By Toby Boyce
The couple slid through the front door, their faces painted with obvious pain and anguish over having to go through this all over again – and after talking to them, it became very obvious why.
This was the first time I’d met the couple, but I was far from their first real estate agent who they’d viewed houses with. A past client referred them my direction and as we stood in that house, it became obvious that the agents they’d met were not paying attention to the clients.
While I’m sure that no one that reads the YPN blogs is guilty of this at all, it seemed a good time to remind other professionals of a few items.
You Work for the Buyer (or Seller). This is an amazing concept, I know. While many clients will lean on your expertise the key is to remember that every – and I do mean EVERY – decision in this transaction is theirs. Stop putting your values, ideas, and personal biases on to your customers – they don’t care and more importantly it could be a lawsuit waiting to happen if it is deemed to be steering due to a protected class.
Lead the Horse To Water, Let It Drink. The neighborhood isn’t the best one in the market – but which is the best? Is that a subject or objective statement? Of course it is subjective which means it needs to be left up to your clients. Showing houses last weekend and the street felt very busy to me and the buyers have a young child – made me uncomfortable. Did I voice my concern to the buyer? Of course, but it was in a constructive way, suggesting they come by the house a few times to make sure they were comfortable with the traffic and speed on the street. Led them to the water hole, and to drink or not was their decision. Oh yeah, and they wrote on the house.
Show Some Personality. I’m unique; actually I believe when I was in school the word was “special.” And I’m proud of that. You should be to. Embrace who you are and utilize it to the best of your abilities. I’m a natural educator and I believe that my home buyers are some of the most educated about the process in the area. I work with people who share similar beliefs from an affiliate stand point and it has worked for me during my four-and-a-half years in real estate.
Stay on the Home Search. The last straw for the couple I met was when their agent told them, “You shouldn’t have kids right away (after getting married), you need time to travel the world.” She is a former flight attendant and he works in a field that experiences extensive travel as well. They have seen the world and are ready to settle down. But, really what does it matter? You – unless you are the buyers immediate relative – are nothing more than a tool to assist them in purchasing this home. You are not their life counselor, their money advisor, or even their pregnancy indicator. Stay in your character and everyone will be much happier.
Not that anyone from YPN would ever be guilty of these, but maybe it will help that “friend” out.
Toby Boyce, MBA, is a real estate practitioner with Keller Williams Consultants Realty in Westerville, Ohio. Visit his Web site: www.delawareohrealestate.com.