Real estate agents are a talkative group and they like to help people. As a result, we (and I include myself in this) often times say things that we shouldn't say. It's not that what we are saying is wrong, it's more like we may say what we think people want to hear and that can be misleading or get us into trouble. Whether working with buyers or sellers, it's important to remember that our words are powerful and our clients will remember what we said and hold us to them. The information you give them will help them make very important decisions. Here are of few of the statements I hear agents use consistently.
1 - CALL ME ANYTIME
Do you really mean this? Is it okay for a customer or client to call you on a weekend at 1am? It's better to let them know the best times to call, text or email you.
2 - IT'S PRICED WELL
You have no idea if the property is priced well until someone agrees to buy it at that price. I usually hear agents make this statement when they are wondering why a property is still on the market.
3 - YOU'LL GET MULTIPLE OFFERS
This is a perfect way to disappoint a seller. You don't know how many offers you'll receive. If you only get one offer, the seller should be okay with the list price and not expect multiple offers.
4 - IT WILL SELL QUICKLY
None of us has a crystal ball. Just because similar properties have sold quickly doesn't mean their house will sell quickly. Market conditions can vary from week-to-week.
5 - I'VE FOUND THE PERFECT HOUSE FOR YOU
Let the buyer determine whether or not it's the "perfect house." Just let them know that you found a house that seems to meet most of their criteria.
6 - HOW'S THE LOAN COMING ALONG?
When speaking with the lender you need to be specific, so ask specific questions. "Has the appraisal been ordered?" "Is the loan package in Underwriting?" Be specific. General questions lead to general responses which can lead to a delay in closing.
7 - MY CLIENT WON'T ACCEPT THAT
Real estate agents do not make decisions for their clients. We simply present information and data so our clients can make an informed and educated decision.
8 - THAT'S AGAINST THE LAW
There are painfully few real estate laws. There are, however lots of regulations, standards of practice and code of ethics that we abide by.
9 - I'LL RESEARCH THAT FOR YOU
Real estate agents love to be helpful, but that can lead to needless lawsuits. Information can get twisted or lost in translation. The best thing to do is to give your client the web site or phone number and have them get the answers to their questions first hand.
10 - ARE YOU READY TO HIRE THE RIGHT AGENT?
Agents who call on expired or withdrawn listings often use this phrase thinking that it makes them sound like the "right" agent. Unfortunately the opposite is true. This statement makes the owner feel like they made a bad decision the first time around and you are just reminding them of that. Choose a different phrase when you're prospecting.
11 - THAT'S A SAFE NEIGHBORHOOD
Clients will often ask us if a neighborhood is safe, but it's not a question you can answer. Why? Because what you consider to be safe may not be safe to them. Give them the link to the crime statistics in the area and have them do their own research. Have them look at the statistics from a lot of different neighborhoods in the area so they can see that crime is virtually everywhere.
12 - THE SCHOOLS ARE GREAT
Saying a school or school district is great is just like saying a neighborhood is safe. You don't know what their definition of "great" is. Give them the link to a web site that ranks schools on a variety of things and have them tell you what school districts they like and which ones they want to stay away from.
13 - THIS HOUSE IS A GOOD DEAL
What is and isn't a "good deal" is relative. If the client loves the house, loves the neighborhood and loves the price, then the house is a good deal to them. It's not up to you to define what is and isn't a good deal.
14 - IT'S WALKING DISTANCE TO...
Everyone has a different definition of walking distance. A short walk for me might be a mile, while a short walk for you might be three blocks. Everyone has GPS on their phones. Let them determine if it's walkable.
15 - YOU CAN ALWAYS RENT IT OUT
When someone is only going to be in the area for a short period of time they will ask about the possibility of renting out their property. The buyer will need to do their research on rental prices to see if the numbers make sense. If we're talking about a condominium the buyer will need to read the by-laws of the association to see if there are any rental restrictions.
16 - THE PROPERTY IS "AS-IS" SO YOU CAN'T HAVE A HOME INSPECTION
When a property is sold in "As-Is" condition that is when you want to have a home inspection. The buyer needs to know what "As-Is" is. After all, they don't want to buy a money pit. You can most definitely have an inspection, however the seller is probably not willing to make any repairs.
17 - EVERYTHING IN THE HOUSE IS NEW
What's the definition of "new?" Is new one month old? One year old? Two years old? Instead of using the word new, you might want to say that certain items were replaced within the last year or two years, whatever the case might be. You never know what a buyer's definition of new is so you don't want to be misleading.
18 - I'VE BEEN IN THE BUSINESS FOR "X" YEARS
Some agents think that because they have been in the business for a long time that it makes them an expert. It doesn't. It could mean they are a survivor. If you don't know why someone should want to work with you other than the fact that you have longevity, maybe you shouldn't be in the business.
19 - IT'S THE PERFECT HOUSE FOR A FAMILY
It doesn't matter how you look at it, this statement is a fair housing violation. Always remember to talk about the property, not who can occupy the property.
20 - THE HOUSE NEEDS TO BE UP TO CODE
A home inspection is not a code inspection. Think about it. A house built in 1967 can't be expected to be up to the 2017 building code. Prepare your buyer for the home inspection and let them know what to expect. If a property has been renovated than the renovated portion needs to be up to code, but that's it.
21 - IT'S NOT MY JOB
There will be time when you'll have to do things that you don't see as your job. I've swept floors, made beds and rolled up carpet. We have to do what it takes for our clients to have a great real estate experience and if that means doing what someone else should be doing, do it and keep it moving.
What other statements have you heard?
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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!
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