Use Your Resources

By : Mari Takeshita

In today’s market, it’s not enough for real estate agents to just do their jobs anymore. We should also prove to clients that we are trustworthy and know what we are doing. Buyers are hungry for information and can be wary of the home-buying process. And considering the market volatility in the not-so-distant past, who can blame them? Build trust and assuage buyers’ fears with these five ways to prove that we on their side.

1. Anticipate Their Questions

First-time buyers have a lot of the same questions, so I make sure to brief them on the steps of the transaction from beginning to end, including things like home inspections. Fill them in on everything they will want to know, need to know, and haven’t even thought to ask.

2. Remove the Element of Surprise

Part of prepping buyers for the home-buying process is filling them in on all the associated costs, both in time and money. I let them know when they’ll need to show up in person, such as during inspection, and when they’ll need cash, like at closing. It’s also important to manage buyers’ expectations. For example, if it’s common in the area for buyers to make offers on multiple homes before they’re successful, you need to know so you can mentally prepare for possible disappointment. That way you won’t feel like your hopes are getting crushed if you keep losing out on their “dream” homes, and so that you also won’t think I am not doing a good job.

3. Share Your Expertise

As an agent, I have a crucial tool at your disposal: Experience. As much as buyers might think they know about the home-buying through reading or talking to their friends and family, you haven’t lived it the way I’ve experienced it. I prove that I have your best interests in mind by helping my clients learn from the mistakes I’ve seen other buyers make.

4. Let Them Know It’s OK to Be Nervous

It’s completely normal to panic at some point during the process of buying a home. In fact, it’s abnormal for buyers to not get worried about making such a major purchase. Some trepidation is expected (especially at certain points in the process, like right before they sign the offer), and you shouldn’t misinterpret it as a sign that they should back out of the deal.

5. Back Up Advice With Data

Buyers might balk at suggestions, but they can’t argue with cold, hard numbers. So, for example, I tell buyers that homes in the area are selling over list price, back that up (and help them understand what that means) with a price-to-sale price ratio. Also explain that if their limit is $300,000, you should start looking at homes as low as the $250,000 range to increase their chances of making a successful offer.