Total existing-home sales—completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops—rose 3.1% from December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.00 million in January.
GUEST COLUMN: A System Geared to Achieving a ‘Win-Win’
When I ﬁrst started in real estate many moons ago, I was so eager to get a deal going that I would take buyers to see homes without pre-approvals and continued to work with people that I knew deep down weren’t really going to make an oﬀer on a house. I was so hungry that I didn’t want to give up or lose a potential opportunity, when I knew in my heart of hearts that the client I was working with was not ready. When push came to shove and a trigger needed to be pulled, they would, as I initially suspected, not move forward, which left me feeling as though I wasted my time, energy, and my gas.
Too many of these disappointments strung together can burn a real estate agent out quickly. Eventually I learned my lesson, and hopefully you will too. In a market like the one we are experiencing right now, where it is challenging enough to get a ready, willing, and able client’s oﬀer accepted amongst the sea of multiple oﬀers, the last thing you want to do is waste time with buyers who are not really ready to move.
To avoid spinning your wheels, the best thing to do is establish a system that works for you. I am a ﬁrm believer in starting the agent/buyer experience with an in-person consultation to go over the buying process and answer any questions your client(s) may have. This is also to make your buyer client(s) aware of what you expect from them within your newly minted partnership. If you are a newer agent, ask your manager and/or a more experienced agent you trust about what has worked for them.
Establishing your system and honoring it (meaning not making too many exceptions) helps you to be more in control of the experience. Do you require a pre-approval before opening doors for potential buyers? Do you ask that the buyer call you if they are going to be late to a showing? How late is too late to still show? If the buyer has to be in a certain area because of work, has that radius been determined to avoid scheduling homes outside of that area? Have you come up with a game plan as to what your buyers should do if they go to an open house without you and would like to make an oﬀer on the house they toured? What happens if they fall in love with a FSBO? How will you be paid for your services?
On the ﬂip side, have you asked about any previous experiences your clients may have had with any real estate professionals before you? What did they enjoy about the experience? What didn’t work for them? Determining all of or as many of the potential scenarios as possible beforehand leads to a better experience and better outcome for all.
I would even take it one step further… Recap the initial meeting in an e-mail to ensure that you and your clients are all on the same page. This way if and when a conﬂict arises, you have your written notes to refer to. And yes, it is ok to let clients go who don’t adhere to the process you set forth. The bottom line is even though you want to help everyone who is willing to give you an opportunity, not all of the opportunities will feel like a win-win. And if it’s not working for you, it’s not really working for your client either.
In this case, it’s best to let the buyer go ﬁnd an agent that is a better ﬁt for them than to have the situation leaving you wanting to throw in your SentriLock access. Just like homes and life partners, there is at least one for everyone. But not everyone will be right for you. And that’s ok. Putting ego aside and being true to you and the way you work best will energize you and keep you and your real estate business moving forward in a positive direction. I, for one, am here for all of it. Now go win!