Some real estate deals are smooth as glass. Other deals are fraught with challenges and frustration. As a real estate professional, you can make the those challenging deals less stressful for your clients. I closed one Friday that had a lot of perils along the way. It was a first time purchase for a young couple. I know some deals can be difficult, but I really don't like for the first purchase to be difficult for my clients. Unfortunately, it happens sometimes. There are things you can do to limit the stress for your clients.
- You don't need to share everything you know. Things that will directly change the deal are important to share, but there is so much that goes on during a deal that doesn't need to end up at the buyer's doorstep. For instance, drama between agents and offices, what-if and maybe scenarios, potential home repair or defect issues that are not confirmed, appraisal questions that may affect value don't need to be shared until they really do become issues. It may be best to keep them out of the conversation until they need to be discussed. There is no sense in causing stress in buyers if there isn't a 100% need to talk about something. Use good judgment.
- Only share what you know. A sticky deal is no place for speculation. If a client asks, "Will the sellers . . . ?" You really only know that you can ask. An agent on the other side of a recent deal had to fork over $500 because he made a promise his sellers wouldn't back up. Two of your constant companions in this business should be, "I don't know, but I will find out," and "I can't promise anything, but I'll ask." I recently had to remind a home inspector of this same issue. He is prone to speculate about potential problems. I asked him not to say anything about anything that he wasn't 100% sure about. The client in that deal would have fled like a scalded dog if the inspector hinted of a problem. She was a first-time buyer, and she was nervous about everything. The most simple comment would have planted a great deal of fear in her. Ironically, the house was nearly perfect, but she saw problems everywhere. Because of the way the home inspector and I relayed information to her, she made it across the finish line without a problem, and she loves her house today. I do have a basic rule for all home inspectors who work with me. That is, don't ever say something is a code violation if you can't give the NEC chapter and verse, or the BOCA chapter and verse. Home inspectors are not code enforcement officers and should not be acting like they are.
- Don't share outside of your area of expertise. A crack in a foundation may be a settling crack, or it may be a $50,000 repair. Don't offer advice in areas you don't know. On my most recent deal, I had numerous questions from my buyers that I had to go to other professionals to get answers. The questions were out of the sphere of my expertise. So, it was to my advantage to ask other pros.
- Get to know your clients. Some clients need to hear from you everyday, other clients only want updates when something happens. Get to know the difference. It will keep everyone happy.
- Always let your clients know where the exits are. Some deals become so burdensome that the buyers just want to be done with it. The enthusiasm they felt at the contract signing has long waned, and they feel trapped in a deal they don't want. Help them understand that a contract is a contract. If they don't have a valid reason, they need to understand it may cost them their EMD, but there are some built in exists. If there are home inspection issues, that may present an exit. If the seller ignores dates on the contract, that may be an exit. If the appraisal comes back lower than the offer, that may offer an exit. I rarely have a client want to run from a deal, but it has happened. As a real estate professional, you are uniquely qualified to see those exits when they're needed.
Real estate purchases should be a simple process. Most of mine are, but there are those that cause a great deal of heartburn for all involved. It's not always because the players are being difficult. No, sometimes things erupt. As the real estate pro in the mix, you have the experience to help your clients navigate those moments. There are things you can do to limit the stress for your clients.
Give me a call, or email me for all your real estate needs, and let's make something amazing happen.
Real Estate Sales and Property Management
(Disclaimer: All grammatical mistakes, punctuation breakdowns and misspellings are purely for your amusement and entertainment. Feel free to cackle.)