6 Agent Mistakes That Can Hurt a Deal

6 Agent Mistakes That Can Hurt a Deal

There are many reasons a real estate deal can fall through. The inspection can go bad, the appraisal can come in low, or the buyer just might get cold feet. 

In some cases? It might even be your fault — at least in part.

Do you want to ensure your future transactions stay on track and close successfully?

Make sure you avoid these deal-killing agent mistakes as you work

1. Failing to prep buyers for the mortgage process.

If financing falls through, the deal typically falls through, too. To ensure this doesn’t happen, you need to prep your buyers well before they file that mortgage application (or even think about putting in an offer.)

Encourage them to work on their credit score first and foremost, and ask them to gather their financial documents and asset details, too. You should also make sure they’re preapproved for a loan before beginning the home search. This sets them up for success (and a faster closing) once they’re ready to go.

2. Skipping the research.

Research is critical in avoiding two major deal-killers: low appraisals and bad inspections. On the appraisal front, you’ll want to dig deep into area sales comps and be extra sure you’re making an offer that’s in line with local trends. Overdoing your bid is one of those agent mistakes that will only cause problems down the line — costing your buyer handsomely or throwing off the deal entirely.

Research can help also help you reduce the chances of any inspection-related problems. Dig into the property records and see if the home has been improved or if any permits have been filed for the address in the past. This can give your buyers a good idea of what’s been worked on and updated, and where some potential problem areas might exist. 

3. Negotiating too hard.

Not all sellers — nor their listing agents — are looking to play hardball. Whether they’re just testing the waters or they have tons of time to sell, many will hold out quite a while to get the right offer. This is especially true in today’s market, where sellers typically have the upper hand.

If you go in hard, low-balling it, asking for all the contingencies under the sun, or just counteroffer over and over and over again, they might be willing to just wait it out for a less high-maintenance buyer.

4. Not listening to the client.

No one likes to feel unheard — especially when you’re making such an important (and expensive) decision like buying a home. While you’re certainly the expert in the equation, a common agent mistake is assuming buyers are uneducated or that they don’t know what they want. With the online tools that are out there these days, you might be surprised by how much they actually understand about the home buying process.

Make it a point to listen to your clients attentively and take their needs and wants seriously — when touring a home, when negotiating, and every step of the way. It’s mutual relationships like these that will win you those referrals and great Yelp ratings once the deal is done. 

5. Being too pushy.

Buyers already feel a lot of pressure. After all, they’re deciding how to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars, as well as where they’ll raise their kids. Don’t add more by being too pushy or asking them to rush a decision. Give buyers space to think (maybe even step out of the home for a few minutes when touring it), and be careful about sharing your opinions about a property too much. While buyers certain want your expertise, comments on the color of the carpet or the dated chandelier probably aren’t welcome.

6. Taking on too much.

If you have 10 clients and already struggling to fit showings into your schedule, don’t make this common agent mistake and take on another buyer just for the money. That’s how things fall through the cracks — and deals end up failing. With that many clients, you could miss an offer deadline or forget to do some other time-sensitive task, effectively ending the deal in its tracks. 

If you’re contacted by new potential clients, make extra sure you have the time and bandwidth before you take them on, and don’t overextend yourself. (Even if it doesn’t kill your deal, your buyers can tell if you’re too busy, and it will probably reflect in your reviews and ratings, too.)

The bottom line about avoiding agent mistakes

As a real estate agent, you have a lot of control in a transaction. And while you can’t prevent every failed deal, there are ways you can mitigate risk and set your transactions up for success.

Want more guidance to help you grow your business and improve your sales? Check out the Embrace Home Loans agent resource center. And if you need help prepping your buyers for the mortgage process, reach out to an Embrace loan officer in your area. We’re here to help your buyers succeed.

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