It’s a sellers’ market out there, and with so many buyers competing for limited inventory, it can be easy for them to lose motivation. Part of a realtor’s job – that may be overlooked – is keeping their client motivated during such highly competitive times. Not only do you make the transaction go smoothly, but your buyer gets to meet their goals, too.
Be honest about the market and current prices. Before starting the process, it would be wise to have a conversation with your client about the current market and how competitive it is. Discuss what homes are selling for. If they are selling for more than market value, then your client should know this before you even begin looking at homes. Start out prepared.
Work out a budget and stick to it. It’s important to start the homebuying journey with a clear budget in mind. Make sure your client has done their budgeting for their income and they know exactly how much they can afford for a monthly mortgage payment. This may seem like common sense, but in today’s marketplace, it can be easy to forget that budget when you encounter a bidding war on a house your client loves. They may start suggesting a higher offer, it’s your job as their representative to make sure they aren’t agreeing to pay more than they can handle.
Get in fast. We all know the saying, “the early bird catches the worm” and this is all too true for the homebuying process. It’s always a good idea to put in an offer early, but you also want to motivate your buyer to take the time to view a property. You may need to help your client out a little and politely request an alternative time to view a home with the seller or seller’s agent as well. Be your buyer’s advocate, see if the seller is willing to let your buyer see the home during a time not suggested on the listing, and express the importance of putting in an early offer with a strict deadline in such a competitive marketplace. You will largely set the pace of the sale.
If they can’t go, go for them. If your buyer isn’t able to make a showing, see if they’re comfortable with you going for them and either video-calling or recording a video for them to view later. It’s still necessary for the buyer to see the home themselves, but if you are thorough enough and show your buyer any trouble spots along with the positives, they may be comfortable with putting in an offer with a video tour, something becoming increasingly common with the current health crisis.
Keep in touch… often. It’s important to return phone calls, emails, and texts and update your buyer as quickly as possible with new listings. Unfortunately, many realtors make the mistake of not being active enough with their outreach to clients. They may be busy with other showings but being hard to reach, not returning calls, or not keeping in frequent contact with your buyer could frustrate and demotivate them. It may even push them toward working with a different agency. If you are overwhelmed with too many clients, make use of any referral programs your agency may have and connect your buyer with a more available member of your team.
Ask about expanding. Unfortunately, right now buyers may find it exceptionally hard to buy a home in their ideal location and they could become disheartened. Talk with them about possible alternative areas to buy. Are they working from home? For how long? Could they possibly move further away than initially planned and continue to work from home or even commute only a few days a week? The key is to never push your client to buy in a location they are not comfortable with, or that might be too far from work, but discuss the possibility and whether or not it would be feasible to meet their homebuying goals.
Stay positive. If you start to show frustration, it will only worsen your client’s frustrations. Keep a positive attitude even when the client doesn’t. Your confidence will help keep them motivated to continue the hunt.
As a realtor, you are more than just someone who writes contracts and negotiates deals. You have a large impact on the pace and tone of every home buying process and people look to you for your guidance and expertise. Your attitude affects your clients and if you are confident during the process it will encourage them to be confident, too. It may be difficult in a sellers’ market, but confidence and optimism will go a long way toward finalizing a sale.
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Customers use The Warren Group to identify new business opportunities through access to comprehensive real estate and mortgage data, analytics, and industry news coverage. The Warren Group was established in 1872 and is now in its fourth generation of family ownership and management. It is the publisher of Banker & Tradesman, The Commercial Record, and The Registry Review. For more information visit www.thewarrengroup.com.