How to help clients see the (cleanliness) light

by Jamie Henry02 Mar 2015
Dealing with messy clients can be tricky as you don’t want to offend and lose potential business. So how can you help them clean up their act? One agent says you probably can’t.
But the solution is simple – get someone else to do it for you.
“A home stager will come in and offer ideas on how to de-clutter a house,” says John Whyte, a sales rep in Toronto. “It’s a third party, an unbiased voice to come in and say, make sure this room looks this way.”
Whyte says he uses the third-party tactic to help his clients – particularly those who are a little, um, untidy – see the fault in their homes.
Outside of easily fixable messes, such as dirty dishes left in the sink or used litter boxes in the corner, a third-party opinion can offer constructive criticisms that are easier for sensitive sellers to digest.
“With properties, a lot of times people get very connected and attached, so it’s difficult as a real estate agent, having that relationship with the client, to come in and tell them to take this out, or leave this in,” he says. “People think their home is perfect the way it is, and it is perfect for them, but you’re trying to get people to come in and see themselves in that house.”
Plus, Whyte says, getting someone else to be the bearer of bad news can ensure offended clients don’t take it out on their only-trying-to-help sales reps.
“Agents are a little nervous to say things because they don’t want to lose the business,” he says, “so having a third party come in to say it will not impact your business.”

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