For too many agents, a call after the listing is sold is ignored. Instead, writes team leader Tom Toole, you can make it an opportunity and a springboard for adding value.

The best homes always sell quickly, no matter the market conditions. Listing agents get lots of inquiries and requests to show a home, but often, the home they inquired about is already under contract. 

Average agents let the prospective buyer know that the house has sold, and the conversation ends there. There’s no follow up and no proactive attempt to help the buyer find another home.

When a lead calls to inquire about a home that is under contract, many agents miss an opportunity to build value because they simply report the house as sold and end the conversation.

We know, too, that most agents fail to follow up with their leads, or they fall into the habit of simply unlocking doors for buyers. 

But the fact is that these buyers had real intent to buy a home, and they wanted to see a specific house, except that it sold too quickly. 

In that case, the agent’s job is to ask the right questions and keep the relationship moving forward. Consider the two possible scenarios in this situation and respond accordingly to your clients.

Just a reminder: Be sure to ask if the client is already working with an agent. Some buyers who are calling for information are already in binding agreements with other agents — and the other agents have no idea their clients are calling around for information on listings in their market.

Respond to the buyer who doesn’t know that the home is sold 

Suppose the buyer doesn’t know that the home has gone under contract.  Be transparent and let them know the current status of the home, but that you are willing to research to see if backup offers would be accepted. Next, before you call the customer back, research similar listings and offer an alternative listing to visit:

Hey Nick. It’s Tom Toole with RE/MAX Main Line and the Tom Toole Sales Group. Unfortunately, the home at 123 Banana Street has gone under contract. Still, I took the liberty of scheduling a showing of another home at 123 Orange Street and a similar home about a mile away. I scheduled them for the agreed-upon time block on Saturday at 1 p.m. Would you like to keep that appointment and go see those homes?

By being proactive and providing value, you’ve identified other homes that could be a good fit for your client and sustained the conversation instead of allowing it to end because the first home was sold. 

Assist the buyer who suspects the home has sold but is calling to verify

If the buyer calls to confirm that a house is pending or under contract, use the script below to move the relationship along.

Hey Nick. The home you asked about is sold, but I can reach out to the listing agent to find out about any contingencies that are in place. I can also ask whether there is still an opportunity to tour the home and possibly present a backup offer. That will position us as the No. 2 buyer if the current buyer gets cold feet. 

Do that work to find out about the house in question, and then use the first script to identify other similar homes that the buyer might be interested in. Remember that when people call real estate agents, they seek guidance through one of life’s most stressful experiences. A guide helps the hero navigate the real estate decision process.

Employ a driveway consultation

If you find that new clients often ghost you after you show them a home, you’re likely failing to show them how to navigate this tricky market. Agents who show homes to clients and invite them into the office to discuss numbers and possibilities tend to thrive because they successfully guide their clients through the real estate process. 

Without that option, a driveway consultation can serve a similar purpose and ensure that your client leaves the showing with a sense of how you can help.

Hey Nick. It’s Tom Toole with RE/MAX Main Line and the Tom Toole Sales Group. I’ve got your showing confirmed for this afternoon at 4 p.m., and I wondered whether you could stick around for about 15 minutes afterward, so I can explain how this process will work and how I can help you navigate this market. 

People will almost always say yes to a 15-minute commitment knowing that you’ve made time in your calendar to show them the property they’d like to see.

By holding the consultation in the driveway, you’ve cleared out of the house in case there’s another showing, you’re avoiding any cameras inside the house, and you’re respecting the owner’s space, especially following the COVID-19 situation.

Explain the process

Help the client understand what he’s getting into by discussing the following topics.

  • Overview of the process
  • Necessary steps to make an offer
  • Current market conditions
  • How you’re different from other agents

Differentiate yourself throughout the process by going beyond what other agents routinely do. Data shows that most agents fail to follow up with their leads and prospects and miss opportunities to build lasting relationships. Use every opportunity to engage with leads and clients by delivering value beyond what they expect. 

The real estate market is tricky and fast-moving, and your customers are looking for a guide who can help them navigate this important transaction. 

Tom Toole is the founder and team leader at Tom Toole Sales Group. Connect with him on Facebook or LinkedIn

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