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.