They Won't Know if You Don't Tell Them - Setting Client Expectations

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Austin Texas Homes, LLC 453249

As the broker and owner of our company for almost 11 years, I have trained dozens of agents. One of the most important lessons when finessing a real estate transaction from contract to closing is to set the appropriate expectations with clients.

Here are a few quick examples:


"I didn't know they would want me to fix stuff from the inspection."

Part of our job is to inform our seller clients that they will likely have a list of repair items requested from the buyer following the inspection of their home. I try to bring this up during the negotiations on price so there are no surprises (or at least to minimize them).

Conversely, if you know that your client has no interest in dealing with repairs, you should make that abundantly clear with the buyer's agent.


"I was driving around and we found a new home and did a contract with the builder already."

This is never a good feeling. If you have a buyer who purchases a new home with no representation, it is a big-time wasted opportunity AND it doesn't benefit them, either.

Assuming that there are brand-new homes which might be of interest to your buyers, I recommend saying something along these lines, before it is too late:

"I also sell new construction homes. I have worked with almost all of the local builders, and I know which ones to avoid as well. They pay our commission as part of their pricing. The reputable ones will not give you a discount if you have no agent - instead, they simply make a little more money and you have no one looking out for you if things go awry. Even if you end up not liking me, I would recommend getting an agent to help."

Obviously, you can tailor this "script" to meet your needs.


"I have a moving truck waiting to unload my stuff at the house after we close."

I haven't encountered this in a while, but it happens. It's up to the agent to explain to a buyer that there is a difference between closing and funding, and it may be several hours before they "officially" own the house. It could even be the next day.


"I offered full price. How come I didn't get the house?"

Granted, this is a market-specific question. I don't know that you would hear this exact question phrased in this manner, but some buyers don't understand how competitive certain segments and areas are. I had a client earlier this year who had to write 11 offers (lost out on 10 places) to get a house. One offer was for a house priced at $170,000 - we offered $190,000 and did not get it.

Be crystal clear with buyers about what to expect with regard to inventory and competition for good homes. Heck - there is competition for the bad homes, too, at least here in Austin.


Every real estate transaction is a learning experience, and I am still learning after 18+ years in this business. Setting expectations properly will make your sales much smoother and easier, and it is impressive to buyers and sellers alike.

Thanks for reading!

Posted by


If you're looking for a home in the Austin area, you can also visit my primary website at  Thanks!


This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Real Estate Best Practices
Real Estate Rookie
Dedicated Bloggers
Addicted to Active Rain
setting expectations with clients

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

The worst kind is there is no expectation. After you get them into a contract.

They call you back they are not interested or they went with a different agent...

Jul 23, 2015 12:48 PM #10
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Excellent explanation that realistic expectations avoid disappointment and set the stage for a much smoother transaction.

Jul 23, 2015 01:07 PM #11
Rose King
David Tracy Real Estate - Friendswood, TX
Friendswood / Pearland / Houston Bay Area

These are all great points, Jason! I can especially identify with the last one. Full asking price is often not good enough in this crazy market.

Jul 23, 2015 01:41 PM #12
Sonja Patterson
Keller Williams - BV - College Station, TX
Texas Monthly 5-Star Realtor Recipient for the Hou

Wowzie!  $20,000 over list price.  I'll bet your buyers were SO happy to have offer #11 accepted. :)

Jul 23, 2015 01:43 PM #13
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

We find that proper preparation is essential in our business too, without it we would get a lot of angry calls.  With it they know what to expect and walk away happy in hte end.

Jul 23, 2015 03:27 PM #14
Chuck Willman
Utah Homes - Alpine, UT
Utah Homes

The "we bought a new home- thank you so much for your help!" <--- that's the one that I've heard twice. Ouch.

Jul 23, 2015 11:05 PM #15
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Great advice! I've had it happen even after outlining expectations. Often I get them to inital some of the items we've covered, even then... hahaha. Got to love this job. :) 

Jul 24, 2015 12:32 AM #16
Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West & Geneva Financial, Llc. - Carlsbad, CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Jason Crouch Thanks for the re-visit to past experiences. Even new agents are not in this business for very long before they encounter these and so much more. Good Post!

Jul 25, 2015 11:16 PM #17
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County

Setting expectations as well as providing an education along the way to a closing....exactly why people need a good Realtor!

Jul 25, 2015 11:20 PM #18
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Jason, proper communication and setting of expectations is key to avoiding surprises! Enjoy your day!

Jul 25, 2015 11:23 PM #19
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224


Jul 25, 2015 11:59 PM #20
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

 I am glad I didnt miss your post, thanks to Kathys Weekly round up!

Jul 26, 2015 12:15 AM #21
Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert
Zion Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Broker/Owner of Zion Realty

I have the new construction conversation when we're first sitting down to discuss what type of home they want. I set the expectation early that even if they switch gears from resale to new construction I will still be able to represent them so they are covered on both bases. 

Jul 26, 2015 01:11 AM #22
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

And even when you tell them - you probably should tell them again. And again. People who appear to be listening aren't always hearing. 

Jul 26, 2015 03:40 AM #23
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Jason - the best was to start a relationship is to set expectations.  I think fear and inexperience stops some from doing thing but it is better to set the expectations up front.

Jul 26, 2015 03:47 AM #24
Alan Kirkpatrick
Austin Texas Homes - Round Rock, TX
Alan in Austin


Great post and tips. Hope you have a wonderful week. 

Aug 10, 2015 01:38 PM #25
James Murr
Cortiers Real Estate - College Station, TX

Good read; happy Hump Day! 

Aug 12, 2015 05:07 AM #26
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ

I noticed you haven't posted on Active Rain for a while and was wondering if all is OK?  Come back to the 'Rain!

Oct 25, 2015 10:58 PM #27
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Being as clear as possible is vital to every aspect of our business as people and as owners of businesses.

Dec 17, 2015 03:56 PM #28
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I agree with all of you that it's been along time since the last post and I always wonder about people.

Dec 17, 2015 03:58 PM #29
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Jason Crouch

Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)
Ask me anything!
Spam prevention

Additional Information