Emotions are like the wind, they change regularly and with that change comes attitudes that can sometimes affect the decisions that we make every day. Whether good or bad, our actions and decisions are usually the direct result of the mood that we may be in at any given time.
Have you ever worked with a client who, for whatever the reason, had mood changes that were so baffling that you didn't know how to react? One minute they are happy and filled with anticipation on finding the perfect property only to have that happiness and hope turn into despair and frustration?
I recently had the opportunity to work with a beautiful family in the search for their next home. After several showings of a half a dozen homes or so, the decision was made to write an offer on the home that was most suited for their needs. Now, keep in mind that this couple has lost two other properties by having a home sale contingency on the offer. Not having their home sold, another offer came in on those other homes and forced them to either remove their home sale contingency, or to walk away. Not having the confidence in the sale of their home, they elected to walk away and watch their dream home disappear.
The stage is set, the home that far exceeded the other homes that they lost has been discovered and the offer is made. Their anticipation was evident and we all were very pleased at our discovery. The offer is submitted only to have the listing agent call and state that another offer has been made by another agent who also felt the home was worth the offer. The owner of the property, who happens to be the lending institution, has given each prospect the opportunity to re-visit their offer. The bank informs the listing agent that the highest and/or best offer will be accepted. I immediately call my client to inform them of the situation. I urge them to raise their offer and to even remove their home sale contingency. After conferring with each member of the family, they decide that they really want this home and are determined that they are not going to lose another home. Their offer is increased, the home sale contingency is removed and they even move the closing up by 15 days making the banks carrying costs a little less.
We submit our adjusted offer and wait. And wait... and wait somemore. Thursday turns into Friday. 5 pm comes and goes and still no resolve to the offer. After contacting the listing agent, I find that the bank has to take the offers to a group of bankers to review and decide on one of the two offers. Monday will be the day that the decision is to be made. Or will it?
After contacting my clients, their hope of getting their dream home turned into frustration at not have a resolve before the long weekend ahead. This frustration turned into disappointment in a 15 minute phone call and the happy couple soon turns into strangers who, for reasons of attitude, changed by their emotion into one of anger. They began making comments like, I don't want the home any more. I feel that it is not meant to be. I don't care if they take my offer or not and on and on.
I had all that I could do to assure them that this is normal operating procedure and all good things are worth the wait. I told them that we gave it our best shot given the circumstances and also tried to tell them that I too was disappointed in the delay.
My point here is this. We need to be more than Realtors with many of our clients. We need to be good listeners... good sounding boards for them to bounce off their attitudes and frustrations. In other words, Counselors in their time of challenge. What you say and do in this critical time of the process could make or break any deal.
Are you a good listener?