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Opinion, commentary and analysis on everything that makes the U.S. housing economy tick -- not to mention the ghosts in the machine, too. Written by HW's team of editors and reporters each business day.

How to sell more homes this Spring

April 10, 2013

Here’s the deal: home inventory is low, mortgage rates are still amazing and consumer confidence is looking up. Mix ‘em altogether and you have a sizzling hot seller’s market.

In fact, the National Association of Realtors says competing offers for the same homes are rising in more markets. And Freddie Mac predicts that interest rates will likely go lower this spring, and that compared to 2012, home sales will jump 10% in 2013.

This is a market that screams for help from experts like you – helping sellers with the onslaught of buyers and helping buyers get their bids accepted among crowded competition.

So how are you going to capitalize on this market now? Here are some tips.

For seller agents to get more listings:

-       Network like you’ve never networked before, but be strategic - A lot of agents do network, but do it poorly, by bouncing aimlessly from group to group. Get focused on your farm area and get close to your target audience via community meetings, school functions, special events, etc.

-       Call past clients for referrals - Now is no time to be shy. Be proactive and don’t assume past clients will automatically refer someone. Be bold and ask directly for referrals. Remember, real estate is a contact sport – the more you contact, the more you’ll succeed.

-       Cold call - True, maybe not your ideal tool, but if you stay focused in your farm area with relevant information, cold calls can heat up quickly. Scour neighborhoods with free, important information potential sellers appreciate. Who doesn’t want to get a higher price for their home? Shout from the rooftops that this is the perfect market to sell.  

-       Create seller urgency with potential sellers - When you reach your target audience, focus on creating urgency with your message. Buyers are out there waiting and sellers need to understand now is the time they’ve been waiting for – a time when they can get the maximum value from their homes.

-       Update your seller’s presentation – This is a unique market and your seller’s presentation needs to reflect today’s market characteristics.

For buyer agents:

-       Educate buyers about this market and what they can expect - When sellers have five offers to choose from, which is happening a lot in many markets, sellers call the shots.

-       Be flexible - Because sellers have the upper hand, work with your buyers to consider offering higher down payments and in general, be willing to work with sellers’ preferences.

-       Get buyers pre-approved - In a seller’s market, this is a no-brainer. Pre-approval from a respected lender tells sellers those buyers are serious. And in this market, you have to be serious. If you’re not, you’re wasting your time.

-       Consider creating a buyer presentation - We’re all very familiar with listing presentations for sellers. I give my clients a buyer’s guide they can customize. It usually lasts between 30 and 45 minutes – just like a listing presentation.  This makes any buyer stand out in a seller’s market.

Let me hear from you: Is your market showing signs of a seller’s market? How are you responding to your current market? How can you capitalize immediately? How can you stand out among other agents in this market? What do you need to do today to improve your business?

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