Lady luck has nothing to do with that stellar price that smart agents snag for their sellers. Listing expert Julie Busby offers sound advice on how she gets top dollar for her clients even in a cooling market.

In a shifting real estate market, the guidance and expertise that Inman imparts are never more valuable. Whether at our events, or with our daily news coverage and how-to journalism, we’re here to help you build your business, adopt the right tools — and make money. Join us in person in Las Vegas at Connect, and utilize your Select subscription for all the information you need to make the right decisions. When the waters get choppy, trust Inman to help you navigate.

You can take real, tangible steps to get your sellers the best possible terms for their property — it’s not just luck! I know this from experience. Over time, I have learned that an informed seller is a happy seller. Decisions are easier to make, the timing makes more sense, and goals fall into place in a natural rhythm. 

Knowing that to be accurate, it has become my practice to tell my sellers what to ask for from me — to hold me responsible. I am, in turn, a better agent, and my sellers are happy because they know that their transaction was as successful as possible

The short list of things every seller should ask of their agents and what you should be ready to offer.

Creating urgency

This skill is all about strategy and timing to use supply and demand to your advantage. Keep tabs on the inventory within a few blocks of your listing, and wait for the pocket of time when yours is a unique offering.

If you are worried about showings, think about consolidating all showings to one day, so buyers see the property flooded with other potential buyers. Minor tweaks to your standard way of doing things can make a big difference! 

Negotiation skills

As a Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE), I can tell you that brushing up on negotiation skills is never a bad idea. Negotiation is a toolset that only improves with intentional practice. Especially with the current market, it is essential to understand how to direct a multiple-offer situation in favor of your seller.

Knowing how to navigate multiple offers can be the difference between a very happy seller and a very disappointed one. Data is one of the best negotiation tools. When sending a counter-offer, including past sales that bolster your offer is the most effective way to tip the scale in your favor. 


Even with a signed contract, a seller with a disengaged agent still stands to lose money before sitting at the closing table. Stay on top of any inspection items from the buy-side. Also, don’t forget about the appraisal!

At our brokerage, we not only attend every appraisal, but we also provide appraisers with comparable closed sales that support our sales price, as well as a comprehensive list of seller updates. These are the services that can be the difference between a transaction closing and not, and keep your seller’s bottom line in check. 

It is tempting during a seller’s market to work on generating listings rather than focusing on top-notch client service, but think of your business’s long-term health: What will keep it alive in the long run? Referrals. And happy clients refer.

Julie Busby is the founder and president of Busby Group and in the top 1 percent of Chicagoland brokers. Follow her on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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