It’s no secret that the market is ‘on fire,’ but for whom is that really true? You may have 10 or 15 pre-approved buyers, but there’s no inventory to show them. Across the nation, inventory is down almost 30% compared to where it was at this time in 2019. In our market, that equates to 400 fewer homes on the market today than there were a year ago.
There are several reasons for this, but the point I want to share is that you shouldn’t confuse motivated buyers with talk of a hot real estate market. Buyers generally give you, the agent, three strikes before doing one of three things:
1. Place their buyer needs on hold (at least for another 12 months)
2. Fire you and work with another agent
3. Put things on hold for 30 days (typically, this means they’ll explore other options and consider working directly with a listing agent)
What’s an agent to do? Meet with your title representative and ask them to provide the specifics of your clients’ needs (areas of interest, price points, bed/bath preferences, etc.). Give them the boundaries of the major cross streets, and they’ll give you addresses that match your clients’ criteria.
Then, for each buyer, send out a “we want your house” letter to the seller of the home they’re interested in purchasing. Your letter should be very specific and mention why your buyer identified their house as the place they want to call home. Also, highlight the strength of your buyer’s financing. Show them the pre-approval letter and proof of down payment. Explain why they chose that neighborhood. Maybe they have friends that already live in the area, or they like the local school district, or perhaps they’ve made an offer on a home down the street but lost out because there were 30 other offers.
The letter might look something like this:
“Hello Mr./Mrs. Smith,
My name is Scott Kato with the Kato Group. I don’t know if you know this, but your neighbor’s house down the street at 123 Main Street just hit the market and received 30 offers. Unfortunately, my client’s offer wasn’t accepted, hence the purpose of my letter.”
In addition to the letter, our team has our virtual assistant circle-prospect the neighborhood using the same script from the letter. Christine Lee, one of my agents, sent this letter out on behalf of a client looking to buy in La Habra Heights. Not only did she get several responses, but she got her client into escrow while representing the seller at the same time. Additionally, she came across another homeowner who was interested in selling, and she listed their home too.
All told, she mailed one letter to 75 homes, which was only an investment of $100. That $100 led to three pieces of business, the sales volume of which totaled $2.7 million and resulted in $60,000 worth of commission.
My point is this: Stop being passive. Put down your fishing pole and stop wasting your time waiting for the MLS to launch another listing you’ll have to compete for against 30 other buyers. Pick up your spear and go hunting for your clients. Do what most agents won’t do.
To receive my “we want your house” letter, register here on my blog. You can also shoot me an email or give me a call. If you have any questions about today’s topic, feel free to reach out to me as well. I’d love to speak with you.