How to Manage Buyers’ Expectations This Spring

By MNR News posted 03-14-2022 10:20

It’s no secret—everyone knows it’s a seller’s market and that housing inventory is historically low. There are signs of slow change in the housing market, but in the meantime, Realtors® must carefully prepare their buyers for what’s to come. Otherwise, they could end up feeling as though the home purchase process has chewed them up and then unceremoniously spit them out.

Most agents know that, before going out and looking at properties, they must educate their clients, especially first-time buyers, about the home buying process. In this market, that is even more crucial because when you are ready to make an offer on a home, there may not be much time to explain paperwork or the details of the home-buying process.

It’s helpful to give buyers copies of a blank purchase agreement and other paperwork to look over in advance so questions can be answered ahead of time. Explain how the multiple-offer process works and what strategies you’ve got in mind.

Counsel your buyers to be as open-minded as possible about the properties they see. Most agents know that buyers rarely tick off all their wants and needs when it comes to finding a home. That is even less likely to happen now. But the home they see could still be a great investment.

Sharing market information is something that agents commonly do for their new clients. Be prepared to update this information often. It’s a fast market and things are changing quickly!

Most agents are used to being a jack-of-all-trades. Now you must also add “counselor” to your skillset. The best thing you can do for your clients is to help them set their emotions aside and practice the Zen art of non-attachment. It’s best not to fall in love at first sight in this market, but to focus on specific needs and material facts. No one is saying that this is easy, but keeping some emotional distance until an offer is accepted is important in avoiding buyer burnout. Once an offer is accepted, that’s the time to celebrate.

For the same reason, it’s important to counsel your buyers to stay in the moment and be prepared to quickly let go of a lost deal. Encourage them to look forward, rather than grieve the loss. It’s all too easy to get stuck in “what if” mode. What if we’d offered more? What if we’d skipped the inspection? They will need reassurance that they will find a home eventually, even if it does take longer than usual. “This one just wasn’t meant to be,” is a great attitude to adopt.

That said, it’s still important to listen to your clients. They will need a bit of time to let off steam and let go of a lost property.

With a mix of empathy and knowledge, you can make the best of a difficult market. And don’t forget to give yourself every bit of care that you give your clients. This year’s housing market is hard for everyone.