Buyer behavior can be confusing, perplexing and downright frustrating for agents at various stages of the purchase process.
Sometimes buyers say they want X, Y and Z at this price point. After months or even years of searching, the perfect property comes on the market, only for the buyers to dismiss it as something they really don’t want after all. Or even worse, after months of spinning an agent’s wheels, the buyers purchase something on their own.
This is just a glimpse into the annoyances real estate agents face all the time.
Here are eleven things buyers do that agents can’t stand:
1. Having no loyalty
Buyers, despite being given an explanation of how agents work and the process involved, go rogue contacting various agents — whether it be the listing agent or the agent that appears to be the contact when inquiring online — about properties listed for sale, thus creating confusion in the process.
This is especially annoying when they schedule showing appointments for the same property with more than one agent!
2. Being indecisive
When buyers say they want one thing and then continually flip-flop between multiple scenarios, making it impossible to narrow down or zone in on a particular area or property.
In the meantime, the kind of properties they said they originally wanted continue to sell out from under them while prices go up.
3. Acting like armchair experts
Buyers and their family, friends or co-workers who purport to be the authority on everything about the homebuying process. They will unabashedly provide their input, whether solicited or not, and often make characterizations and assumption of things that are just plain wrong.
When it comes to price, they are all the consummate experts as to how much the buyer should pay, and of course, how overpriced the home they are looking at is, no matter what the comparables actually reveal.
With so many people chiming in, the buyer becomes even more confused about what to do.
4. Bringing their entourage
Speaking of many people, agents just love when buyers invite their entourage along for the house hunt. Sure, what’s 10 more people? Parents, aunts, uncles, first cousins, cousins-twice-removed and everyone else in between — you can bet they will come out in full force for a day of house hunting.
Some of them might just love looking at homes, but others are there to tire-kick, question and play home inspector and structural engineer at the same time. Think good cop, bad cop.
For agents, this means the property tour is going to take several hours longer than normal. (So much for that tightly scheduled, well-choreographed itinerary that was planned — it’s going completely out the window.)
It’s even better when buyers do not tell their agent about who will be joining them, and the agent arrives to find a small crowd milling about the first property they are about to show.
5. Being demanding and inconsiderate
You’ve got to love those buyers who are extremely inflexible regarding their property search. They are only available certain days or times and you must show them a property when they want to see it, not when it is mutually convenient. (Notice I said mutually, not just convenient for them. Never mind you are hosting 20 people for dinner or have another business commitment.)
Of course, many buyers think agents are just sitting around all day, waiting to spring into action in response to their phone call or text.
Then there are those who have you run circles and jump through hoops to get that “perfect” property fresh on the market that they have to see right now, only for them to cancel as you are headed to the showing.
6. Going rogue
Buyers who do not adhere to contract deadlines, despite being given a timeline (and constant reminders from their agent to stay on track).
When the loan application must be made by the fifth day of contract acceptance, these people are still shopping lenders. Then, when the lender wants to order the appraisal as soon as possible in order to meet the short loan approval period, they intentionally delay it for another two weeks while inspections and repairs are trying to be resolved.
In the meantime, the contract clock ticks forward, and what the buyers don’t realize is they are jeopardizing their compliance with the contract and ultimately creating a situation where they could potentially lose their binder deposit. If they had just followed the process, none of those issues would be happening.
7. Comparing everything to ‘the one’
There is no other property that can compare to the one the buyers currently live in, just sold, grew up in, used to rent, etc. — or the one they tried to buy, but lost to another offer.
Every property is going to be measured up against an impossible standard, and no property will ever win. Of course, the properties that could somewhat resemble “the one” are usually never in the buyer’s price range anyway.
8. Having unrealistic expectations
Despite education from their agent, some buyers don’t have a reality check on the homebuying process and are not prepared for challenges — like what the inventory is truly like in their price range, multiple offers, repairs from home inspections and a process that will require them to be available, accessible and accountable for the commitment they are making.
9. Needing a fixer-upper reality check
Buyers who eschew move-in ready or brand new homes that say they want a property that “needs work” as they are really handy and would rather fix something up themselves versus pay for someone else’s renovations.
However, when shown actual fixer-uppers, their true colors come shining through, and they realize they are going to need more than a hammer, or worse yet, they go under contract on a home with grand visions of playing Property Brothers or Fixer Upper only to go running for the hills after the home inspection.
They didn’t think rehabbing a property necessarily meant new rewiring, replumbing and a new roof. They really just wanted to change the paint, counters and appliances and call it a day.
10. Acting like they’re doing you a favor
Buyers who act as if they are doing you a favor by being your client. Their attitude during the entire search process is, “What’s in it for me?”
The body language is one of being on the defensive with arms crossed the entire time, and they think the worst case scenario with every property they see. A drywall crack must mean the house is falling down, and a window that won’t open or appears to be fogged means all the windows have to be replaced.
The agent is not sure why the buyer engaged them in the first place as they are sending mixed signals. On the one hand, they are loyal and contacting the agent for everything property-related in the first place, but seem ambivalent about the entire purchase process.
11. Disappearing from radar
Buyers who were initially “hot to trot” and seemed “all-in” have suddenly vanished, never to be heard from or seen again. The agent’s calls, texts and emails go unreturned, even when the agent asks to get an update on their status so they can close out the lead.
Being highly responsive and showing property on a moment’s notice, as well as diligent follow-up and follow-through on all of the buyer’s questions, does not seem to matter.
What buyers do never ceases to amaze those who work with them on the homebuying journey. These behaviors are often a result of fear, stress, confusion and trying to retain a sense of control regarding the process.
As an agent, being as curious as possible and asking lots of questions may help to demystify and provide more insight into a buyer’s true motives with regard to their house hunt.