Coping with cranky real estate clients

3 tricks for diffusing ticking time bombs

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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.