For many, buying or selling a home is an enormous financial move that also carries a lot of emotional weight, so it’s not surprising that people can act irrationally and make decisions that go against their best interests.
As a real estate professional, you’re perfectly placed to guide your clients through this exciting and turbulent time and empower them to make well-informed choices based on market knowledge and expertise.
Here are several of the smartest ways to help your customers navigate important, emotionally charged situations and come out on top.
One of the main things you can do to relieve stress is to be open and honest about the entirety of the process.
Invite them to in-person meetings or set up web-based calls to explain in detail why you’re selecting particular listings, share your market research when advising them on negotiation, and refer them to your most trusted advisors (inspector, real estate attorney, etc.)
First-time home buyers especially can be greatly influenced by their emotions when it comes to finding the right property and signing a contract. They may have their heart set on a place that might not be suitable at all because it needs too much work for the price or it’s out of their budget range.
Being candid with them, and operating with their best interests at the forefront will go a long way toward instilling trust, mitigating their stress, giving them crucial insight, and making you a better agent.
People wanting to buy a house sometimes feel pressure to find something as quickly as possible. This can lead to choosing a home that’s too small, too large, or too expensive to maintain.
Looking at an appropriate number of properties will reduce the chances that someone “falls in love” with a terrible one. Assist your clients with making detailed lists of the pros and cons of each listing, which will position them to think logically and see the home from a fresh perspective.
When things reach the negotiation stage, it’s critical to manage emotions and approach the table with calmness. Buyers can become despondent if it looks like they might lose their “dream home,” and sellers frequently add sentimental value to their asking price.
It’s your responsibility as a real estate expert to handle negotiations with a cool head and protect your client from making any mistakes. Ultimately, it is your clients’ decision, but you should provide them with the data and insight to make the best choice possible with the information available.
Encourage the people you’re working with to sit down and do some preliminary research before visiting their first open house. They should walk the neighborhood on the weekend, or outside of business hours, dine at a local restaurant, and visit a local park to get a feel for the area and see how it fits their expectations.
Of course, any industry pro knows getting pre-approved for a mortgage loan is the very first step in buying a home. The process of examining finances and providing all the necessary documentation will set realistic expectations and boundaries for wild emotions.
Having a preapproval letter gives prospective buyers more leverage when it’s time for you to present their offer.
Creating a list of must-haves, nice-to-haves, and the totally unwanted is a great exercise for them too, as it facilitates thinking carefully about their true goals and priorities — buyers who know exactly what they want are less likely to be swayed by emotion.
Know Your Stuff
A real estate professional who truly understands the market and what makes a house worth purchasing is an invaluable ally to anyone looking to buy.
“Flipping” houses has grown in popularity these days due to the massive amount of media about people who’ve done it successfully. What the shows don’t talk about is how common it is for flips to be badly done, with shortcuts that could end up costing the new owner a lot of money down the road.
Your client might be lured in by a fabulous new chef’s kitchen and a spa-like bath, but it’s crucial to take a closer look. New paint and fixtures can hide a host of expensive or even dangerous problems.
It’s important to develop and maintain a network of respected service providers such as home inspectors, contractors, plumbers, landscapers, architects, designers, and general handypeople. Then you can confidently refer your buyers to them when you find a place that has beautiful bones but needs some minor cosmetic upgrades.
In-depth knowledge of the most desirable neighborhoods will also serve your customers. They say “location is everything,” but factors like school districts, convenience to shopping and dining, and commute times can heavily influence the decision on whether to buy or pass.
“Fear of missing out” can drive people to make bad decisions, especially when it’s regarding the place they’ll have to live for quite a while.
A common mistake hopeful buyers make is downloading a multitude of real estate apps or going to any and all advertised open houses and falling for places they can’t really afford, which causes unrealistic expectations, and may lead to unpleasant emotions.
Your experience in the real estate industry will lend weight to your recommendations, so assure your customers that while it is still a sellers’ market, there are opportunities in their price range, and new options present daily.
Work with the Experts
Once the offer is accepted and the contract is signed, the closing process awaits. It’s crucial to provide reassurance and resources to your people during this stressful time in the form of a process recap and update (“here’s where we are, here’s what happens next”).
You can make closing go even more smoothly by partnering with a highly respected title company like Landtrust. Our extensive experience will ensure your clients have the best possible experience and get the keys to their dream home much faster.
We provide a full range of services for real estate professionals and the people you represent — reach out today to learn more!