In this video we discuss the issue of control surrounding late-life moves and share a tool that helps ensure clients feel empowered.
Before we can talk about the best time to use an Easy Exit Agreement form, we have to go back to the basics. Remember in the book by David Solie, How to Say it to Seniors: Closing the Communication Gap with Our Elders?
The author talks about two phase of life tasks associated with getting older.
- Maintaining control in a world where all control is being lost, and
- Leaving a legacy when time is running short.
As an agent, you will likely encounter clients who are grappling with one or both of these tasks as they embark on their downsizing journey. In this video and post I am going to deal mainly with the issue of control and how a form called the Easy Exit Agreement can help put your clients back in the driver’s seat, helping them to make decisions to move forward more easily.
For those who haven’t taken our course, the easy exit agreement has been around a really long time. In fact, Chris and I adopted it back in the early 1990s after being introduced to it at Howard Brinton’s Star Power. So, we at SREI didn’t invent this, it’s been an effective strategy for top agents for decades.
What is an easy exit agreement?
The easy exit agreement is simply a form you create to go with your listing paperwork that says that the client can exit the listing agreement at any time prior to being under contract with a buyer should they decide they no longer want to continue the listing.
NOTE: Remember, the listing is a contract between your client and the brokerage where you hang your license. So, if you aren’t your own broker, you will need to get this cleared through the proper channels.
So, why would you want to allow a client to cancel their listing? You may even be asking, why would I give them a form that says they can fire me? That seems crazy. Well, here’s why…
Let’s say you talk with Mrs. Raymond. She is on the fence about selling her house and her kids are really pressuring her to downsize. When she meets with you she shares her reservations and just isn’t sure she is making the right decision. She puts you off over and over again and simply can’t bring herself to sign a contract.
You explain to her that she can sign the contract today and then tomorrow, if she should change her mind, she can simply sign the easy exit agreement and call you. You will tear up the contract – no questions asked.
You have given her the control. You put her back in the driver’s seat.
She takes a step forward by going through the listing agreement and forms with you. The act of going through this with you, provided you do a great job of walking her through it, helps her become more confident in you and herself. Chances are, she will wake up the next day and be reminded that she can change her mind at any point and will feel a sense of empowerment in moving ahead.
Another great example for the easy exit is when someone has had a bad experience with another agent. Maybe it was their own experience or one they heard about from a friend. Either way, signing a longterm agreement with an agent makes them feel vulnerable. This is often the case with someone you have just met as opposed to those you have built a relationship with over time through things like seminars or other events.
With this person, you simply offer them the option of the easy exit should they think you aren’t holding up your end of the deal. This puts them squarely back in control and moving ahead – albeit cautiously, but ahead nonetheless.
What if they fire me and sell by owner?
I know what you are thinking. What if they decide to sell it themselves and execute the easy exit agreement just to not have to pay me? Well, the fact is, if someone is going to cut you out of a deal, they will do it, regardless of the paperwork you have in place.
It’s important to go over with them the spirit of the agreement and that it’s designed to ensure you have done your job or address a change in circumstances. Honest people are going to treat you fairly; dishonest people are going to be dishonest – it’s a reality we just have to deal with.
At the end of the day, the Easy Exit is just another tool in your toolkit. We have used it for years and we actually take great pleasure in seeing someone who feels like they have lost control sit up a little taller when they know they are in charge.
Of course, if you are enrolled in Success in Seniors Real Estate Part 2, you have this form in your library. You can modify it to suit yourself and be sure to get agreement from your broker that they will honor it. That is if you ever actually need to. In all our years and hundreds of transactions, we have maybe had 2 or 3 we ever had to cancel.
Are You Ready to learn?
Are you ready to take your skills to the next level? Join us for Success in Seniors Real Estate Parts 1, 2 and 3. Classes are available on-demand or in-person in select cities throughout the year.