Bad Buyer Assumptions Made by Real Estate AgentsTopic: Home buying
At times, it's easy for real estate agents to fall into a pattern of making assumptions when working with buyers. But it's a dangerous habit that can derail transactions and lose clients. Are you guilty of making any of the assumptions below?
Everything my buyer claims about his income and credit is accurate.
Instead of asking for a letter of pre-approval from the buyer's lender, you ask your client some questions here and there and then become satisfied with the answers. Then you and your client start looking at homes. Bad move! Always send your clients to a lender before you step foot inside a single property. You have no way of knowing exactly what price point you and your buyer should be looking at until you get word from the lender on the amount the buyer is pre-approved for...or if the buyer is even pre-approved at all. Why waste your time, and your client's, until you have the real numbers.
My buyer can afford the mortgage amount that she was just pre-approved for.
Yay! Your client was just approved for $180,000 and that will get her a modest patio home just like she wants. But remember those initial conversations with her about how much income she actually brings in each month? And remember how your client said there was no way she could come up with any more money for a down payment? It doesn't take a math degree to know that the monthly mortgage will be too much for your client. You're the professional and it's your job to tell her that while it's great she qualified for the $180,000, she really needs to look at homes in the $X range. Crunch the numbers and show her. Get her to understand. And don't show her any properties that she can't afford. It does your client a disservice as well as the neighborhood if the home later goes into foreclosure.
My buyer knows exactly what he wants.
Sure, all buyers have their wants and needs lists. They all have their dream home. But there may be flexibility in those lists. You have to really listen to your client and then dissect what he's saying. You may find that the order of importance on your real estate client's needs lists are a little different than first indicated to you.
My buyer understands all the costs involved in buying a home.
Your average consumer is bombarded with misleading advertisements about buying real estate every day. So don't assume that your client has the true picture of all the aspects of buying a home. Not only do you need to explain closing costs, appraisal and inspection fees, but also the initial costs of moving into a home...from shower curtains to window coverings...it all adds up.
That the buyer won't go anywhere else to get real estate help.
Let's get real. Real estate agents are a dime a dozen. Sure, they might not have your experience and know-how, but they're out there. And perfectly willing to scoop up any client that falls by the wayside. If you can, secure your client's signature on a Buyer's Agreement. But more importantly, make sure you understand your buyer's needs and try to meet them. Some buyer's need a little more hand-holding than others. With impeccable customer service and top-notch real estate skills, you can make sure your buyer doesn't want to work anyone else.
About the Author
Tina McAllister is a ghostwriter for busy professionals and the author of The WAHM Agent. She blogs on everything from writing and marketing to work at home biz tips.