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SYNOPSIS: Excerpted from "A Home Run Every Time: The Best 200 Sales Ideas You Ever Heard!" by Steve Stewart, copyright 1997. 206 pages.

A Home Run Every Time

#72 Ten Showings to Sell It….

At the listing presentation, tell the owners "Mr./Mrs. Seller, by the time we have had ten showings of your property, or two weeks go by, we should have had an offer on it. If we don't, it will be necessary to make an adjustment on your price since people either aren't seeing the house or not making decisions for it when they do. Ninety percent of all the opportunity you will get happens in the first thirty days. We can't waste that whole most important first month on trail and error. If it's not working by ten showings or two weeks, changes will have to be made. Agreed?"
#89 Break out the Brokerage Fees
Break out the brokerage fees on the seller's net sheet. If you lump together the entire brokerage fee on a single line, it is the second highest figure on the whole page (after the pay-off of the existing loans). That makes it a large and convenient target for the seller - who is trying anything to save expenses. Why not spell it out?
· Brokerage fee to the Selling Company: X%
· Brokerage fee to the Marketing Company, to pay for advertising, printing, yard signs, directional signs, flyers, local and long distance phone calls, Multiple Listings Services, computer equipment and time, personnel, promotions, public open houses, food for broker open houses, coordination with other Realtor firms, mailings (printing/preparation/ postage), etc. Y%
#93 The Market Speaks to You
At several points during the listing process, use this script:
"Everyday the market speaks to you and tells you where you where you stand. If your property is in high demand, you'll know it immediately. On the other hand, if no one is trying to buy your place, the market is telling you something about your price relative to the value. If no one even looking at your house, the market is screaming at you through the quiet inactivity! When the market is silent, it is speaking the loudest of all. Listen to the market and it will tell you what you need to know."
#112 Agents Don't Pick Houses to Buy
Agents don't determine what the buyer buys. Price determines what the buyer will see. If the seller asks for even one dollar higher than the parameters on a computer search (search for all three bedroom homes between $242,000 and $245,000, but miss a three bedroom house listed at $245,250), it won't even show up on the search list and won't be seen by the buyer. So how cavalier can you afford to be while selecting a list price?
#122 Seller Counters a Good Offer
Contrast for the seller the risk of making a counter-offer:
"Folks, it's your decision to make. But you are asking $260,000 for you property and that's the most it will probably appraise for. The offer you have on the table is for $258,000. I know you want to be out of here and in your new house before the holidays.
· Is it worth $2,000 to gamble away being in your new house before the holidays? That's gambling 99% against 1%.
· Is it worth the risk of losing this buyer and having to make payments on this house and on the next one at the same time? Together, that's more than the $2,000 you are looking for here.
Remember that your counter to this offer is legally the same as rejecting it, and this buyer already knows where all the other similar properties for sale are. Besides, you have now been on the market for 2½ months waiting to get this offer. What if it took you another 2½ months to get the next offer? We don't know if it will, but that's how long it took this time."
#123 Lower Your Commission?
Seller: If I accept a lower offer, will you lower your commission?
Agent: Of course! Remember, the brokerage fee is just a percentage of the sales price. As the price goes up and down, so does the brokerage fee. It's not a flat rate. I only win when you do, and only in proportion to how you win. You and I are a team. If you take less, I earn less, too.
#136 The (Five) Best Homes
Before you leave the office to show property, tell the buyers:
"We are about to see the (five) best homes in your price range. If for any reason you don't select one of those, we'll go out again tomorrow. But you need to know right now that anything we would see tomorrow will be inferior to what we'll see today. If there were anything better than these (five), we'd go see them first. Any questions about that?
#167 Gifts to the new homeowner
Gifts make no difference if they don't have value, but value is a much broader concept than cost. Getting a gift of something you could very much use at the moment you need it (it's the difference between a bottle of aspirin, and a bottle of aspirin when you've got a pounding headache) can create more lasting memories than expensive chandeliers or brass door knocker.
Here's a Survival Kit Gift: Give a large, beautifully wrapped box delivered to the buyers on the day they move into the new house, containing items of predictable usefulness on move-in day:
Light bulbs, cleansers and window cleaners, Kleenex, paper towels, toilet paper, scouring pads, Handi-wipes, broom and dustpan, screwdrivers (flat-head and Philips), box cutters, pliers, hammer and nail assortment (on all tools, stick a decal with your name, company, address and phone numbers), picture hangers, front porch door mat, several of your memo pads, list of phone numbers (gas, water & power utilities, phone company, pizza delivery, etc.), post office address change cards, etc.
We don't particularly recommend you include items that have to be installed (like wooden towel racks) unless you are standing there yourself with the tools ready to do the installation yourself.
Alternative #1: Picnic basket filled with plastic plates, cups, glasses, flatware, table cloth. You can have sandwiches and drinks delivered by a local deli. On move-in day, people are always too tired, busy and sweaty to go have lunch. But they do work up appetites.

Alternative #2: If you have a client friendly handyman you can count on, hire him for a day to work at the buyer's house on the day of their choosing. He can install lights, light switches, fans, window screens, etc. Let them work out the day of his work for them, and you let them know they have up to (five) hours of his time, on you.

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Steve Stewart is a popular writer/speaker based in Oceanside CA., available from his office at (760) 439-3030 or

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