Why Seller Clients Need a Counseling Session
October 12, 2017
Holding a seller counseling session can set expectations and help kick-start planning at the beginning of your agent-client relationship. There’s no official way to conduct one of these sessions, as they can be a sit-down meeting, long phone call, or virtual video conference. The most important factor, however, is utilizing your one-on-one time with the selling client.
Making sure your client is prepared before selling is a key takeaway from a seller counseling session. The consequences of unprepared sellers are high, so be sure your client is sufficiently ready after your session. For help with structuring the conversation, the NAR-affiliated Real Estate Business Institute offers sets of customizable PowerPoint presentation templates. Agents who want a more advanced level of seller representation skills can use REBI’s Seller Representative Specialist designation course online at NAR’s Center for REALTOR® Development.
The following reasons illustrate why a seller counseling session is a priceless tool that will benefit everyone involved and help you succeed as your seller’s representative:
1. Set expectations. To avoid any surprises in the future, set expectations between you and your client during the session. Doing this will help your client understand their role, your role, and anyone else’s role during the selling process. This will ensure a smoother transaction and less delays and confusion.
2. Explain your limits. Address what you can and cannot do as your client’s advocate—stating this early will prevent clients from demanding you do something unethical, illegal, uncomfortable, or suspicious. Review how agency works in your state and go over the required seller disclosures. Additional points to address include the REALTOR® Code of Ethics, your fiduciary duty to your client, and what that’s like in day-to-day practice.
3. Outline the process. Give clients a big-picture idea about the entire selling process and what it will entail to help them feel calm, confident, and cooperative. Some clients may be completely new to selling, so outlining it for them will prevent frustrations later on.
4. Discuss the property. Part of your seller counseling session should be an in-depth conversation about your client’s property—its current position in the market, how it can improve, what can and can’t be overcome through staging—to help you both when it comes time to deal with price reductions, negotiations, contingencies, concessions, multiple offers, and so on.
5. Provide resources. It’s never a bad thing to fully equip your clients with takeaways and educational materials. Send them home with reading handouts so they can review what was discussed in detail and gather any further questions on their own time. The counseling session allows you to offer resources to your clients so they know they’re available and understand how to review them.
Read the full list of the benefits to hosting seller counseling sessions.
Source: “What Is a Seller Counseling Session? 10 Reasons Why You Need One,” RISMedia
Updated: July 20, 2018