In many areas of the country, real estate agents are noticing a similar trend: it’s a seller’s market. Buyers are moving out of big cities. They have increased interest in vacation homes, where they can vacation with their families while controlling exposure to other people. They’re considering the amenities they really want if they’re stuck at home for a long period of time, and they’re looking to buy homes that offer it.
Can you succeed as a real estate agent in a seller’s market? Of course! In order to be a successful real estate agent, however, you need to know how to read the market and prepare to handle many of the challenges associated with a seller’s market.
1. Develop strong relationships within your community.
Get to know members of the community. Form relationships with other businesses. Learn what customers need. Most importantly, develop strong relationships with your clients, whether you’re working for the buyer or the seller. Get to know their specific needs and expectations. Develop a sense of trust. When your clients trust you, they’ll be more likely to trust your recommendations and the information you provide, which can help you succeed as a real estate agent regardless of the current market.
2. Value your time and your clients’.
Learn to appropriately value your time and your clients’ time. You don’t want to spend hours with a client, looking at a house that is already pending for someone else–and neither does your client. Likewise, you don’t want to spend your time helping a client prepare a home to sell, only to discover that they aren’t serious about putting it on the market or that it has serious issues that need to be addressed before it sells. Value your time correctly and focus on the properties that will meet your needs and those of your clients.
3. Inspect properties and learn about potential problems early.
Houses sometimes have problems. In a seller’s market, your buyers might be tempted to overlook those problems and decide that they can make them work. Likewise, your sellers might try to push the property to the market quickly to get the fast sell, rather than taking the time to fix those problems and get the maximum value out of the property. Inspect the properties on your list and learn about any potential problems early. Notify buyers about any problems with the properties they’re considering as soon as possible so that they can make logical decisions, and talk to your sellers about those problems so that they can address them if needed.
4. Slow down.
A seller’s market can push buyers to make a fast decision–often without taking the time to think through the purchase they’re considering. Buyers may take on properties that have more issues than they can handle on their own or go over their budget in an effort to get into a property fast.
As a real estate agent, it’s your job to convince your buyers to slow down and think through what they really want and need from a property. Remind them that the right property will come along, and that they can find a home that works for them. It may take time and patience, but it’s worth the wait! When your buyers are satisfied with the property they purchase through you, they’ll be more likely to recommend you to their friends. On the other hand, if they aren’t happy with the property, they might even put the blame on your shoulders. After all, according to the buyer, you’re the one who couldn’t deliver!
5. Listen carefully to your buyers.
Before taking your buyers out to see properties, listen carefully to their needs. You need to know:
- Their budget
- Their must-haves
- The specific area they want to live in, if relevant
- What features they don’t want in the home
If you don’t understand your buyer’s needs, you may fail to take them to look at properties that fit those needs. A clear discussion with your buyers can also help you better prepare them for the current market. For example, some buyers may have an unrealistic budget based on the type of property they want. Others may need a fast turn-around and find themselves surprised when it’s harder than anticipated to find a property that fits their specifications.
6. Understand how negotiation changes in a seller’s market.
In a seller’s market, buyers are encouraged to make their best offers up front. They’re unlikely to get the opportunity to issue a counter offer, and they may not have the chance to negotiate. While a bidding war can help drive up the price of the property, it can also lead to incredibly frustrated buyers.
Learn about how negotiation changes in a seller’s market. If you’re representing the seller, be prepared to take multiple offers for the property. While the difference to you may not be immense, the difference to your seller may be significant. For example, an offer of $20,000 more on a property might net you only $500 more, but it can make a big difference to the seller. If you want to succeed, you need to focus on the seller’s needs–and be prepared for those bids to come in.
7. Get to know your market.
The market can change in a moment, especially right now. Where are people looking for vacation homes in Nevada? What features do they want or need? How fast are homes selling? How many homes are currently on the market, and what can they expect to sell for in various sizes and configurations? What neighborhoods are most popular? In a seller’s market, it’s even more critical to get to know the local area and have a solid idea of the market so that you can connect buyers quickly with the homes that best fit their needs.
Are you interested in moving into a career in real estate? Century 21 Americana’s Nevada Real Estate School can help. Through this program, you can get your real estate license and prepare yourself for a rewarding career in real estate, including developing many of the skills you need to excel.