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Seller motivation: ‘Have to’ versus ‘want to’ sellers

Know what you're working with before you waste your time

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Takeaways:

  • Seller motivation is big for your real estate business.
  • The important factors that determine how motivated any particular seller might be.
  • Unmotivated sellers have a “take it or leave it” attitude, and that can result in expired listings.

If you want to be a top producer, then you’ve got to buckle down and focus your efforts on the dollar-productive tasks most likely to generate a financial return.

If you’re just starting out, this is even more true because just like a plane leaving the runway, you’re going to use a lot of fuel (your time and energy) just getting up to cruising altitude.

Make sense? Great — then let’s move on to how and why seller motivation is a critical piece of investing your energy where it matters most, instead of just taking the first potential thing that comes along.

Seller motivation is big for your real estate business — find the right, motivated sellers, and you’ll have a faster, easier selling experience. So the question is what motivates sellers?

Today, we’re going to discuss the important factors that determine how motivated any particular seller might be, as well as provide you with tips and advice on actively pursuing motivated sellers who have a true desire to list and sell their home as expeditiously as possible.

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Seller motivation is important, and over time, we’ve found that there’s usually a relationship between seller motivation and being overpriced.

The least motivated sellers are almost always the most overpriced because, quite frankly, they’re in a take-it-or-leave-it mindset that makes your role as a listing agent a lot more difficult.

If they don’t get the offer they want, then rather than doing a price-reduction to get in line with local market values, these are the customers who just might pull the listing entirely. These are the most difficult sellers to deal with and the mostly likely to waste your time.

This is a topic we discussed at length on Real Estate Coaching Radio, and I’d urge you to listen to the whole show (below) to hear us lay out a road map for seller prequalification by motivation. I’ve also outlined some of the key points we covered below, so you can read along as you listen:

Seller motivation: “Have to” versus “want to” sellers

 

Identifying the “have to” seller

This seller is someone who doesn’t have a choice. Take a moment to make a list of those people who don’t have a choice. These are people who are in one of these motivating situations:

  • They are relocating.
  • They are getting divorced.
  • They are no longer able to make the payment.
  • There has been a death in the family.
  • The house needs to be sold.
  • They can’t afford the taxes, payment or adjustment.

Identifying the “want to” seller

This seller is your neighbor who keeps telling you that if they found the right house, they’d consider a move. This friend is the polite one who says, “Sure, you can send me some emails with houses in there — if I find something I like well enough, I’ll move.” In other words, they have no real motivation.

Like I said before, these unmotivated take-it-or-leave-it sellers have a tendency to overprice their home — because they know they can just walk away if they don’t get the price they want.

We’ve all worked with sellers who just think, “It would be nice to get this price, let’s try it.” And we all know what happens to those listings. They become expired listings. Don’t let it happen to you.

Ultimately, what this comes down to is essentially a form of seller lead prequalification. There’s a relationship here between lead volume and prequalification, as well.

As your lead generation abilities improve, you’re able to be a little more picky about which leads to invest your time in. And becoming a little more picky ultimately means you spend less time hand-holding the unqualified lookie-loos and more time working with motivated sellers.

Tim and Julie Harris have over 20 years’ experience in real estate. Learn more about their real estate coaching and training programs at timandjulieharris.com, or tune in to Real Estate Coaching Radio every weekday at realestatecoachingradio.com.

Email Tim Harris.