Coping with cranky real estate clients

3 tricks for diffusing ticking time bombs

No matter how good you are as an agent, sooner or later even the best of clients can go ballistic. Whether your clients are being cranky or have completely blown a gasket over an issue, here’s how to cope.

Several years ago there were two multimillion-dollar properties in our market that had been listed with a number of different agents. The seller’s pattern was to list for about 45-60 days and then dump the listing agents. Fortunately, when my partner and I won the listings, we sold the smaller of the two houses for $2.5 million. The larger house was brand-new, and in order to pay off the construction loans, the seller needed about $1 million more than the property was worth. We were hoping for a short-sale offer on the second house, but the lender was more interested in foreclosing.