When I am on a listing appointment with someone that I haven’t met before, I try to glean as much information as possible about the sellers while they are showing me around the property. I like to hone my skills of observation each time. Here are a couple of tips that have worked well for me over the years.
What types of books are on their bookshelves (assuming they have them)? Maybe they are huge Stephen King fans or maybe they are do-it-yourself fanatics. Perhaps all of their books are sci-fi novels, or maybe they have 20 Bibles. Whatever the case, you can tell a LOT about people by what they choose to read, or at least to display.
You can probably figure out how they voted in the last election, what their strongly held beliefs are, and whether they are big readers. I actually like to look at bookcases when I am looking through a home during a listing appointment. Later, when we are discussing the market analysis, I can mention casually that “I noticed you have that book by ______ about _______”. If I have read it, we have an instant connection. If I haven’t, but I am interested, I will ask for a brief review from them. You can use the same technique with movies or with CD’s in their collection.
What is on their fridge? Is it photos of their kids? Photos of them? Menus from favorite restaurants? Vendors that they have used? Whatever the case, you can learn about their values by looking here. Obviously, I am not advocating that you alter your priorities to suit the situation like a chameleon, but it’s perfectly fine to look for things you might have in common with them.
What is on the walls? Often, you will see something that you can latch onto and talk about (interesting artwork, sports memorabilia, their wedding picture, etc.). Pay attention and you will reap the benefit. Maybe you share a love of the same sports team or artist.
If you want to score a few extra points, take note of some small repair or cosmetic item in need of work, then bring it up casually during your discussion with them. It’s not to put them on the defensive, but rather to show that you know this business and you understand what it takes to get it sold. Don’t ever be afraid to be upfront and honest about de-cluttering or cleaning the home. Top agents understand this – that’s why they are top agents!
I personally love getting homes professionally staged. If you can find one in the sellers’ budget (or in yours, depending on how you decide to handle it), I would highly encourage this. I have several recent stories that I can share regarding the success of staging and how it directly affected the sale. If the home is already in pristine condition, just get it listed and sold!
Do you have any tips that you would like to share?
Copyright 2007 Austin Texas Real Estate