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No Man Left Behind During the House Hunt

Real Estate Agent with Long and Foster Real Estate VA License # 0225089470

No Man Left Behind During the House Hunt


The pace of the real estate market in the Bristow/Gainesville area, really for all of Northern Virginia, is insane.  While seventy percent of my business is being at the helm of listings and assisting my sellers in staging, pricing, marketing and negotiating offers, I have seen it from that side most often.  Incredibly short marketing times and multiple offers are common in all price ranges.   A buyer can fall in love with a home while sitting in their pajamas on the couch at 10pm Sunday night and before their showing Monday at 3pm, it is GONE!  Sellers are in control and buyers may as well be trying to grab a hold of something in the middle of a tornado.  

When helping two sets of relocating buyers from out of the area this week, I felt the other side all too intensely.  Scheduling is a nightmare with COVID.  No overlapping showings when there are too many buyers and not enough homes means getting your request in as soon as possible.  And if your buyers find a home online that wasn't in the listings you had lined up, good luck trying to figure out a showing time with our MLS showing app.  You can't see what is already taken.  In those cases you rely on listing agents to answer the phone.  HA!  That's a very small percentage.

The best buyer agents have buckets of empathy for the stress of the move and the various members of the tour in tow.  Lunch or snack breaks are essential, particularly if there are young kids in the caravan.  Imagine how scary it is for a three year old boy who just met you yesterday to wake up in the back of his parent's SUV and see YOU when the rest of the family is inside a home getting a look.  You have to have compassion and kindness to do this job.

If you are lucky enough, there are rare occassions when you get to thank a seller for being so kind to let you in on short notice.  Or on the rarest of occassions, you get to thank them for their hospitality to that scared three year old boy and his five year old brother when she took them to see her horses, gave them cookies and made house hunting fun for one home.  And when that wonderful seller calls you when you are just pulling the driveway of your home from an exhausting day to tell you that the three year old left their toy in her home, you figure out how to get that toy back to its owner.  No wonder he was crying in the back ground of the most recent call from the buyers on their two and a half hour car ride home.  That's his favorite toy.  You get back in the car, go to her home and rescue ninja cat on the way to the evening's listing appointment.

An ounce of kindness goes such a long way no matter what role you are playing in the real estate market.  There's plenty of anxiety, broken hearts and torment on this battlefield.  If you can navigate those emotions, keep your clients clear on the conditions they are facing and best strategies to get HOME, you will be victorious in the end.  No man, or toy, gets left behind during the house hunt.




Comments (10)

Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Happily Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

How do your listing agents get away with not answering the phone.... listing agents here jump on a phone call....

and an ounce of kindness goes a very long way..... Chris Ann Cleland 

Jul 12, 2020 12:16 PM
Chris Ann Cleland

I wish all listing agents here were like that.  Just a select few.

Jul 12, 2020 02:03 PM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Chris Ann,

This is another one of your lovely kind and thoughtful posts.  We agree with you 100%.  A

Jul 12, 2020 12:32 PM
Chris Ann Cleland

I'm always happy when we are on the same page.

Jul 12, 2020 02:05 PM
Kris Collis, Associate Broker
Smart Way America Realty - East Stroudsburg, PA
Professional Results you Expect 570-801-5525

Chris Ann, Thoughts so true for these times.  Kindness and empathy are essential, they go a long way to soothing anxious client concerns...in any type of market.

Jul 12, 2020 01:52 PM
Chris Ann Cleland

Clients need to know you care and you are on their side.

Jul 12, 2020 02:05 PM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Chris Ann - there are more rough waters waiting for the most ready of buyers.   Proper preparation can calm even the seas of the S S Minnow(you know the boat from Gilligan's Island).  Smooth sailing awaits the buyer(or seller) who has knowledgeable, reputable and responsive representation.  

Jul 12, 2020 04:29 PM
Chris Ann Cleland

Both sets of buyers were referred by buyers I had already worked with, so there was trust coming in based on reputation.  Helps a lot.  It is easy for buyers in this market to get distrustful of their agents when they feel nothing is out there for them to buy.

Jul 12, 2020 05:30 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

There is no question that these pandemic times are offering up their own set of challenges above those we normally see.  Coupled with low inventory in many areas of the country, it can take the fun out of it.  

Jul 12, 2020 08:01 PM
Chris Ann Cleland

The pandemic may be to blame for our extremely low inventory, but it is almost like it isn't happening here...except we all have to wear face masks during home tours.

Jul 13, 2020 03:02 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

CONGRATULATIONS Chris Ann, on having this blog FEATURED in the Old Farts Club group!  

Jul 12, 2020 08:01 PM
Chris Ann Cleland

Thanks for another feature.

Jul 13, 2020 03:02 PM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Prop. Mgr, Wenatchee, WA

Hi Chris Ann,
The real estate business isn't for sissies under the best of circumstances. The last few months have been particularly challenging and the industry continues to try to figure it out! 

Jul 13, 2020 07:26 AM
Chris Ann Cleland

Very true.

Jul 13, 2020 03:03 PM
Susan McCall - - Compass Realty Solutions
Compass Realty Solutions - Portland, OR
Listing and Buyer's Agent

That was quite a story Chris Ann.  You are very excellent at telling stories, I feel like I was there with you.  I see why your clients LOVE you!!

Jul 14, 2020 09:27 PM
Chris Ann Cleland

The best compliment I get from folks that know me first from my blogs, and then meet me in person, is that I am exactly what they thought I would be.

Jul 15, 2020 08:56 AM
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

We have to prep buyers BEFORE going out to show and schedule appointments--they have to know what the protocol is re: COVID, so important to stay on time with showings and stick with the schedule.  My complaint is when the showing agent before my appointment time just....stays in the house with the buyers past the scheduled time.  We all must be considerate of others and deal with the restrictions.

Jul 15, 2020 10:49 AM
Chris Ann Cleland

I hate that too.  I also hate it when someon running ahead comes and swoops in on MY time if I am five minutes late for a thirty minute showing.  

Jul 15, 2020 02:45 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Chris Ann Cleland - I can only imagine how wonderful it is to work with you on transactions. Your thoughtfulness goes a long way in successful sales and repeat business too. Here on ActiveRain, you are unforgettable. 

Jul 15, 2020 02:42 PM
Chris Ann Cleland

So far, my agent reputation is very healthy.  Helps me get a lead on things with listing agents for my buyers.

Jul 15, 2020 02:47 PM