How to work with a listing agent during the homebuying process

If you’re working with a listing agent, it’s important to establish a good working relationship with them from the start. This means being responsive to their calls and emails, asking lots of questions, and being available to view properties when viewings are scheduled.

You should take advantage of the fact that the listing agent has a lot of information about the property that you’re interested in. They know things like how long the property has been on the market, what the seller’s motivation is for selling, and what kind of offers have been made in the past.

Asking questions and getting as much information as possible will help you make an informed decision about whether or not to make an offer.

When working as a real estate agent, you need as many people on your side as possible to make it to the top. Give yourself a competitive advantage with marketing templates that will save you time and money.

Don’t React to the Market

The only constant in life is change. Market conditions can change overnight. This can cause veteran and rookie agents to panic. That’s why top agent Stan Ponte has some advice for agents who want to succeed: Don’t react to the market. In a recent interview with Inman, Ponte said that agents should instead put quickly reacting to the market on their chopping block.

What are real estate market conditions?

In the real estate industry, market conditions refer to the state of the housing market. This includes factors like home prices, mortgage rates, supply and demand, and economic indicators. 

All of these factors can impact whether or not it’s a good time to buy or sell a home. When market conditions are favorable, it’s typically a good time to buy or sell a property. However, when market conditions are unfavorable, it may be best to wait until they improve before making a move.

What is a real estate marketing strategy?

A real estate marketing strategy is a plan for how an agent will market their listings and themselves to potential clients. This can include everything from online advertising to yard signs and open houses. 

An effective marketing strategy will be tailored to the specific needs of the agent’s business. Ponte said that agents need to be proactive, not reactive, in order to stay ahead of the curve.

So, what does it mean to “pivot” your real estate business?

When you pivot your real estate business, you make a strategic change in direction in order to adapt to new conditions or capitalize on new opportunities. For example, if you’re an agent who typically works with buyers, you may pivot to focus on selling if the market conditions are favorable for sellers. Or, if you normally work in one area but see an opportunity to expand into a new market, you may pivot your business in that direction. 

Pivoting can be a great way to stay ahead of the competition and position yourself for success in any real estate market. 

Be in charge of your marketing strategy by downloading my marketing templates to make communicating with your clients quick and easy. <insert link> 

Subject Line: How Buyers Can Work with the Listing Agent 

Preview: Kumbaya, anyone? 

Sellers have a team of people working on their side. This includes the listing agent, who is responsible for getting the home ready to sell and marketing it to potential buyers. 

If you want to make an effective offer on a property, it’s important to contact the listing agent and get as much information as possible about the seller’s needs and wishes. 

What does a listing agent do?

The listing agent is responsible for preparing the home for sale, which includes tasks such as staging, taking photos and writing the property description. They will also create marketing materials and list the property on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

In addition, the listing agent will hold open houses and showings, and they will negotiate with buyers who are interested in making an offer on the property.

As you can see, the listing agent plays a vital role in selling a home. Therefore, it’s important to establish a good working relationship with them from the start. Here are some tips on how to do that:

Be upfront about your needs and wants with the buyer agent

One of the best ways to build rapport with the listing agent is to be upfront about your needs and wants. The buyer’s agent  can get a better understanding of what you’re looking for in a property and they can narrow down their search to homes that fit your criteria.

In addition, the listing agent will be able to provide you with more detailed information about their property, which will save you time in the long run.

Ask questions

Another great way to build a relationship with the listing agent is to ask lots of questions. This shows that you’re interested in the property and that you want to make sure all of your bases are covered before making an offer.

Asking questions also shows that you’re willing to listen to the listing agent’s advice, which is something they will appreciate.

Be responsive

Another important thing to remember when working with the listing agent is to be responsive. This means returning their calls and emails in a timely manner and being available to view the property when viewings are scheduled. If you’re not responsive, it will give the impression that you’re not interested in the property or that you’re not serious about making an offer.

What does the listing agent know?

The listing agent has a lot of information about the property that you’re interested in, so it’s important to take advantage of that. They know things such as how long the property has been on the market, what the seller’s motivation is for selling, and what kind of offers have been made on the property in the past.

In addition, the listing agent will be able to tell you if there are any issues with the property that you should be aware of before making an offer.

Keep in mind that the listing agent is working for the seller, so they may not share all of this information with you unless you ask. That’s why it’s important to ask lots of questions and get as much information as possible before making an offer on a property.

What should you expect from the listing agent?

As we mentioned above, the listing agent is working for the seller, so their ultimate goal is to sell the property for the highest price possible. However, they also have a duty to disclose all material facts about the property to potential buyers.

You can expect them to be honest with you about things like any issues with the property or what kind of offers have been made in the past. They should return your calls and emails in a timely manner and they should be available to answer questions.

How to make an effective offer on a property 

In order to make an effective offer on a property, you need to have a good understanding of the seller’s needs and wants. The best way to get this information is to talk directly with the listing agent. They will be able to tell you things like how long the property has been on the market, what the seller’s motivation is for selling, and what offers have been made in the past.

It’s important to have a clear understanding of your own needs and wants before making an offer. This way, you can be sure that you’re only making offers on properties that fit your criteria.

How to work with a listing agent during the homebuying process

If you’re working with a listing agent, it’s important to establish a good working relationship with them from the start. This means being responsive to their calls and emails, asking lots of questions, and being available to view properties when viewings are scheduled.

You should take advantage of the fact that the listing agent has a lot of information about the property that you’re interested in. They know things like how long the property has been on the market, what the seller’s motivation is for selling, and what kind of offers have been made in the past.

Asking questions and getting as much information as possible will help you make an informed decision about whether or not to make an offer.

When working as a real estate agent, you need as many people on your side as possible to make it to the top. Give yourself a competitive advantage with marketing templates that will save you time and money.

How to Price a Home in 2022

No matter how amazing a real estate agent is, no one can sell in a vacuum. The market always leads the way when trying to get the best price for your clients.

In an escalating market, it is OK to price at or higher than previously closed comparable sales. In a tipping or headed-down market, sellers want to price ahead of the market by setting the price under previous sales.

Why the price of a home matters

As one of the most important aspects of the sale, the price of a home is the starting point that births all other negotiations. If you price your home too high, you may miss out on potential buyers who are not willing to negotiate. 

If you price your home too low, you may end up leaving money on the table. Listing your home correctly will help you to get the best possible price for your home.

Examples of existing comps for homes in your area

If you are not sure what comparable homes have sold for in your area, you can look up recent sales online or ask a real estate agent for help. 

When using comps to price your home, it is important to remember that the most recent sales are the most relevant. You should also pay attention to the type of home that is being sold. For example, if you are selling a townhouse, you will want to compare it to other townhouses that have recently sold in the area.

If you are selling a condo, you will want to compare it against other condos that have recently sold. By using comparable sales, you can ensure that you are pricing your home correctly.

Reasons to price properties below market value

There are a few reasons why you may want to price your home below market value. One reason is if you need to sell quickly and are willing to accept a lower offer. Another reason is if the market in your area is softening and you want to attract buyers by pricing your home below recent comparable sales.

Whatever the reason, it is important to remember that you will likely have to negotiate with buyers who submit offers below your asking price.

Pricing your home above market value is not recommended unless you are in a very strong seller’s market. In most cases, it is best to price your home at or below recent comparable sales. 

Overpricing a property will likely result in few buyers being interested in making an offer and could eventually lead to the home selling for less than it is worth.

How to price a home in an escalating or tipping market

In an escalating market, price the home at or higher than previously closed comparable sales. This will ensure that you get the best possible price for your property.

In a market that is tipping or headed down, sellers want to price ahead of the market by setting the price under previous sales. This will help attract buyers and boost the chances of getting the best possible price for the home.

Pricing a home can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. By following the market and using comparable sales, you can list your home correctly and get the best possible price.

Get Buyers to Sign Off on Your Documentation with These Tips

When you’re selling a property, it’s important to make sure that all of your bases are covered. One way to do this is by providing a full complement of documentation to all prospective buyers. This approach takes a lot of work upfront, but it reduces the workload once under contract and removes the potential for delays.

By asking that all prospective buyers go through the package and sign a statement verifying that they have received and read the package in its entirety, you can be sure that everyone has what they need to make an informed decision.

Which documents do prospective buyers need?

The answer may vary depending on the type of property you’re selling, but in general, your packet should include:

-A copy of the sales contract

-A disclosure form

-A proforma or operating statement (if applicable)

-An estoppel certificate (if applicable)

-A floor plan (if applicable)

If you’re selling a condo or co-op, you’ll also need to provide:

-A copy of the bylaws

-A copy of the house rules

-A financial statement from the board

In addition, it’s always a good idea to include a cover letter that outlines what’s included in the package and why it’s important.

Sources of potential delays in real estate transactions and how to avoid them

One of the most common delays in real estate transactions is the buyer’s loan. If you’re selling a property, it’s important to be aware of the potential for delays and take steps to avoid them. 

Additional Tips

-Include a cover letter with the documents which outlines what is included in the package and why it is important

-When selling a property, work with a lender who can provide pre-approval for your buyers in order to avoid delays in the loan process

-Have a professional inspector provide a detailed report of any issues with the property so that buyers are aware of potential problems before proceeding with the purchase

-Be sure to include all required documents so that buyers have everything they need to make an informed decision about the purchase

Other ways real estate agents can save time

-Use real estate transaction management software to keep track of documents and deadlines

-Get organized with a system for storing and labeling files

-Create templates for frequently used forms and documents

-Set up automatic reminders for important tasks
As mentioned above, templates can save you time and money. Click here to get marketing templates that give you a competitive advantage. 

Data-Driven Tips to Help Your Prospects Make Informed Decisions

As a salesperson, you know that prospects need accurate and timely data in order to make informed decisions. In some cases, sharing just one or two bits of information can be the difference between a closed deal and lost business.

What is relevant marketing data?

In order to provide data-driven tips to your prospects, you first need to understand what relevant marketing data is. Marketing data is any information that pertains to the marketing of a product or service. This can include information about the target market, the competition, pricing, and more. In order to be effective, your data must be accurate and up-to-date. The last thing you want is to share outdated information with a prospect and lose their trust.

How can data-driven tips help your prospects?

Data-driven tips can be extremely helpful for prospects who are on the fence about making a purchase. By sharing relevant and timely information, you can help them understand how a particular product or service can benefit them. In some cases, you may even be able to provide data that the prospect was not aware of. 

This can be a powerful way to win their business.

Bonus tip: Use third-party sourcing

When sharing data with your prospects, it is always best to use third-party sources. This way, they will know that the information is coming from a reputable source and is not just another sales pitch. There are many ways to find third-party sources of information.

How does this data impact your prospect’s decision?

Now that you know what relevant marketing data is, it’s important to understand how it can impact your prospect’s decision. In some cases, sharing just one piece of information can be the difference between a closed deal and lost business. Knowing how to use data-driven tips can help you win your prospect’s business.

Bonus Tip: Use timely information

When sharing data with your prospects, it is important to use timely information. This way, they will know that the information is relevant and up-to-date. The last thing you want is to share outdated information with a prospect and lose their trust.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your prospects have all the information they need to make an informed decision. Remember, data is critical in the sales process, so make sure you are using it to your advantage.

Prospects need accurate and timely data in order to make informed decisions. In some cases, sharing just one or two bits of information can be the difference between a closed deal and lost business.

In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of data-driven tips and how to use them to help your prospects make informed decisions. We will also provide a few bonus tips on how to ensure that your data is seen as credible and trustworthy.

What is relevant marketing data?

In order to provide data-driven tips to your prospects, you first need to understand what relevant marketing data is. Marketing data is any information that pertains to the marketing of a product or service. This can include information about the target market, the competition, pricing, and more. 

What information prospects need to know

Sharing relevant and timely information is critical for prospects who are on the fence about making a purchase. You can help them understand how a particular product or service can benefit them by sharing data about:

-The target market

-The competition

-Pricing

-How the product or service can impact their situation positively

Prospects need accurate and up-to-date data in order to make informed decisions. In some cases, sharing just one piece of information can make the difference between a closed deal and lost business. Knowing how to use data-driven tips can help you win your prospect’s business. Bonus tip: Use third-party sourcing when sharing data with your prospects so they know the information is coming from a credible source.

How to use third-party sourcing

When sharing data with your prospects, it is always best to use third-party sources. This way, they will know that the information is coming from a reputable source and is not just another sales pitch. There are many ways to find third-party sources of information. 

You can search for them online, in magazines, or even at trade shows. If you’re having trouble finding good sources, ask your colleagues or contacts in the industry for recommendations.

The bottom line

Data-driven tips can be extremely helpful for prospects who are on the fence about making a purchase. By sharing relevant and timely information, you can help them understand how a particular product or service can benefit them. 

How to Study the U.S. Real Estate Market to Determine Local Trends

This article originally appeared in the BHGRE blog on August 2018.

Clients expect real estate agents to be intimately familiar with the neighborhoods where they work. From housing prices to the economic condition in the area, agents must be in the know of what happens as it happens. Studying the U.S. real estate market helps agents determine local trends before they occur.

Be aware of the big picture

Many factors affect property value and pricing. National economics, the political climate, social situations and environmental conditions influence the value of real estate. Savvy agents follow the news and its impact on the price of properties. A high rate of unemployment may lower home prices, and reduce the number of available buyers. More people might be in the market to rent a home rather than purchase one. Keeping up with current events around the country helps agents determine the needs of local clients.

Know what shapes the real estate market

Several factors shape the real estate market. Demand is a driving force that determines the price of homes as well as how quickly they sell. Availability is another factor as people want certain types of property. If they are not available, a sale won’t happen. Houses must also be ready to sell. If the home is unusable or condemned, repairs are necessary before the deal will close. Finally, a property must be legally ready to transfer with a seller who has a deed and clean title in-hand. Agents need to assess these conditions to determine how many homes are legitimately available in their neighborhood.

Know core economic principles

Specific core economic principles define the real estate market. One of the leading ones is supply and demand. A house in a coveted neighborhood with few available homes on the market will sell for top dollar. Houses in an area with more available properties than qualified buyers will sell for a lower price. External conditions in a neighborhood also play a role. Homes in areas with political, social, economic and environmental issues will sell for less than houses in more stable locations. Consider a house in a high-crime area will sell for less than one in a safer spot, even if they have the same essential features.

Local data matters

Once an agent recognizes the state of the U.S. real estate market, it’s time to collect data on the local market. Sales and listing data reveal the number of homes sold, the sale prices and whether the houses appreciated or depreciated in the past year. Review the features of recently sold properties to determine what local buyers want. Study the current population data, including median income, unemployment rates and other factors that impact real estate sales. Find out more about financing data, such as the types of mortgages buyers take out, how much money they put down on the properties and the number of specialized loans. For example, a large number of VA mortgages reveal the area is popular for veterans.

Research resources

A well-educated agent knows where to conduct research. A variety of resources provide national and local real estate market data. On a national level, check out the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Federal Reserve System, Census Bureau, Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and the National Association of REALTORS®. Local resources include builder associations, the chamber of commerce, tax appraiser’s office, municipal planning commissions, county offices, title companies, banks, mortgage lenders and credit unions.

Benefits of knowing the market

Real estate agents who know the market reap the benefits of this knowledge. Awareness of the market conditions helps agents determine what is fueling the market or holding it back. Deciding whether it is a buyer’s or seller’s market makes it easier for agents to set their goals and guide the expectations of their clients. Agents who understand the market provide the best possible advice to their clients. From the correct listing price of a property to getting a great deal for buyers, agents in-the-know offer a higher level of service. Plus, well-informed agents have a myriad of promotional opportunities. Blogging, speaking at local community events and posting on social media are all ways for agents to gain trust, respect and clients.

Trends may last for a year or two or a decade. Most of them begin on a national level then trickle down to the local markets. Agents gain valuable insights by studying the U.S. real estate market. Knowing national statistics today can help agents determine the future of real estate in neighborhoods across the country. Successful real estate agents gauge these trends and leverage them to provide outstanding service to their clients.

10 Tips to Create Powerful Descriptions of Real Estate for Sale


This article originally appeared in the BHGRE blog on August 2018.

Agents have a brief opportunity to attract buyers to their listings. The right words attract targeted traffic and encourage buyers to take immediate action. Use one or more of these savvy tips to create powerful descriptions of real estate for sale.

Short and simple

Buyers seek instant gratification. Agents have a few seconds to grab their attention. Keep real estate descriptions short and simple. Extended descriptions are too wordy, and the reader may lose interest. Get to the point and provide a thorough overview of the property. Be succinct by using 100 to 200 words for listings. Anything less is not enough to encourage someone to act on the property. 

Showcase the most alluring amenities

It takes just a few words to describe the number of bathrooms and bedrooms. The rest of the description should focus on the most alluring amenities of the real estate for sale. Showcase desirable features such as hardwood flooring, energy-efficient appliances, a fireplace, hot tub or swimming pool. People who are searching for homes use these terms often.

Speak to the target audience

Take the guesswork out of the description for potential buyers. Rather than making them read between the lines, speak directly to the target audience. Define who they are and why the house is perfect for their needs. Appeal to families with a statement such as “located near award-winning public schools.” Maximize the potential of a small house by saying, “ideal for first-time home buyers or retirees.”

Optimize real estate descriptions

Buyers need to find an agent’s real estate descriptions. Optimize all listings by including the type of property, location and critical terms about the house. People usually look for dwellings by area and the number of bedrooms. Make sure these terms are in all real estate descriptions. The content should attract search engines and potential buyers.

Proofread all descriptions

Spelling and grammar errors make a real estate agent look careless. Earn trust by proofreading all real estate descriptions before they are posted and published. Look for grammar and spelling errors. A program such as Grammarly.com is helpful. Another option is to ask an associate to reviews the description to see if it looks correct and reads smoothly.

Use paragraphs

A large block of text is difficult for the reader to digest. Break down the major subject points by creating paragraphs. Each paragraph should have just one or two sentences. Short paragraphs make the description easy to read and remember. Use a paragraph to define basic features, another to highlight amenities and a third to reach out to specific target markets.

Bring buyers Into the home

While descriptions must be short, they should also be complete. The goal is to use effective words to bring buyers into the home. Paint a picture with each sentence. Use words that give buyers a visual representation of the property. Instead of stating the house has hardwood floors, be specific. Describe them as oak or bamboo floors.

Avoid unnecessary repetition

Many real estate descriptions include default characteristics, such as the price of the home and the square footage. Avoid repeating these features in the written description. Other than the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the description should be original. Use the limited number of words to focus on features that are not in the default overview of the house.

Special incentives

Some properties have special incentives that make the descriptions more compelling. Always list these advantages in all descriptive content. Examples include a seller who is willing to pay for all or part of the closing costs. Another is a home that offers a tax advantage, such as grandfathered tax rates. 

Include a compelling call to action

People need a reason to contact an agent about a house immediately. Conclude all real estate descriptions with a compelling call to action. Stating the house will not be on the market long at the listed price gives people a reason to call the agent right away. The call to action can be as straightforward as “call now for more details.”

Everyone recognizes the power of words. They can be used to describe, encourage, inform and inspire. A top-notch real estate agent is also a wordsmith.

Hire me to write your property descriptions. I can craft descriptions of real estate for sale to help sell houses faster by connecting buyers to their dream homes.

How to Turn a For Sale By Owner Home Into a Listing

This article originally appeared on the BHGRE Clean Slate blog September 2018.


An agent who sees a “for sale by owner” sign should view it as an opportunity rather than an obstacle. The majority of people who try to sell their home independently are looking to save money. Others might plan to sell the house to a family member or neighbor. A few might have tried to sell a home unsuccessfully with an agent. Regardless of the reason, learn how to turn a for sale by owner (FSBO) home into a listing.

Be helpful

Turning a FSBO into a listing is usually not a “one and done” situation. These homeowners need finesse. Instead of selling a service to them, offer to help. Marketing a house is stressful, time-consuming and complicated. Provide useful advice without any expectations. For example, explain how to describe the home to appeal to potential buyers. Be available to answer any questions they have. Follow-up in a week or two to show concern. Time is an ally. The longer the home remains unsold, the more likely the owners will list with a helpful, no-pressure agent.

Honesty is the best policy

Many agents approach owners with a typical statement: they claim they have a buyer for the home. While most agents have a pool of potential buyers, property owners rely on this statement. If the buyer does not select the house for any reason, the owners will not want to list with the agent. Instead, be honest and forthright. Agents should let owners know they work with a variety of qualified buyers. Tell them it is essential to see the home to determine which buyers would be most interested in it. Stand out from the competition by being transparent and realistic about the possibilities.

Focus on qualified buyers

There is an excellent reason why the majority of homeowners eventually list their properties with a real estate agent. A for sale by owner home attracts a myriad of questionable buyers. Some are renters who want the owner to hold the mortgages. Others are investors looking to buy the home for a fraction of its value. There are also people who want to buy a house, but might not be financially able to do so. Agents present the home to qualified buyers. Explain what this means to the homeowners. A qualified buyer is pre-approved for a mortgage and screened to ensure they can purchase the home. As a result, the homeowner can sell the property faster and for more money.

Negotiating power

Buyers are often reluctant to negotiate with sellers. Also, sellers tend to be inflexible about their asking price and any requested updates. A seasoned real estate agent has the skills to negotiate the deal to the satisfaction of all parties. Buyers feel reassured knowing a professional is acting as a liaison to the sale. Owners soon recognize the benefits of working with someone who has negotiating power. Instead of letting a potential deal go by, the house could sell for more than the owner expected, with conditions met to satisfy the buyers that they also got a great deal. If possible, agents should offer testimonials and case studies from other FSBO homes they listed and sold to prove their worth to the homeowners.

Provide the personal touch

Agents frequently depend on phone calls and emails to transform a for sale by owner home into a listing. Unfortunately, other agents are doing the same thing. Instead, provide a personal touch by pounding the pavement for a few hours. Visit FSBO homes to talk to the owners. If they are not receptive, resist the urge to be pushy. Just offer a business card, so they can ask for advice as needed. Slip a note in the mail in a week or two to remind the owners that help is available if they want it. Selling a home is challenging, from improving curb appeal to pricing the house accurately.

Follow up regularly

One of the top reasons why agents don’t land a FSBO home is a lack of contact. It is rare for owners to list the house with an agent right away. They still focus on the reasons they did not hire an agent initially. Over time, these reasons fade into the background when the home does not sell. Follow up regularly.  Potential clients will become familiar with your name and real estate agency. Share useful tips, such as updated company blog articles and social media posts. Keep in touch by phone, email, text or snail mail, based on the client’s preference. Ultimately, the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

Turning a for sale by owner home into a listing requires patience and perseverance. Agents need the right combination of knowledge and persistence, without being pushy and presumptuous. Achieving the ideal balance helps agents score more FSBO listings and broaden their client base.

Getting Started with Your Gallery Wall

This article originally appeared on the BHGRE blog April 2017.

Creating a gallery wall is not only a great way to stay on trend, but creates a customized home. The Better Homes and Gardens Vintage Gallery Wall is ideal for the living room, entryway, or hallway. With just a few frames and nails, blank walls will transform into a beautiful focal point. The key to pulling all the pieces together is a balance of framing, mapping, and spacing. Although gallery walls have a reputation for being difficult, we have provided a few easy steps that will prevent any mishaps or unnecessary holes in your wall.

Frame Them Up

Frames are a great way to get creative or go for a more classic look. Selections can be uniform or eclectic to set the right tone for your statement. Just make sure the frames you choose do not leave an abundance of white space, which can give off a less than designer vibe. These BHG cover prints have been formatted to fit 11-by-14-inch photo frames that include matting for 8-by-10-inch photos. White matting works, but take care not to use cream as it may not be as pleasing to the eye as white. Select black frames with edges at least 1-inch wide. Frames of this type are inexpensive and available at Target, Hobby Lobby, Michaels, Walmart, etc. The frames shown here are the Black Belmond Frame with Mat by Studio Décor® from Michaels.com.

Map It Out

Planning is essential to achieving the right look for your gallery wall. Consider the best location for your frames and make sure the gallery fits in with the surroundings. If your home has a fountain or a spectacular view, try not to compete, as a gallery wall might seem out of place there. Pick the grid formation that best fits your space from the options shown below.. Choose a horizontal or vertical orientation for all of your frames. Outer dimensions of the frames should be the same, and take care that mat openings are proportionate. Take the time to map out what works best with the other elements in your space. Use 12 prints over a sofa, or flanking a large mirror. If space is limited, either by windows or ceiling height, use only six or nine frames in your grid.

 Hang Them Up

To plan out the grid on the wall, start by making templates. Trace each frame onto craft paper and cut it out. Mark each template with a dot showing where the picture hanger lies. Use painter’s tape on the back of the templates and stick them to your wall so you can see the layout before nailing. Rearrange as needed and experiment with different spacing options between frames. When spacing frames of this size in a grid, leave about 2-3.5 inches of space between each frame. By using craft paper and tape, you’re not damaging the walls with the nail holes from trial and error. Before removing your templates, double check the alignment with a bubble level. Add nails or screws where you marked the picture hangers, then remove the templates and hang your frames.

Make Adjustments

If you have a large blank wall such as a hallway (as in the photo to the left), you can fill the whole wall. Don’t be afraid to have some frames lower than eye level. When hanging a gallery above a sofa or console table, the bottom row of frames should start 8-10 inches above the back of the sofa or the top of the table. Nails or screws provide the greatest stability but if you need to avoid making holes in the walls, try 3M’s Command™ Large Picture Hanging Strips.



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