As Realtors, part of our responsibility is to "coach" both buyer's and seller's as to "what's what"! In more detail, this means instruction regarding, the buying/selling process, legal necessities, market conditions as well as, negotiating strategies.
It is important for us as realtors to accept the following, many buyers and sellers today, truly believe they are "well qualified" in all aspects of the real estate process. The availability of the internet, has allowed them to "educate" themselves to a point where they perceive themselves to be qualified in knowledge and skills, as it relates to negotiating the sale or purchase of real estate. This perception, often undermines the efforts of the realtor. For many of us, we assume as realtor's, that buyers and sellers comprehend without a doubt, the information, suggestions and procedures we explain....often with great detail? Unfortunately, a vast majority of the time, this is not to be the case.
Within my area of expertise, (waterfront property sales) there are many important factors which must be considered prior to finalizing a sale. For clarity, here are just a few of the items needing attention, location of the 525' flood elevation lines, water depth at the shoreline, (full pool versus winter pool) side property line intersect lines (point at which side boundary lines would cross eachother if extended out into the water) is the property located in a slough or cove area (boat dock cannot extend more than half way across the shoreline to shoreline distance) and last, if not the most important, with the criteria mentioned above, will the custodian of the lake, (Department of the Interior) or it's designated representative, (in this case, Alabama Power) issue a dock permit.
As you can see from the information I have shared above, unless one is somehow intricately involved, they would, in no way, possess the answers to the many factors which need to be considered before signing off on an offer to purchase contract.
Here's a few tips I will share which I have learned over the years.
A. In a tactful manner, ask a few questions during your initial conversation to ascertain what level of knowledge a persepective buyer/seller possesses? "Have you ever previously owned waterfront property?" "Are you familiar with the permitting process (Boat/Swim Docks)?" "Are you prepared to purchase Flood Insurance for an existing dwelling laying inside a designated flood plain?"
These type of questions can "awaken" even those who think they are in the know. Creating a "wake up call" for those who consider themselves "fully knowledgeable" can go along way towards advancing the process without interruption, delays or disagreements.
B. Use your experience to "share stories" about previous sales, whereby those involved, "listened" to your advice, thus avoiding a myriad of delays and unforeseen expense.
C. Express a complement when the prospective buyer or seller has "done some homework" in advance. This is a sure way to form a bond where trust in one another expedites the process with a minimun amount of delay or interruption.
D. Reaffirm with some level of frequency, "If you have questions or need clarification, please contact me and we'll get you the answers you need to make informed decisions."
E. During the interview/sharing of information process, frequency ask the question, "do you fully understand this aspect of the process?" I always provide a detailed written list of questions which I leave with a prospective client or customer! You'll be surprised at the amount of communication which results from this list of questions.
Building a trusted relationship is a tried and true means for everyone involved to achieve a satisfactory conclusion. Always work towards building and maintaining that concept. A side benefit........referrals!