The iBuyers may be dumb, but they’re at your listing appointment before you are.

Some people think they can’t be cheated by a machine. You will not smooth-talk them out of that error.

A friend sent a link to an NAR blowhard insisting that iBuyers are nothing new and are no threat to grunts on the ground.

Both claims are astoundingly false.

I’ve dealt with real estate retailing as an emergent phenomenon – something new under the sun, unplanned but nevertheless extant – and obviously there will be tons more on this.

As for iBuyers being nothing to worry about: Ahem.

If they’re in your town, they’re in your potential-seller’s head – and maybe in his email in-box, too. They’re in everyone’s, on billboards, radio, TV. If your prospect hasn’t solicited an offer yet, you need to get out in front of that eventuality.

The iBuyers are the elephant in the room at your listing appointment. If the seller doesn’t bring them up, you had better. It could be that iBuyer offers are already in play, so you may already be smoked. Or the seller may want your help going that way, in which case you just made the easiest money in your real estate career – although the party to whom you owe fiduciary duty may have just pissed away half or more of his accrued equity in the home. Or, god help you, he may want to be sold on the value of listing traditionally.

But to go in to a listing appointment assuming the listing is your to lose is a mistake, I think. In the iBuyer world, the listing is theirs to lose, yours to win. You got the appointment because the seller wants your advice, not because he wants your sign in his yard for six months.

If you walk out with paperwork, you win. If not, learn how to sell. But to insist that the iBuyers are nothing to worry about is simply daft. If you can actually get the appointment, you stand a good chance of making a deal that gets you paid. But even getting the appointment will be a harder and harder close, going forward.

If you list, you last? We’ll see. The complacent Realtors will make excellent test subjects…

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