It's Time to Have the Birds & the Bees Discussion with our Buyers!!!

By
Real Estate Agent with Executive Realty Group 471-000119
It would be irresponsible for a parent to wait until their children were grown up to have the proverbial "birds and the bees" discussion with them.  After all, human nature, curiosity, the feeling that "everyone else does it, how bad can it be?" dictates that, when a clear understanding of the implications is absent, kids will take matters into their own hands ... they'll experiment, and have to face the consequences.
birdsAs adults, we understand that to be true, so we do have those discussions (in "age appropriate" increments) with our children as they are developing so that, by the time they are old enough to be confronted with a whole host of situations, they're in the best possible (hopefully) position to make the best choices for themselves.

So, since we know that having good discussions right from the start results in everyone having a better understanding of the implications of various choices, why, as an industry, have the majority of us been so reluctant to have those good "birds and the bees" beediscussions with our buyers!!!!

 
"What discussions?" you might ask.  They're actually a rather important ones   They're the discussions about the many components of a buyer's home search and buying process, their rights and responsibilities, the risks and potential consequences of a whole host of choices, as well as the rights, responsibilities, risks, etc., of the agents with whom they work.  How they work with agents can vary greatly, and those variations can have huge implications to both the buyers and the agents involved.  State regulations regarding consumer and agent relationships and responsibilities certainly differ, but there are some common threads that all consumers should understand when they embark on the search and purchase of a home.  Here are some of the important ones:
  • Determining your objectives - This sounds very basic (and it actually is) but it's often one of the most overlooked critical steps in the process.  When you ask a buyer "What are your objectives", they often will say "Well, to buy a house, of course".  But in reality there's a whole lot more to it than that.  What kind of house?  What community?  What floorplan?  What school district?  What about shopping, commute, churches, recreational resources, neighborhood features, etc?  How about size requirements, layout features?  Not only is it important to clarify what it is you're looking for, but also why it's important to you.  Quite often the "why" is much more important than the "what".
  • Options for the Search Process - With so much information so readily available online, it's not uncommon for buyers to say to themselves "I can find the house myself...should I even bother getting an agent?"  If "finding the house" were the only reason for having an agent, the answer would be much easier. 
  • The "Game Plan" - It's important to recognize that buying a home is a process, not an event, though most people initially embark on this journey without understanding that.  It's very important right from the outset to do your due diligence. There's a lot to take into account, ducks to get in a row, so to speak.  Is this your first home?  What are your financing options?  Have you set aside money for downpayment and closing costs?  How's your credit?  Do you have your preapproval in place?  If you have another property already, will you need to sell it in order to purchase another?  Is it currently listed?  Does it have a contract on it?  When would you want to actually "be in" your new home?  What types of homes will you consider purchasing?  And much, much more
  • Are you planning to work with one agent?  Several Agents?  No agents?  When making this decision, it's important that you understand the ramifications of each with regard to:
    • Representation / fiducary
    • CONFIDENTIALITY
    • Market knowledge
    • Negotiating skills and strategies
    • New construction (WHO sets the price / Value?)
    • FSBOs (what are the benefits / risks of working with "For Sale by Owner"s?)
    • Foreclosures
    • Short Sales
    • Exclusive vs non-exclusive agreements
    • Ramifications of dealing
    • Fees (will you be paying the agent directly, or will their fees be paid out of the transaction through the listing broker?)

While it's easy to say "an informed consumer is an empowered consumer", but with the huge amount of information currently available online on virtually any subject, that belief is certainly open for challenge.  Out of the millions of pages of information that result from a search, for example, which have the particular information you need?  Which are accurate?  Which are applicable to your particular situation and needs?  How can you best apply that information? 

Data alone is of little use unless you know which data is significant and accurate, and then how to interpret and apply it properly

 Buyers sometimes complain that they had been working with an agent "who was only interested in a sale" or who "only showed listings from their company" or who showed them "property  had expressly said did not want to see.   Certainly no one wants to be in that sort of situation ... most especially anyone anticipating making the largest single investment of their life to date!!!!   The single best way to avoid having such things happen is to insist upon working only with professionals who are willing to take the time to understand what's important to you and are diligent in providing the information and guidance designed to help you make your very best decisions!
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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Jim Frimmer 01/01/2009 06:06 PM
Groups:
It's all about them (ThemThem)
ACRE Consulting
Diary of a Realtor
Advice for Sellers
Advice for Buyers
Tags:
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Rainmaker
186,590
Debra Kukulski, Broker Associate
RE/MAX Suburban - Cary, IL
SRES;SFR,CDPE;GRI;ABR;e-PRO Realtor, Northern IL

Judy, this is an excellent post.  I also believe in spending time up front with my buyer clients to go over all of these very important issues so we can be successful together in finding the best home for their needs.

Jan 01, 2009 05:14 PM #1
Rainer
321,367
Russel Ray, San Diego Business & Marketing Consultant & Photographer
Russel Ray - San Diego State University, CA

I have to show this post to Jim. I bet he'll re-blog it.

Jan 01, 2009 06:01 PM #2
Rainer
45,309
Judi Bryan
Executive Realty Group - Bloomingdale, IL
Your Chicagoland Connection

Debra - You're doing what we all SHOULD be doing.  An initial consultation to discuss the buyer's needs, priorities, qualifications, etc...and to establish expectations that they have...and that we have...could remedy a lot of what's wrong with this business...including some, at least, of public perception!  Thanks for your comment, and your presence in our industry!!

Russell - Thank you for chiming in!  And a repost?  Awesome!

Jan 01, 2009 11:47 PM #3
Rainmaker
3,857,125
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Great post! Thanks for sharing!!

Jan 10, 2009 11:43 PM #4
Rainer
321,367
Russel Ray, San Diego Business & Marketing Consultant & Photographer
Russel Ray - San Diego State University, CA

Considering that every day I hear and read about the doom and gloom in the real estate industry, I thought sure it was the press's duty to have that birds and bees discussion with buyers. So you're telling me that you don't think the press is doing a good job? LOL

Jan 24, 2009 09:23 PM #5
Rainmaker
186,590
Debra Kukulski, Broker Associate
RE/MAX Suburban - Cary, IL
SRES;SFR,CDPE;GRI;ABR;e-PRO Realtor, Northern IL

Dear Judi,

Thanks:-)   I really think it is so important to have a consultation.  Some buyers are resistant to coming into the office for the first meeting but I have never had one tell me it was a waste of thier time after.  We go over so much and it empowers the buyer with a LOT of infomation that will help them make good decisions as we continue in the buying process.  They are always glad I took the time with them up front and it benefits us both.

Mar 12, 2009 01:25 AM #6
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Rainer
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Judi Bryan

Your Chicagoland Connection
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