We spoke to Aaron Drussel, Broker/Owner of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Momentum in Provo, Utah, about how agents should be talking to sellers in today’s market.
Realty Biz News: Should sellers try and time the market to get the most money for their home?
Aaron Drussel: People always try to time the market, but it’s a lost cause. It’s like the waves of the ocean – they go up and down. If you say you want to surf the biggest wave, how would you accomplish that? You can watch on the beach for a big wave to come, but by the time you see it, your opportunity to ride it is gone. So it’s much better to roll with the waves and be active in the ups and downs in the market because you will never be able to time it right.
RBN: Is it really about getting the most money?
AD: Of course, sellers don’t want to leave money on the table and agents work their hardest to ensure that doesn’t happen. But the reality is that the majority of people sell their homes because of more emotional external factors than money. These are the many life changes that trigger a move – marriage, birth, divorce, retirement, etc. Many sellers who need to move are more interested in reducing stress and getting across the finish line as quickly as possible than maximizing every dollar.
RBN: So trying to convince potential sellers to list by focusing on their equity position isn’t always the best talk track?
AD: I think a more valuable approach is to talk to potential sellers about how you as an agent can help them navigate the changing market conditions, market their home effectively and manage their sale as smoothly as possible. In the last few years, the market has been high-speed. And it’s easy to drive very fast in a straight line. Now that we are contending with more curves and bends in the road, sellers need an agent who can expertly accelerate into the turns as opposed to hitting the brakes.
RBN: Are rising mortgage rates going to stall the market?
AD: Money may be more expensive than in the last few years because of rising interest rates, which will slow down buyer activity, but the reality is that people will always need a place to live. In my opinion, I don’t see a slew of people tapping out of their homes to go live in tents. And life goes on with all its happy and challenging events that lead to moves.
RBN: How can agents serve sellers in today’s market?
AD: As the market shifts, consumers don’t know what’s happening and it’s even more important that they have someone to guide them. Agents need to be prepared to have hard conversations with their sellers about why the home is not selling. And they need to be ready to work harder for their seller to market the home and find a buyer rather than take the easy way out and keep reducing the price. Over the last few years, agents didn’t have to work very hard to sell a home. It will be a rude awakening for many agents who must invest more time and effort into their business to make the same amount of money they made last year. Agents should be leaning into their systems, tools and processes to be well-positioned for the emerging seller landscape.
RN: How can agents position themselves for the changing market?
AD: I think it’s been very easy for agents to see themselves as successful because of the buyer frenzy of the last few years. But it’s important to recognize that we are never finished products. For agents with only a few years of experience, now is the time to work on foundational elements of their business, such as strengthening relationships with their clientele. We really didn’t have time to work on that the last few years. It’s also critical not to get spooked by all the gloom and doom we hear in the news. Change is where the opportunity is, the environment in which to double down. Now is not the time to sit back and wait and see what will happen. The people who are the most successful see where the currents are going and become salmon moving upstream so get out there and make it happen!