It’s difficult for both you and your agent when the market is slow; they don’t have anything to tell you, so not only will they stop calling, they may even start avoiding your calls too. Meanwhile, you’re left feeling frustrated and powerless, wondering what on earth you can do when no one wants to view your home.
Communication between you and your agent at this tricky time becomes all the more important. Without communication, there can be no trust, and without trust, there is no worthwhile relationship. But when you’re in a locked loop of your agent not calling because there’s no interest, yet you need to know what you can do to improve the situation, it’s easy to become despondent.
Here are my top five communication tips when you’re trying to sell your home, to ensure the relationship doesn’t degenerate irretrievably:
- Pre-empt any issues by agreeing a communication schedule before you launch your home to the market. This is over and above any calls to arrange viewings, or to give feedback afterwards; this plan outlines your expectations and so your agent has some chance of meeting them. For example, you could ask for a fortnightly call on a Friday, regardless of whether there had been any viewings in between. In this call you could ask them about market conditions and trends, recent sales, viewings on other comparable properties, and updates on any of your recent viewers. With a plan agreed in advance, there are clear expectations and if these are not met, you can refer your agent back to their original agreement.
- Keep your communication positive – if your agent feels that they are being told off, or held to account, for a lack of interest in your property, they will be increasingly reluctant to pick up the phone to you. If however, your tone is encouraging, friendly and supportive, they will look forward to speaking to you, and they will be only too happy to have a chat to you, even if there is nothing concrete to report.
- If you’re in town, near your agent’s office, pop in. Take them cakes, or flowers out of your garden for the office. If they offer to make you a cup of tea, even better. Take the time to really get to know the staff in the office, and you and your house will be at the forefront of their mind when they next receive a suitable enquiry. Agents are just like me and you; they have favourite clients, so make sure you’re one of them.
- Ask for advice: lots of vendors do this, but then they either don’t listen to any suggestions, or else they argue with it. If you genuinely listen and show that you value any input that might improve the level of interest in your property, you will find your agent much more confident about discussing the issues with you.
- Share your plans with them: if your agent knows how important your move is, perhaps to be closer to a special relative, to give yourself more financial security, or to realise your long-held dream of living in the country, they will be able to genuinely identify with your aspirations. By taking them into your confidence, you are showing that you trust them, and the resulting enhanced relationship will allow them to do the best possible job of selling your home for you.
Selling a premium property in this market is not easy, believe me. There is very little confidence out there, and anything you can do to help your agent will in the long run, only benefit you even more. So be nice, be friendly, and be kind. They are all big softies really!