Selling Soulfully with Jennifer Allan


Problem-Solving with Soul: The Favorit-est Tips!


Did a little teleseminar show last week in the SWS Virtual Studio called "Problem-Solving with Soul" where Blake Farley and I shared various tips and strategies for becoming a Master Problem-Solver. We first focused on strategies to head off problems before they occur and then moved onto ways to solve those darn problems that you weren't able to head off in the first place. 

At the end of the program, we asked the audience for their feedback on which tips were the most brilliantly insightful, and here's what they told us:

Favorit-est Tip #1: Learn to Love a Checklist - at least half of the items on a good transaction-related checklist will probably have come from problems on past transactions you should have seen coming, but oops, didn't, and paid the price one way or another. Every busy (or hoping-to-be-busy) real estate agent should have and use transaction checklists for their New Listings, Listing-Under-Contract and Buyers-Under-Contract. You can see examples of the ones I used in the Sell with Soul VIP Lounge here:

Favorit-est Tip #2: Encourage sellers to remove any personal property from the home that they don't intend to include in the sale before going on the market (appliances in use excepted). If the buyer sees that awesome swing-set in the back yard... or that gorgeous butcher block island... or those towel racks hand-carved in Africa... and is then told "No, you can't have those," you will see the buyer shut down before your very eyes, get mad at the house (and seller) and take his purchase offer and earnest money deposit elsewhere...

Favorit-est Tip #3: Prepare your client for the realities of a real estate transaction and set reasonable expectations. Don't promise your client anything you can't deliver on; in fact, it's not the worst idea in the world to OVERpromise problems (!) so that when they don't occur (or occur in a lower octane than you warned about), the seller will be pleased. For example, tell your seller that it's possible they'll only have 15 minutes notice for showings so that when they get two hours, they'll be thrilled! 

Favorit-est Tip #4: Ask yourself if you can throw money at a problem to make it go away -- and do the math! It's amazing what agents and their clients will bicker over without doing the math first. Sometimes it's far easier to just open your checkbook to solve a problem than it is to spend hours trying to get someone else to step up. However, never open your checkbook to PUT a sale together; only use it to KEEP a sale together

Other tips: Realize that not all problems are yours to solve, realize that not all problems should be solved, celebrate every learning experience and be sure to add items to your checklists, never close on a Friday.

All SWS teleseminars are free to attend live - to see what's on tap in June, just visit the SWS Calendar of Events! 

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Comment balloon 14 commentsJennifer Allan-Hagedorn • June 03 2013 06:29AM


Jennifer: I like your tip #3--under promise and over perform.

Posted by Pat & Steve Pribisko (Keller Williams Greater Cleveland West) over 6 years ago

Check, check and check! Good list. Thinking about opening my checkbook makes me shudder: am I the one buying your house?

Posted by Brad MacKenzie, Turning Houses into Homes on the South Shore (Brad MacKenzie) over 6 years ago

Tip one is my most important tip and I use it in all aspects of my daily life

Posted by William Feela, Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No. (WHISPERING PINES REALTY) over 6 years ago

Some very good tips for owners to keep things under control. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Edward & Celia Maddox, EXPERIENCE & INTEGRITY - WE TAKE THE HIGH ROAD (The Celtic Connection Realty) over 6 years ago
Great blog, Jennifer, thanks for these useful tips. I once had a buyer balk on a million dollar sale when the seller took a pottery barn hutch worth about $200.
Posted by Melanie Narducci, Your San FranciscoBay Area Real Estate Expert (Hillscape Properties, Inc.) over 6 years ago

We too believe in the notion to under promise and over deliver. The things you write about here are a good reminder that organization and diligence are very important to succeed at what we are doing with real estate transaction. 

Smart BLOG Jennifer. Thank you.

Posted by Cooper Jacobs, Real Estate Brokers - Seattle (Looking For A Seattle Realtor? COOPERJACOBS.COM) over 6 years ago

Hi Jennifer,  great tips..Thanks for sharing with us in AR

Posted by Ronald DiLalla, No. Orange Cty Real Estate (Century 21 Discovery DRE 01813824) over 6 years ago

Jennifer- this is an excellent list.  The first three are like prep work, as you said. to ward off or anticipate problems but #4 is just perfect, especially "never open your checkbook to put a sale together; only use it to keep a sale together."  

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) over 6 years ago

good tips Thank You

Posted by Mike Warfel, Associate Broker (Mike & Rita Warfel Real Estate LLC) over 6 years ago

Being a good agent requires problem solving before the problems arise. Making the home very saleable without overselling is important. Letting people know the real expenses is a very important item. HONESTY works.

Posted by Jimmy Faulkner, The Best Of St. Augustine (Florida. Homes Realty & Mortgage) over 6 years ago

Jennifer, thanks for another wonderful post filled with great tips!

Posted by Wayne and Jean Marie Zuhl, The Last Names You'll Ever Need in Real Estate (Samsel & Associates) over 6 years ago

Thanks for the tips Jennifer! Take down the chandelier BEFORE it becomes an issue!


Posted by Charlotte Luxury Real Estate, Eli Magids (Keller Williams - Ballantyne Area) over 6 years ago

Great tips and how wonderful to put a program like this together.

Posted by Michelle Cherie CarrCrowe Just Call...408-252-8900, Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years (Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty) over 6 years ago

Jennifer, I like all of the tips! The one I need to work on the most is the "other tips." I have a bad habit of making a lot of the problems my issues to solve.

Posted by Eric Michael, Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519 (Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI) over 6 years ago

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