As a real estate agent in today’s low-inventory market, searching for a home can prove incredibly frustrating for both us and our buyers. You may want to throw up your hands and try to ride out this difficult time. However, the key to getting past this issue is to discover new ways to find inventory — in the form of listings.

  • Use the right stats, graphs and scripts to overcome seller objections and go after listings.

As real estate agents in today’s low-inventory market, searching for a home can prove incredibly frustrating for both us and our buyers.

You may want to throw your hands up and try to ride this difficult time out. However, the key to getting past this issue is to discover new ways to find inventory — in the form of listings.

Real estate agents with listings typically have a far easier time getting transactions to close than those working with buyers who might not be able to find what they are looking for and may even be outbid.

An increase in inventory helps everyone.

Listings can be found everywhere, but learning to successfully locate these listings is another story. Not only does the contact need to be consistent, but the message also needs to be compelling — you can’t rely on generic, sporadic messages anymore.

You need to complete in-depth research that tells the story of the sellers’ situation and how they can benefit from these current market conditions. Here are some ways to tell that story:

  1. Use examples of your notable sold properties, when appropriate. Be sure to reference the listing’s days on market and the sales price to list price ratio. Another statistic to cite is the amount sold over list price in a certain neighborhood — this factoid will get potential sellers thinking.
  2. Consider looking at price appreciation per neighborhood or area. Showing a change in median home prices could also prove helpful.
  3. Indicate the number of homes listed versus under contract or sold. Displaying this data on a graph could hit home for some sellers.
  4. Show how days on market is declining via a graph. A graphical representation of overall market trends is another way to help sellers understand the current market.

This low-inventory market is not a secret — sellers may voice objections to listing their homes given the current climate.

However, it’s your job to advise them that putting their home on the market right now could ultimately reap enormous benefits. Think about using the following scripts to rebut their objections:

  • “Due to the market’s current low inventory, you can anticipate a strong sales price simply because of supply and demand. If your home is priced correctly, you could even receive offers above your list price. By selling now, you’re setting a trend, rather than waiting for your neighbors to determine the highest house value on the block.”
  • “With interest rates at a historic low, the current market not only benefits you as a seller, but also as a buyer. For every 1 percent increase in interest rates, buyers and sellers lose $10,000 in buying power. Today’s market has created the largest qualified buyer power, which puts you in control of pricing limits.”
  • “With all the talk you hear about a hot seller’s market, I completely understand your apprehension. However, let me point out some of the advantages to selling now and how I can help you find your next home. Your investment in your home is higher than it has ever been — or possibly may ever be!”
  • “In this market, good real estate agents are advising their buyers against submitting low offers, asking for concessions or starting bidding wars with the possibility of multiple offers. We’re even seeing many buyers offering above list price without submitting low offers or asking for concessions because they have lost bids on homes they wanted to purchase.”
  • “Because average days on market are also at an all-time low, you benefit from shorter showing days and overall more convenience in your selling process.”

And, of course, your work isn’t done when you secure that coveted listing! Keep every neighbor up-to-date on each phase of the listing and sale.

Send a letter out to all the neighbors to announce the listing and all applicable upcoming activities, like open houses or broker opens. This consistent contact is crucial for gaining additional listings.

The market is not going to miraculously create inventory anytime soon, so prepare yourself to strategically find new inventory.

Although this search requires a consistent pursuit of listings, the payoff will be monumental. Whoever masters the listing search now will see referrals pour in when the market slows.

Dawn Dunavant is the vice president/managing broker of ReeceNichols Real Estate Liberty Office in Liberty, Missouri.  Connect with her on LinkedIn.

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