It was suggested that I re-post this in the NJ groups. Good to be here!
A few weeks ago, I posted a blog which garnered several dozen comments about the importance of keeping our own emotions in check, so that we can be objective when assisting our clients, and always making sure we keep their interests ahead of ours. I felt compelled to share another account of how this manifests itself in my daily business.
Last night, I was presenting an offer in person as I have done a few times lately (see earlier blog) at the seller's request. I represent the buyers. We were $30,000 under the asking price, and given the comps and our changed market here, this price was in my opinion right on target for fair market value. The seller had verbally accepted this offer a few days prior, but in the meantime, she found out that her father, who has lived in that home with her for 50+ years, and was the only other owner besides her, needed to go to a convalescent home due to a stroke at 102 years old. Combine that with the approaching Christmas holiday, and the seller was in tears and very upset about our offer price. I really felt for her, especially having lost my father around the holidays 6 years ago. It is an awful feeling. Put that on top of selling the only home you've ever lived in, and for less than you could have gotten a year ago. Wow..
Thankfully, I have learned to stay calm in these types of situations, and the most important thing I could do was validate her feelings and explain that my clients and I felt for her, and that our offer is in no way trying to take advantage of her situation, rather this was just the price that my clients were willing to pay, especially in our declining market.
After explaining the contract, and allowing her to voice her feelings and opinions, I felt an immediate ease in the tension at the table. Her Realtor thanked me for not being cold and pushy at the table, and for allowing her to feel her feelings.
Had I not been calm, focused, and drawn on past experience with emotional sellers, this outcome would have been quite different I am sure. Judging by the other agent's comments, I could tell that this seller would not respond well to a defensive, argumentative, emotional stance on why her home was worth $370,000 and not $400,000. I have seen that before, and made that mistake before when I was first starting out in this business.
This just further validates for me two things I am learning:
1. Although selling is still a business transaction, I must be mindful of the fact that human beings are on both sides of each deal.
2. It is my job to stay calm, professional, and objective, so I can both represent my clients, and present my position to sellers and Realtors, no matter how tense, or emotional the other folks might get.