Managing Homebuyer Expectations and Disappointment in a Competitive Housing Market

Managing Homebuyer Expectations and Disappointment in a Competitive Housing Market

We all know it’s a hot housing market out there — at least those of us well-versed in this industry. Your average homebuyer, though? They’re less in tune.

While they may be aware that home prices or rising or maybe even that bidding wars are the norm, they probably don’t have a full handle on just how competitive today’s housing market really is.

This can lead to problems down the line — and often, disappointment, frustration, and anger, too.

Want to make sure your buyers can avoid those feelings of discontent? Here’s how to manage expectations in a hot housing market.

1. Ask questions.

Start by asking about what they expect from their home purchase. How fast are they hoping to buy? What’s their price range, and what are they looking to get for that amount of money? 

Ask for full honesty and transparency, and find out what they think about things like:

  • Their buying timeline
  • Their budget and how flexible it is
  • Contingencies (and the possibility of waiving those)
  • The type of home they’re looking for (style, features, location, etc.)
  • What they expect from you communication- and service-wise

You want to know exactly what expectations you’re up against before beginning the home buying journey with that client.

2. Educate them.

The next step is just to educate them, both about the process of buying a home (specifically in today’s landscape) and the conditions of their local housing market. 

Sit down and talk through what the typical home purchase looks like these days — how long it takes, how many homes buyers lose out on usually, and the strategies that are often used to win a bidding war. You should also cover any local trends that are applicable, too.

You’ll also want to clarify the process of buying a home for your client. What role will you play? What will be their responsibilities? What can they expect at each step of the way? This ensures they’re never feeling let down or disappointed. 

3. Show the proof.

Follow up with evidence of just how competitive and difficult today’s market is. Pull up your last listing, and show how quickly it sold, talk about the number of offers it received, and walk through what it took for the winning buyer to stand out. 

You can also talk generally about recent buyers you’ve had and what their journeys looked like. How long were they looking for a house? Were they able to find something in their price range? What contingencies did they have to waive? 

Sometimes, telling a real-life story can make all those data points and market trends hit a little closer to home.

4. Be careful not to oversell yourself.

Of course, you want a buyer to be confident in your abilities — especially if they’re considering other agents’ services. Be careful not to oversell, though. In today’s red-hot market, you don’t want to make anything seem guaranteed. 

Tell them about your experience, your skills, and your plans/goals for their journey, but temper that with info on the realities of the market. They should know you’re going to work hard for them, but that you’re no magician — you can’t make homes where there aren’t any, nor can you control what a seller wants or how much they’re willing to negotiate. 

5. Put yourself in their shoes.

Home buying is incredibly stressful — especially when you’re constantly getting outbid and losing out on potential properties. So whenever you can, try to put yourself in your buyers’ shoes. How might they be feeling? What could be frustrating them? What would you be thinking if your home-buying journey were going similarly? Doing this can help you head off any issues and keep those clients happy in today’s housing market.

6. Keep communication open.

Whatever you do, don’t go radio silent — even if your part of the process is done. Keep in contact, and make sure to send them updates regularly. This might just mean a short text saying “We’re still waiting on the appraisal” or “I followed up with the listing agent today,” or it may be a longer update, walking them through their showing schedule for the weekend or details about their upcoming closing appointment. 

It’s easy for buyers to get frustrated and blame their agents if they don’t hear from them often. Make sure yours don’t fall into that trap. Keep the line of communication open, and regularly and consistently let them know what you’re doing for them (even if it’s in the background). 

Hot housing market expectations

Managing expectations is critical in today’s crazy housing market. Want more guidance in helping your clients? Try these tips for working with new construction buyers or consider these client appreciation gifts.

Need a good mortgage lender to recommend to your buyers? Reach out to an Embrace Home Loans office in your area now.

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By Aly Yale / September 27th, 2021 / Categories: / Tags:

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 or on Twitter at @AlyJwriter.