Realtor Tips - When to Fire Your Buyer
In the middle of winter up to my knees in snow after a positive ending to an aggravating situation I decided I'd share an experience for agents (but also buyers) about when to let go, or fire a buyer.
Sometimes, no matter how well you do your job, no matter years of experience and the patience that comes with it, you end up with a buyer client that leaves you wanting to pull your hair out.
It is extremely rare that I tell a buyer to find another agent, but I did this time and in the end, the buyer came back to me; go figure.
Early last year, I received a call from a buyer, pre-approved and eager to buy and thought "wonderful", I'm ready to assist. Little did I know I'd be going through a 6 month supply of Advil. For several months showing homes (and well above median prices) I worked hard and fought for this client. Note for buyers; you can fire your agent if you're not pleased with them too.
At the time, inventory didn't support what was on his wishlist in the few areas he was willing to consider and actually accused me of not doing my job, convinced I was negligent in sending him all the available options.
For the handful of homes that appeared and went over the course of this experience, in the middle of each negotiation the client began asking for the unreasonable. I tried cautioning and coaching him about reasonable expectations which both sides have a right to, but to no avail. One home listed at $300,000 that I wrote an offer on got a counter, for example. I was 6% under asking price, and asking for closing costs, the seller was motivated but not desperate. The seller asked us to come up %8,000 which was still 4% under asking price, a reasonable counter.
I thought, there are so few homes with the features this guy wants in the areas he's looking and to date we had seen every one. I thought for sure he'd accept but blew me away when he asked new appliances and carpet throughout, and wouldn't come up at all on his offer. I'm thinking, what part of the seller's counter did you not understand? He ignored my advice and was adamant about his requests. Needless to say, his offer was rejected.
Now, it got really uncomfortable when he started berating me for not "doing m job" and that I was not doing my best to represent him. After a baker's dozen of showings, 4 blown offers, seeing homes that I told him didn't have the features he wanted and bending over backwards to serve, researching properties, running comps, writing offers, phone calls and emails. I finally alleviated myself and told him to find another agent.
I would have liked the paycheck, sure, but interestingly, after having let go of this impossible time-sink of a guy, I was able to mop up with other clients that were needing my attention.
Now for the Funny Part
I get a call a few moons later, a buyer had found one of my blog posts and send me a text request for a showing. I scheduled and met with him and to my surprise, guess who it was. My stomach turned and my heart sank, "Oh no" I thought.
Interestingly, this buyer had gone through two other Realtors over a four month period, firing one and getting fired again himself by the other agent. Time for a talk. I expressed I had no desire to work with a client that isn't going to listen to reason, especially to my reason with more than two decades of experience guiding it. He confessed his whole experience had been disappointing, and seemed repentant, asking if I would work with him again.
We proceeded and enforced the idea "put yourself in the sellers shoes before you go wild demanding things"; there is a give and take to all things in life. Real estate is no different. Amazingly, there was only one home in the area that more or less matched his needs. We wrote, got accepted and closed. He did complain the house didn't have a couple desired features, but I had to sternly remind him, he had his chance with two other homes and blew it.
Realtor Tips - Setting Expectations
I think it's good for buyers just starting out to read my article, and thanks for doing so. One of the best things a Realtor can do their and their client's sake's is to set the right expectations. It's not the days of deep discounts anymore, hasn't been for a long time. It doesn't mean that a sharp agent can't help a buyer get some discount or beneficial concessions.
In addition to having the "current market talk" with new buyer clients, another expectation to set is your time. When is the buyer available to see homes and when are you available to show them? Talk about how long the average showing is, consider drive time and what can reasonably be done in a day. What time are you available to respond to calls, texts or emails? What time is the buyer available to respond.
Deciding at the outset how and when you'll communicate, sharing a story such as this one with your buyer (having "The Market Talk" and the "Let's be Reasonable Talk" will go a long way towards a successful agent-client relationship.
Juanita Limes - Your Greater Dayton Area Ohio Realtor - Give me a shout for all your real estate needs,
937-776-6903 or just email me.