Getting to the closing table is always an exciting moment for buyers, sellers and real estate agents, but there are numerous hurdles during the life of the transaction, whether representing the buyer or seller, and making your clients happy is the name of the game.
Throughout my career I have had a lot of success representing buyers. In 2017, I have closed 11 buy-side transactions to date, and have a few tips to share.
Buyers are savvy and have access to a lot of information; here are seven ways to really impress them, gain their trust, close the deal and get a referral.
1. A network of competent professionals
Arm yourself with a network of competent professionals to refer buyers to. This includes real estate attorneys, financial advisers, mortgage lenders or estate planners, inspectors, decorators, contractors and movers.
There is nothing worse than a bad referral; it reflects directly to you and your business. Be confident in whom you refer buyers to, and maintain control of the transaction. They will love you for it.
2. Valuation and market knowledge
Be an expert in the market your buyer is considering! If you don’t know the comps and inventory, they will find someone who does. Study, preview active listings, befriend other listings agents and speak to buyers with confidence.
3. Off-market inventory
Buyers love off-market options. They like being first and knowing about options unavailable to the general public.
Like in no. 2, keep close to agents in markets your buyer is considering, and stay one step ahead.
Keep a list of past deals, and stay in touch with recently closed buyers — you never know when they may be ready to sell!
4. Bargaining strength
Although purchase price is very important, buyers don’t always expect or know that lighting fixtures, repairs, painting and closing timeframe are all negotiable. The more they walk away with, the better they feel!
Let’s be real: not everything is a good investment. Buyers don’t expect you to point out negatives, yet when applied appropriately, they love it!
They may not always listen to your advice, but they will appreciate your insight, and you will gain their trust. You are the expert, so be honest.
6. Sense of vision
Agents wear many hats, and I have found that having a sense of vision for a space is an important one. Although we can’t all take interior design courses, we can stay on top of home trends and be able to see beyond an owner’s decor and taste.
Buyers tend to be put off easily by first impressions, so be ready to talk them through minor renovations, furniture placement and paint colors.
7. Be personal
Every buyer is different. Know them, their personality, their style and their goals, and be able to adapt. So many buyers have told me my communication, follow-up and making them feel important were keys to a successful and stress-free transaction.
There is nothing better than closing a deal with satisfied buyers — they will tell all their friends and coworkers about their positive experience with you.
Take the time to get a personalized closing gift, too. Stationary with their new address, a photo of their new home, a monogrammed key chain — the possibilities are endless!
The key to success when working with buyers is honesty, a personal experience and market expertise. Buyers have choices, and they are smart.