There is nothing worse as a real estate agent than the frustration that comes from working with a buyer with unrealistic expectations. It is a bad experience for you and for them, and one that is completely unavoidable. If you fail to set proper expectations up front, expect several of the following things to ensue:
Everything on this list is a waste of time for you and your clients. The good news is that it is completely avoidable with a short exercise upfront that you can do in the initial meeting. This exercise is something we call the Reality Check Analysis and every agent on the Orange Line Living and Keri Shull Team is trained to do it. In fact, if you want to see Keri Shull teach this exercise you get can access to a recently completed webinar below.
Ask your buyer clients exactly what they want in their next house. At a minimum this should include their ideal location, the type of home, and the features of the home. For this part of the exercise, let them imagine that they did not have to make any compromises.
Make sure you have the financial conversation with your clients. You should ask them about their income and other financial qualification criteria. While you will need a good lender to get the exact numbers for what they can be approved for, you should be able to get a rough idea on your own of their qualification levels as well as the monthly costs depending on the price point and loan program. Once you have their wants figured out and their ideal price range established, you can move on to the third step.
Search back for a twelve-month period using their criteria. Plug in the location, home type, features and price range and see what has sold in the last year. The results will reveal several things.
First, does what they are looking for actually exist? Sometimes buyers just have unrealistic expectations and there will be no sold homes that meet their criteria. If this is the case you need to rerun the search while adjusting one of the four factors: location, home type, features and price. Do this until you start to see results showing homes they actually would have bought.
The other thing this search will tell them is how picky buyers can be. If you run the search and over a year long period 36 homes showed up, it would be reasonable to assume that every month they would potentially have three options to choose from. If only six homes showed up they would only get one option every other month. In the first situation your buyers can be a lot pickier about whether or not to make an offer. In the latter situation, your buyers might have to overlook smaller things they do not like about homes that come up for sale.
We have helped thousands of buyers and know the reality check analysis does wonders. It sets proper expectations up front. If the buyers have unrealistic expectations this gives you a data driven way of telling them that and then walking them through a process to see what happens to their options when they start adjusting certain criteria. It also lets your buyers know with fairly good certainty how many options they will have during their search.
Again, if you are interested in saving time, having happier buyers and making more money, you can see Keri go through this process while training several agents in a recent webinar.