Just In Time For The Holidays

Dec 04, 2014

By Floyd Wickman, Founder and CEO of The Floyd Wickman Team


As soon as that last piece of candy is given out, the candle-flame in the pumpkin is extinguished, and the Herman Munster costume is hung up for another year, some mad scientist somewhere rings the hesitation bell, and just like Pavlov’s dog, sellers start putting us off until next year – until after the Holidays – until the “Spring market.”

Making calls and having real estate conversations this time of year means you are hearing these Holiday put-offs, and unfortunately, sometimes buying into them. How many agents do you know that “slow down” this time of year?

Well, if our goal is to build a healthy listing inventory, or maintain a healthy listing inventory, or rebuild a healthy listing inventory, we can’t afford to take two months out of production every year.

Here are two reminders that can help keep you focused on generating listings, and not have to wait until January.

1. Get the appointment.

Remember, you probably aren’t going to list a house over the phone, and you most likely aren’t going to handle their objections, stalls and hesitations over the phone. The best you can do is set them aside to get the appointment.

“We’re going to wait until after the Holidays” is a reflexive reaction. It’s almost an automatic response. People are busier now. People have more company now. People’s homes are messier than normal now. People take vacations now. People are just getting used to winter again now.

Whatever their reason for not wanting to list now, you are probably not going to change their minds over the phone. But that doesn’t have to mean you can’t give them a reason to get together with you now.

“You want to wait until after the Holidays? No problem. I’ll sure still be here next year. Let’s do this, as long as you are thinking of selling. The choice of agents is a very personal one. Let’s get together and see if we have a fit. Let’s not even talk price or marketing yet. Let’s just see if we want to work together first. I promise I won’t even ask for your listing unless I have your permission. Fair enough?”

“Let’s get the preliminaries and paperwork out of the way now so you can hit the ground running first of the year.”

“Would your home even be ready for showing today, or are there some things you would want to do to prepare it for the market first? OK, then, let me take a look at it and give you my ‘staging’ recommendations, and maybe we can come up with an estimate of how long these might take.”

“I’m going to be in your neck of the woods tomorrow anyway. Would it be okay if I stopped by just to take a look at your house? I’ll also leave some current information on your neighborhood and market trends we anticipate seeing first of the year.”

In other words, get in the door.

2. EnthusIASM sells.

Notice the last four letters of that word enthusIASM are capitalized? They stand for I Am Sold Myself. I believe you can’t sell what you don’t buy.

You have to buy the fact that now, right now today, is an historically great time for people to sell their house.

You have to buy the fact that there are real and potentially costly drawbacks to waiting.

You have to buy the fact that there are unique marketing conditions that only occur this time of year.

Because when you believe it, they will hear it in your voice, and see it on your face, and that is very persuasive!

In case you need some convincing, here is a timeless chestnut – the Holiday Marketing Opportunities. Share them with your sellers once you get face-to-face. There’s not a single prospective seller out there that all these will apply to. But there’s not a single prospective seller out there that at least one or more of them won’t apply to. 


(Reasons to consider listing now, rather than waiting until after the Holidays)

 1. Supply and demand. You’ll be in a more competitive position because there is less inventory now. As a result, your home could sell quicker and for a higher price.

2. Waiting time. Everyone else waits until after the Holidays, and so by listing now you avoid getting “lost in the shuffle.”         

3. Busy time. Everyone is “busier” at this time of year, so only the really serious buyers are shopping, including out-of-town transferees, oftentimes the most qualified now buyer.

4. Home for the Holidays. The excitement [and happy mess] of the Holidays is a selling point. Homes decorated for the season project warmth to buyers, causing them to “mentally move in.” Buyers pay more for a home than a house.         

5. Void time. If you sell now, you can take advantage of void time, when most of the people needed to close a sale are available; that way you can get all the preliminary processing out of the way.         

6. Fewer fall-throughs. The best agents are still working now, and the best agents are more likely to have the most qualified buyers, and are the best prepared to smoothly close a sale.

7. Schedule Sensitivity. Buyers are more sensitive to the time of year, so appointments will be more conveniently scheduled. Come the first of the year, if someone wants to see your home now, you have to drop everything and show it.         

8. Positioning. Selling before the first of the year positions you to be able to buy in the Spring, when inventories are traditionally higher and you have more to choose from. This could save you money when you buy.         

9. Protection. Selling now enables you to avoid contingencies and lengthy delays when you buy, saving money and processing time.

10. Financial Analysis. Rates may go up, and tax advantages may go down after the first of the year. They might not, but they could, and if they do (?), you might be costing yourself a small fortune by waiting.

One of the most valuable skills that anyone can develop today is the ability to communicate a message with impact - persuasively and memorably. If you feel you have room to improve your speaking skills, I invite you to find out about our Speakers Academy. All of my trainers, and many of our clients and students, have gone through this remarkable two-and-a-half day learning experience - and they have all emerged delivering their message like a pro.

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