Things You’re Doing That Buyers and Sellers Despise
The real estate industry is full of people who are born sales people. They’re the type of people who can sell you a used car without you even realizing it.
And while there are some great agents out there, there are also some agents who do things that buyers and sellers hate.
Here they are:
1. Assuming your prospects understand the process.
You’ve probably done hundreds of transactions in your career. But your clients? They’ve done this once or twice max (and many haven’t even done that).
Because of this, you need to assume that everyone needs a little hand-holding. Walk them through the process, clearly communicate any action items they need to be on top of, and answer any and all questions — no matter how silly they might seem.
Your clients rely on your guidance, and they probably need more of it than you think.
2. Talking too much.
Many new to the profession and even some verterans think that telling is selling. This is a common mistake particularly in real estate sales. The fact of the matter is that your prospects or buyers should do most of the talking. The key is to let them do enough talking so that you can properly present a solution to their problem or situation. It’s like taking an order.
How do you know what they want if you tell them about all the great listings and never ask what they want? Ask questions like:
- What does your dream house look like?
- How many bedrooms and baths do you want?
- Do you have kids? How old are they?
- Do you have pets?
- How long do you plan to live in the house?
Also, do not use jargon they may not understand, BUT at the same time do not be patronizing and talk to them like they don’t know anything. Find that balance.
Words like “Escrow,” “PMI,” and “closing costs” might all be common for you but perhaps not for the rest of the world.
Whenever possible, use layman’s terms to guide your clients, and offer clarification on any industry-specific phrases you might use. When in doubt, send them to our glossary for help.
3. Never addressing the financing.
While it’s true, the main part of your job is helping your clients find the right home and negotiate a good deal, most buyers need a lot more help than that — especially on the mortgage side of the deal. Sure, they may have a loan officer, but they may go to you with questions and it’s important that you have answers.
Help make sure your clients have their paperwork ready, understand their inspection rights, and are prepared for their appraisal results and closing costs.
The better prepared they are for the mortgage portion of the transaction, the more likely it is the deal will go through (and that benefits everyone involved).
4. Failing to negotiate.
A real estate agent’s job description includes negotiating. Understanding how to get your client’s offer accepted when trying to buy a house is critical to having a successful real estate career. When an offer is rejected, the most common mistake made by real estate agents is to give up. Deals fall through all the time in the real estate industry, and many times it happens when agents do not respond quickly to rejection or counter offers.
Remember you have a fiduciary responsibility in a binding contract that requires you to do what your clients ask of you, as long as what they want does not violate any law.
Even if you feel the offer is dead on arrival – you MUST present any and all offers to start the negotiation process.
5. Calling instead of texting.
In today’s day and age, most people — especially those in the younger generations — prefer texting over calling. Calls are often sent to voicemail, and those voicemails are rarely returned (or returned via text instead).
Whenever possible, consider using text as your primary means of communication with clients. It’s faster, it’s less intrusive, and it gives clients time to think about their reply without pressure. It also leaves a nice paper trail they can refer back to if they have questions or concerns.
6. Being unprepared.
This one is the worst. Everyone’s time is valuable and there is nothing worse than going out to view listings that are either sold, pending or you need to make an appointment with the tenants first.
You can start with 5 to 6 listings and end up seeing just one. How embarassing is that? Make sure you call the listing agent before you take your clients out. Find out if there are any quirky things you should know before showing the home?
- Is it ready to be shown?
- Is there any construction or painting going on?
- Are there any dogs you need to beware of?
- What’s the up-to-date pricing?
- Is the seller motivated?
- How is the local school system and what are the school names?
Also make sure you know how to get to the properties. Getting lost on the way is just as bad. It makes you appear unreliable. It may be a good idea to do a drive by for each property before taking your prospects. Have a few sold comps ready too, especially if the house is priced right.
7. Making promises you cannot keep.
Clients might not know everything about the buying and selling process, but they’re not dumb. Don’t promise them the world (“Sure we can find you a five-bedroom for $150,000!”) or set unrealistic expectations (“You’ll have a bidding war on your hands!”).
Do your best to be honest about what the transaction will look like, and give your clients the data they need to properly set their expectations:
- What are average days on market in the area?
- What are local comps showing?
- How common are bidding wars?
Getting your clients’ hopes up might help you snag that commission, but it will only result in bad reviews (and a bad reputation) in the long run.
More Career Guidance
Avoiding these faux pas is just one way to better serve your buyers and sellers in today’s market. Want more tips? Our real estate agent resources are here to help.