Keeping the Deal Real
When buyers’ expectations are as high as the sky, it’s up to you
to bring them back to Earth. Here are some suggestions.
Edward Orasi has a flair for the dramatic.
When he brings buyers to the o;ce for
consultations, he sets up large screens in
the conference room to display thousands of real-time MLS listings. He asks
buyers to tick o; all their must-haves—
price range, square footage, amenities,
even types of flooring and countertops—
and he’ll filter out all the properties that
aren’t a match. Sometimes, once buyers
have gone through their list, there’s nothing left on the screen.
“They realize that, OK, they can’t get
everything they want,” says Orasi, MRP,
a sales associate with Keller Williams
Marketplace One in Las Vegas. “So then
we move on to what they actually need.
They can always put in granite counter-
Putting great e;ort into satisfying
buyers’ wildest desires at a bargain price
will surely lead to disappointment and
could put your future business dealings
with them at risk. “If they get frustrated,
they’re going to end up going to another
real estate agent,” Orasi says.
It might be a shock at first, but setting
buyers’ expectations from the beginning
saves you and your clients time and frustration. And it’s about not only leveling
with them on their property preferences
but also getting real about the homebuying process and the condition of the
market as a whole.
Many buyers, particularly first-timers,
might not be realistic about the time it
takes to get approved for a mortgage,
find a home, submit an o;er, and get to
the closing table. That’s why Brandon
Bridgmon, an agent with RealtySouth in
Birmingham, Ala., presents his buyers
with a flowchart explaining the major
points and time frames in the buying
process, from the decision to move to
getting the keys to a new home. He calls
himself a real estate “personal trainer”
for his clients, explaining what is required
of them to get past each milestone within
their desired time frame.
He then outlines certain expectations
in a buyer agreement, stating that he will
not show them homes that are priced
more than $10,000 above their budget.
“I find that it’s much better to educate
buyers on the front end than to find time
to educate them when the transaction is
moving along,” Bridgmon says.
The initial consultation is also the time
to discuss issues that could potentially
scuttle a deal. Mark Lesses, a broker with
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
in Lexington, Mass., makes a point of discussing with buyers their responsibilities
in the inspection process. “In Massachusetts, you have the option of waiving an
inspection,” says Lesses. Though doing
how to . . .
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