10 Things You Should Never Say To Homebuyers

Dated: 10/03/2017

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Keep your foot out of your mouth with clients.


Please sign on the dotted line here, here and here for your dream home. It’s only requires a 30-ish year commitment, basically all of your savings, a guaranteed monthly bill, mowing your own lawn forever and making the largest purchase of your life. Don’t sweat it!

Such is the viewpoint of homebuyer — and in particular, first-timers. They know that taking the homeownership plunge is a smart, worthy investment, but from search to close, they’re feeling the stress.

During these times, even the most innocuous statements made by real estate agents can be taken the wrong way. Avoid putting your foot in your mouth by never saying these 10 things. (Just, don’t do it).

‘The house is perfect for you.’

The ultimate decision regarding whether a house is perfect for a buyer lies with a buyer. Real estate agents should avoid making such comments and pushing the idea that they’ve found “the one.”

This type of statement could potentially be viewed as a high-pressure sales tactic.

Instead, a real estate agent should point out the exact features in the house that the buyer asked for and inquire what the buyer’s thoughts are about the home.

‘You can get prequalified later.’

You certainly do not want to spend valuable time showing homes that are not affordable to buyer clients, and they likewise do not want to fall in love with a house that is too expensive for their budget.

Before you show a buyer any homes, ensure that he or she is prequalified for a reasonable amount. More than that, only show real estate options that are priced within a buyer’s range.

‘The seller will absolutely agree to that.’

You may feel confident that any reasonable seller would agree to make a minor repair or to move the closing date back a few days, but you don’t know all of the factors that may be influencing the seller.

By making promises you have no control over, you may be setting your buyer up for disappointment, and you also run the risk of having the buyer lose faith in your word.

‘This house was not well-cared for.’

A buyer can and should come to his or her own decision about the maintenance level the previous owner took with a home.

Rather than make a blanket statement like this, you may use your experience and keen eye to point out specific maintenance and repair issues that the property inspector may also point out.

Buyers should come to their own conclusions about the overall care that a previous owner put into the home.

‘I will lower my fees.’

There may be instances when you and the other real estate agent working on the deal need to lower your fees to make the transaction work.

However, this line should only be used in a worst-case situation when there are no other options. Remember that you and the other agent work hard for your money, and you deserve the full amount of compensation that was agreed upon upfront.

In addition, even if lowering your fees would save the deal, it is not always a cost-effective solution for you or for the other real estate agent involved.

‘Call me any time, day or night.’

Some real estate agents strive be accessible to their clients at all times, but the reality is that you can easily get burnt out or irritated if your clients are calling you at all hours of the day and night.

It is best to lay some reasonable ground rules regarding your availability.

For example, telling your clients that you do not take business calls or respond to emails after 9 p.m. may show that you are devoted to your job while still establishing some personal time.

You can realistically set business hours for yourself that still portray you as being accessible.

‘That reminds me of a horrible client I had.’

Talking negatively about other clients is a deal-breaker in most situations. Clients can easily wonder what you may say about them behind their back.

This type of behavior shows poor ethics and makes you look bad to your clients.

Any stories you share about previous clients should be relayed tactfully and only with specific purpose in mind.

‘I have already showed this house eight times before.’

Some homes may sit on the market for months before someone snatches them up, and during this time, you may show it to your different clients numerous times.

Your current clients can easily see that a home has been on the market for a long period of time, but this type of comment clearly points out that many people have not been impressed by the home.

The home may essentially seem less appealing simply because you made this comment.

‘I really need this commission.’

Some real estate agents will make this statement in an off-handed way, but it puts pressure on your clients to perform in a certain way that otherwise may not be in their best interest.

They should not feel any pressure to buy a home based on your financial situation. In the event that they decide to back out of a deal, they should not be made to feel guilty about the financial impact that their decision may have on you.

‘You should have done what I said.’

Some real estate agents will offer helpful advice to clients that unfortunately is not heeded.

The client likely remembers that you made a specific recommendation, but he or she doesn’t need to be told, “I told you so.”

This creates ill will and is simply not necessary in a professional relationship.

Real estate agents should always be mindful of what they say and focus on how clients may read into their comments before they speak.

Dan Barcelon is a Realtor with Evergreen Properties and Investments in Long Beach, California. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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