The 2021 real estate market is unlike any we’ve seen before. Housing demand is high, interest rates are low and supply is even lower. At the same time, an unprecedented global pandemic has turned the entire world upside down for more than a year.
Let’s just say, working with a client today is also not the same as it was six months ago. Homes are selling like hotcakes — and for way more than the asking price. This has put buyers in a tough position. They’re trying to enter the market, but the competition is fierce, and it’s tough to get their offer a second look before the property sells.
In this situation, it is critical to set and manage expectations with your buyers before they jump into the process. Skipping this step will lead to shock, frustration and disappointment for both you and your client, which can damage the relationship and hinder future referrals.
Check out these tips to help you manage buyer expectations for a smooth transaction in this competitive market.
Schedule a Buyer Consultation
Set up a meeting with your buyers before you dive into the home search process. This can be a phone or video call or in-person if all parties are comfortable. The important thing here is to get something on the calendar to set clear expectations.
Tell it To Them Straight
It’s your job as a buyer’s trusted real estate agent to communicate the realities of the current market clearly and effectively:
Buyers will pay more for a home.
They will have to remove contingencies.
Earnest money may not be returned.
Make sure you ask your clients directly if they are prepared to take on these challenges. If they say no, then suggest that they wait a bit before buying. It’s better to be honest now then to disappoint someone later.
Explain the Realities
If your buyer is prepared to accept the market realities, take some time to go through what those things actually mean. Everyone needs to be on the same page, so go through what the buyer will experience when moving forward with the transaction under these conditions. Also offer how you can help mitigate some of the effects. This is part of managing expectations so that the road ahead is crystal clear to all parties.
It may be tempting to tell buyers exactly what they want to hear, but this will ultimately hurt the relationship in the long run.
If the buyer tells you they’ll work with someone else, it’s important to hold your ground. When that buyer works with another agent, chances are they’ll still have to do all of the things you just warned them about, even though they were promised otherwise.
By telling it like it is upfront, you are demonstrating your commitment to honesty — and after a negative experience, these prospective buyers will wish they had gone with the agent who told them the truth.
Today’s market can be tough for unprepared buyers. That’s why it’s up to you to be a proactive leader instead of a reactive one. The agents who succeed in this market are the ones who are setting and managing clear expectations. While they may work with fewer buyers, these agents are winning all the homes and closing the deals.
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