It’s a Home, Not a Used Car

There is a technique Real Estate Professionals use with Sellers to bring the price down (or so they think).  Whether they are trying to buy it or list it, they want the homeowner to believe the home is worth less so they can buy at a price that makes a big profit, or so they can list at a price that will sell fast.

I call this technique, “The used car technique”.  The strategy is to take a tour of the home, and as you are doing so, touch every crack and grimace.  Sneer at the popcorn on the ceilings.  Gasp at the condition of the appliances.  Generally, the idea is to give the impression that this house is going to need so much work!

I love it when my competition employs this technique.  Because, while sometimes this might work… especially if the investor or agent is the only person the seller called… this technique really only guarantees one thing; the seller will hate you.

A home is not a used car.  Whereas most people sell a car because they recognize it is no longer useful to them, or it a piece of junk they no longer want to mess with; People love their homes.  Even homes that seem like a disaster to you, are loved by that homeowner because it represents memories to them.  They often times raised their kids there, or were raised there themselves.  They had Christmas there, Thanksgiving in that home and had trick-or-treaters knock on that front door.

They love their home.

By pointing out how awful it has become, you are stepping all over their memories.

I can remember two specific deals (good ones!) where we came in before another investor, and were told they went with us even though our offer was less, because they just “didn’t like the other guy”.

When we ask for a tour, we love to point out all the things we love about the home. (Some times this is harder than others!)  I often ask, “What did you like most about the home when you bought it?”  I work hard to make connections between the seller, the home and myself.

Because, unlike a used car, I am never there to “buy” anything.  I’m there to sell myself to the seller as the solution to their problem.  My end goal is to make sure this home ends up with a new family who will love it as much as the seller’s do.  Whether that’s selling it on the open market, or buying it and renovating it, I want this home to see new life.

People generally recognize their home needs repair and/or updating (although we do run into a few who seem oblivious, that’s the exception).  You don’t need to point that out.  Point out what you love about the home, make connections with the seller and then sell yourself as the solution to whatever their problems and/or goals are.

You will find this will end in more contracts than the Used Car Technique!

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