The Value of the Initial Buyer Consultation

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with ZipRealty Residential Brokerage 46553

A regular part of my initial consultation is my buyer orientation. We talk about their needs and expectations, the state of the market, what I can and can't do for them, etc. This is one of the most important services I offer to my clients. If they come in for buyer orientation, my odds of getting an offer accepted and getting to closing increases many-fold.Much of the orientation is done with anecdotes. I tell them about pitfalls others, including me, have encountered in the past. We talk about availability of funds at closing, that the signing does not equal the closing, why we do walkthroughs, etc. I do not discuss all of the particulars of the purchase and sale until we actually write one because there's so much to absorb. Information is broken into digestible parts with opportunity to review later. Everyone always gets opportunity to ask as many questions as they wish so that they feel very prepared.

While this was originally a first-time homebuyer concept, if the buyer hasn't bought in many years, running through the basics, especially the all-important closing date, is a necessary review. Many buyers don't remember that they don't get their key upon signing, even if we've just sold their house recently.

Forewarned is a fore-armed. Some real estate professionals seem to lead a charmed life and have transactions close smoothly without any pitfalls. However, I find that it's been a fact of my business that usually stuff happens, unexpectedly and inconveniently. If I had a crystal ball, I would find out what it was in advance, but I don't. So I do the next best thing and inform my clients that there's usually one item, we don't know what it is, but I will help them through it when it comes up. I usually go over common complications that can occur at any time between inspection and closing right after writing up the purchase and sale so that no one is caught off-guard, which prepares the buyers and sellers to expect the unexpected. My brokerage has an automatic 10 day extension built into the purchase and sale which I use to introduce the topic to my clients.Many times, when I tell my clients that we've hit a speed bump, they are pretty calm and remind me that I told them something might happen so they were emotionally prepared and it usually passes pretty quickly.

Once this process is put into practice, transactions began to go much more smoothly. Buyers panic less often when they know what's going on and that what is happening is not going to kill the purchase. They also draw comfort from the fact that whatever glitch is occurring has happened before and that their representative has experience in trouble-shooting it.

 

Comments (5)

Michele Connors
The Overton Group, LLC Pitt & Carteret County - Greenville, NC
Your Eastern North Carolina Realtor
Irene- well said. We should never assume they know entirely what they are signing up for until we educate them. Even the most experienced buyers and seller should know how you run your business. Good for you- it makes those hiccups easier to cure when they arise!
Aug 02, 2007 10:34 AM
Irene Potter
ZipRealty Residential Brokerage - Maple Valley, WA
Creating moving experiences in real estate

 Hi Michele, thanks for stopping by! 

I find that the longer I'm in business, the more I just "know" how things will go but for my buyers (and sellers) who don't have multiple transactions each year, it can get overwhelming and need to be educated that this happens to others during the process, not just them. Once they see that glitches are common, their concerns diminish.

Aug 02, 2007 10:52 AM
Fran Gaspari
Patriot Land Transfer, Inc. - Limerick, PA
"The Title Man" - Title Insurance - PA & NJ
Irene: A first time homebuyer would be fortunate to have you working with them. I wish you were an agent in my area. I love informed and educated buyers. Thanks,   Fran
Aug 02, 2007 10:54 AM
Linda Reynolds
Bradenton Real Estate - Linda Reynolds - Bradenton, FL
Bradenton Real Estate
Great article, I fully believe in buyer orientation as well.
Aug 02, 2007 12:47 PM
Irene Potter
ZipRealty Residential Brokerage - Maple Valley, WA
Creating moving experiences in real estate
Hi Fran and Linda, Thanks for coming by! I am ever hopeful that others take time to orient buyers as well because it makes the transaction go smoother for all parties.
Aug 02, 2007 12:56 PM