7 Things You’re Doing That Buyers and Sellers Hate

7 Things You're Doing That Buyers and Sellers Hate

When it comes to buyers and sellers, you probably have a few pet peeves.

Hate it when they bring along mom and dad when touring a home?

Feel annoyed when they ask you the same questions four different ways?

Or maybe you just dislike the constant bargainers — the ones who try to wheel and deal just to get a penny knocked off the sales price. 

Whatever it is, you’re entitled to your opinion. Unfortunately, buyers and sellers also have some of their own.

Ever wonder what their pet peeves are when it comes to you and your fellow agents?

Here are some of the most common:

1. Assuming they 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. Using jargon.

Escrow,” “PMI,” and “closing costs” might all be common words in your world, but for most buyers and sellers, they’re riddled with confusion and apprehension.

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. Not helping with the mortgage part.

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. Responding too slow.

Buying (or selling) a house is a big move — and it likely feels very important to the client. They expect you to treat it as such, and that means responding quickly to questions, concerns, and queries they have.

At the very least, you should always respond to a client within 24 hours. If possible, within 12 is better (remember, they have a lot of money on the line and it feels very urgent to them).

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. Not asking questions.

Your clients shouldn’t be the only ones with questions. If you really want to serve your buyers and sellers best, turn the tables and get to know them better:

  • What do they like?
  • What hobbies do they participate in?
  • What are their kids’ and pets’ names?
  • What are their long-term goals and dreams?

Understanding your clients more deeply can help you better guide them on their house hunt and throughout their transaction. (It also makes them feel more valued and special — something very important during such a momentous time in their lives). 

7. Overpromising and under-delivering.

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.

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Aly Yale

Aly J. Yale is a freelance writer focusing on real estate, mortgage, and the housing market. Her work has been featured in Forbes, Bankrate, The Motley Fool, Business Insider, The Balance, and more. Prior to freelancing, she served as an editor and reporter for The Dallas Morning News. She graduated from Texas Christian University's Bob Schieffer College of Communication with a major in radio-TV-film and news-editorial journalism. Connect with her at AlyJYale.com or on Twitter at @AlyJwriter.