If you are a real estate agent, then you have heard this objection from sellers many times: “I want to wait until spring to list my house.” This time of year, especially, many — if not most — sellers would prefer to wait until winter is over before they even think about selling their home.
That spring is the best time to sell is a ubiquitous idea in the homeselling world. And it’s not necessarily wrong. There are some advantages, for example:
- The spring has a large number of buyers
- More demand from people looking to get into their new home before school starts in the fall
- Sellers often feel their homes look more appealing in the spring and summer
- In colder climates, the weather itself is easier for buyers to deal with.
But are the spring and summer the only times to sell or even the best times to sell?
Understand their perspective, process and desired outcome
As an agent, this objection can be difficult to deal with. There are many advantages to selling in spring, and the idea is so entrenched among the general population that it can be tough to convince them otherwise on the phone or during an appointment.
But no matter how prevalent and persistent this objection might be, you deal with it in the same way that you deal with any objection: understand the potential client’s perspective, process and desired outcome.
The lead’s perspective is their past experience, knowledge and speculation.
Examples of perspectives that might lead to objections are “I’ve sold my home myself before,” “I’ve already met with an agent,” or “I can do what an agent does, you guys don’t do much.”
The lead’s process is their own plan that they have for their situation.
Examples of a process is “I’m going to sell my home myself,” “I’ll just use the agent I used before,” or “I am just going to wait until spring to sell my home and get a better deal.”
The process is typically what will lead to an objection. They have their plan, and you are not a part of it in their mind, so they turn you down.
And finally, the outcome. This is the unique result or benefit the lead believes their process will deliver for them.
Examples of these are “not wasting time,” “avoiding disappointment” and “proving to my neighbors or real estate agents or to the world that I am right.”
But there are advantages to selling in winter too
Your first job as a real estate agent is to understand what your potential clients are seeking to accomplish and how they think they are going to accomplish it.
Next, your job is to determine whether their outcome will better or more easily accomplished if they list their home now (in the winter) rather than waiting four months until spring arrives.
To do this, you have to let the lead know that there are also clear advantages to listing their home in the winter that may be beneficial to them in light of their goals.
Here are three reasons for sellers to list their homes in the winter:
- Less competition: Because most sellers wait until the spring to list their homes, there are fewer homes on the market, which means less competition from other sellers. Additionally, the low inventory can create increase competition among buyers, which generally results in higher sale prices.
- Winter brings serious buyers: Similar to why there is less competition in winter, this season draws out the serious buyers because most buyers think it is best to wait until spring to check out the market. The ones who do come out do so because they are serious and cannot wait until spring to purchase a home. These are not window shoppers, but motivated buyers who want to take advantage of the less competitive market and get their hands on their ideal home.
- You can highlight the cozy winter side of your home: Show off your home’s winter-readiness. Have the fire going, showcase the hot tub, highlight the design and features that will make their life easier during winter, like an easy-to-shovel driveway, new roof and furnace, south-facing windows, and well-insulated pipes, among other things. These features, however simple, will show that your home can handle the harsh elements.
As a real estate agent, your job is to try to produce the best possible outcome for your client. To do this, you first have to get to the heart of what their desired outcome is. Start there.
Once you understand that, you then have to determine yourself if you think it would make sense for them to not wait until spring, given their desired outcome. If you think it makes sense, your next job is to convince them.
There are great reasons to sell in the spring, but there are also great reasons to sell in the winter.
Get to the bottom of their perspective, process and desired outcome, and then thoughtfully explain to them why it would be advantageous for them to not wait. That is how you will convince sellers to list this winter.
Dale Archdekin is the founder of Smart Inside Sales and the current director of lead generation for Global Living Companies at Keller Williams in Philadelphia.