In another installment of what listing agents can do to improve their chances, let’s mention one of the habits that were made worse by the frenzy – responding to an offer.

Over the last two years, it became part of the business that buyers had to wait around for days while waiting for the listing agent to decide the winner.  There weren’t many other homes for sale, and every new listing was priced higher than the last so buyers would tolerate a long delay.

Not any more.

Today, listing agents who are lucky enough to receive an offer should jump on it and respond the same day – and if possible, within an hour or two. Buyer’s remorse has never set in so fast, and in this environment, it is more than just an emotional bummer, it is a deal-killer.

Specifically, what can listing agents do better?

  1. Answer your phone – it might be an agent with an offer!
  2. Prepare the sellers to respond quickly, and be standing by, ready to sign.
  3. Have a full set of seller disclosures and reports ready to send.
  4. Don’t counter over stupid stuff.
  5. Consider not countering at all, and just sign the offer.

Buyers are looking for ANY reason NOT to buy, and stay on the fence longer where it is comfortable. And you want to take a chance on countering over which title or escrow company?  Or try to get the sellers a couple of months of free rent – heck, at least offer to pay for it!

The journey over the next couple of years will be a long arduous slog through the bad habits developed by realtors during the frenzy.  It made agents lazier than ever, and gave them the impression that once they had a listing, it meant they were a real estate god and could boss people around.

It will be a hard habit to break.

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