Buying a house is a big deal. It's scary and it's a lot of money, so don't be surprised if your buyer starts to freak out at some point during the process. As real estate professionals we deal with the process on a daily basis. But for a first-time home buyer or even a second time home buyer, the process can be anxiety-ridden and stressful. Although you may not be able to totally eliminate the buyers' anxiety and stress, you can certainly help minimize it by doing this one simple thing...communicate.
Communicate Early and Communicate Often
In the absence of communication we all make up stuff. Not only do we make stuff up, we make up the worst possible stuff. The first item of business when you get a new buyer client is to sit down with them to discuss the home buying process, what you expect from them and what they can expect from you. This is the time to go over everything in detail. It is much easier to have the conversation now when there's no pressure to make a life-changing decision.
Gain Their Trust
You want to build rapport with them and help them to feel comfortable working with you. Having this buyer consultation at the onset is perfect for setting the tone of the transaction. Help them see the value of working with you by letting them know what you will be doing throughout the process.
- How will you help them find a house?
- How will you help them determine the best price to pay?
- How will you negotiate on their behalf?
- Let them know how your experience will help them navigate the process.
This first meeting is when you want to manage their expectations. Far too many times I hear agents say to clients, "Call me anytime", and I always wonder, do you really mean that? I don't think so and why would your client think they could call you at 11pm on a Saturday night just to talk about a new house they saw. That's not a good use of anyone's time. What's more important is to tell your clients when they can call you and how often you will communicate with them.
- Ask them how they would like for you to communicate with them. You'll find that some people prefer text or email and some prefer to receive a phone call.
- Let them know how often you will be communicating with them (daily or weekly). If weekly, what day of the week. The more specific you can be, the better.
- Let them know how you search for properties for them.
- Let them know how you will be sending listings to them or if they need to use an App.
- Let them know when you respond to emails and voice mails.
Minimize Their Confusion
The home buying process can be overwhelming and confusing. As their representative, your job is to minimize their confusion by outlining the steps involved in the process.
- Discuss how much cash they will need to buy a house. Include the down payment and closing costs.
- Discuss the Earnest Money Deposit
- Discuss what fees need to be paid of upfront (home inspection, appraisal, insurance, etc.)
- Discuss the more common contingencies in your market.
- Talk about the negotiation process and what items can be negotiated.
- Discuss common issues that occur during the process.
Buyer's Remorse is Common
It's important for them to understand that virtually every buyer experiences some form of buyer's remorse.
- Did we pay too much?
- Should we have asked the seller for more money?
- Did we rush our decision?
- Is there a better house out there that we didn't see?
This feeling is often times made worse when they share their good news with friends, family and co-workers. At which point everyone becomes a real estate expert and shares what happened when they bought their house. Prepare them for the potential advice and opinions they may be hearing.
No one likes surprises, especially when it comes to their hard-earned money. You'll want to go review all of these topics so you can minimize the surprises. Yes, it's a lot of information to cover in the first meeting, but it's all necessary to ensure a smoother transaction and fewer surprises. It's better to communicate all of these items upfront so all of you can determine if they are prepared to buy a house at this time. Plus, you can refer back to all of these topics throughout the process.
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Inman News named Candy Miles-Crocker as one of the Top 25 Real Estate coaches in 2016. Candy, “The Real-Life Realtor”, coaches, mentors and trains new and experienced real estate agents to transform their business by mastering her proven systems for success. She is a firm believer in managing expectations and her goal is to elevate the perception of real estate agents among the general public through education so every client has an amazing real estate experience. Candy’s unique training methods have shown agents what it takes to be successful!
Learn more about her training program at www.RLRETraining.com or send her an email at Candy@RLRETraining.com.