By Samantha Jones
When I began this blog series in the fall, multiple offer situations were rampant. They were the norm at most price points. Yet, such as the real estate market goes, its a constant ebb and flow. As 2019 rapidly approaches, multiples are becoming less and less common.
If I had a dollar, or maybe $20, for every time a client asked me how long it will take to buy or sell their home, I would give Warren Buffet a run for his money. Their questions are only natural. Our clients don’t buy and sell real estate every day, which is why they need us—our guidance and honesty.
Whether you’re encountering multiple offers or not, it’s crucial to guide your clients through every real estate transaction. By staying true to these five simple tips, you’ll keep your buyers and sellers happily on track.
1. Set realistic expectations. I’m a firm believer in setting expectations from the get go. Being as transparent and upfront as possible from your initial meeting with clients is imperative. This makes the roller coaster ride of a real estate deal so much smoother for everyone involved.
I’m always honest, even if it involves explaining that the market is not an exact science. I cannot predict exactly how much a property will close for, or the duration of a sale. Instead, I set realistic expectations.
For sellers, I start with pricing. If three or more similar homes are listed nearby, and buyers are viewing the properties without writing an offer, the market is either rejecting the price and/or condition. Meaning, my sellers and I may need to address one or both of those variables. As for timing, if the aforementioned are aligned, you should have the house sold within three weeks here in the Chicagoland market. Beyond that timeline, something needs to give.
For buyers, it’s about explaining the nuances of deal, such as the potential for multiple offers, what that entails, and how we adapt. I let them know I’ll stop at nothing to find the home of their dreams and that we should refuse to settle. But I also tell them we cannot definitively know what a home is worth, or how long it will take to find “the one.”
2. Remember, the deal isn’t done until it’s signed, sealed, and delivered. This is tricky. Once an offer is accepted, clients usually want to jump for joy and pop some bubbly to celebrate. While I don’t want to rain on their parade, it’s important to remember we are not done. We have cleared one hurdle—contract price and terms—but there are other hurdles coming our way. There’s the attorney review, inspections, appraisal, mortgage approval, etc. It may seem daunting and pessimistic, I know, but cautious optimism will protect your clients and prove invaluable to their experience with you.
3. Provide reassurance. Either you’ve experienced it or you will experience it: a deal falling through. Did a deal blow at home inspection? A buyer decide to walk for no reason? The seller decide not to sell? The list goes on and on. As a real estate professional, it’s how you react to this uncertainty that your clients will remember. Our job is to reassure them. We all know a deal may blow up for a multitude of reasons, but I remind clients that we’ll re-sell their home or find another home for buyers if necessary. I’m naturally an eternal optimist, which may or may not be your cup of tea. If you’re not an optimist yourself, then dig deep and find some silver lining in the pitfalls of your deal. Maybe there’s a better home out there for your clients. Maybe it’s better timing for your clients. If it’s meant to be, it will be.
4. Ignore the competition. Just because you may have competition for a listing or a buyer client, does not mean your standards should be lowered. Take the high road, always. I’ve been on several listing appointments where I learned that a competing agent recommend a price of $10,000 to $150,000 more than my recommended price range to a seller. Yikes, right? I’ll give those agents the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they did not know the market well. Surely they were not just inflating a price, promising a seller impossible profits just to get the listing. In many cases, I still walked away with the listing because the seller appreciated my honesty, even if my recommended pricing was not what they were hoping for. How about buyers who have an aunt, friend of a friend, or colleague they just realized is licensed? That’s fine. Tout your skills to potential clients and let them know what you bring to the table is honestly—without tearing down another agent.
5. Follow the Golden Rule. Cliche? Maybe. Yet, it’s what we all strive for: To treat others the way we want to be treated. In the millions of dollars in real estate deals we close year after year, it’s vital to not become jaded. Stay refreshed for every client and give them your all. Real estate transactions are unnerving, even terrifying for the general public. I encourage you to make it your mission to put yourself in their shoes and always give them your best, as you would hope your agent would for you if the situation were reversed.
The article is part three in a series on dealing with multiple offer situations.
Read part one: “How to Win a Multiple-Offer Situation for Your Buyers.”
Read part two: “5 Tips to Help Sellers Navigate Multiple Offers”
Samantha Jones is an award-winning real estate broker with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in the Chicagoland area. She is a top producer who specializes in residential sales. Connect with Samantha on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.