Buyer Birds and Bees

Real Estate Agent with Palmer House Properties 292385

I wonder, do you have "THE TALK" with your buyers? If so, what are you saying?


I recently referred a buyer out to my partner. She has been calling me for about a year. I would hear from her every couple of months when she would have a question on real estate. She was back and forth with her decision to buy a home and decided a couple of months ago to take the dive. I was happy for her that she had finally made her choice. BUT, my plate was full. I was working with quite a few buyers at the time she called me and I knew I wouldn't be able to give her the attention and care she needed so I decided to refer her to my right hand man in real estate because I knew he would take good care of her.

My partner would call me on updates on what they were doing and I'd check in with her from time to time to see how she was doing. Her road has been an emotional one. She found a home pretty quickly, submitted an offer, and it was accepted. Problem: the listing was a short sale and shortly after the agreement was signed, the seller decided she wanted to keep her home and her bank granted her a loan modification.

A few days passed by and she found another home, an offer was submitted and rejected because the seller accepted a higher offer.

After a couple more disappointments, she calls me and tells me how discouraged she was getting with this process and how it was so emotionally draining. Then I had an "Ah haaaaaa" moment. I referred out but hadn't had "THE TALK" with her.

*I make sure to have "THE TALK" with all of my buyers.*

I told her that since we hadn't gone out together, I hadn't had the chance to have "THE TALK" with her like I have with all of my other client's on our first outing. She says to me, "Well what's that?" Then I began to give her the talk:

"Ok, I'm just going to give it to you real here. This is not meant to scare you but to prepare you. This process can be a bitch at times and at times it can be your best friend. I tell this to everyone so when these ups and downs come, you're well prepared and you're expecting it. This search can get on your nerves. What you're going through is typical and honey, you ain't seen NOTHIN' yet. I've seen worse. I sometimes like to liken this process to labor. It can suck and take you through all types of pain and the best part about it is the birth at the closing table. You get anxious. You get emotional. No matter how thorough and proactive we are, a wrench can come from any direction and knock you off your square. You can have your eyes set on a house and your offer can get rejected. You can have your eyes set on a house and be in contract and then the inspection comes and unveils a bunch of issues that you never expected. And while we can simply ask the seller to make repairs, they can and sometimes will give us hell about them. There can be issues with the title. And let's not talk about the bank who can wait until the last minute to drop a bomb that that you may or may not be able to recover from which is why I always give the advice to always have more money than is expected for closing costs for those little "just in case moments". Now once, again, I don't mean to scare you but I need to make sure to prepare you."

Her reply, "Wow, I never knew. So what I am going through is typical?" "Yes ma'am," I said to her.

A couple weeks later when she started to get discouraged because she hadn't found anything else to her liking yet, she called me and thanked me for "THE TALK" because had she hadn't heard my brutally honest talk, she would've thrown in the towel in her search.

What I find is that my talk, though brutal, is effective. Every time a buyer faces a challenge, I get the same response, "You told me to be prepared for these things. I'm glad you did."

So, back to my original question, do you have "THE TALK" with your buyers?

Posted by

Selling? Buying? You should call me for that. Dee Neal Palmer House Properties 678.387.9309

Dee Neal Atlanta Area Real Estate

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Comments (114)

Alexsandra Stewart
Remax equity group - Portland, OR
Broker - Portland Oregon Real Estate

Dee - I love this birds and bees talk post !  What a great analogy.  Definitely have to have the facts of life talk with both buyers and sellers -- and I think - several times along the way, as it is easy for people, all of us - to forget things we dodn't want to hear, or the bad news.  thanks!

Jul 08, 2009 09:07 AM
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Sometimes those Buyers are just like our kids.  They don't want to listen to dad until they have fallen down a few times, then they come back to what you said.

Jul 08, 2009 09:19 AM
Betty Saenz
Sky Realty, Austin, Texas - Austin, TX
EcoBroker GRI SRES

Thanks for the post.  I have some first timers right now who think they know it all and thus lost their first offer.  Short Sales and Foreclosures especially are prone to a lot of pain.  I love the motivated, reasonable sellers and buyers, the kind we all love to work with.  I've had some deals that were like a woman not even knowing she's pregnant and then gives birth and some are pegnancies full of problems followed by a birth of 24 hour back labors where you need an epidural and morphine to deal with the pain!!

Jul 08, 2009 12:55 PM
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

I also have a talk with my clients though I like just how brutal and straightforward your is.

Jul 08, 2009 01:36 PM
Janice Ruizzo, Broker, State Streets Real Estate, St. Cloud, FL

Dee, I love your post! It is so necessary to let buyers know what they are in for. I compare it to a roller coaster ride and remind them as situations pop up that it's just part of the ride. I tell them to just put themselves 2 months into the future. They can look back and laugh and say How did we get through it? This is a short time of their life, and very stressful but relatively short. Keep it in prospective.

There are so many things that we have no control over. We don't know when the offer will be accepted, when the BPO will be completed, how much the bank will take, will the property appraise, will the out-of-town appraiser do a good job, how long underwriting will take, how long a short sale will take, how long an REO sale will take, exactly how long is a 24-hour turnaround, etc, etc. There seem to be more and more steps added to the process and things can go wrong at every turn.

Case in point: My son and his wife were slam-dunk, golden buyers with everything going for them, townhouse under contract needing no repairs, $20,000 less than all the other units. Sounds great. Then the out-of-town appraiser neglected to check off one box. Loan denied because mortgage insurance could not be obtained. Others in the subdivision had obtained mortgage insurance, the builder said it should not be a problem. Ultimately the issue was resolved, (we close next week) but just goes to show that things come up out of nowhere! You just don't know what to expect.

Jul 08, 2009 03:30 PM
Scott Strang
Scott Gregory Group - North Reading, MA
Licenced RE Broker and Realtor Office in MA&NH

yes, I set the expectation early on. it is very important.


good blog !!!

Jul 08, 2009 03:35 PM
Todd & Devona Garrigus
Garrigus Real Estate - Beaumont, CA
Broker / REALTORS®

Great analogy! We absolutely prefer thought-out honesty with our clients regarding "the process", and brutal honesty with foreclosures and short sales- especially short sales!!!

Jul 08, 2009 05:55 PM
Karen Greene
United Real Estate Solutions - Knoxville, TN
Selling Knoxville TN Area

Great reminder of the communication process that helps the buyer and will in the long run make the whole process smoother. Birthing a baby is the exact phrase I myself have used when making it to a closing after working with clients for months; but I certainly feel a great sense of accomplishment when leaving the closing table. Thanks for reminding us of this very important step!

Jul 08, 2009 10:21 PM
Lelis Navas
Exit Realty Prestige - Davie, FL

Lelis NavasGreat talk

With all challenges we have in this taff time. We better get the time to educate our buyers.  No sugar coat!!!! They must be prepared and conscienced about how we are dealing in this wild market.


Jul 09, 2009 12:58 AM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Broker Retired

Yep you have to have the talk to get them prepared. Everyone expects everything to be easy and most things worthwhile are not. Not much backbone out there anymore?

Jul 09, 2009 04:46 AM
Kimberly Thomas, Broker-Associate - Voorhees, NJ
Keller Williams Realty - Voorhees, NJ

Hi Dee,

Congrats on the featured post!  Great information.  I definately have a "talk" with all of my clients -both buyers and seller, cause I've never wanted them to say, "You never told me that could happen".

Problem is that many of them conveniently forget the talk when it suits their neurosis or mood, or what have you. lol!

The talk is magnified x 10 when I have buyers who only want short sales, pre-foreclosures or REOs!

We can't waste our time in this market, or any for that matter, on people with unrealistic expectations. Now, if we never do anything to check those grandiose expectations -the joke's on us when they waste months of our time. 

Well done!



Jul 09, 2009 05:53 AM
Kyle Weaver
Liberty Lending Consultants - Des Peres, MO


Your Birds and Bees talk is just as essential for Buyers as is the real BNB talk with our youth.   I think us Lenders should have the same and we should have buy-in with eachother's speech.   I will work on our speech and get back to ya!


Jul 09, 2009 01:57 PM
Dee Neal
Palmer House Properties - Alpharetta, GA
Atlanta Area Real Estate

kimberly, lol read posts above...have the talk on signed black and white for back up....then you can say look here where you signed, now do you remember? lol

Jul 10, 2009 06:16 AM
Dee Neal
Palmer House Properties - Alpharetta, GA
Atlanta Area Real Estate

janice: omg! the things that come up. i love my career ;-)

Jul 10, 2009 06:23 AM
Sharon A. Parisi

I love this post.  I have given similar talks to Buyers.  I always end with the words "my job is to try and keep the transaction moving as smoothly as possible."

Jul 12, 2009 03:08 PM
Anna Stout
F.C.Tucker Co.-Carmel/Westfield IN Homes for Sale - Westfield, IN

Congratulations on the featured post, Dee. It's so true that THE TALK is needed right from the beginning. Otherwise, you not only have frustrated Buyers, but you may lose the sale, as well.  I recently had THE TALK with sellers re: de-cluttering and staging. It's not always readily received but we are actually doing them a favor in the long run.


Jul 14, 2009 03:40 AM
Kristen Wahl
Re/Max Plus - Rochester, NY

Dee, great post. It's true, there's so much that can go wrong in a transaction. You're smart to "nip it in the bud"! Thanks for sharing your words.

Jul 15, 2009 03:21 AM
Dee Neal
Palmer House Properties - Alpharetta, GA
Atlanta Area Real Estate

thanks kristen. im glad you liked it. nip it in the bud saves EVERYONE headaches.

Jul 15, 2009 03:35 AM
Mark Velasco
West Shores Realty - Whittier, CA
Top Producing Broker Associate

Dee. The Talk should be a required disclosure for all Clients...with one rule don't cry when things don't go your way...this is not your mama's kitchen anymore. lol

Jul 16, 2009 04:23 AM
Esko Kiuru
Bethesda, MD


That's very good. Especially in this kind of a roller-coaster real estate and mortgage environment a TALK is all important. It can be unfriendly out there for the unprepared.

Aug 11, 2009 09:08 AM