By Alex Milshteyn
It seems that every year I learn the lesson of how important it is to follow-up.
I recently received a referral from a past client. My past client gave me a glowing review, hence their friends called me. I met with the lovely couple to talk about the sale of their home. I met with them twice, the first time to view the home and discuss their goals, and the second time to review my marketing program and the market analysis. At our second meeting, we had made the decision that it would be beneficial for them to redo the kitchen and the bathroom. They were not in a rush to move, but they preferred to move in early 2012. I left our last meeting with the idea that we would be in touch over the next few months to get the home listed.
I left the appointment feeling like the listing was mine and that it was a matter of time before they called me to list the home. I followed up 6 weeks after our second meeting and everything seemed to be on track with the remodel of the kitchen and the bathroom.
This is where I could kick myself!
My overconfidence of “having” the listing got the best of me and I put their file away as if it was a signed listing contract…well, it wasn’t. Last week, I was going through the MLS looking at the new listings and what do I find? This lovely couple listed their home with another agent. I felt like I got punched in the stomach. But what did I expect? I hadn’t talked to them in nine months.
As I do every time this occurs, I sat myself down and told myself that I have to be better, that I have to follow up, that I have to time-block these follow up calls, that I’m not the almighty real estate agent. My pride suffered but it was a lesson well learned. I must follow-up, follow-up, follow-up!
Alex Milshteyn, GRI, ABR, is a REALTOR® in Ann Arbor, Mich., who runs a real estate team of five professionals called Alex Milshteyn Real Estate Associates. Connect with him at www.alexmi.com.
By TG Gallaudet
Wait…I’m totally lying. Is there anything more painful? It’s no mystery that short sales can be really tough because of all the variables involved:
* Unclear timelines from the bank.
* Undisclosed liens.
* Back HOA expenses the bank won’t pay.
* Non-straightforward buyer.
* Inexperienced listing agent.
* Cash contributions (increasingly more and more).
* Etc., Etc., Etc…
But the hardest side to represent as an agent is the buyer’s side of a short sale because the buyer’s agent has no control of ANYTHING, and has to hope for a solid listing agent who knows what they’re doing. Right?
I just ended a painful short sale transaction where I represented the buyer that lasted 7 months and went nowhere. Granted, it wasn’t the easy one-loan in equator kinda deal, but we had absolutely no worthwhile answer from the bank after 7 months, which is totally inexcusable in 2011 as far as I’m concerned. The main problem, in my opinion, is that the listing agent saw this sale as a small income producer and pawned the negotiation responsibilities over to his part time TC. The TC had little-to-no experience with short sales, or negotiating any deals, and therefore little experience in working with banks. Because of her inexperience, I think she had little confidence in dealing with the bank and their personnel and couldn’t push back or demand results when she was entitled to do so. After being a listing agent on several short sales, I’ve come to understand that the burden of success lies heavily on the listing agent and specifically how s/he communicates to both the buyers’ agent and buyer, how she sets expectations and what answers she deems acceptable from the bank. Continue reading »