It’s an inevitable fact of the real estate market. Sooner or later, you will lose a listing to another agent. Over the years, we’ve learned that not even the greatest agents can hit a home run every time at the plate. This is especially true with full inventories and long closing times. But just how many listings change hands at the whim of their sellers? Is this something that happens all the time? Is there a difference in listing/agent turnover according to price? These are all questions we decided to take a look at in our recent data pull.
Above is a look at listings segmented by the amount of agents that have handled them, for properties under $1 million. 80% of listings stick with just one agent, while almost 17% head to a second agent. This means close to 1-in-5 sellers will change agents if their home is not selling. Far less than that, 3.2% and 0.72% move on to 3rd and 4th agents, respectively. Over 20% of listings below $1 million will move beyond their original agent.
How does this differ in the luxury listing market?
For listings above $1 million, agents fair slightly better. Luxury listings have a 5% greater likelihood of staying with their original agent, and very few of them pass on to four or more agents. So while the effects of losing a luxury listing are particularly painful on the ego and bank account, they in fact happen less frequently than general listings.
While the numbers prove the frequency and likelihood of this happening to you, there are certainly steps worth taking to decrease your chances. The better of an agent you are, the less reasons a fickle seller has to cancel on you. At a glance, here are the top three to keep in mind:
1) Pricing – Knowing market absorption rates, list-to-sale price ratios, and managing your clients expectations on on the value and realistic sales price of their property. Time has shown, overpriced listings rarely sell.
2) Communication – Be proactive with your communication, even if there are no new developments. There’s no easier way to lose or confuse a client than by not keeping them in the loop. Statistics, marketing activity reporting, and regular updates are all things sellers will appreciate.
3) Credibility – If you say you are going to do something, do it. There’s nothing that puts off a seller faster than a flaky agent. If a seller asks you for specific information, get it for them. Be reliable, responsible, and credible. By accomplishing small tasks day to day and week to week, sellers will trust that you can sell their home over the long run.
So remember, while losing a listing is a frustrating and disappointing part of the job, it happens to everyone. Whether a $200k listing or a $2 million listing, your communication, credibility, and price positioning will keep you favorable in the eyes of sellers.