One of the best decisions I have made in my business was not to work with Buyers. Driving around showing properties all day is not my idea of fun, I just don‘t have the patience for it. How do you do this and still manage to keep your sanity? Do you enjoy it or is it just something you do because that's where your business is? Maybe I'm missing something, but to me it just seems a big waste of time. In fact, I hate it so much, that if I had to do it, I would look for another line of work.
However, I talk to other Realtors who feel the same way about working with Sellers. They don't know how I can do it. Their biggest thing is that they think Sellers are hard to deal with and need constant hand holding. I guess I can agree with that. Sellers can be a little difficult and you do have to spend a lot of time keeping them happy. This is even more difficult now that the market has changed and it may take several months to get a property sold. But you know I can deal with my Sellers while sitting in the comfort of my home in my jammies. So to me, it's not to bad. The key, of course, as you have heard me preach many times, is constant communication.
This is what I really like about Real Estate, we can find our own niche and our own comfort zone and go with it. There is no "one size fits all" in our business.
Now in my opinion, working with Sellers, has two distinct advantages.
You control the inventory.
You control the commission.
These two things, to me, are a big deal. I know from experience that if I have enough inventory, I will sell x amount of properties per month. I also know I will get paid and how much I will get paid. There is no guess work involved. When it's a Buyer's market, inventory goes up and when it is a Seller's market inventory goes down. Back when things were booming I rarely had more than 3 or 4 properties on the market. My listings were selling just as fast as I could stick a sign in the yard. It was sweet. I would list a house during the week and sell it over the next weekend. The down side was, listings were harder to find and I couldn't keep them long enough to build lasting relationships. But I was still able to close 3 to 4 homes a month, which has always been my target.
Now that the market has changed, listings are a dime a dozen. I get so many calls, I can be picky. I only want very clean homes that are priced a little below market value. By being picky, I can be sure that the listings I do take will sell. Maybe not in a month, but surely within 3-4 months. The biggest difference is, now I carry between 20-25 listings and I have to work pretty hard to keep my Sellers happy and focused on getting their properties sold. But by having this many listings, I'm still able to achieve 3-4 closings a month. So even though we are in a slower market, I'm actually quite a bit busier than I was when it was booming. And that's not quite as sweet.
So that brings me to Zillow, Craigslist, MySpace and all the other companies that are wanting me to place my listings on their sites. Maybe I'm just naive but I don't see how these sites can affect my business in a negative way. All of my listing agreements are Exclusive Right to Sell so I get paid regardless of who sells the property or where the buyer comes from. More exposure for my listings is a good thing. Also, the Buyer rebate companies like Redfin, Zip Realty and others have no negative affect on my business either. I don't care if the Buyer's side wants to rebate a portion of their commission. I still get mine. Maybe, I have to do a little more work because the Buyers aren't really being represented but I prefer to handle the deal myself anyway. All I need from the other Realtor is the Buyer and information so I can contact their Lender. I'll take it from there. This may not be my responsibility but it is definitely my job. My Sellers pay me good money to get their house sold and I will do anything I can to achieve that goal.
So do you prefer Buyers or Sellers? Me, I'll take the Sellers any day. It's all about control.
Honey! I have to call my Sellers, can you bring me my jammies?
**Picture compliments of Craig Schiller**